With the weather turning increasingly chilly, and the fall months coming on in full stride, the art world would normally turn its attention this week to London, where the tents would be up and the halls would be ready for another edition of Frieze Art Fair in the British Capital. Yet the fair’s annual run is just one more event moved online this fall, as Europe and the United States continue to contend with the heightened stress and security concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, the British staple of the annual art calendar has popped up online, open for the next week with a broad set of works on view, and a range of galleries logging in from around the globe.
Running from October 9 – 16, with preview days on October 7th and 8th, this iteration of the year’s ongoing series of digital initiatives culls together 250 leading galleries on the Frieze website, each submitting a series of high-definition photos documenting the work available from a range of artists in the UK, Europe, and further afield. Hosted both on mobile and web, the Frieze Viewing Room platform will add to the exhibition, with curated gallery sections and a live chat feature, which will present a focus on digital space and customization, underscored by the availability of of six different virtual spaces designed by Annabelle Selldorf.
Work-wise, the fair’s reputation for high-quality pieces and tightly-curated programming continued online. At Peres Projects, one could view a brightly-colored series of works by Ad Minoliti, while Mexico City’s Kurimanzutto was showing a selection of works by Gabriel Orozco. Elsewhere, Tanya Bonakdar was presenting work by Mark Dion. Also of note was strikingly illusory work by Do Ho Suh on view at Lehmann Maupin. The gallery sold a work by Billy Childish’s Smoker (2019), for between £20,000 and £50,000, while at David Zwirner, a group exhibition from the gallery artists saw a range of sales for the gallery between $150,000 and $350,000. Another highlight came at Thaddaeus Ropac, where Alex Katz’s Vincent and Vivien (2016) sold for $650,000.
The fair is still maintaining ties to real space, however, and will install its usual Sculpture Park in the same location outside the normal grounds in Regent’s Park. The series of works, counting among them pieces by Sarah Lucas, Richard Long and Lubaina Himid, offers a subtle reassurance that perhaps normalcy is not far off, and that by next year, the fair will return to its spot, the sculptures on view now serving as a placeholder.
The online exhibition opens tomorrow, and runs through October 16th.
– D. Creahan
Frieze Online [Website]
London’s Frieze Week Is Still On, Online and Off [NYT]