Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Greetings from Le Meridien Piccadilly hotel in London! You may be wondering why I am staying at a hotel in my own city. The answer is simple: London’s annual Frieze Art Fair starts tomorrow. Still confused?
Okay, here’s a bit more information: Le Meridien, which has great connections with the art world, invited me to stay for two nights to preview the 10th annual Frieze Art Fair in London’s Regent’s Park.
As such, today I got a special sneak preview of the fair, which is home to 175 galleries from 35 countries, and which will attract visitors from around the world from tomorrow until Sunday. Here are some of the highlights…
My group got to meet Duro Olowu, the designer of the limited edition umbrella celebrating the 10th Anniversary of The Outset Frieze Art Fair Fund to Benefit the Tate Collection (OFT). His brilliant patterns made even my rain-phobic self wish for some precipitation.
Shortly after that, we got a whirlwind tour of the Frieze Art Fair itself. We began by looking at some of Paul McCarthy’s work at the Hauser & Wirth stall.
After that we saw some unique performance art at the Grizedale Arts & Yangjiang Group stall. It involved watching people eat a meal from a viewing platform above them. Around the stall vendors were selling small pieces of food in an effort to make art useful in a rural context.
In the international realm, we viewed the kurimanzutto stall, where Latin American artists explored the concept of geometric as ready-made.
From there we went to from stall to stall, seeing everything from pieces that were architectural, with heavy wooden beams that framed the works of the other artists, to paintings like Prem Sahib’s delicate water drops on a mirror.
Elsewhere in the fair were Frieze Frame and Frieze Focus stalls, the former of which featured single artists and the latter of which featured up to three. They gave a more in-depth look at the artists’ works, and particularly focused on emerging talent.
Beyond the walls of the Frieze Art Fair, the sculpture park, which is free and open to the public throughout the fair, had some great works as well. Yayoi Kusama’s Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow was a particularly bold highlight.
A 15-minute walk from the main Frieze fair was the new Frieze Masters Fair. New this year in celebration of the fair’s 10 year anniversary, it represents masters from ancient times to modern. Smaller and less crowded than Frieze London, it still held some very impressive works.
The 90 galleries represented the likes of Henry Moore and Thomas Schutte, the latter of which currently has an exhibition on at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park.
While Frieze Masters also featured the works of much older masters, I felt that it lacked some of the cohesion of its neighbor from trying to span a few too many centuries of art.
By the time I left Regent’s Park, I was exhausted and in need of some rest. Naturally, that came in the form of sitting down at my computer to work on writing this.
But now that I’m done, I might actually put my feet up for a few minutes. I should, anyway, because there’s not much time left before I leave the hotel to attend the OFT Anniversary Dinner at the Royal College of Art in Battersea. To be continued…