London Art Reviews

Magazine of art press and reviews from London

Frieze Art Fair London 2012 hit again the city.

Frieze Art Fair London 2012 stroke again the city.

David Franchi, 17th October 2012

“focus only on contemporary art and living artists”

Frieze Art Fair London 2012, ph. Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/ Frieze

Frieze Art Fair London 2012 was another successful event packed with visitors. In 2012, Frieze Art Fair London confirmed to be the leading international contemporary art fair in the UK.

Frieze Fair London 2012 presented a curated programme including Sculpture Park commissions and projects, many of which are interactive or performative. Supported by Frieze Foundation, it encouraged visitors to engage with art and artists directly. Important was also the Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund to Benefit the Tate Collection.

Frieze Foundation is a non-profit organisation, which was established the same year as the fair (2003). The Frieze Foundation oversees: Frieze Talks, a programme of panel discussions and lectures printed during the fair; Frieze Projects, a curated programme of site specific projects by artists in and around the fair. Last year the Foundation has introduced the Emdash Award which is annually presented to an international emerging artist. The foundation also administers Frieze Music, Frieze Education and Frieze Film.

Frieze London is one of the few fairs to focus only on contemporary art and living artists. The exhibiting galleries represent the most exciting contemporary galleries working today.

This year the Frieze Fair was once again housed in a bespoke temporary structure located in Regent’s Park, to benefit from a natural light source, avoiding the atmosphere of a trade show. It was designed by architects Carmody Groarke, who has been the Frieze London architects in 2011 and 2012. A London-based architectural studio, Carmody Groarke were recipients of the Building Design UK Young Architect of the Year (YAYA) in 2007, the practise won two RIBA awards in 2010 and were last year named as winners of the International Emerging Architecture Award by The Architectural Review.

Since its first year Frieze Art London has worked with a series of talented architects: David Adjaye, Jamie Fobert and Caruso St John, who are well known for their work on museums and art galleries. The architects’ brief is to make the fair an inviting and unique experience. Each year there are eye-catching changes to the design, décor, entrance and spaces such as restaurants and cafes. The architects have the opportunity to experiment and this adds to the experience of the fair.

For the last four years, Frieze Art London has had over 60,000 visitors, those with an interest in the art world, such as curators, artists, collectors, gallerists and critics, as well as the general public enjoying a cultural day out.

Frieze Art London was a carefully selected presentation of 175 of the most forward thinking contemporary galleries and showed new work by over 1,000 of the world’s most innovative artists. Exhibitors this year were coming from 35 countries including Argentina, China, Columbia, Hungary, India, Korea and South Africa.

Around 500 galleries apply each year for the fair. The application form is posted on the website in December, the application deadline is in February and the selection is made in April. There is then an appeals procedure in late April.

The selection is made by a committee of gallerists who participate in the fair; the fair Directors chair the meeting but do not vote. The 2012 selection committee was: Daniel Buchholz, Galerie Daniel Buchholz; Marcia Fortes, Galeria Fortes Vilaça; Cornelia Grassi, greengrassi; Carol Greene, Greene Naftali; Monica Manzutto, Kurimanzutto; Maureen Paley, Maureen Paley; Niklas Svennung, Galerie Chantal Crousel; Toby Webster, The Modern Institute/Toby Webster.

Frieze Art Fair London does not release sales figures anymore. Though it is a commercial venture, Directors have found such figures could be inaccurate, as many sales are completed post-fair, and many galleries choose to keep their sales figures private.

The programme at Frieze London 2012 has been curated by Sarah McCrory, she also curated the programme in 2011 and 2010.

Frieze Masters Art Fair 2012, ph. Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/ Frieze

Frieze Art London was founded in 2003 by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp. There were three sections to Frieze Art Fair London 2012: the main gallery section, Focus and Frame.

The tenth edition featureed a new section: Focus, dedicated to galleries opened in or after 2001, showing a presentation of up to three artists. Focus was first introduced at Frieze New York 2012.

Frame is a section of the fair introduced in 2009. It is dedicated to solo artist presentations. Frame is open to galleries who have been in existence for less than six years and present a regular programme of exhibitions, showing solo artist presentations. Frame is supported by COS.

In 2012 the Frame advisors were curators Rodrigo Moura and Tim Saltarelli who selected the 25 galleries. Rodrigo Moura is a curator, editor and art writer. He has worked as a curator at Inhotim (Minas Gerais, Brazil) since 2004 and previously he was a curator at Museu de Arte da Pampulha. Moura has written extensively on arts and culture for Brazilian newspapers and international art press. Tim Saltarelli is a New York-based curator and writer who has organised exhibitions in the United States, Canada and Europe. Until the end of 2010, he was Director at Elizabeth Dee Gallery. He is presently a Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at The Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, New York.

This year Frieze London has also introduced Frieze Masters, a new fair with a contemporary perspective on historical art of all ages. Frieze Masters was a carefully selected presentation of over 90 of the world’s leading galleries. Coinciding with Frieze London, Frieze Masters took place in Gloucester Green, Regent’s Park, London, and was sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

Together the crossover between the two fairs has made London the focus for a broad international art audience.

The Family Space at Frieze London 2012 took inspiration from the Frieze Projects programme. Workshops and a range of other educational activities were presented in partnership with Nintendo and ReachOutRCA. The Family Space allowed families and guests the chance to try New Art Academy game on Nintendo 3DS XL.

From 11th until 14th October 2012, in Regent’s Park, London.


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This entry was posted on October 17, 2012 by in News, Other Art Events and tagged , .


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