Frieze Week 2017 brought to London significant events. Coinciding with Frieze Masters, as well as Frieze Sculpture, the two fairs form the heart of Frieze Week – an international cultural event in early October, which includes special programmes set up by galleries and museums across London.
This year highlights included: Thomas Ruff at the Whitechapel Gallery; ‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’ at Tate Modern and SUPERFLEX for the Hyundai Commission at the Tate Turbine Hall; Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain; Jasper Johns at the Royal Academy; Jean-Michel Basquiat; and John Akomfrah for the Curve Commission at the Barbican.
Frieze Week 2017 has seen also the comeback of Frieze Week magazine which offered a companion guide to the wealth of art and activity taking place at the fair and across the city during Frieze London and Masters.
Mount Street was the epicenter for Fashioning Frieze Week: Last October has seen Mount Street ‘Fashioning’ Frieze Week, as the world famous art fair’s first ever destination partner. Luxury giants from Roland Mouret to Erdem and from Jessica McCormack to Christopher Kane will be celebrating the fusion of fashion and art with an exclusive event series in their boutiques throughout Frieze Week – a series that will further cement the street’s credentials as the London destination ‘Where fashion and art collide’.
Victoria Siddall, Director, Frieze Fairs said: "This year, Frieze Week follows our first ever summer opening of Frieze Sculpture, a free exhibition of monumental outdoor work in Regent’s Park. This is our strongest ever exhibition of Sculpture and this is mirrored in the exhibitor list for Frieze London which I am extremely proud of - the fair will feature the best galleries from all over the world, from the emerging to the established. Don’t miss Alison M. Gingeras’s new section showcasing radical feminist artists, and the talks programme investigating art in an age of ‘alternative facts’, curated by Ralph Rugoff. All of this makes Frieze a vital destination for the art world and an important hub for international galleries."
Frieze Week 2017 was ongoing in London during Frieze London Art Fair, on the second week of October 2017.
Projects and Artist Award
Frieze Projects 2017 was curated by Raphael Gygax (Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich). The non-profit programme of new artist commissions featured eleven artists from eight countries across the world. Marc Bauer, Donna Kukama, MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho, Lucy + Jorge Orta, SPIT! (Carlos Motta, John Arthur Peetz, Carlos Maria Romero), Georgina Starr and Frieze Artist Award-winner Kiluanji Kia Henda created seven new artworks spanning literature, theatre, design and installation, all connected by a strong performative aspect. Curator Raphael Gygax said: ‘Focused on artistic collaboration, this year’s Projects explore “communitas” – the construction of collective identity – and society’s relationship with the “Other”.
Frieze Projects and the Frieze Artist Award are supported by the LUMA Foundation for the third consecutive year.
This year marks the fourth annual Frieze Artist Award and Kia Henda is the first African artist to receive the award and the project commission. Kiluanji Kia Henda (b. 1979, Luanda) is a Luanda-based artist, working across photography, video and performance. Entitled Under the Silent Eye of Lenin, Kia Henda’s winning proposal is a two-part installation, taking the cult of Marxism-Leninism after independence in Angola as its starting point and drawing parallels between witchcraft practices during Angola’s civil war and science fiction narratives used by Cold War superpowers.
Film, Music and Talks
Frieze Film has been a series of new film commissions premiered at Frieze London and broadcast on national television. Alex Bag, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Gabríela Friðriksdóttir and Raphaela Vogel created new works as part of Frieze Projects. Frieze Film was supported by Channel 4’s Random Acts.
On 6th October 2017 at The Store Studios, 180 The Strand, Frieze Music and The Vinyl Factory presented Dancefloor Meditations by Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey, with Special Guest DJ Jonnie Wilkes (Optimo). Dancefloor Meditations is an attempt to access the state of mind associated with deep meditation using only the tools to be found in any suburban discotheque.
Frieze Talks was curated for the first time by Ralph Rugoff (Hayward Gallery, London). It focused on how – in an age of ‘alternative facts’ – art’s capacity to beguile, disorientate and disrupt conventional notions of ‘the real’ can take on new meanings. Leading artists, musicians and cultural commentators explored these themes in the content and format of the programme, with topics including Alt-feminisms, (chaired by curator Alison M. Gingeras and including artists Renate Bertlmann, Cosey Fanni Tutti and Marilyn Minter); a performance - conversation between artists (Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Philipe Parreno); and a session of ‘sung lectures’ (Nástio Mosquito and Mx Justin Vivian Bond).
