I thought about writing, the usual, a long, analytical, slightly jaded, thought-provoking monologue about the annual London Frieze art fair (sort of like I did last year*) but then I thought, words don't really do justice to the enormity of over 190 galleries from all over the world all packed into two tents over 225,000 square metres in Regents Park that receives in its three day running over 60,000 visitors (coincidently a number that continues to grow each year, a sign of arts increasing popularity/awareness..?)! One of the biggest, most over-the-top, ostentatious arts events of its kind, it is the one that sees gallery directors, collectors, the rich and the famous buying and investing in art. They also let the public in! And so, what better than to sum-up the showcase, the museum, the spectacle, ...the madness that is Frieze than to go all-out in full Frieze style by bombarding and overwhelming you with a cacophony of images and observations until you're left feeling sick, enlightened, inspired, exhausted, horrified and thoroughly confused as to what this art business is all about.
Welcome to Frieze Masters, Regents Park, London 2014!
|Anotoni Tapies 'Fusta amb samaretta' (1971) Pencil, collage on wood assemblage, 232 x 236cm.|
Hard to mistake this giant wall plaster for being anything other than a Tapies.
|Maybe one of them is downloading an app that works as a spirit level for that back left painting?|
|Kaws 'Small lie' (2013)|
The sculpture park at Frieze is free and is actually one of the more dynamic parts of the overall fair. Sculpture is certainly more photogenic than painting which lends itself to best be seen in person.
|Matt Johnson 'Baby dinosaur (Apatosaurus)' (2013)|
Thus concludes our whirlwind tour of Frieze Masters 2014. Hope you enjoyed the ride! The lived experience is one that is fragmented, bizarre and intense and doesn't sadly allow for the depth of thought and reflection that the art often deserves. If you take it for what it is however, you will be rewarded by a vast, impressive visual array of work of which there are many, many more artists whose work I didn't include here but are worth a mention; Martin Kippenberger, Ha Chong-Hyun, Joseph Beuys and Sigmar Polke (the latter of whom has a major retrospective currently on at the Tate). Try to ignore the crowds and embrace the fact that art remains so healthily popular, valued, enjoyed and you'll have a good time. But neglect a perspective of reality at your peril!
Read last year's thoughts on Frieze here: