The insider’s guide to Frieze Week 2017
From 5-8 October, the art world's attention is trained squarely on London. Here, the city's most in-the-know curators, gallerists, specialists and critics share their tips on the city’s must-see shows, and the best spots to eat and drink
Leonie Moschner, director and senior specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s London: ‘I really look forward to Frieze Masters. It is a wonderful combination of art from across the centuries, with an incredibly civilised atmosphere which contrasts nicely with the vibrancy of Frieze across Regent’s Park. These two fairs, together with events such as PAD [the 20th-century art-and-design fair, 2-8 October], mean that you have the whole mix of the art world in London.
'The city is also full of incredible exhibitions. I am looking forward to Brice Marden at Gagosian; Jasper Johns at the Royal Academy; Basquiat at the Barbican; and Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain. There are also some great gallery shows — particularly Dubuffet at Pace and Shelia Hicks at Alison Jacques — and farther afield, I love Modern Art in Shoreditch. While you are in East London, eat at Lardo.’
Hannah Barry, founder of Hannah Barry Gallery, Peckham: ‘My recommendation for Frieze Week has to be Morning Defeats, an exhibition of new work by French artist Marie Jacotey at our gallery in Peckham. The installation comprises some 30 drawings, together with a monumental work on fabric. There is a rush of different sources in the new drawings: views of rural Normandy, the English coast and the Scottish Highlands, to name just a few. Jacotey’s perspectives also reference the world of cinema and slo-mo, as well as the photographer’s point and shoot. This is an artist who has come of age in the smartphone world with its particular lexicon: zoom, scroll, tap, drag and swipe.’
Bruce Boucher, director of Sir John Soane’s Museum: ‘Both Frieze and Frieze Masters are highlights of the year. At Frieze, I look forward to seeing Hauser & Wirth and Pace; at Frieze Masters, Sam Fogg, Dickinson and Luhring Augustine. Elsewhere I am looking forward to Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites at the National Gallery, and would recommend The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt at the National Portrait Gallery; Scythians at the British Museum; and Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain.
‘At Sir John Soane’s Museum this October we have an exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the tomb of Seti I, which Soane purchased in 1825. It is also important that we have exhibitions such as The Roman Singularity [the museum’s current show of work by architectural designer Adam Nathaniel Furman, which examines Roman architecture in the historical imagination] because they reflect Soane’s belief that his collections should inspire contemporary artists.’
Mira Dimitrova, Managing Director, Mazzoleni, London: ‘We are excited to be showing at Frieze Masters for the first time this year, and to present our solo Alberto Burri booth. We will also be presenting a gallery exhibition at the same time: Light in Motion: Balla, Dorazio, Zappettini, which places the work of these three major 20th-century Italian artists in dialogue. I look forward to a frantic visit to Frieze as well, and hopefully discovering a new young artist whose work challenges me.’
Emily Druiff, director, Peckham Platform: ‘For the first year Peckham Platform has collaborated with the team at Frieze Projects, working with Swiss artist Marc Bauer, who has created an installation at the main entrance to Frieze. It reflects his collaboration with our Youth Platform, looking at themes of personal identity with 13- to 19-year-olds. (If you want to see their work, it’s on display in Peckham’s Aylesham Centre.)
‘There are many other things that I’m anticipating elsewhere. Mariana Simnett’s Worst Gift at Matt’s Gallery and The Showroom, which has a show by a Zagreb-based curatorial collective called What, How & for Whom/WHW. There’s also Create London, which has a residency at a derelict building it is rather grandly calling The White House.’
Touria El Glaoui, founder of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair: ‘When visiting the fifth London edition of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair [5-8 October], be sure to experience La Caravane by British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj — his first UK solo exhibition in seven years is a momentous homecoming. Other highlights include Emeka Ogboh’s sound piece and Pascale Marthine Tayou’s immense installation (above).
'Beyond the fairs, you can catch two exhibitions by exceptional young African artists: Malala Andrialavidrazana (Echoes and Figures at 50 Golborne) and Kudzanai-Violet Hwami (If You Keep Going South You’ll Meet Yourself at Tyburn Gallery). There is also no better way to explore London than through food. Treat yourself at the Nigerian fusion restaurant IKOYI, which also has a pop-up bar at the 1:54 lounge.’
Olivia Erlanger, artist, chosen to create the inaugural BMW Open Work at Frieze London 2017: ‘I’ll be between my project, Body Electric at BMW Open Work, and friends’ openings around London. Curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, Body Electric is a multimedia installation of sculpture, light, sound and video. I’m also really looking forward to Jessi Reaves at Herald Street, Josh Kline’s show at Stuart Shave’s Modern Art gallery and Torbjørn Rødland at the Serpentine.’
Susan Foister, Deputy Director, National Gallery: ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites was the brainwave of my co-curator Alison Smith at Tate Britain. When it was acquired by the National Gallery in 1842, Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait captured the imagination of the Pre-Raphaelites and engaged more than one generation of artists.
‘It is exciting to open during Frieze Week, and there are some things I’ve already seen that chime with our own exhibition. There’s a wonderful Alma-Tadema exhibition at Leighton House and Sargent watercolours at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Given Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait was in the Spanish Royal Collections for so long, I’m also looking forward to the Wallace Collection’s exhibition of Spanish Masterpieces from the Bowes Museum.’
