Monday, 21 October 2013

Frieze Art Fair 2013

"Art fairs may be all the same, filled with schlock, shiny things, grim things, and things that make you wonder why galleries across the globe bothered to drag them all the way here, but there's always something to brighten your day as you wander the aisles. The 11th incarnation of Frieze is more manageable than most, with better lighting, wider aisles and a bigger spread of behemoth mega-galleries and startup spaces, young galleries and old lags. Not that the art is necessarily better, though the galleries seem to be trying harder this year." Adrian Searle

As Adrian puts it and so correctly, this years Frieze was indeed much more manageable, and what a great surprise and delight that was, I left without a headache from the lights, but this time from too many a Hix fix, a much better way to endure one! Friday saw me head out to Regents Park and descend on both Frieze London and Frieze Masters, to work my way through thousands and thousands of artworks from the worlds galleries, representing the best in the contemporary and the masters. As you arrive, through the many VIP cars stationed outside, the queues of visitors, what always strikes me is that we have now reached Autumn, Frieze for me always says, golden leaves, bright blue skies, a slight chill in the air and of course, artworks in tents! 

This year for me, I started alone, looking at everything in great detail, spending hours walking up and down each widened corridor, using the time I had to myself, silently taking in all the surroundings and having a plan of action, section, by section. Frieze London was first, and as I wondered through the fair, many wonders greeted me and I was absolutely thrilled to be so inspired by what I was seeing, rather than the usual overwhelming experience. There were many artists whose work I found, but a few to mention are surely, (shown in the photographs above, left to right) Hayley Tompkins at The Modern Institute, Dirk Stewen, Edith Dekyndt at Carl Freedman Gallery, Mary Westerford and Wien Lukatsch Gallery. I am always extremely excited to see The Approach, Maureen Paley, The Lisson Gallery, Matthew Marks, Gavin Browns' stands as well as many others, the list goes on!

For me these artists I mentioned above really stuck something with me, and now on reflection they are mostly women artists, which makes me smile indeed! I found that these works had a real sense of touch, a sensitivity to their chosen medium that felt honest, true and powerful. Each piece in its own way pulls you deep into the core of the painting, into the drawing which excites and inspires me. Tompkins paintings onto plastic are absolutely stunning and Westerford's large scale canvases with neon tubes have such an energy and movement, I became fixated on them. Wien Lukatsch Gallery presented a beautifully curated stand, showing a selection of their represented artists. 

After a very successful Frieze London, I took a lovely stroll up to the Masters, where I enjoyed the much slower, more gentle atmosphere, having some lunch then looking at the classics. It was rather incredible walking from stand to stand, seeing Miro's here, Picasso's there, Renaissance paintings everywhere and a Michelin starred restaurant! For me, it was wonderful to see Robert Motherwell's "Brushy Elgy" painting, a sight that is too beautiful for words and Baldessari's which will forever inspire and excite me, the man is a genius. A truly different experience from the original fair, but a great addition to Frieze.

Then the early evening comes around and I meet with up with a good friend/collector of mine to enjoy our thoughts on the fair, talks and performances as well as a good few cocktails at Hix. As the evening draws to a close, it had been a delightful day and a fabulous evening, Frieze provided all that I had anticipated and much more.

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