May 24 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 14, 2011
The Frieze International Art Fair takes place every October in Regent’s Park, featuring more than 170 of the most exciting contemporary art galleries in the world.
The fair also includes specially commissioned artists’ projects, a prestigious talks programme and an artist-led education schedule.
The fair attracts more than 60,000 visitors every year, including those with an interest in the art world, such as curators, artists, collectors, gallerists and critics, as well as the general public.
Some visit as first-time collectors of art whilst others view the fair more as an exhibition, enjoying the experience as a cultural day out
Frieze is one of the few fairs to focus only on contemporary art and living artists.
The exhibiting galleries represent the most exciting current galleries working today.
The focus on living artists is also evident in the critically acclaimed Frieze Projects’ programme.
There is also a curated programme of talks, artists’ commissions, performances and film projects, which encourage visitors to engage with art and artists directly.
The event is housed in a bespoke temporary structure, which is located in Regent’s Park and benefits from having a natural light source, avoiding the atmosphere of a trade show, thus making it both lively and energetic.
Until October 16
Opening times: 12pm – 7pm (Fri – Sat), 12pm – 6pm Sunday
Tickets: £27 per day / £20 concessions - £60 for four days
Around 500 galleries apply each year for the fair and the selection is made by a committee of participant gallerists; the fair directors chair the meeting but do not vote.
The Sculpture Park, located within a five-minute walk of the main site at Regent’s Park, is an important component of the fair. It exhibits new works by both established and emerging artists represented the exhibitors. This year, curator David Thorp once again selected the Sculpture Park.
I decided to start my tour in the beautiful surroundings of the English Garden, where a series of 12 sculptures, scattered at random in this public space, surprise the public with its handsome diversity.
By a lucky accident, I happen upon one of the artists, Eva Koťátková, from the Czech Republic. She is frantically trying to fix a last-minute hitch to her installation, Lost and Found, made up of a concrete tube packed with an array of books and publications inside.
But the batteries have gone flat on the CD player concealed inside, thus not allowing a key component of her piece to work. We are supposed to hear the voice of her father, Petr Koťátko, reading out stories to us, as part of her theme of exploration of rearranged social structures.
Fortunately, a gallery assistant comes to the rescue with a set of fresh batteries, and the distant voice of her progenitor comes to the rescue.
Inside the canopy of the fair, I come across Jay Joplin, the owner of the White Cube, who has just opened a third gallery in Bermondsey.
“London is unarguably the pre-eminent city for contemporary art in Europe, and the sheer variety of work at the Frieze confirms that,” he remarked.
The main course of the space is Andreas Gursky’s outstanding large-scale colour photographs, Dubai World III and Cocoon II, distinctive for their incisive and critical look at the effect of capitalism and globalization on contemporary life.
With another 170 galleries to visit and so many mainstream and fringe events to enjoy, not just at the main site, but all around town, the Frieze is definitely the arts event of the year.
Review and pictures by Julio Etchart, www.julioetchart.com