Frieze Week: What To Expect From Frieze London And Frieze Masters

Thomas Ruff at Galerie Rudiger Schottle
Courtesy of Galerie Rudiger Schöttle
Frieze London. Thomas Ruff, Neglapresmidi, 10. 2016
Now in its 15th year, London’s biggest art carnival returns this week to the city’s south end of Regent’s Park. With over 160 international galleries showcasing and a robust programme, here’s our selection of highlights from the plethora of art on show

It’s October and it’s that time of year again. London Town is once again overtaken by a wave of art events centered on Frieze London and Frieze Masters. Showcasing a mix of emerging to well-established artists, this year the annual fair fills its halls with art from places as far away as Gypsum Gallery in Cairo and Antenna from Shanghai. New this year is a section introduced by curator Alison Gingeras entitled “Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics.” Exploring new perspectives on feminism, the section is dedicated to female artists who have been working at the extreme edges of feminist practice since the 1960s, including artists such as Renate Bertlmann, Birgit Jürgenssen, Marilyn Minter, Penny Slinger, and Betty Tompkins.

Galleries supporting them are: Galerie Andrea Caratsch presenting Betty Tompkins; Blum and Poe presenting Penny Slinger; Richard Saltoun featuring Renate Bertlmann; Salon 94 presenting Marilyn Minter; and Hubert Winter showcasing the work of Birgit Jürgenssen. The section, said Gingeras to Frieze, will “pay homage to artists who transgressed sexual mores, gender norms and the tyranny of political correctness and were frequently the object of censorship in their day.” Moreover, it will exemplify the pivotal roles that the galleries played in showcasing works by radical female artists of the time.

Frieze London. Rashid Johnson. Airline. 2015. Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

This year the Focus section, featuring galleries under the age of 12 years, will present 37 galleries under the direction of SculptureCenter curator Ruba Katrib in collaboration with returning curator Fabian Schoeneich from Portikus, Frankfurt. Among them is Cairo-based Gypsum Gallery that will present a group presentation of works by Taha Belal, Basim Magdy and Tamara Al Samerraei who explore the reconfiguration of time through three mediums: photographic light boxes, painting and sculpture. Among other highlights of the section is the Lloyd Corporation that will auction off “wholesale-style ‘lots’ of material” to those who stop by the booth of Carlos/Ishikawa.

Sara Naim. Reaction #8. 2016-2017. C-type digital print, Plexiglas, and wood. 78.5 x 119 cm

As for the main sector, new galleries include Clearing from New York and Brussels, Fonti from Naples, and Société from Berlin. Dubai-based The Third Line will show a group presentation of works by Abbas Akhavan, Amir H. Fallah, Hayv Kahraman, Laleh Khorramian and Sara Naim. The works on display will investigate the concept of space and environment—whether it is in a social, physical or mystical sense; artwork uniquely interprets the artists’ experience of their surroundings.

Amir H. Fallah. Invisible Boundary. 2017. Installation view. Almost Home. The Third Line Dubai

The annual Frieze Projects programme will showcase specially commissioned work, including an al fresco display of medicinal plants from South African artist Donna Kukama and an installation of drawings based on Peckham youth workshops from Marc Bauer. Among the more ambitious presentations at the main fair is a Thomas Ruff’s solo presentation with Munich-based Galerie Rudiger Schöttle, which coincides with the artist’s exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. There’s also BRONZE AGE AT Hauser & Wirth.

Frieze London. Fausto Melotti. Scultura n. 11. Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

Organised in collaboration with Mary Beard, it presents a fictional presentation from a forgotten museum and brings together artefacts on loan from UK museums and collections with bronze sculptures by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Paul McCarthy, Henry Moore, mixed with objects purchased from eBay. And at Victoria Miro, a lively booth will be dedicated to artists working around the theme of nocturne, including pieces by Isaac Julien, Tal R and Do Ho Suh.

© Doug Aitken. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich; Victoria Miro, London; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles

As always, for those wishing to get hearty dose of modern and historical artwork, Frieze Masters offers everything from Ancient Egyptian artefacts to Old Master paintings as well as 20th-century photography. Curated stands include Stephen Friedman Gallery, featuring a booth of four female post-war abstract artists who have never been shown together before: Judy Chicago (American), Barbara Hepworth (British), Ilona Keserü (Hungarian) and Barbro Östlihn (Swedish).  It will be the first time that Ilona Keserü is shown in the UK.

Frieze Masters. Ilona Keserü Ilona. Tombstones N (wrong). 1969. Linocolour paint and paper print on paper. 75 x 50.6 cm

London gallery Dickinson will present a curated show of ‘Expressionism in Europe’, while at Waddington Custot viewers will witness an immersive installation by designer Robin Brown to recreate Peter Blake’s private environment through the artist’s work, collections and studio content. Politics is in full force at Thaddaeus Ropac this year with a presentation of works inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, featuring Jean-Michel Basquiat (who currently has a major show on at the Barbican), Sigmar Polke, Georg Baselitz, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol, among others. Additionally, nine artists from the Black Art movement, who are also featuring in the major Soul of a Nation exhibition at Tate Modern, will be presented Michael Rosenfeld.

Frieze Masters. Peter Blake Locker. 1959. Mixed media. 152 x 50.5 x 66 cm.  Courtesy of Waddington Custot Galleries

As for major 20th-century artists, there will be a two-artist show of Alexander Calder and Jean Miró at Galerie Thomas, a solo of work by influential Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx at Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel and Bergamin & Gomide, and an Anthony Caro solo at Annely Juda. These will be juxtaposed with solo presentations by Lynda Benglis at Cheim & Read and Thomas Dane, Tom Wesselmann at Almine Rech Gallery, and Malcolm Morley at Sperone Westwater.

For collectors desiring to go way back in time, head to Sam Fogg who will exhibit a selection of early Ethopian crosses from the13th century Ariadne showing an Egyptian bronze of a striding Apis bull. Make sure to visit Prahlad Bubbar who will present an iconic drawing by Salvador Dalí on the cover of Surrealist poet Paul Eluard’s personal copy of the seminal text L'Immaculée Conception.

Frieze Masters. A Composite Ram, Kota, Rajasthan, India, c. 1750. Opaque water colour on paper, 22 x 19.5 cm. Courtesy of Arturo Schwarz Collection and Prahlad Bubbar

One of the most popular highlights each year is Frieze Sculpture, which returns again with London’s largest showcase of major outdoor art (on from 5 July to 8 October). Selected by Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Clare Lilley, featured is a presentation of works by international galleries showing major 20th-century and contemporary artists. Edgier works than ever before comprise the 24 works on show, including Spanish artist Miquel Barceló’s gigantic Gran Elefandret (2008) sculpture of an elephant balancing on its trunk; John Chamberlain’s Fiddler’s Fortune (2010); Ugo Rondinone’s ethereal aluminium sculpture Summer Moon (2010); the late Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Standing Figure with Wheel (1990) and Reza Aramesh’s Action 188: Metamorphosis, study in liberation, a work that borrows from the artist’s signature language of war reportage to depict a violated and subjected figure which still exhibits a character of strength and fortitude. Aramesh’s sculpture study of liberation is freed in the Frieze Sculpture Park. So, take your art stroll this week and see where it leads you.

Frieze London and Frieze Masters run from 5-8 October at Regent’s Park in London. Frieze.com

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Thomas Ruff at Galerie Rudiger Schottle
Courtesy of Galerie Rudiger Schöttle
Frieze London. Thomas Ruff, Neglapresmidi, 10. 2016