Love for Art at Frieze London and more: Creatives Ignite Their Artistic Fire

By Anjali Sharma

In the bustling world of modern and contemporary art, there exists a luminous beacon of creativity that has been shining bright since its inception in 1991. Frieze, a magazine founded by the visionary trio of Amanda Sharp, Mathew Slotover, and Tim Gidley, emerged as a sanctuary where artists, galleries, collectors, and art enthusiasts could gather to celebrate the ever-evolving landscape of artistic expression. Find out more about Love for art at Frieze London: Creatives Ignite Their Artistic Fire Here by Anjali Sharma and Likhitha Kommu

In the heart of London’s vibrant cultural scene, a hunger for art that began as a creative spark evolved into something truly extraordinary. Frieze, the acclaimed platform that had been fuelling this artistic fire, marked its 20th anniversary with a dazzling celebration of art and accessibility.

In the dappled sunlight of autumn of 2023, the art world converged in Regent’s Park for a captivating trinity of creativity: Frieze London, its sister fair, Frieze Masters, and the enchanting Frieze Sculpture. The air buzzed with a harmonious blend of historical resonance and contemporary flair. Frieze Masters transported attendees through time with art predating 2000, while Frieze London unfolded a canvas of post-2000 creations.
A stroll through The Regent’s Park’s English Gardens revealed the al fresco masterpiece of Frieze Sculpture, a free exhibit showcasing monumental works against the backdrop of nature.

1st Photo on the top left:Kevin Beasley, Jason Wyche. 2nd Photo in the middle: Anthony Cudahy, Charles White / JWPictures. 3rd Photo on the Right:Pieter Vermeersch, P420, Bologna, S.Pellion di Persano. 4th Photo: Thaddaeus Ropac, Daniel Richter / VG Bildkunst, Bonn 2023, Eric Tschernow 

As the curtain lowered after the 2023 edition of Frieze London, the stage hosted an eclectic showcase. Over 160 preeminent galleries, with 28 of them celebrating their 20th consecutive year at Frieze, presented a diverse range of ambitious solo, group, and thematic shows. It was a jumble of artistic excellence that promised to captivate, challenge, and inspire.

Amidst the vibrant tapestry of Frieze this year, innovative trends unfolded, breathing new life into the canvas of creativity. Artists delved into the tactile realm, infusing paintings with textured layers and fabric, transforming 2D images into almost tangible 3D experiences. The eternal dialogue of human emotion on canvas took a fresh turn with inventive techniques and interpretations.

Left Photo: Courtesy of the artist Deborah Anzinger and Nicola Vassell Gallery. Right Photo: Courtesy of the artist Deborah Anzinger and Nicola Vassell Gallery

The 20th-anniversary celebrations of Frieze London were a kaleidoscope of mesmerising narratives spun by the artists themselves. At the heart of this celebration was “Artist-to-Artist,” a poignant ode to creativity and a symphony of mentorship.

This new show invited eight leading artists to shine a spotlight on emerging art stars from Berlin to Bangkok. In a departure from the traditional dynamics of art fairs, “Artist-to-Artist” added a layer of depth, inviting a profound connection between established creators and rising talents, enriching the Frieze experience with a collaborative spirit that transcended borders and celebrated the global tapestry of artistic expression.

1st Photo on the top left: Courtesy of the artist Teresa Lanceta and 1 Mira Madrid 2nd Photo in the middle: Courtesy of Mariel Capanna, Adams and Ollman 3rd Photo on the Right: Courtesy of the artist Fred Eversley and David Kordansky Gallery 4th Photo: Courtesy of the artist Niklas Asker and Union Pacific.

Tracey Emin, the celebrated artist herself, curated a breathtaking exhibition of paintings by Vanessa Raw, a Margate-based visionary. Raw’s work took us on a profound journey, a meditation on the feminine body as a landscape, a canvas of emotion, vulnerability, and strength. The art, like a siren’s call, beckoned us to explore the uncharted territories of the human form, celebrating its beauty and complexity.

