We’re coming up to art fair season, I have a love/hate relationship with the whole idea of art fairs, they can occasionally be good things when they’re done right. Art Fairs are very rarely are though all art shoehorned in, a badly lit hall or a million room dividers squashed into warehouse, art fair season is rarely a good thing, certainly not a dignified thing..
From a working artist’s point of view I’m really not a fan, especially not of the smaller ones that pop up as an almost cynical fringe cash-ins on the main events during art fair season – the cram them in and charge the artists an arm and a leg merchants whose practices really do need to be questioned (you want some actual light shining on your painting, that will be an extra £40 on top of the vast fee you already paid to take part please artist). I’m not a fan of art fair cattle markets, if you want to see art go somewhere where you can breathe, where the art can breathe, then go to a gallery.
If an art fair must be attended then it may as well be the mother of them all, at least at Frieze you have some elbow room and a curatorial policy that means it isn’t just going to be full of the art made by anyone who can stump up the cash required. Frieze is about the world’s leading galleries showing us what they have to offer, the art that the high-end galleries from around the globe think is the cream, the exciting artists and the art they are are making from the galleries point of view, a window in to that high-end world. Is their art any more exciting that the art we encounter most weeks around the back streets of London? We shall see, we shall be at London’s Frieze Art Fair again this year to bring you more opinionated thought and fractured imagery, words from the galleries and artists and whatever else we find. Well they did invite us again, it really would be rude not to accept the invite really.
The Frieze Art Fair is high-end I know, but then Frieze is nowhere near the cynical cattle market that the others can be. Went to one so-called London art fair earlier this year and you really could not swing a sketch book let alone a cat. Angry artists tripping over each other as they counted their loses, no way to get in and get a decent view of what the cynically-exploited artists did have in there on the stalls (that they’d paid a fortune to hire and be part of said print fair). No, if it is to be an art fair then it has to be Frieze. You can breath at Frieze, there’s space to spread out and explore the art properly at Frieze, space for the galleries to hang the art properly. Of course there’s no way for small galleries or artists to take part, it is all seriously high-end and expensive and we were actually invited once, the price to rent a space in “emerging gallery” was more then our entire year’s rent in Vyner Street. Frieze is the serious high end, the top of the tree, the entry ticket isn’t cheap but do be warned, if you decide to go then you really do need (at least) one full day. What giant 30ft cat, I didn’t see a giant 30ft cat? Where was the cat?
Of course one of the best things about the giant Frieze Art Fair in London’s Regent Park is the sculpture park. The free to enter (again and again should you wish) Sculpture park is right there out in the open, in the park, open to everyone, right next to the giant (and we mean giant) tented contemporary art fair. The sculpture park stays there long after the fair has been packed up. You don’t need to pay to visit the sculpture park, you don’t need a ticket. And the sculpture park remains in place for three months this year. Has it been there for three months before? The Sculpture park, right in the middle of the city, is always a treat.
World-leading galleries in Frieze London and Frieze Masters (6–9 October) will extend their shows outside the fair, dramatizing the landscape of The Regent’s Park, and beyond Frieze Week, with 19 works remaining on view until 8 January 2017.
And here’s some footage of Anri Sala (with André Vida): To Each His Own (in Bridges). Live Performance, Frieze Sculpture Park 2015. Regent’s Park, London (UK), October 14, 2015.
“As part of its 2015 Sculpture Park, Frieze Art Fair London presented a live performance by the Albanian-born, Berlin-based artist Anri Sala. The piece is called To Each His Own (in Bridges), and was made in collaboration with the US composer and saxophonist André Vida. It is based on 74 different pieces of music, combining fragments of jazz, folk, and pop songs (i.e. from the Beatles). The work is played on the saxophone, clarinet and trombone. For the other works in this year’s Frieze Sculpture Park, click here”
The London Frieze Art Fair takes place in Regent’s Park from October 6th to October 9th, more details via that link right there. The Sculpture park is open n place from 5th October 2016 to 8th January 2017, the Sculpture Park is located in the English Gardens of The Regent’s Park
PREVIOUS FRIEZE COVERAGE ON THE ORGAN PAGES
ORGAN THING: Ice creams, Chicago potholes, Anri Sala in the Frieze Sculpture Park, the Chrome and Black Winter Graff battle and a classic bit of Hackney…
ORGAN: Five art shows the Frieze whinny whiney-arse from New York should have checked out this year before shouting his mouth off…
ORGAN: Frieze part two, back for more. A whinny-arse New Yorker, a giant cat, some washing machines and…
ORGAN THING: “We are a challenge to Frieze because in many ways we don’t exist…”, one year on and we still can’t agree…
ORGAN THING: Frieze time once more, brothers and Sisters, time to kick out the art fair jams…
ORGAN THING: More Frieze week, more from the car park, the Sculpture Park, Kaws, Yayoi Kusama, We Could Not Agree…
ORGAN THING: “We are a challenge to Frieze because in many ways we don’t exist…” Next week’s We Could Not Agree art show in a car park
Footnote: All fractured photos (Sean Worrall), we have no idea who wrote the official Frieze sculpture park press release, pretty sure no one is going to moan about us reproducing it as part of the coverage though