The Frieze London art fair opens today at the southern end of Regent's Park, bringing together 160 contemporary galleries from forty-two countries. This edition includes two notable sections: Focus, dedicated to galleries established over the past twelve years, and a special presentation entitled “Indra's Net”, curated by Sandhini Poddar. Across the park, Frieze Masters showcases six millennia of art from antiquity to the 20th century.
On Thursday, the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair kicks off its tenth anniversary edition at Somerset House, hosting fifty international exhibitors from twenty countries. This year's iteration is accompanied by the 1-54 Forum, a program of lectures, exhibitions, performances, workshops and readings. You can also see, the large-scale installation “O Barco/The Boat” by Lisbon artist Grada Kilomba was set up in the courtyard of Somerset House.
Other exhibitions on display around the city include “Christopher Kulendran Thomas: Another World” at ICA London, “Barbara Chase Riboud: Infinite Folds” at the Serpentine Gallery, Cornelia Parker at Tate Britain, Maria Bartuszová at Tate Modern, “Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear” at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Nikita Gale at the Chisenhale Gallery, “Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics” at the Barbican, and Rene Matić and Simeon Barclay at the South London Gallery. The works on display this year are very strong, with an abundant discovery of young and forgotten artists. Below, check out the best of the fair, which runs until Sunday.
Cecilia Vicuña at Lehmann Maupin
Cecilia Vicuña, who has just installed two beautiful sculptures in Turbine Hall at Tate, has a series of works in various media at Frieze. In a large corner is a large sculptural work made of unspun wool dyed blue that is installed on a pedestal below the floor. The work unfolds gracefully on a larger roll. Behind the piece are several of the artist's “precarios”, small montages created from debris the artist found. There are also two paintings by the artist and a loop of three videos involving Vicuña's renowned poetry.
Anthea Hamilton at the Thomas Dane Gallery
London's Thomas Dane Gallery has invited artist Anthea Hamilton to carry out an extension of a project the artist has recently done at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp. Hamilton has brought together the work of several artists from the gallery's cast, plus three not represented by Thomas Dane, for an eclectic and energetic display. The result was large works of giant pumpkins that stretch over a checkered floor patterned in shades of black, blue and white. Elsewhere are works by Lynda Benglis, Amy Sillman, Barbara Kasten, Hurvin Anderson, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Alexandre da Cunha, Barbara Kasten, and more. The stand has already won the Frieze Stand Award.
Bruno Zhu in VI, VII
A hanging sculpture by Portuguese artist Bruno Zhu depicting a silk version of a relógio Patek Philippe proved to be one of the most popular works at the fair. O relógio in question once belonged to the artist's mother. Presented here in a bright shade of pastel lavender, the relógio now explores notions of masculinity and how these are conveyed by objects. Zhu inverted the elements of relógio: instead of the hands turning clockwise, here they turn counterclockwise.
Mahmoud Khaled in Gypsum
At Gypsum's stand is an elegant leather bed, complete with a harness that divides it, courtesy of Berlin-based artist Mahmoud Khaled. Entitled For Those Who Cannot Sleep, the work is a monument, in a way, to insomnia, presenting the absence of a person who was probably struggling to sleep in bed. In Khaled's hands, these monuments become a metaphor for those who have been displaced, discarded or exiled, whether from their home countries for political reasons, or by their families because of their queer identities.
Virginia Jaramillo at the Pace Gallery
Hidden in the booth at Galeria Pace is a stunning new work by Virginia Jaramillo. Titled East of the Sun/Deep Field, this abstraction features a predominantly blue and black canvas that is cut off in the lower third by a sharp yellow line; on the left are two arcs, in red and another orange, that point to the solar image referenced in the title of the work. Interestingly, the work hangs next to a horizontal abstraction by Kenneth Noland. The two artists were contemporaries, and their work has been together in artist Peter Bradley's groundbreaking 1971 exhibition, "The DeLuxe Show", considered the first racially integrated art exhibition in the US.