Frieze Sculpture was opened throughout the summer for the first time. It is the largest showcase of major outdoor art in London, selected by Clare Lilley (Yorkshire Sculpture Park) – includes significant sculptural works by Sir Anthony Caro (Annely Juda Fine Art), John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer (both Gagosian), Takuro Kuwata (Alison Jacques Gallery and Salon 94), Alicja Kwade (kamel mennour), Eduardo Paolozzi (Pangolin), Ugo Rondinone (Sadie Coles HQ) and Sarah Sze (Victoria Miro), among others.
Art Fund returns as programming partner and has produced the Frieze Sculpture Audio Tour App, as well as a programme of educational tours to further encourage public engagement with Frieze Sculpture.
In addition to global lead partner Deutsche Bank, Frieze London partnered with BMW, Art Fund, the Financial Times, Official Champagne Ruinart, Contemporary Art Society and new partners American Express, Mount Street and Official Coffee Lavazza. Frieze Projects and the Frieze Artist Award are supported by the LUMA Foundation for the third consecutive year.
Universal Design Studio again devised the Hotel Café Royal the main hotel partner for Frieze London 2017.
Frieze raised £19,060 for Save The Children in the cloakroom this year.
Frieze Art Fair has been in Regent’s Park, London, from 5th to 8th October 2017.
The London 2017 edition included two awards confirming exceptional gallery presentations: Frieze Art Fair Stand Prize and Frieze Focus Prize.
In the main of Sex Work section, the Frieze Art Fair Stand Prize was awarded to Galeria Luisa Strina (São Paulo, Brazil). A jury of international curators and directors noted that ‘history is so important to curatorial practice, and the range of galleries revisiting important artists was striking, both across the fair and in the Sex Work section Alison M. Gingeras curated on radical feminist artists. Luisa Strina stood out because of their brief presentation of their gallery artists, which brought together a range of impressive works, including two important installations by Alexandre da Cunha and by Renata Lucas.’
The jury panel included Eungie Joo (Curator of Contemporary Art, SFMoMA), Nicolaus Schafhausen (Artistic Director, Kunsthalle Vienna) and Dirk Snauwaert (Artistic Director, WIELS Centrum Voor Hedendaagse Kunst). Special commendations also went to Mendes Wood DM (São Paulo), Galeria Gregor Podnar (Berlin), Galerie Hubert Winter (Vienna), and Air de Paris (Paris).
Frieze also awarded the Focus Stand Prize to the most commendable presentation in the Focus section, which is for galleries aged 12 years or under. The prize was awarded to Various Small Fires (Los Angeles) for their ‘timely and conceptual’ presentation of The Harrisons. Emalin (London) received a special commendation from the jury for its solo presentation by Russian artist Evgeny Antufiev.
The Focus Prize jury included Richard Parry (Director, Glasgow International), Christopher Lew (Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York) and Hanne Mugaas (Director and Curator, Kunsthalle Stavanger).
New for 2017, ‘Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics’ was curated by independent curator and scholar Alison M. Gingeras. The section featured nine solo presentations of women artists working at the extreme edges of feminist practice during the 1970s and ‘80s, all sharing a focus on explicit sexual iconography combined with radical political agency. Presentations included Galerie Andrea Caratsch (St. Moritz) with Betty Tompkins; Blum and Poe (Los Angeles) with Penny Slinger; Richard Saltoun (London) with Renate Bertlmann; Hubert Winter (Vienna) with Birgit Jürgenssen; Salon 94 (New York), Regen Projects (Los Angeles) and Baldwin Gallery (Aspen) with Marilyn Minter; Karma International (Zurich) and The Box (Los Angeles) with Judith Bernstein; David Lewis (New York) showing Mary Beth Edelson; Air de Paris (Paris) with work by the Dorothy Iannone; and Lokal_30 (Warsaw) with Natalia LL.
Alison M. Gingeras said: ‘This special section of Frieze pays homage to artists who transgressed sexual mores, gender norms and the tyranny of political correctness and were frequently the object of censorship in their day. Sex Work also underlined the seminal role galleries have played in exhibiting the radical women artists who were not easily assimilated into mainstream narratives of feminist art. These galleries often blazed a trail for museum exhibitions. Many figures in this section such as Renate Bertlmann, Birgit Jürgenssen, Marilyn Minter, Penny Slinger and Betty Tompkins, were too transgressive to be included in anthologizing museum shows which arguably forged a consensual canon for important feminist art. The belated reception of these pioneering women has had a profound impact on many artists working today and resonate more than ever with the new feminisms that are taking shape in response to contemporary political realities.’
