Gisella was the highlight of the Frieze London Art Fair. Unfortunately, she is not for sale. She might be just a fly, but she has got her pride. She kept posing on the artworks and caused great confusion. Is she part of the work? Does the artist moved into a new stage? Does the artist now includes insects as a critique to a capitalist society? How interesting! To then moving to the next artwork and leaving the audience in a state of a shock. Brilliant performance.
Apart from the constant diversions from Gisella and, probably, her cousin, I saw interesting works this year at Frieze - an ocean of 175 galleries from 35 countries. And the addition of Frieze Masters to a cornucopia of openings, exhibitions, fairs and talks that has created a new word: fairtigue.
©Geo Motion Series by Stuart Daly represented by Grey Area Multiples
As usual big players such as Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth and Werner did not fail to deliver. The Spanish gallery Helga de Alvear brought intricate sculptural pieces by the Portuguese artist Jose Pedro Croft. A poetical installation by Fernanda Gomes by Alison Jacques Gallery gave you a moment of tranquility and quietness. However, Frieze Masters was simply overwhelming. It is a new art fair set up by Frieze to show works produced before the year 2000. It gives you a great choice and you feel you are visiting the British Museum, National Gallery and both Tates at once. Jumping from an Egyptian antiquity to Giacometti, then, back to an Asian horse to a huge Calder installation becomes an experience that you never forget.
Every year an exhibition in an unorthodox space steals the show, and, this year, was no exception. New Re-Visions, art in residency, was distributed over six flats by six curators opposite the Tate Modern. The spectacular views from the new flats matched the careful selection of artworks. A survey of Contemporary African art by Nadim Samman and One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy by Choi and Lager, that included beautiful landscape paintings by Sea Hyun Lee, were exceptionally interesting. Other shows, among a limitless list, that were very stimulating were Franz West at the Gagosian Gallery and, a newcomer from New York, David Zwirner with a solo show by Luc Tuymans. That was a great choice in a well placed space.
Multiplied organised by Christie's were also a great complement to the art offer. It specialised on multiples, but you could buy bird nests. Julia Alvarez, the director of Bearspace, explains that they are limited editions of five and, therefore, fit in in the fair's criteria. Grey Area, a new addition from Paris, brought interesting artists including Stuart Daly (artwork included above) with very intricate prints made through mathematical arrangements. Sublime beauty, I would say.
And last, but not least, the Sunday Art Fair provided younger galleries. Kelly Large, the director, says: "nearly half of the galleries has been established for three years or less and we want to introduce fresh international talent to audiences". The open space lay out allows to see it as a group show and facilitates the appreciation of works with no divisions and the set of interactive events makes this fair unmissable. Jack Strange, represented by Limoncello, shown several technological sculptural pieces that kept providing you with a sense of voidness.
Very enigmatic. The Moving Image Fair in the Oxo Tower was a very brave move when all the galleries exhibit more traditional media in these austerity times. Bigger than the last year and pieces by the composer Michael Nyman and other artists such as Carolee Schneemann and Daniel Philipps gave us an insight of what artists are making in an under-represented media.