Richard Phillips, Sasha II / 2012 / oil on canvas / 2013.4×382 cm
Last week Frieze, London’s famed art fair rose in two colossal white tents emerging out of the pristine landscape of Regents Park at either end of the central London park. Frieze Art Fair was placed at the south end of the regal park and Frieze Masters was situated at the top closer to the exclusive Primrose Hill where it returned to London for its 11th year. The world’s leading galleries all congregated together to exhibit their most important and relevant work from over thirty country’s. The pure size of each fair alone and the constant stream of visitors attempting to take photos on their iPhones of the contrasting art all crammed into the commercial setting of a monumentally big marquee created an unusual set up to view art. Completely different to visiting a gallery where the objective is purely to observe and appreciate artwork; Freize presents the visitor with the artwork as consumable goods. This instantly puts the visitor into a position where the value of the artwork and its current cultural value becomes overtly prominent. However, as the fair can be attended by the public understanding the reasons for each visitor becomes more complex as a trip to the fair is as recreational as it is to do with the business and economy of the art world.
However discouraging the structure that exists in the fair is, the very breadth and diversity of work to view is wonderfully eclectic, especially when visiting both fairs where the ultra contemporary can be viewed next to the medieval in the same setting. Besides from purely looking at each individual piece of art it was interesting to understand each galleries identity and how all of these galleries existed beside one another in what is essential the setting of a trade show. Perhaps in addition to the monetary value of the art and the galleries all becoming estranged neighbours the very layout and construction of the event was really quite overwhelming. The very fact that all of these paintings, photographs and sculptures had been shipped from quite literally all over the world is a fascinating concept. Each piece had made their own individual journey to arrive in London to be on show one short week for the hope of being sold.
Below we have chosen a selection of our favourite pieces shown at both Frieze Art Fair and Frieze Masters in correspondence to Sang Bleu’s tastes and ideals.
Marina Abramovic, The communicator / 2012 / wax, crystal quartz stones, glass pedestal, 25x10x3 cm
Guo Gendyi, avalokiteshvara (right) / 2002 / colored ink on rice paper / 68.2x189cm
Wolfgang Tillmanns, torso / 2013 / unframed ink jet print / 200×135 cm
Antonello Da Saliba, 1466-1535, Madonna and Child / Panel / 55.6×44.2 cm
Alex Katz, two building / 2002 / Oil on linen / 304.8×234.8 cm
Terry Adkins, apple pickers / 2002 / wood, glass / 205.7×30.5×30.5cm
TOMASSO BROTHERS FINE ART / London Leeds
Pierre Huyghe, untitled (mini floating & non floating rock) / 2013 / aquarium, salt water, volcanic rocks, dark grey sand, arrow crabs / 54x68x48 cm (aquarium) / 75x74x74 cm
Unknown tuscan painter active in Rome, 1615 – 1620 / The abduction of Ganymede / oil on canvas / 150.5×214 cm
all photos by Maxime