Bringing together 34 galleries from Cairo to Berlin, Focus section: Emerging Talents featured galleries aged 12 years or younger and is advised for the first time by Ruba Katrib (Sculpture Center, New York) in collaboration with returning curator Fabian Schoeneich (Portikus, Frankfurt). Presentation highlights included: Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler (Berlin) with a new installation by Anna Uddenberg; Than Hussein Clark’s (VI, VII, Oslo) collaboration with the Couture Dressmakers Studio GAN (Rome); a new sculptural installation by Lloyd Corporation at Carlos/Ishikawa (London); Emma Hart winner of the MaxMara Prize and the subject of major show at the Whitechapel Gallery, (Sunday Painter, London); and Various Small Fires (Los Angeles) recreating a site-specific variation of the seminal eco-artists The Harrisons.
Joining Focus for to the first time, Gypsum (Cairo) curated a booth exploring ‘time reconfigured’ through three mediums: photographs by Basim Magdy, paintings by Tamara Al Samerraei (Kuwait) and sculptures by Taha Belal. Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala City), winner of the Focus Stand Prize 2016, brought new video and photography work by Regina José Galindo, among the most acknowledged international performance artists.
Live is the fair’s section for performance and participation. Also advised by Ruba Katrib (Sculpture Center, New York) and Fabian Schoeneich (Portikus, Frankfurt) it featured four ambitious artworks by international artists, including three new commissions: Neha Choksi (Project88, Mumbai) performed Frame our ears open (2017); Mark Fell (Southfirst, New York), a Sheffield-based artist grounded in the sub-cultures of electronic music, brought together computer technology and Tala – the classical music of South India; Agatha Gothe-Snape (The Commercial, Sydney) presented Every Artist Remembered (2017); and Candida Powell-Williams (Bosse & Baum, London) debuts Boredom and its Acid Touch (2017).
Frieze London Art Fair 2017 closed with great success. At its 15th edition, Frieze London Art Fair 2017 could attract more than 160 art galleries from 31 countries and it reached strong sales. Throughout the fair, Frieze London 2017 boosted VIP presence. It also recorded an excellent rise in international major collectors, a record presence of 230 groups from around the world, including the return of two significant acquisitions funds supported by major institutions.
The programme of Frieze London 2017 included Frieze Art Fair Stand Prize and Frieze Focus Prize. It also included Frieze Projects and the Frieze Artist Award, presenting new site-specific works by contemporary artists; new film commissions premiered at Frieze Film; an off-site fair programme by Frieze Music; and Frieze Talks a dynamic series of panel discussions, conversations and keynote lectures.
The curated gallery sections included: Focus (presentations by galleries max aged 12 years); Live (a space for performance and participation works); and new for 2017, Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics (female artists working at the extreme edges of feminist practice since the 1970s.)
Victoria Siddall, Director, Frieze Fairs said: “The 15th edition of Frieze London further established the city’s importance as both a leading commercial market hub and cultural platform”.
Galleries across the fair’s main and specially curated sections – Focus, Sex Work, Live - enjoyed strong sales throughout the whole week, placing artworks across all levels of the market. Select highlights included: David Kordansky Gallery with works by Will Boone in the range of USD 25,000 to 55,000; David Zwirner’s sale of a Jeff Koons for USD 2.75 million and a new work by Kerry James Marshall to an important European Foundation; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac’s sale of a Robert Rauschenberg for USD 1.5 million; Matthew Marks sale of a Jasper Johns for USD 1.5 million; Hauser & Wirth’s sale of a major sculpture by Hans Arp for USD 1.1 million to a private collection in Los Angeles, from their ‘BRONZE AGE’ presentation. Goodman Gallery sold out over half the booth on preview day, including a work by William Kentridge for USD 385,000 and three works by David Goldblatt ranging from USD 15,000-50,000 and The Sunday Painter in the Focus section sold many of their works by Emma Hart on Preview Day, ranging between GBP 10,000-12,000.
Frieze London 2017 have seen a 230 record presences of directors, curators, trustees and patron groups from international museums and other arts organizations, including Carnegie Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Moderna Museet, MAMCO, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Whitney Museum of American Art and WIELS.
Frieze this year partnered with two main acquisition funds for national museums: the Frieze Tate Fund, supported by WME | IMG, and the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund at Frieze in support of a regional museum in the UK: Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne.
Maria Balshaw, Director, Tate commented, ‘The Frieze Tate Fund has made an important contribution to the national collection of contemporary art at Tate. We are once again excited to be able to select work from Frieze so that a broad public at Tate can experience new art as it emerges. We are extremely grateful both to WME | IMG and to Frieze for their support.’
Balshaw also commented on the successful new section for 2017, Sex Work, curated by independent curator and scholar Alison M. Gingeras which featured nine solo presentations of women artists working at the extreme edges of feminist practice: ‘As a woman born in 1970 raised by a tribe of feminist aunts, I find it tremendously exhilarating to see the women artists in Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics included in the context of an art fair.’