Ten Things to Do at Frieze London 2021
Horah! Fashion and art lovers across the capital, Frieze London is back – isn’t she pretty? After a break during the pandemic, the annual art fair returns to Regent’s Park where 160 galleries from 40 countries will be taking part. Across the next five days, there are loads of going-ons to sink your teeth into – here’s 10 we recommend.
Online retailer MatchesFashion and Frieze Art Fair continue their ongoing collaboration by displaying several art installations through Frieze London and Frieze Masters. The partnership aims to celebrate the close connection between the worlds of art and fashion, and will feature several sculptures by floral artist Wagner in different forms. Tony’s Chocolonely will also be part of the collaboration, offering complimentary bars of chocolate to visitors, available to collect at all the MatchesFashion locations at both fairs. Each bar will be wrapped in an exclusive selection of signature Matches marble prints and marked with an individual number printed on a golden ticket. Using the golden ticket, guests will have the chance to enter a prize draw and join conversations, installations and masterclasses throughout the week at Matches’ townhouse, 5 Carlos Place.
The events start tomorrow with a conversation between the e-tailer, Alberta Whittle and X Muse vodkas. On Friday, October 15, eight winners will be able to join floral artist Wagner for drinks and a creative masterclass, while on Sunday, October 17, there will the possibility of having lunch with Phoebe Saatchi Yates, Arthur Yates and artist Benjamin Spiers. Fancy yourself lucky? Francesca Ciavarella
Over at Walkers Court, Zilver has installed a pop-up space named Do Disrupt, which will focus on the brand’s promotion of social responsibility and more sustainable habits. Working with curator Mehdi Dakhli and introducing Zilver’s first sustainable lifestyle collaboration with London-based designer Tino Seubert as well as four developing artists – Marc-Aurele Debut, Andreas Greiner, Armin Keplinger and Giuseppe Lo Schiavo – the exhibition will explore fields such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and Zilver’s latest collection: Leo part II. FC
Dover Street Market
As with every Frieze, Dover Street Market is hosting a range of collaborations and special projects for your viewing (and spending) pleasure, Comme des Garçons has teamed up with KAWS for the artist’s very first scent, described as a musky, floral scent. Alongside this, Kiko Kostadinov will drop a collaborative zine with Asics – renovating the ongoing collaboration between the two labels – and Supriya Lele will be selling her collaborative photography book made with Jamie Hawkesworth which was shot across India. FC
Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace
Also dropping at Dover Street Market is Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, the Idea-published book that tells the story of the best roller rink to hit LA. Want to know more? Read our interview with Liberty Ross, renowned model and the daughter of Flipper’s founder, Ian “Flipper” Ross, here.Paul Toner
Saturday morning of Frieze Art Week will be marked by a performance by Tosh Basco. The artist made a name for herself while performing through the underground drag scene under the moniker boychild in San Francisco. Titled No Sky, the day-long performance will take place at the Serpentine Pavilion, and will explore the body as a time travel machine, reinforced by ritualistic meditation. Nino Sichinava
Wagner floral arrangement, courtesy of MatchesFashion
Cork Street Galleries
Over at Cork Street Galleries, you can catch Gina Fischli’s banners and the Electronic Hydra Prelude augmented reality exhibition by Julie Curtiss, Koo Jeong A, Precious Okoyomon and Tomás Saraceno. For her Ravenous and Predatory exhibition, Fischli collected animal imagery from different platforms. Gina Fischli is the first artist to be invited to take up the public art commission and has created a site-specific installation. Electronic Hydra Prelude is a free outdoor exhibition that is invisible to the naked eye. The artworks require to be discovered and engaged with by the public. Along Cork Street, trigger point stickers will be located, where visitors will be able to interact with artworks using smartphones. NS
Dries Van Noten
Also happening as part of the Frieze Masters Talks is a conversation between Belgian painter Michaël Borremans and Paris Fashion Week mainstay Dries Van Noten, taking place Saturday, Oct 16. Paul Toner
The London-based label’s womenswear designers Laura and Deanna Fanning will be joined by the label’s founder in a conversation with Eric Mack and Haley Wollens about Kiko Kostadinov’s ongoing intersection of art and fashion withiin its collections, collaborations and fashion presentations. PT
Marian Goodman Gallery
Especially for Frieze, the Marian Goodman Gallery will be showing an unseen body of work by South African artist William Kentridge, made between 1985-1991, including Kentridge’s first charcoal-and-collage animation film. PT
Kiko Kostadinov SS22 by Chris Yates
The Gaze at TJ Boulting
Would you look at that? 10 family member Louis Wise has only gone and curated his own exhibition. Titled The Gaze, the exhibition is on till November 20 at TJ Boulting and is bound to be the naughtiest thing you see at Frieze – featuring everyone from Alex Foxton to Sunil Gupta. What to expect? Take it away, Louis. PT
In short, what’s The Gaze about?
“The Gaze is inspired by a famous picture in the National Gallery – The Tailor, by Giovanni Battista Moroni. It’s a mysterious portrait of a Renaissance guy and frankly, he’s hot. I have a poster of him above my desk, and I often call him “My Dream Boyfriend”. (I’m only half-joking.) Anyway, the show uses his particular dreamy gaze to explore the act of looking – which can be sexy, aggressive, surprising, political. It has a queer perspective, because men looking at men has its own strange and fraught history, and frankly it’s long been a preoccupation of mine. Yes, The Gaze is a pun.”
What makes it the naughtiest exhibition we’ll get to see at Frieze?
“The fact that I’ve curated it! L-O-L. And the fact that it’s engaging so frankly with the viewer – with their desires. I feel like there’s a lot of great gay/queer art out there, but sometimes it can be a bit twee and fey and sentimental. That has its place, but I kind of wanted to emphasise the ‘sex’ bit in ‘sexuality’. It isn’t a parade of Chippendales, to be clear – there are all kinds of gazes for all kinds of moods, just as there are all kinds of ways of getting it on. But my aim is that you’ll come away from the show with at least one crush.”
How did you go about picking the works to feature in the exhibition?
“Some of the people I’ve loved for ages, some I’ve interviewed too, some I came across much more recently. It was a small but potent idea and it expanded in a very short amount of time. It feels rude to pick out favourites – so many great artists here, across so many styles and cultures. I guess I should flag up two artists who are old friends, Prem Sahib and Kate Merry, each of whom have “got” my gazing in different ways. But I really want to highlight the mix of rough and smooth – from something as elegant as a gorgeously-coloured Alex Foxton painting made just a few years ago, to as downright dirty as Sunil Gupta’s cruising photos on Christopher Street in the 1970s. I’m very open-minded.
Why should we be making our way down to see the exhibition this weekend?
“Because you’ve been starved of so much contact for 18 months, and you need some eye-on-eye action, m8! Also, we’re near lots of shops and bars. To paraphrase Kelly Rowland, ‘I do NOT want you to feel your legs’!”
Top artwork: Sunil Gupta “Untitled #10” from the series ‘Christopher Street’ 1976/2019, courtesy Hales Gallery.
Frieze London takes place October 13-17. See the full calander here.