In another corner of this artistic realm, Haegue Yang nominated Ayoung Kim, an artist who dared to plunge into the depths of the gig economy, unraveling the threads of virtual memory and reality. Kim’s video work was a mirror held up to the digital age, exploring the gig economy’s intricacies with a critical eye.

Olafur Eliasson, a name synonymous with the extraordinary, presented Fabian Knecht’s “Laughing is Suspicious.” It was an installation that left us in awe, consisting of clothing fragments once used as camouflage to protect Russian targets in Ukraine. Knecht’s art held a mirror to the intricate dance of geopolitics, blurring the lines between art and reality.

Anthea Hamilton, a trailblazer herself, embraced Carlos Villa’s 1980s body-print series, a radical claim to a cross-cultural identity. Villa’s art challenged colonial perspectives, offering a fresh perspective on cultural identity and self-expression”Artist-to-Artist” was a symphony of mentorship, a dance of creativity, where established artists passed the torch to the next generation, igniting sparks of inspiration and innovation.

Photo: A.Ricci , Emilie Charmy, Colette circa,Galerie Bernard Bouche.

In the broader context of Frieze, Wimbush Georgina Wimbush, the director of White Cube, took us on a journey through the gallery’s evolution, from its humble beginnings on Duke Street in 1993 to its current status as a global contemporary art hub.

She noted a trend of “looking back to going forward,” a theme that resonates with the exploration of historical influences on contemporary art. This connection between past and present mirrors the way Indigenous art often draws inspiration from ancestral traditions, creating a bridge between ancient wisdom and contemporary expression.

White Cube’s dedication to an artist-led approach was evident in its support for emerging talents globally, fostering relationships beyond gallery walls. Key exhibitions, like Anselm Kiefer’s trilogy and Doris Salcedo’s installation, left a lasting impact on the art landscape. Group exhibitions such as ‘Dreamers Awake’ showcased White Cube’s synonymous curatorial expertise.

While at Frieze Masters, visitors embarked on a captivating journey through the corridors of time, a seamless bridge connecting ancient and modern artistic epochs. This unique showcase masterfully unraveled the intricate relationship between historical art and contemporary practice, spotlighting works crafted before the year 2000, in stark contrast to the post-2000 focus of Frieze London.

Another notable trend that graced the halls of Frieze Masters this year was the powerful theme of “women on women.” It was a tribute to the brilliance of women artists, the 2023 edition of Frieze Masters unveiled a dedicated section curated by Camille Morineau and the AWARE team.

1st Photo on the left: Faith Ringgold and ACA Galleries.2nd Photo in the middle: Faith Ringgold and ACA Galleries. 3rd Photo on the right: Courtesy of Ciaccia Levi and Lisetta Carmi. 4th Photo on the left: Courtesy of Ciaccia Levi and Lisetta Carmi. 5th Photo on the right: Courtesy of the artistMaria Lai and M77 Gallery

This curated collection, spanning the years 1880 to 1980, paid homage to the profound and enduring impact of feminine creativity on the art world. It celebrated the artistic legacy of women who, through their work, have woven an indelible thread into the rich tapestry of art history.

This section defied the traditional notion of modernism as a single, linear, and progressive movement. Instead, it weaved a rich tapestry of diverse narratives, from figurative to abstract to feminist, showcased art in a myriad of forms, including painting, sculpture, textile, computer art, and photography.

The carefully curated selection featured a stellar lineup of artists whose work captured the spirit of their times. Among them were Emilie Charmy, Ethel Walker, Tarsila do Amaral, Paule Vézalay, Vera Molnár, Maria Lai, Anna Eva Bergman, Kangja Jung, Faith Ringgold, and Lisetta Carmi.

Moreover, video works transported viewers into immersive realms of visual storytelling. Installations, like dreamscapes carved from the imagination, offered a breathtaking journey through the realm of the abstract, and large-scale collage prints wove together fragments of thought and memory. The human form became a canvas itself, as body-print series celebrated the unique beauty of our corporeal existence.

