AO on Site – London: Frieze Artfair Preview, October 16th, 2013

October 16th, 2013

Elmgreen and Dragset, Powerless Structures (2013) and Hernan Bas, Pearl and pink pansy (fishing in the foliage) (2013) at Victoria Miro

Frieze London officially opened its doors today for its press and VIP preview, welcoming buyers from around the world to the temporary structure in Regent’s Park for another week of high-profile sales and new works.  A markedly reduced affair from last year (the number of galleries on view has been reduced by about 25), the fair still kicked off in traditional fashion, with a rush of early buyers passing through the galleries to review the plenitude of paintings, sculpture, videos and photography spread throughout the fair’s enormous space.

Damien Hirst, The Afterlife (2012)

A number of works commanded attention early, in particular sculptor Jennifer Rubell’s enormous Portrait of the Artist, a towering sculpture of the artist in the deep stages of her pregnancy, but with a hollowed out stomach, commanded ample attention, particularly as attendees could sit inside the fiberglass sculpture, creating a bizarre parallel between childhood and pregnancy for  both participant and artist.  Duo Elmgreen and Dragset were also frequently seen, with works on view at both Galerie Perrotin and Victoria Miro.  Their particular blend of cheeky humor with occasionally morbid imagery made for a fitting complement to the proceedings of the fair.

James Lee Byars, Four In A Dress (1967)

But for sheer star power, few could ignore the Gagosian Gallery booth, who brought a number of sizable Jeff Koons sculptures, each with a hefty, multi-million dollar price tag.  Mixing recent work with older pieces, the show served as a micro-retrospective of Koons’s recent output, perhaps preparing the art world for his retrospective next year at the Whitney.

Grayson Perry, Primitive Men (1994) Victoria Miro

Overall, there were considerable surprises in store for visitors, and Art Observed was on-site to document the goings-on at one of the world’s largest art fairs.

Victoria Miro at her Booth

Two George Condo Sculptures and Rosemarie Trockel’s Square Enemy (2006) at Sprüth Magers

Adam Pendleton and Chuck Close at Pace London

David Shrigley, Lady Taking a Poop (2013) Anton Kern Gallery

Dee Ferris, Lounge Lover (2013) and Blue Milk (2013). Tomoaki Suzuki, Nia (2010) at Corvi-Mora

Tomoaki Suzuki, Nia (2010) at Corvi-Mora

Doug Aitken, You/You (2012), 303 Gallery

Jeppe Hein, Right Diagonal Cut (2011) 303 Gallery

A Takashi Murakami sculpture at Galerie Perrotin

Elmgreen and Dragset, He (2013) at Galerie Perrotin

A number of works by Jeff Koons at Gagosian

Mickalene Thomas, Untitled (2013) at Lehmann Maupin

Lehmann Maupin Booth

Tracey Emin, Lehmann Maupin Booth

Dan Graham at Lisson

Galerist Thaddaeus Ropac at his booth

Georg Baselitz, Yellow Song (2013) at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Ron Mueck, Woman with Shopping (2013) Hauser and Wirth

Ron Mueck, Woman with Shopping (2013) Hauser and Wirth

Paul MacCarthy at Hauser and Wirth

Hauser and Wirth

Maccarone Booth

Maccarone Booth

Alex Hubbard at Maccarone Booth

Kevin Francis Gray at Pace Gallery

Katharina Fritsch, Madonnenfigur (Madonna) (1982), Maus (Mouse) (1998) and Thomas Demand, Hole (2012) Matthew Marks Gallery

Matias Paldbakken at Long March booth

Pace Gallery

Michael Werner Booth

Jay Jopling at his booth. Fred Tomaselli, Torso (1999), All pictures by Caroline Claisse for Artobserved.

—D. Creahan

“Bigger, Brighter, Better: Frieze 2013″ [The Guardian]
“London Makes Way for the Unexpected” [New York Times]
“Frieze Art Fair: Buyer choice expands from porn and puddles to a Brueghel” [The Guardian]
“Eyes of the World Turn to London” [The Telegraph]