With the first notes of fall drifting into the air, and August fading into September, attention turns this week to the South Korean capital of Seoul, where Frieze has reopened the newest iteration of its art fair franchise. Now in its second year, the fair, led by Frieze Seoul Director Patrick Lee, features over 120 galleries, with a strong focus on Asia alongside a range of galleries from countries around the globe, as well as its signature program of screenings, talks and other projects.
The opening hours of the fair were bustling as expected, with collectors swarming the fair aisles to peruse works and make initial offers, or just to check on the purchases already locked down in the run-up to the fair. Continuing its offering of works from Asia and abroad, the fair was also home to its signature offering of bue-chip international heavyweights like Gagosian, who was showing work by Thomas Houseago, Jonas Wood, and many more, while at Paula Cooper, one could peruse works from Tauba Auerbach, Liz Glynn, and many more. LA’s Night Gallery was also on hand, presenting a range of works by artist Andrea Marie Breiling that offered a decidedly more nuanced and focused booth. Pace, another gallery that has courted the Korean market aggressively, was also on hand with a diverse offering culled from its artist roster, including new plate paintings by Julian Schnabel and new paintings by Yoshitomo Nara, among many other works. David Zwirner was also on hand, presenting a booth that prominently featured paintings by artist Katherine Bernhardt, colorful, cartoonish compositions that added a note of levity to the proceedings.
South Korean galleries and those from the broader Asian continent also made a prominent statement this year. There was a striking booth from Gallery Baton, which featured pieces by Kim Bohie, Jimok Choi and more, while at Galleria Continua, Anish Kapoor was showing some of his mirrored voids, a staple of any global art fair. Another highlight came from Woosun, where a series of meticulously shaded works on paper by Choi Byung-So were countered by a dark paintjob and moody lighting.
Marking a continued engagement with the ever-changing landscape of contemporary art, and a focus on growing alongside its changing boundaries and audiences, Frieze Seoul marks a powerful next step for the fair franchise. It closes September 9th.
– D. Creahan
Frieze Seoul [Exhibition Site]