Thoughts at Frieze London
This year’s 15th Frieze London week welcomed 290 dealers exhibiting works at both Frieze London and Frieze Masters. As the first time at one of the world’s most prestigious fairs, the expectations were high. In an impressive stretch of artworks ranging in size, orientation and price, the trend seemed to be playing it safe with a lot of works on paper and photographs.
Acknowledging internationally turbulent political and financial states, it was inspirational to experience such pressures or rather, reminders, in artworks but also curatorial directions. Notably quoting El Anatsui and Zanele Muholi amongst plenty more for their confrontational works, an additional liking was taken on ready-mades including crates, cardboard, ladders and more.
As I continued to tour the fair, I was drawn more and more to reminders of popular culture – the realm of the familiar. Introducing commercially driven items further fed into follow-up discussions with art fair enthusiasts and organisers. How do you stop decorative art from participating in international art fairs?
With an obvious transition into ‘art & lifestyle’ strategies, and an ever-growing number of international art fairs, the progression milestones seem to address several factors: new audiences, alternative motives in contemporary art, and competition.