ORGAN: The Ten Best Things we saw during 2021’s Frieze Week, Deborah Roberts, The Pink Bear, The Factory Project, Kendall Koppe Gallery, Kate Bickmore’s must-see paintings at Annka Kultys Gallery and…

Deborah Roberts

The end of Frieze week list thing, everyone loves a list right? Not that we’re claiming to have seen everything and been absolutely everywhere, we’re not arrogant enough to call this a “best of” or anything like that – we did go to a lot of things we didn;t choose to cover, we are as picky as ever. Frieze Week was always going to feel a little strange this year what with the “new normal” and the weekly escalating Climate Change emergency that Frieze seem to largely ignore. Besides the excellent Factory Project over in Docklands there was a real lack of artist-led alternatives this year, are we all licking our wounds after the financial strain of lockdown? Is that lack of affordable spaces really seriously biting now? The Art scene is London is about far more than the couple of weeks that focus everyone on Frieze of course, hey, enough of the editorial, here’s a list, we all love lists, the best list is that L7 list, a list of best lists, now there’s a thing that could or would be a thing. The talk  before hand was all about NFTs and technology, thankfully Frieze was mostly about painting.

The Ten Best Things we saw during Frieze Week then…

Deborah Roberts

1: Deborah Roberts at Frieze – Those powerful pieces probably won it terms of the fair and the whole week, that ambition in the pieces that mix painting, collage and so so much more, those faces of children that she says are all about the way we view children and how their colour criminalises them way before they’ve had a chance. They were just beautiful pieces before you even start to try and read them and put them in to some kind of context. There’s a lot of love in the pieces as they make eye contact with you, a lot of innocence, and they do look directly at you in such a powerfully positive way, they probably were the “wow” at Frieze this year, they almost certainly were the best things we saw there, they just came right off the wall and made contact in such a beautiful way. Deborah Roberts was presented by Stephen Friedman Gallery – read more – ORGAN: Frieze is open but where’s the “wow” this year? And where was that elephant? Was the art any good on day one of Frieze London 2021? 

Juliette Mahieux Bartol at The Factory Project

2: The Factory Project – It all happened, and indeed is still happening until October 22nd, down in Docklands, down by the river in East London, a whole load of artists, artist-led galleries and curators coming together inside and outside a massive shell of an old industrial warehouse, for once a united set of London art people in what is now, in terms of artist-led endeavour feels like rather disunited city. A whole lot of installation, hanging, art in skips – could have been a few more paintings on those glorious warehouse walls – not everything about it was perfect but so much of it was so so rewarding, we need more artists coming together like that, we need more art happening in spaces like that, this was almost a throwback. Read the review and explore all the photos – ORGAN: The Factory Project is a triumphant way to get your teeth into Frieze week, an ambitiously big art show that really does lay down a challenge…  

3: Kendall Koppe Gallery, Glasgow – I confess I don’t know much about the gallery, a new name to us, encountered for a first time at Frieze. They stood out from the crowd and the hundreds of galleries from over the globe (and yes we did ask questions about the carbon footprint of it all in that review we wrote after the first days). The energy of the work presented by Kendall Koppe stood out, it had an exciting edge, the combination of pieces from Josh Faught, Leanne Ross and her Me Time, a risk or two taken while most of the fair seemed even more conservative than ever…  kendlkoppe.gallery

Kate Bickmore

4: Kate Bickmore’s must-see paintings at Annka Kultys Gallery just about stretched into Frieze week and once again, as they did two or three years ago with that Marton Nemes show, the East London gallery stood out again. Did have to go back for one more look before the beautiful show show closed, we have covered it a number of times on these fractured pages – ORGAN THING: Kate Bickmore’s must-see paintings went on show at the Annka Kultys Gallery last night…

The Other Art Fair, Brick Lane

5: That protest from the Brick Lane community, including artists, outside The Other Art Fair on that unique East London street, art needs to be on the right side of these things, artists need to stand up for these things – ORGAN: Frieze Week goes on, all the photos you need from The Other Art Fair, Brick Lane Matters…

6: The further adventures of LUAP and The Pink Bear – the artist sometimes known as LUAP, quite a fixture over the last few years on the streets and in the galleries of London, his biggest solo show to-date happened over three floors in a big (big) empty shop on New Bond Street during Frieze Week. The window displays looked excellent – the show has been and gone now but I do believe the window displays are still there – the mix of Pink Bear paintings, photographs and installations inside were striking. here’s the preview and a whole load of photographs we ran ahead of the show – ORGAN PREVIEW: A taste of the artist known as LUAP, The Pink Bear and his forthcoming West End show The Unconscious Therapy opening next week… Actually, the show has now been extended until October 31st.

Christopher Myers

7: Christopher Myers, Elisabeth Wild and Vivian Suter and the opening of the new permanent Frieze space at No9 Cork Street over in Mayfair. A new space that will host shows from a whole variety of galleries on the revitalised Cock Street. The new gallery got off to an excellent start with shows from three galleries that are still open until October 23rd, well worth seeing if you have time, here’s a review and lots of photos –   –  ORGAN THING: The launch of No 9 Cork Street, Frieze kick off their new gallery space with the textile-based flavours of Christopher Myers, Elisabeth Wild and Vivian Suter…

Naotaka Hiro

8: Naotaka Hiro’s paintings in the peace and quiet of East London’s Herald Street Gallery – ORGAN: Frieze week goes on, Luke Haines wrestles at Gallery 46, Naotaka Hiro’s paintings excite at Herald Street…

Zavier Ellis at Repetition

9: Zavier Ellis at Repetition – we didn’t like everything about the show (that goes on until October 24th just behind Shoreditch Church) but we did like those Zavier Ellis pieces, especially that big one that takes up a whole wall in the rather beautiful gallery – ORGAN THING:  Repetition? Dialogue? The Depot and Charlie Smith bring together the art of Graham Dolphin, Zavier Ellis and Sam Jackson for a conversation or two in a beautiful East London room… 

Sabine Moritz

10: Those big Sabine Moritz paintings presented by Pilar Corrias Gallery were an almost refreshing throwback to a bold use of paint and movement of that paint and we should mention those Shirley Villavicencio Pizango paintings presented by Ginsberg Galeria (Lima) and that Kim Yong Untitled painting presented by Casey Kaplan Gallery New York and that big Justin Caguiat piece and well there are lots of questions to be asked about the return of Frieze in 2021 and it may have been a little too conservative this year but there is always good art to be found, now about the Climate Change thing – ORGAN: Frieze is open but where’s the “wow” this year? And where was that elephant? Was the art any good on day one of Frieze London 2021? 

Deborah Roberts

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