Frieze London returned to London for the 16th time, with some 160 galleries exhibiting. The usual key players attend (as many of them have done so since the inception of the fair), but the doors to the prestigious event are opening wider and wider to smaller galleries, which is a signal of a changing landscape for the commercial art world. The awareness of the times we live in and all the socio-political changes is noticeable across Frieze’s white tent and it seems like artists and galleries exhibiting at Frieze have been given the green light to address these issues freely.
Here you can have a look at some of the fair’s highlights:
Kamel Mennour: Tatiana Trouvé, The Shaman, 2018
Gagosian: Urs Fischer, Sotatsu, 2018
König Galerie: Elmgreen & Dragset, The Observer, 2018
Mary Mary: Lisa Alvarado, Traditional Object 23, 2017
Galerie Lelong: Nancy Spero, Aztec Sahagun, 1979
Modern Art: Josh Kline, Dave/Journalist, 2018
Weiss Berlin: Faith Ringgold, Coming to Jones Road Tanka #3 Martin Luther King, 2010
One of the hottest topics at the Frieze is this year’s themed gallery, Social Work, which showcases works by female artists overlooked and operating outside of the art market in the 1980s and 1990s. It seems like the curatorial team took as their primary focus to respond to contemporary issues and address the post-#metoo era. Social Work runs along accompanying programmes like Frieze Live, Film and Artist Award, but feels more like an exhibition than an integral part of the fair. Artists included are Nancy Spero, Helen Chadwick, Mary Kelly, Sonia Boyce, Faith Ringgold, Tina Keane, Berni Searle, Ipek Dubek.
Frieze prides itself for having a female board this year and aims at introducing equality to the fair, and these efforts are made by the organisers and curators, but walking around the booths, it does not seem like this year’s male-to-female ratio is any different than before. Perhaps the rest of the commercial world could learn a lesson from them.