Saturday, get up early, get back down to Regents Park before Frieze packs out, word is that the art fair has sold out today, back for more before it all gets too crowded, if you haven’t read it already (and you give a flip) then you probably need to read part one and Thursday’s impressions from the first day – ORGAN THING: Frieze, day one, Sex Work takes the day, the big yellow flower excites and of course there’s a Felix, there’s always a Felix… Frieze is vast, we say it every year but Frieze really is stupidly vast, how on earth can anyone be expected to take all this in in just one day? And love it or hate it, it is an important event, that fact surely can’t be denied? – We said all that last Thursday back on day one, there’s a couple of hundred photos and a bag load of (mouthy) opinion on the other side of that link you just passed. We’re back for more, suckers for punishment? Nah, whatever you might think of Frieze, there is lots of exciting art to be explored in here, and like we said on Thursday (and on Friday when we were over at Moniker wading through the bullshit), Frieze is refreshingly honest.
Frieze doesn’t pretend to be anything other than exactly what it is. Saturday is sold out, there are ticket touts outside (I don’t know why but the idea of ticket touts at an art event makes me smile, art didn;t seem to mean anything much to anyone when I was a kid, I kind of like the idea that ticket touts think it worth their time to turn up), it already feels busier on Saturday morning than it was on Thursday. The crowd is diffident today, not so opulent, not so stylish, there’s people in t-shirts and trainers! The men in suits (and no ties) have all gone, left it to their assistants and their interns, the serious business has apparently already been done….
And I’ll swear those paintings weren’t there On Thursday, and where did all those ones over there come from? It really is impossible to reasonably expect to see everything in one day, The excellent Sex Work wall and the accompanying galleries are still looking as vitally historically important as they did on day one, the gallery assistant from Galerie Andrea Caratsch (St Motitz) is happy to report there was absolutely no problem getting the banned-for-thirty-years Betty Tomkins Fuck Paintings through customs in 2017.
As we might have said already, Frieze it vast, it really does need these additional three hours of Saturday, a reappraisal, review, a chance to rediscover or discover things missed and to generally soak in the best bits again. It still feels like Frieze would have been a little flat without Sex Work – go read the previous piece – it still feel like the rest of the art is, on the whole, a little flat in here, a little conservative, a little safe, but there are still those pieces that really grab you, pieces that stick out, pieces like that that big yellow flower of Thomas Scheibitz that needs to be enjoyed some more, like the Gang of Four accompanying that Tony Cokes Evil 35 film and that wall of now outdated Suzanne Triester software from 1994 – as modern when she created her work at Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed was when he painted it) – lots more exploring, up past the Jeff Koons in the David Zwirner Gallery, past the Paul Chan Pillowsophia After Trinity piece again, there it is blowing away on the wall of the Greene Naftali Gallery booth, past the modest Gillian Wearing Me as Mirror piece shown by the Maureen Paley gallery, encounter that rather exciting set of “art provocateur” Piotr Uklański stars and stripes flavoured paintings at the Massimo De Carlo gallery booth, past that big bright Eddie Peake painting yet again..
And it is very easy to spend another three hours in here and still feel like you haven’t got anywhere near seeing everything properly, and yes there are lots of rather good pieces of art in here (but you do start to think well that’s all well and good but what’# her name’s current work is far more interesting over in that back street gallery in blah blah, no, not going to start all that again). Maybe Frieze 2017 wasn’t quite as good as last year and maybe last year wasn’t quite as good as the year before> Maybe, besides Sex Work, maybe it was all just a little safe and conservative? The main body of photographs is with the previous piece, there’s a few more down there, we’ll come up with one of those top tens in a minute, we like to take a day or two to consider these things properly, a little more than just throwing up a rushed ten photos and little else. Did enjoy the layers and enveloping dimensions (as well as the beautiful colour) of that big Corinne Wasmuht oil painting in the Konig Galarie booth, some kind of analogue oil painting on wood that feels rather digital, something that you really have to get close up to really see – see, you could be in here for days and still find more….
And you really have to get close up and in between the layers of that Corinne Wasmuht painting, so much in there, never seen one in the actual flesh before, paintings need to be seen in the flesh to really appreciate them, there is no substitute for a painting on a well-lit gallery wall – which thankfully, you do get here at Frieze…
Tune in later for one of those cheesy clickbait top ten things then, not that any of this opinion really matters, hey we were just secretly enjoying ourselves behind enemy lines a little more on day three. More in a bit (probably), keep it to yourselves but we rather enjoyed Frieze again, we enjoyed the best bits of the art, we enjoyed the honesty, we enjoyed rather a lot of it actually, a lot of it was a little flat, a lot of it rather conservative, quite a bit of it was rather good, it might not be cool to say it, it probably isn’t what people like me are supposed to say but we rather enjoyed the honesty of Frieze once again… (sw)
Click on an image to enlarge it or run the fractured slide show and hopefully a flavour or two, hey, like I said last time, I never said I was a photographer, the main body of photographs is with the previous piece