Considered by the critics as a pseudo-exhibition, Frienze London is the common future for contemporary art for the artists, highlighting feminist artists and the alternative facts. It maintains its focus on the avant-garde of the modern artistic conversation.
London Regent Park receives for its 6th consecutive edition the Frieze Master. This event makes a call to galleries for a sample with artworks made before 2000, and even before, in a sort of temporary construction of camp tents. This exhibition will complement the London Frieze fair, whose beginnings come back in 2003, and will be dedicated to contemporary artists.
Both fairs reunite at least 300 galleries, showing an important part of their exhibited work in the crossroad of both of them: a critical dialogue and the market tendencies that make more difficult the distinction of what is new and old.
Girl Power and Radical Policies
Frieze London Fair gathers this year more than 160 galleries of 31 countries. Many of these galleries are already referents in the art world such as Gavin Browns Enterprise (New York) and Houser and Wirth (Zurich); others are emerging such as Instituto de Visión (Bogotá, Colombia) and Revolver Galería (Lima, Peru).
This event “is a key destination for the art world and an important international distribution center”, these are the remarks of the director of the event, Victoria, Siddall, who is satisfied about receiving the best galleries of the world.
The 15th edition has two special sections as protagonists that are dedicated to the work radical feminist artists and the analysis of art in times of alternative politics. Alison Gingeras was in charge of picking works of nine women who developed their work between 1970 and 1980 whose main thematic was an explicit sexual iconography, a fact that had them censored.
These artists never stopped creating, deepening, and theorizing about the conditions women endured, even if no museum accepted them, no artistic critic saw beyond the impact of the generally explicit and direct image. These facts kept them out of exhibitions and publications due to censorship.
The section called “Sex Work: Feminist art and radical politics” dedicates a space to nine women who for 50 years were slightly in the art world in order to survive. Also, there is also a space to those galleries that received their work and dared to show them in a time where neither feminist cultural movements nor their retrospectives did. The artists were the following:
Dorothy Lannone: American artist in Berlin. Her work is made of drawings, objects, films, and books with an important narrative and autobiographic mark about the exploration of love, sexuality, and beauty.
Betty Tompkins: Considered as one of the most radical due to the realism of her images and the clarity with which she recreated desire and sexual intercourse from a female point of view.
Mary Beth Edelson: the faire showed the Woman Rising series: a collection of photographs that the artists painted new identities based on nature, pop culture, or art history.
Natalia LL: her work Intimate Records reflects sex between lovers as an expression of a new female sexuality where women satisfaction was included.
Renate Bertlmann: she uses her body as an artistic means by tackling all sexuality, gender, and stereotype topics, which are the more usual of the topics present in her work.
Marilyn Minter: she was even rejected by Playboy. She has been an artist who has tackled the topic of pornography for decades as a means of desire and representation of sexuality with all its rites and tricks.
Judith Bernstein: her small and big topics have been a reliable and vast portrait of the circumstances and problems women live and endure in the society.
Penny Slinger: she uses her body as a creative base via photography, sculpture, narrative, and cinema. She breaks with the establishment in order to create her own equilibrium with sexuality, beauty, desire, and sex. She explores how women are seen in heir surroundings and how she sees herself.
Birgit Jürgenssen: she used all the ressources necessary to give a new identity to the elements with which she starts: the woman.
Regarding the alternative facts, many debates were promoted in order to analyze its impact in the art world, where creators such as Dominique González-Foerster, Nástio Mosquito, among others will be present.
The Avant-garde Of The 20th Century in Frieze Master
In its 6th edition, a varied offer with archeological pieces of more than 130 galleries was present. These were tribal art works, canvases of European masterpieces of the Renaissance and Illustration, and also in a space full of unexpected juxtapositions and new discoveries.
Galleries such as Hauser and Wirth reformulated itself in an old English museum thematic where you can find all sorts of artifacts, roman coins, Saxon bracelets, among others mixed with intelligence with contemporary and modern pieces.
PPOW had a more satisfactory sample with less clarity. They used a series of engravings that tracked the connection of the city with colonial exploitation and slavery. Furthermore, it aligned one of the digital installations, TeamLab’s “ethereal”, that was previously in London, as well as some psych-surrealist impressions of Loie Hollowell.
Ropac appealed supremacy with two works of Rauschenbers, two beautiful and grotesque works of Polke’s “Magical Lantern”, highlighting its attractive of Michael Werner.
Tate Modern’s Black Power
Tate Modern’s sample “the soul of a nation: art in the age of black power” was the first exhibition that influenced and highlighted the role black artists in the setting of art in America.
Some of the artists included are Rosenfeld Gallery, who presented themselves with a large variety of artists of the Tate sample working in the same time period. They made a big impact giving an important position of the works in the Tate exhibition, opening the space so collectors artworks that are normally not available.
Although the work is new for the British public, the sample boosted the dialogue among collectors. There was a visceral reaction of the work even before knowing the name of the artists, no matter if the artists were black because these are excellent artworks.
The Tate show was a point of inflexion in London Frieze for the first time this year, after a long time of participation. The exhibition was drawing a lot of attention to the artists and ideas that were not in the avant-garde of the fair.