Each year there’s a huge buzz in the art world as galleries, collectors, artists and enthusiasts make a bee line for the huge temporary exhibition tents in Regents Park to see a vast range of art on offer – as long as you have a big budget and wall or room space to show off some of the astonishing pieces. (Above is Yayoi Kusama‘s The Season Came with Tears at Victoria Miro Stand)
As a humble artist and writer I confess I don’t have pockets deep enough to carry away any of these treasures but I can certainly feel enriched by what I see. And this year, Frieze Art Fair, and its younger sibling, Frieze Masters both offer a feast for the eyes and the chance to see just what’s fashionable, and what is likely to sell.
Of course I find myself drawn to works which involve paper, collage or mixed media and I wasn’t disappointed by examples on offer. There was a satisfying amount of paint on canvas too. There have been years when I’ve wondered if artists would ever pick up a brush and splash paint onto a surface but this year we are definitely seeing that the painted picture is alive and well and amply represented at this show.
There was a pleasing number of witty artworks on show, but often with a message – there is very much a move to include as many female artists as possible and to promote the #MeToo. The piece entitled Believe Women by Andrea Bowers on the Andrew Kreps Gallery stand illustrates this nicely.
I liked Urs Fischer‘s sculpture entitled Francesco – a real mix of materials – featuring a head you’d expect to see in a museum of Greek sculptures, but done in a kind of wax and staring at at mobile phone. It was on the Sadie Coles stand.
I liked Moshekwa Langa‘s Stranger’s Homes done with mixed media on paper on the Blain Southern stand. And Lisa Alvarado’s ‘Traditional Object 23’ is a joyous creation of texture on acrylic, fabric and wood. It was on the Mary Mary stand.
There was something really pleasing about Jockum Nordström‘s Valentine’s Day II which is collage, watercolour and graphite on paper. It’s on the ZENO X Gallery from Antwerp.
Over at Frieze Masters, a brisk walk north through the autumnal pleasures of Regents Park, there was a calmer, more restrained feel. But the art on the walls was fabulous. Going round that show is like hoovering up some of highlights of the world’s best galleries and museums, there are such treasures on show. I’m always drawn to the Medieval Dutch painters. Loved the painting entitled The Wedding Dance by Marten Van Cleve the elder (painted circa 1570) and also the Peter Breughel the Younger painting, The Adoration of the Magi in the Snow which is more winter wonderland than religious picture. The camels have nice cosy blankets on them!
Frieze and Frieze Masters are only on for three hectic days in October. It’s open to the public from Friday5th – Sunday 7th October and well worth a visit.