Fashion month may be over, but the art world is just heating up as it's time for Frieze London. From today until October 6, 40,000 square meters of Regent's Park will be occupied by stands, exhibitions, installations, performances, and talks. The 2019 edition of the most famous contemporary art fair in the United Kingdom is the most international to date, with 160 participating galleries from 36 countries. The fair features two "temporal" sections: Frieze London, which presents the works from after 2000, and Frieze Masters, which presents the ones created before, from the oldest works to the paintings of the great masters. This part of the fair is, paradoxically, the youngest, inaugurated in 2012, while Frieze's story begins almost thirty years ago. Visiting it is a difficult undertaking; you need sneakers, resistance, and a great desire to look around. Going aimlessly is beautiful, but to avoid getting lost in the crowds, here is a selection of things you need to see.
Frieze's director, Victoria Siddall, invited Cosmin Costinas, executive director and curator of Para Site non-profit in Hong Kong, to organize a new exhibition area: Woven. Eight galleries, mainly from Southeast Asia, have set up exhibitions of artists working with fabrics and weaving. Exhibitions range from Indian artist Monika Correa to the Filipino Cian Dayrit, whose weaving observes the impact of colonialism, ethnography, and mythology. The solo show by Indian-American artist Chitra Ganesh for the Wendi Norris Gallery, on the other hand, features unusual materials: a visual overload of fabrics, glitter, mirrored glass, and synthetic fur.
Modernist architecture is still the center of attention, but in this case, its Eurocentric history is rewritten. Frieze Live is one of the main sections of the fair, and this year presents the performative work of British artist Shezad Dawood. Dawood's work is based on the work of Muzharul Islam, a modernist architect in Bangladesh, who combined the lessons of Western modernism with a Bengali architectural language. There will also be dancers (wearing costumes by designer Priya Ahluwalia) on a curtained backdrop, and the electronic soundtrack is inspired by the Indian poet, musician, and Nobel Prize winner, Rabindranath Tagore.
Sophie Jung and Cecila Bengolea
Next to the artists exhibited by the galleries is an interesting program of projects and performances curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, Always Live. Among the most interesting within the line-up are Sophie Jung and Cecilia Bengolea.
Hauser & Wirth
The previous Hauser & Wirth stands have been treated histrionically, but this year they will be more conventional and representative of current trends. American photographer Lorna Simpson and Japanese artist Takesada Matsutani of the Gutai group, are joined by conceptual artists Jenny Holzer and Phyllida Barlow. At the same time, the stands are inaugurating Cerbero, Mark Bradford's solo show in the London gallery.
Sophia Al-Maria presents a selection of works made over the last five years about submission, the Hollywood film industry, and the violence of images and language. The artist exhibits new photographs and prints relating to her Beast Type Song solo presentation, currently on view at Tate Britain.
British-Australian artist Nicholas Pope was a rising star in the art world of the 1970s (he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1982). The same year, during a research trip to Africa, he contracted a rare form of encephalitis that caused him permanent brain damage and a long break from his career. Now the Sunday Painter gallery in London shows its sculptural glazed ceramic installation of 1995, Yahweh and the Seraphim: sacred and profane together, towards a new contemplation, without doctrine.
The last painting by Sandro Botticelli, the Portrait of Michele Marullo, is the star of this edition of Frieze Masters - which can be hung in your home for the modest sum of 30 million euros (almost 33 million USD). Also in the exhibition is a portrait by the previously unknown Henry Moore, Picasso ceramics, paintings by Lee Krasner, and a copy of the sixteenth-century Albrecht Dürer manual for artists. Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert's stand is another gem: it focuses on British pop artists including Peter Blake, David Hockney, Allen Jones, and Eduardo Paolozzi.
Density is an augmented reality work born in Seoul from an idea by Koo Jeong-a. The unique AR piece is a treasure hunt in search of three huge sheets of floating ice hidden in the green. If you take a picture and send it to your friends, they won't be able to tell if it's real or virtual. To see Density, you need an app: Acute Art.
Cover Image by Allen Jones
You Dare, 1967