Magazine of art press and reviews from London
David Franchi – Thursday, 22st October 2015.
The upbeat sales of art works remarked the Frieze Masters London fair attendance with nearly 50,000 visitors, up from 37,000 in 2014 – across both fairs, Frieze Art and Masters, it was this year at over 105,000, up from 100,000 in 2014.
Exhibitors were delighted by high presence of visitors, including international collectors and curators. Frieze Masters established a global reputation has seen record numbers of museum patron travel to London from around the world and more than double the number of visitors on the VIP preview day.
Artworks on display at Frieze Masters were a panorama of antiquities, Asian art, ethnographic art, illuminated manuscripts, Medieval, modern and post-war, Old Masters and 19th-century, photography, sculpture and Wunderkammer. Visitors could appreciate both established and new discoveries artists.
Frieze Masters 2015 sees the debut of Collections, a new section curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal, who said: “Each of these eight presentations by individual dealers, spanning millennia, contain within them germs of ideas for exhibitions that could easily take place at any of the great public institutions in the world.” The eight galleries participating were all new to Frieze Masters and many exhibited works that have not previously been shown in this fair, ranging from Maiolica to Paleolithic stones, Netsuke to Egyptian carvings.
Frieze Masters presented a brand new management. Director of Frieze Masters since the first edition, last month Victoria Siddall was also appointed as Director of Frieze London and Frieze New York. She is joined by new team Abby Bangser as Artistic Director (Americas & Asia) and Jo Stella-Sawicka as Artistic Director (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia).
Focused on 20th-century, the Spotlight section had a new curator, Clara M Kim, formerly Senior Curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and Director/Curator of the Gallery at REDCAT in Los Angeles. Critically applauded Spotlight section presented 15 galleries from eight territories showing solo presentations of significant work made in the 20th century.
An emergent trend between exhibitors is to share the stand, partnering with other galleries. Frieze Masters too has an attitude to contemplate art of all periods. For Frieze Masters 2015 Hauser & Wirth and Moretti Fine Art (both London) collaborated on ‘an ideal collection’ of works spanning the centuries, placing 14th-century Italian panels alongside the likes of Hans Arp and Louise Bourgeois. Also Karsten Schubert and Tomasso Brothers Fine Art (both London) juxtapose modern masterpieces by Bridget Riley with Old Master drawings and ancient portrait sculpture.
The Sculpture Park returned to the English Gardens in the Regent’s Park, selected by Clare Lilley and featuring 16 international new and historical works from both Frieze London and Frieze Masters galleries. For the first time, it will remain open to visitors for three months, until 17 January 2016, at no cost.
Frieze Masters feature the highly praised Talks programme, curated by Jasper Sharp and involving top contemporary artists, museum directors and collectors.
In 2015 Frieze Masters presented again the highly praised Talks programme. It developed to host nine conversations, co-programmed for the first time by Jennifer Higgie (Co-editor frieze and Editor, Frieze Masters magazine) who joins Jasper Sharp (Adjunct Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna).
Frieze Masters is designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf as a meditative, stylish space for an outstanding variety of artworks, from mixed cultures and periods.
In addition to main sponsor Deutsche Bank and associate sponsor Gucci, which also supports Talks programme, Frieze Masters sponsors are BMW, Champagne Pommery, The Art Fund and the Financial Times.
Art fair Frieze Masters was in Regent’s Park, London, from 14th until 18th October 2015.