Frieze London, which celebrates its tenth edition this year, showcases new work by over 1000 artists from all over the world selected by 175 of the most exciting international contemporary art galleries.
Participants this year include exhibitors from countries as far afield as Korea, Columbia, India and South Africa and yet, I spy with my artful eye, something beginning with B. British art is currently hot property and the work of several British artists both established and emerging feature on my best of British hit list.
The work of British artists Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst is well represented. Emin’s emotive and highly sexualised pieces are instantly recognisable as are Hirst’s spot paintings, medicine cabinet and quasi-ecclesiastical insect encrusted works exhibited by White Cube and Gagosian Gallery amongst others. East End Gallery Maureen Paley exhibits Turner Prize winning British artist Gillian Wearing’s indubitably unnerving series of self-portraits at twenty seven years old as well as ‘My Hand’, an eerily realistic sculptural replica of the artist’s upturned hand complete with multi-coloured painted finger nails.
Harland Miller’s truculently titled piece, ‘What’s All the Hubbub Bub?’ exhibited by Edinburgh based gallery, Ingleby, is one of my Frieze favourites. Also exhibited by Ingleby is the monumental, ‘Rose-Marie’, a totemic seeming structure made up of a stack of lit lampshades by Scottish artist Andrew Miller.
Matthew Marks Gallery exhibits fellow YBA Gary Hume’s placid purple portrait, ‘The Dryad’, while Frith Street Gallery exhibits ‘The Line of Fate’, by Tacita Dean (she of the Tate’s 2011 Turbine Hall commission), a linear sequence of five photographs which capture a peculiarly private, poignant, poetic and arrestingly aesthetic memory of the late art critic Leo Steinberg writing. Herald Street gallery exhibits an intriguing assortment of miniatures by British artist Matthew Darbyshire while Sadie Coles showcases terrifically titillating work by Emin’s chum and former YBA, Sarah Lucas alongside the work of 2012 Turner Prize finalist, Spartacus Chetwynd, whose endearingly idiosyncratic rendering, ‘Giotto’s Play’ is evidently allusive and yet wonderfully original.
Lisson Gallery exhibits star British sculptor Anish Kapoor’s ashen, volcanic seeming, and yet disconcertingly biomorphic concrete form alongside Ryan Gander’s playful ‘Sigh Cy Die, Bye Bye Cy, I Cry’, a piece which like much of his work seems to celebrate the redundancy of making art about art as an un-guilty pleasure. So, with plenty of brilliant British art on display, there’s no excuse not to get down to Regent’s Park this weekend.
Spotted at Frieze 2012:
Words by Nicola Baird