It’s all change over at the fair-mothership Frieze London, which opened on Tuesday to the press and well-heeled VIPs. The reconfigured layout designed by Universal Studios, takes up a bigger footprint in Regent’s Park, to accommodate the 162 galleries, that’s twelve up on last year. The spacious corridors make for a more relaxed viewing experience and when you’re going to see thousands of art works, this is what matters.
So once you’re in, where the hell do you start? Here are just a few exhibits not to miss.
There seemed to be a concentration on interiors – whether that be artists recreating inhabited environments or architectural artifices. Konrad Fischer Galerie (A9) is exhibiting an eerie Gregor Schneider room, radiator and all, housed in a shipping container. Goshka Macuga took over London’s Kate McGarry’s (A4) stand with a tapestry rendering of a collectors home. The illusion then spilled into real space with a table and chair set, if you fancied perching on Angela Merkel or Marcel Duchamp (see above). Venezuelan-born Sol Calero transformed Laura Bartlett Gallery (H3) into an exotic salon.
Ultramarine is the colour of 2014. Of course the don of blue, Yves Klein was present at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (A5) and following in his footsteps were Mark Flood at Peres Projects (G2), Ella Kruglyanskaya at Gavin Brown’s enterprise (F9) and Chantal Joffe at Victoria Miro (B3).
Psychedelia came in many forms this year, whether it be Cory Arcangel’s Miley Cyrus inspired installation on Lisson Gallery stand (B5) – seen here with Ryan Gander’s khaki prisoner-esque attire or Steven Shearer & Lothar Hempel at Stuart Shave/Modern Art (E2). There were even vibrant wool paintings by Jacin Giordano at Sultana (G25) in the ‘Focus’ section.
Whilst you’re up in the ‘Focus’ section make a beeline for The Box (G3). Not only did one of our fave gallery’s from last year win this year’s Frieze London 2014 Stand Prize, supported by Pommery Champagne with their display of Barbara T Smith XEROX works, but right next to them is ‘Frieze Sounds’ listening station. It’s worth stopping in all the fair hubbub to appreciate Keren Cytter, Cally Spooner and Hannah Weinberger’s audio interventions.
Throughout the fair there are a number of performance-based projects under the guise of the new ‘Live’ initiative. Call it the Marina Abramovic effect, but it’s intriguing how performance has a real voice among all the immobile work this year. Adam Linder’s dance and text medley at Silberkuppe (L5) creates a real-time critical expression of the fair with a little help from an art writer.
With so much to see, you’ll be envious of Christoph Buchel’s ‘Sleeping Guard’ in Hauser & Wirth’s stand curated by artist Mark Wallinger. Like a mad collector’s home, walls lined with contemporary masterpieces, the lucky guard gets to have a snooze during the mayhem.
And to make sure the kids are kept happy while mummy and daddy peruse the art, Gagosian Gallery (C3) has been turned into a colourful playground by Carsten Höller.