Warm Up Frieze 2023

Regent’s Park, Oct/23

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Frieze London returns to Regent’s Park, showcasing art from 160 galleries spanning 46 countries. Paired with Frieze Masters, established in 2012, which features 139 galleries displaying historical works spanning from ancient to modern periods, including Old Masters, Post-War, and medieval pieces. This artistic duo is complemented by Frieze Sculpture, an outdoor exhibition set within the park.

With works of art gracing nearly every wall and both fairs encompassing extensive art periods, there truly is something for everyone. The experience can be overwhelming; where does one even begin?

I typically don’t opt for guided visits, as I prefer to explore exhibitions independently or with friends. However, my resistance to group tours changed when I joined London Art Walk tours for Frieze London and Masters.
Martina Batovic, Post-War & Contemporary Art Specialist and Course Director for the MA in Art Business, led the highlight tour for Frieze London.

At Hauser and Wirth Gallery, there is a solo show featuring Barbara Chase-Riboud, an artist, poet, and writer who works across disciplines and continents. Her ‘Standing Black Woman of Venice’ sculpture series comprises four black bronze rectangles stacked vertically, with seemingly molten, undulating, and shimmering surfaces. The exhibition also includes works on paper created using a technique she developed in the 1970s.
I had no prior knowledge of this artist, and I might have remained uninformed without attending the tour. Solo shows like these always pique the interest of collectors and the general public.

Eddie Martinez’s installation at Timothy Taylor Gallery is inspired by his exhibition at the Drawing Center. He has arranged large drawings and paintings over wallpaper made up of thousands of sketches, pinned to the wall from floor to ceiling, capturing everyday drawing impulses.

Mandy El-Sayegh’s art transcends conventional boundaries, often merging painting and installation. Her works, presented beyond the walls of Thaddeus Ropac’s booth, challenge traditional notions of exhibition space.

At Goodman Gallery, El Anatsui is renowned for his colossal tapestries crafted from repurposed materials, which serve as a testament to themes of recycling, transformation, and cultural identity. Meanwhile, Frieze Masters hosts a solo exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery, commemorating his remarkable 30-year career.

Pilar Corrias presents artist Sophie von Hellermann’s solo exhibition, “Dreamland,” inspired by Margate’s historic funfair of the same name. The paintings at Frieze depict Ferris wheels, carousel riders, and various characters from pop culture and literature. They radiate joy and vibrancy but also convey a touch of eeriness and nostalgia, symbolizing the decline of the once-opulent amusement park.

Other galleries included in the tour: Paula Rego’s emotionally charged figurative works at Victoria Miro’s captivate with intricate storytelling. Chantal Joffe, also at Victoria Miro’s delves into the human condition through her intimate portraits, including of Katy Hessel employing emotionally charged brushwork.

Proyectos Ultravioletas showcasing Joana Uzueta, Akiko Ikezoe,  artist Bronwyn Katz received Spirit Now London Acquisition Prieze acquired for the Hepworth Wakefield, Michelle Rawlings at And Now Gallery works pay tribute to French Impressionist painters, while railings reinvest these contemporary photographs with the spirit of 19th-century works that inspired them, thus restoring these images to their rightful place in art history. The repeated framing of the close-cropped compositions, however, bears a distinct influence from contemporary photography.

These artists contribute to the rich tapestry of contemporary art at Frieze London 2023, each with their unique style and themes.

Maria Herminia for London Art Walk
October 2023