Wednesday 4th October

| BY Finn Blythe

10 Magazine’s Guide To Frieze 2017


Just when you thought you could catch a breather after a month of fashions – no, no – Frieze 2017 arrives in London tomorrow, which means you have about 23 hours to pretend that you know what you are talking about. Below’s a helping hand – a select of highlights from both this year’s fair and the London gallery scene at large. Don’t miss these…

Marilyn Minter: Sex Work – Baldwin Gallery, Regen Projects and Salon 94

New to Frieze for 2017, ‘Sex Work’ examines the exploits of female artists who have faced censorship and suppression due to the explicit nature of their works. We could have picked any of the eight women who make up the section, but we’re going with Marilyn Minter, the American artist whose oeuvre includes everything from racy film snapshots, painted in her signature enamel style, to erotically charged photographs depicting small details that are suggestive of so much more. A glistening, quivering lip, smudged make-up, you get the idea.

Thomas Ruff, ‘Photographs 1979-2017’ – Whitechapel Gallery

A true heavyweight in contemporary photography, the German artist is coming to the Whitechapel for his first major London retrospective. This will likely have been penned in to most people’s diaries, but anything of Thomas Ruff’s is worthy of a reminder. On show are his brilliantly candid passport photo ‘Porträts’ series, as well as his chilling ‘jpeg’ photographs – pixelated depictions of disasters and Mother nature at her most terrifying. A Frieze must.


Rachel Whiteread – Tate Britain

One of this country’s most esteemed artists and the first woman to win the Turner Prize back in 1993, there’s a lot to like about Rachel Whiteread. The same can be said of her work, which is melancholic, poignant, mournful and very beautiful all at the same time. She casts the inside of objects, most of which are domestic but by no means all. The underside of a bed on which her father spent his final days or the inside of a wardrobe she’d hide in as a child – they are familiar spaces to us all, imbued with her personal narrative, but equally capable of supporting our own, imagined ones.

BRONZE AGE c. 3500BC – AD2017 – Hauser & Wirth

People have been making things out of Bronze for a really long time. Be it skewering Wildebeest, crafting fertility figurines, or sculpting something beautiful to go into a gallery, whatever it is, chances are you can probably make it out of Bronze. In collaboration with Mary Beard, head of Classics at Cambridge University, Hauser & Wirth pay homage to this incredibly adaptable material that has helped direct the trajectory of human development whilst simultaneously mapping our creative exploits.


Lloyd Corporation – Carlos/Ishikawa 

Ever wondered what the vestiges of a liquidated Dagenham business might look like? Us too. Which is why we’ve particularly excited by this collaborative project, ‘Bankrupt. Bulk buy. Liquidation. Repossession’ by Lloyd Corporation. Re-cycling the shelving units from said Dagenham business, this sculptural work will examine the material culture of insolvency, administration, and ultimately, failure. It’s not the most cheerful on our list, but it’s sure to top up your appreciation of your current employment and life in general.

Anna Uddenburg – Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

Uddenburg’s work has just the right blend of poignance, cynicism and humour. Primarily a sculptor, her works often resemble a physical embodiment of memes, providing an exposure of the narcissistic, insecure and all those in between (us). Take, for example, her brilliant series of works from ‘Transit Mode – Abenteuer: Journey of Self-Discovery’, 2016. These croc-donning, yoga-pant-wearing mannequin sculptures armed with selfie-sticks, lie contorted in unspeakable poses and resemble just about everything wrong with 2017. Expect her to draw plenty of Instagrammers and for the irony to be lost on all of them.

SUPERFLEX – Tate Modern

Give them swings and they will come. This work by Danish trio SUPERFLEX looks a bit like the ‘pipes’ Windows screensaver, and there are swings. To swing on. *Insert swingers joke *. Taking place at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, and therefore free, this one’s for everyone – a nice allegory about the need for collective unity and co-operation. Aw.

Basquiat, ‘Boom For Real’ – Barbican

The toast of the New York art world throughout the eighties, Basquiat’s mythical and enigmatic status is cast aside in his first UK retrospective. From a young graffiti artist to one of most expensive paintings ever sold at auction, the show charts the bright yet fleeting light of Jean Michel Basquiat. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time, each one of his paintings demands a minimum ten minutes of attention to fully digest.


Seth Price, ‘Circa 1981’ – ICA

Someone had the genius idea to fill the ICA with all of Seth Price’s films. That idea belonged to the Institute’s Director Stefan Kalmár but the genius is Seth himself, whose anachronistic film pieces serve as early indicators of the perils of the digital age. He’s concerned with things like consumerism, re-distribution and the appropriation of information in a way that forces us to question what we see around us. If that explanation leaves you in need of further explanation, you won’t find one better than the show itself.

The Harrisons – Various Small Fires

I love indoor plants. I have a little succulent next to me. And indoor plants aren’t a million miles away from the practical thinking of The Harrisons’ brilliant work, ‘Survival Pieces’, which began in the 1970s and comes to London Frieze as a remade site specific piece, ‘Survival Piece #5: Portable Orchard’. The work reflects a carefully researched proposal for sustainable food production in a future of hostile climates and inevitable food shortages. Expect a post-Brexit lesson on how we’re going to have to start growing all our own veg.


Frieze Fair London is on in Regent’s Park from the 5th October to the 8th