Frieze art fair has celebrated its 20th anniversary with a new editions and many events
Marking 20 years of cultural prowess, Frieze London landed once again in the British capital for its 2023 program alongside Frieze Masters’ 11th edition. Between October 11 – 15, 2023, the highly anticipated fair has explored the UK’s cultural landscape through a series of collaborations with key arts organizations and public institutions; novelties include the Artist-to-Artist initiative at Frieze London and two new programs at Frieze Masters: Studio and Modern Women. Alongside, the traditional art weeks full of event, vernissage, art exhibitions, and performances that have shaped London in the last days.
Eva Langret, Director of Frieze London, said: “This year we look forward to welcoming artists, galleries institutions, collectors and art enthusiasts from around the globe in celebration of our 20th anniversary. We’re delighted to mark the occasion with the fair’s most international edition to date, with exhibitors spanning six continents. As the international art world descends on London, we look forward to seeing the spirit of collaboration ripple across the city and for everyone to see our cultural capital shine.”
“As we celebrate 20 years of Frieze London, we will also recognize the contribution Frieze Masters has made to that story” – added Nathan Clements-Gillespie, Director of Frieze Masters – “The fair will provide a chance to discover works from prehistory to the break of the 21st century, demonstrating connections in creative production throughout millennia. This year’s edition sees a high concentration of artists that also have exhibitions at esteemed London institutions, emphasizing how Frieze Masters is a rare opportunity to engage with museum-quality works.”
2023 is Frieze London’s 20th anniversary, and to celebrate it the fair has decided to invite eight artists to each present a solo exhibition at the fair. You will thus be able to see a selection of work by some of the most significant artists of our contemporary times: Alvaro Barrington, Olafur Eliasson, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton, Simone Leigh, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Haegue Yang.
To celebrate 20 years in London, the Gagosian gallery dedicated its entire booth to Damien Hirst, displaying 12 new floral paintings. Titled “The Secret Gardens Paintings” (2023), the works depict blooming gardens of roughly painted flowers finished off with the artist hurling thick glops of paint at the canvas from a loaded brush. A far cry from his progressive early conceptual art, the paintings represent Hirst’s shift in direction, building upon his recent cherry paintings.
Another ambitious booth takeover was Timothy Taylor, which paid tribute to the singular creative imagination and unique process of New York artist Eddie Martinez. Curated by Claire Gilman, chief curator of the Drawing Center in New York, the dizzying booth features a whopping 2,362 sketches covering every almost square inch of an immersive floor-to-ceiling hang with drawings and painted works on paper exhibited on top.
Pilar Corrias Gallery is celebrating in a big way the opening of its new London space on Conduit Street. The booth is a giant splash of color affecting the paintings on the walls, the carpeted floor and the walls themselves. Everything is entrusted to the playful figuration of Sophie von Hellerman, who thus exhibits this highly immersive installation all dated 2023.
Alongside the main event, London is full of events and exhibitions not to be missed. During the art fair, the city is populated with events that add to the UK capital’s already extensive cultural offerings. Coming out of Frieze, then, you can head to the Royal Academy, where the major Marina Abramovic retrospective is underway. This temporary exhibition celebrates more than 50 years of the Serbian artist’s work, making her the first woman to occupy the entirety of the Royal Academy’s exhibition spaces.
At Sprueth Magers Gallery, on the other hand, you can visit a fine exhibition devoted to Sylvie Fleury. The Swiss artist is featured in a temporary exhibition that celebrates some recurring themes in her artistic career. Fleury’s figurative stylings are all there: rockets, chrome cars, fashion. And the exhibition turns out to be one of this week’s must-see events.
The same can be said for the Serpentine Gallery, which presents an exhibition of new work by Georg Baselitz. Selected with Georg Baselitz and drawn directly from his studio, Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015 presents impressive, never-before-seen sculptures along with loose, colorful drawings. Inviting you into a forest of raw wood sculptures, this exhibition offers new insights into the artist’s process and how his works influence each other through different mediums.