Paul Franklyn, director at Plinth: ‘At Plinth, we’ve always been fascinated by how design and contemporary art intertwine. This relationship is explored to stunning effect in the Wellcome Collection’s latest exhibition: Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? One of London’s best-kept secrets is Sculpture in the City: stunning works set against the backdrop of the City of London. Perfection.’
Zoë Klemme and Alexandra Werner, co-heads of the Day Sale, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s London: ‘There are so many exhibitions across London: Wade Guyton at the Serpentine Galleries (whose work is in our Day auction); Basquiat at Barbican; Dubuffet at Pace Gallery (again in our sale); and Soul of a Nation at Tate Modern. Near to the Tate is Whitecube Bermondsey, with installations by Ann Veronica Janssens, and the opportunity for a simple, delicious lunch at Padella.
‘At Frieze and Frieze Masters, we’re curious to see the newly curated section by Alison Gingeras. We’re also excited to see work at galleries joining the fair for the first time, such as Cape Town’s Blank Projects and London’s Emalin and Union Pacific.’
Clare Lilley, Director of Programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park: ‘Perhaps this year more than ever, it’s clear that Frieze brings out the best that London has to offer. Aside from the Fair and Masters — where I’ll head to Galerie Lelong’s display of Alfredo Jaar — there’s also Frieze Sculpture. I have curated this year’s edition, so forgive me if I recommend seeing this panoply of work by artists ranging from Alicja Kwade and Urs Fischer to KAWS and Eduardo Paolozzi.
‘I’m looking forward to Michael Craig-Martin at Alan Christea, Sheila Hicks at Alison Jacques, the Chapman brothers at Blain Southern, and Rirkrit Tiranavija at Pilar Corrias. The 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House is a must, and I’ll squeeze in the British Museum’s Scythians exhibition, too.’
Ben Luke, art critic, London Evening Standard, and features editor and podcast host, The Art Newspaper: ‘There are a few must-see exhibitions in London this year: Rachel Whiteread is as good as any show I’ve seen at Tate Britain; Jasper Johns at the Royal Academy is transcendent, at least until you get to the final room; and there’s a beautiful show of Degas’ pastels at the National Gallery. I am also really looking forward to Brice Marden at Gagosian, John Akomfrah at the Barbican and Dalí/Duchamp, also at the RA.’
Claire Meadows, Editor in Chief, After Nyne Magazine: ‘With so many events to choose from during this hectic week in the arts calendar, I will definitely not miss Moniker Art Fair at the Old Truman Brewery, which is a highlight for its ardent support of urban art. On a related note, on 3 October I’m going to be chairing a panel discussion on the context and future of street art at the Mayfair member’s club 12 Hay Hill. Staying in Mayfair, you can’t go wrong with dining at the newly refurbished Dorchester Grill or Galvin at Windows at the Park Lane Hilton — the view from there is art in itself. Breathtaking.’
Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post War and Contemporary Art, EMERI: ‘Both curatorially and commercially, we have really seen the growing importance of Frieze week in recent years. The art fairs, museums, galleries and auction houses attract a huge global audience. This year the exhibitions in London’s museums and galleries are of the highest calibre: Jasper Johns at the Royal Academy, Jean-Michel Basquiat at Barbican, Rachel Whiteread at Tate and Brice Marden at Gagosian Gallery all stand out. Christie’s presentation is unlike anything we have seen before in October: we have five auctions and one exhibition that cross all aspects of creative visual production in the 20th and 21st centuries.’
Patrick Perrin, Founder and CEO of PAD: ‘PAD London is the capital’s only fair with a design focus. This year we will bring together an exciting roster of 68 galleries in Berkeley Square. Keep an eye on new exhibitors such as DIMORE and Rossana Orlandi from Milan, and Mouvements Modernes and Alexandre Biaggi from Paris.
‘I would also recommend visiting GLASS.MEKANO, the first solo exhibition of French designer Thomas Lemut, at Gallery FUMI’s new space in Mayfair. Another PAD exhibitor, Carpenters Workshop Gallery, will unveil a new series by South Korean designer Wonmin Park.’
Ossian Ward, Head of Content, Lisson Gallery: ‘Perhaps it’s fitting for London’s busiest art week that I am opening the biggest off-site exhibition ever staged by the Lisson Gallery, titled Everything at Once, after a John Cage quote. It is our 50th anniversary, but rather than attempt a chronological survey, my co-curator Greg Hilty and I have chosen to display work by 24 artists, from Anish Kapoor and Susan Hiller to Wael Shawky and Cory Arcangel. There are also Lisson Gallery shows of Daniel Buren and Allora & Calzadilla to contend with; a survey of Haroon Mirza at the Zabludowicz Collection; and John Akomfrah’s film work, Purple, at the Barbican’s Curve.’
Ottilie Windsor, specialist, Gagosian Gallery: ‘Gagosian Grosvenor Hill has a treat in store — new works by Brice Marden. You can catch Brice himself in conversation with Tim Marlow and Gary Hume at the Royal Academy, and while there, visit the new Jasper Johns show.
‘Frieze brings great energy to the city, and is an opportunity to highlight new projects. Everything at Once, the collaboration between the Vinyl Factory and Lisson Gallery, is intriguing. The Tate’s Turbine Hall commission this year is by Superflex, a Danish collective. Rivane Neuenschwander at Stephen Friedman Gallery and Damián Ortega at White Cube are two gallery shows I am looking forward to. There’s always something new to discover.’