Juxtaposed; Frieze, Not So Cold

By Jo Phillips

Frieze Art fair is now counted in the art world as one of the most prestigious art festivals globally alongside Basel and Art Miami. This season London saw a massive assortment of works from across all mediums.

The fairwas  founded in 1991 by Amanda Sharp, Matthew Slotover and Tom Gidley with the launch of frieze magazine,  and then they went on to launch Frieze London in 2003, the contemporary art fairs  in The Regent’s Park, London. In 2012, Frieze Masters, which coincides with Frieze London in October with Frieze launched Frieze New York taking place in May.

London has just finished so what did the show have to offer this year?  During a period of flux when not just the art world but any creative (and non Creative ) business is shaken with the ‘what will happen’? Brexit fear.  Art is a great mirror (like fashion) as to how we are dealing with the economy;  all of us within these industries  (and out) have had our confidence shaken after all.

Was this reflected in the art show? What was interesting?  What was new ? And did the ‘Brexit fear’ birth up anything? different? after all, difficult times are often the most interesting in the creative world.

Well collaborations were big, actually collaborations were big at London fashion Week; London Design Week and so not a surprise to see many at Frieze.

Starting with fashion designer Christopher Kane  at his Mount Street store, in London’s mayfair district; who for the 2nd year in a row hosted an the outsider artist show . For the pre-collection and the Autumn/Winter 17 he has also collaborated on pieces in his collections; the pre collection with  Gugging artists Heinrich Reisenbauer and Johann Korec and for Autumn/Winter 17  also in store  are a collaboration with  Ionel Talpazan The two collaboration he has created say so much about Kane the designer,  his  shy sensibility, driven clarity and his sense of ‘working from the heart’ which is  all definitely laced with his dark humour, thus making his paring up  for collaborations purposeful.  The Frieze Ionel Talpazan installation will be in store until 25th October. 



Moon  Kyungwon and Jeon Jooho  best known for making sci-fi style videos and installations, prepared a new body of work, based on their artistic research on the small farming community of the village of Taesung, known as ‘Freedom Village’, an isolated farming community in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea that came into being at the end of the Korean War in 1953.


plethora of creatives from a cross section of disciplines came  together as artists in residency at the Ace Hotel’s Hoi Polloi, through Commne East. This East London hub included  Tattoo artist Dominic Myatt, filmaker James Cooper and poet James Massiah, who presented ‘Lineal Liminal. The three films created explored the boundaries of mark making within the abject and fetish.

For their women’s presentation Holly Blakey X Caitlin Price called “(A) Specific resting place of explosion; please remove your wet shoes.”Warm, pulsing feminine power slips and slides into view, gyrating with a tantalizing beat of heart, mind, and soul; this poignant performance  wholly took ownership of the space. Transcending beyond what is simply seen into the pants of the onlooker – the viewer became voyeur – the piece projected itself into the subconscious sphere, petitioning the senses to breathe in the power of the female trance. An exhilarating and robust spectacle teases the on lookers as mirrors conceal and reveal the intimacy of the dancers’ interaction.


Picture Lottie Turner

In yet another part of London, Bob Parks week long  Perform-a-thon  ran every day from 2-6pm, during which  artists, writers, musicians, curators, collectors and members of the general public were invited to hold a conversation with the artist. All participants received a portrait of themselves valued by the artist at £1m. This is the ultimate coming together of all one great big ‘energy’ via the artist and art.

All over London every big name in London presented works, including Michael Craig Martin,  Jake & Dinos Chapman  Sarah Lucus and even an original intimate installation at Frieze Masters  into the working space – and process – of Sir Peter Blake, you could actually walk into his work space recreated just for the event.


Frieze central in Regents Park did add in a few new areas this year. Emerging Talents bought together 34 galleries from Cairo to Berlin, Focus features galleries aged 12 years or younger. Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics  curated by independent curator and scholar Alison Gingeras, featured women artists working at the extreme edges of feminist practice since the 1960’s. The section, including  Renate Bertlmann, and Penny Slinger, works by Barbara Kruger, Kaari Upson, Pamela Rosenkranz and Jenny Holzer to name but a few.  Focus Section: Emerging Talents included Emma Hart, a British ceramic artist  who was the recipient of the MaxMara Art Prize for Women who  had already showed at the Whitechapel Gallery earlier this year.

Also its worth mentioning that now the fair has grown not just from the tents in the park but as a huge umbrella term for pop up art events across the city of London during the allotted time period. From east to west art was present for all, for example a series of billboard poems by Robert Montgomery were available for all to see on various sites in Commercial Street, Ebor Street, Curtain Road, Old Street and Broadway Market in east London.  Oh and this was yet again another collaboration of sorts.  Robert  teamed up with fellow poet and psychogeographer Niall McDevitt for a walk along the route of the poems.


On top of that there are now events going on at so many galleries its impossible to go and see it all ; they  included

PAD London Berkeley Square Mayfair, Moniker International Art Fair 2017 The Old Truman Brewery The Other Art Fair also at The Old Truman Brewery 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair Somerset House Crossroads Art Fair 2017 Victoria House Basement PIAF (Peckham International Art Fair) Copeland Park & Bussey Building.  The Crash Q-Park Car Park Cavendish Square

Vast is un understatement yet Frieze had  such a strong presence from master to master apprentices yet between the lines although Brexit fears didn’t stop people spending (apparently) there was the sort of backlash from the artists themselves, as it seems one big theme this year at Frieze was certainly…WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER…








Verified by MonsterInsights