1st Photo on the left: Lucia Laguna, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro and Sadie Coles HQ. 2nd photo in the middle : Maggi Hambling, Frankie Rossi Art Projects and Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert. 3rd photo on the right: Arlene Shechet,Pace Gallery and Arlene Shechet. 4th photo: Hyun-Sook Song and  Sprüth Magers

In conjunction with Frieze London, Unit London hosted a captivating second solo exhibition that transformed brushstrokes into a thrilling journey through the intricate tapestry of the human psyche. The exhibit featured the work of Kinsella, whose interlocking geometric forms breathed life into what he termed “fleshless portraiture.” The choice of colors served as a bridge between the seen and the unseen, with each stroke of the brush playing a pivotal role in bringing the intangible world of the subconscious self to life. Cubist influences shaped the foundation of Kinsella’s art, conveying the complexity of the human mind in an unforgettable exploration.

Simultaneously, the London-based collective United Visual Artists (UVA) presented an awe-inspiring exhibition at 180 The Strand, marking their 20th anniversary year. A monumental showcase by 180 Studios, the exhibit was a journey through art, light, sound, and space, leaving an indelible mark on visitors. UVA’s experimental practice seamlessly integrated digital technologies, sculpture, performance, and large-scale installations, creating a symphony of immersive experiences that redefined conventional notions of art. Titled “Synchronicity,” the exhibit delved deep into the intricate interplay of elements shaping our perception of reality, challenging the instinct to seek order and meaning.

All 4 Photos: UVA and 180 Studios

Moreover, In a harmonious fusion of automotive elegance and solar artistry, Lexus has partnered with the visionary Dutch solar designer, Marjan van Aubel, to unveil a captivating installation during Miami Art & Design Week 2023. This poetic masterpiece, aptly named “8 Minutes and 20 Seconds,” draws inspiration from the sun-kissed contours of Lexus’s LF-ZC electric vehicle concept, transcending the boundaries of design and technology.

As the sun orchestrates its journey, casting a radiant glow upon the Earth, van Aubel’s creation pays homage to this celestial dance. The installation, a to-scale rendition of the LF-ZC, becomes a living canvas, adorned with organic photovoltaic sheets that dance with vibrant hues as sunlight gracefully caresses their surface.

Lexus, Marjan van Aubel

This interactive solar symphony extends beyond the visual, as light and motion sensors within the sculpture engage the audience, transforming passive observers into active participants. “8 Minutes and 20 Seconds” becomes a ballet of shadows, colors, and technology, inviting onlookers to join the performance.

In the realm of sustainable design, Marjan van Aubel stands as a maestro, seamlessly blending functionality and aesthetics. Her solar-infused creations, recognized globally, now find a poetic home in the heart of Miami Art & Design Week.

For those eager to witness the latest in emerging artists and celebrate young talents—a theme deeply resonant with Frieze’s commitment to showcasing new voices—an ongoing exhibition demands attention. Discover the latest in emerging artists at BUFFER 2, an ongoing exhibition at Guts Gallery HQ in Hackney, London, running until November 24, 2023. Curated to showcase recent graduates from UK arts universities, BUFFER 2 provides a dynamic platform for young talents navigating the art world.

Photo: Guts Gallery

Featuring artists like Carolina Aguirre, Jesse Akele, Rong Bao, and others, the exhibition invites collectors to invest in and support the early careers of these promising individuals. BUFFER 2 not only addresses the challenges faced by emerging artists but also emphasises the importance of fostering equitable relationships in the art world. The show includes free workshops, offering financial support and essential skills to navigate the industry successfully. Explore BUFFER 2 for a glimpse into the exciting potential of the next generation of artists.

If you enjoyed reading Love for art at Frieze London: Creatives Ignite Their Artistic Fire, why not read RMZ Foundation; Pioneering Art’s Journey From Gallery to Street.

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