The art world descends on London next week for Frieze Art Fair
(13-16 October), the annual contemporary art jamboree that will see 170 galleries from around the world represented in a vast temporary pavilion in Regent’s Park.
This year's pavilion will have a new look designed by up-and-coming architects Carmody Groarke. Their structure will put art centre stage in a specially designed marquee with more exhibiting space than previous years, while new side pavilions between the trees will give visitors a chance to escape the hubbub of the main tent.
In the latest issue of RA Magazine, art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnson looks at the impact of Frieze
and tells us what’s on around town. Following on from that, here are five of my top picks for Frieze week:
Victoria Miro Gallery
California-based artist Doug Aitken is a nomad, finding inspiration for his mesmerising, immersive film installations as much in the streets of LA as in Bollywood Studios, Namibian deserts and the subterranean sounds of Brazil. He returns to the Victoria Miro gallery for the first time in eight years, taking over both floors of this vast warehouse space with a film piece featuring indie film star Chloë Sevigny, sculptures and light boxes that mix image, sound and words in potent ways. Unmissable.
12 October - 12 November 2011, 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW
Frieze Art Fair
Frieze Projects: Christian Jankowski
Even if you’re not in the market for art, the Frieze fair is a fantastic place to witness the art market at work and discover new art, thanks to the fair’s specially commissioned artist projects dotted around the fair and its sculpture park in Regent’s Park. I can't wait to see to a performance piece by irreverent German artist Christian Jankowski, whose recent video, 'Casting Jesus', created an X Factor-style talent show, where actors auditioned to play Jesus in front of a panel of judges from the Vatican.
At Frieze, Jankowski turns his eye to the machinations of the art market as he creates a kind of art stunt, at once fascinating and grotesque in its examination of how we attribute value to art and luxury goods. He is employing luxury boat dealer Luca to sell a yacht from a gallery stand. The Aquariva Cento boat, built by Ferretti, will be on sale for its usual price of €500,000 as a boat, while the same boat will sell for €625,000 if the artist puts his name on it and gives a special certificate. Potential clients - and fair visitors - can see the interior of the boat and hear descriptions of the yacht/artwork. The same deal is available on super yachts in the €65m-plus bracket. This gives a whole new dimension to the old 'but is it art?' debate.
13-16 October 2011
Frith Street Gallery
Anyone who loves painting – expressive, gestural, sensual painting - cannot fail to be struck by the work of Marlene Dumas. The South African-born, Amsterdam-based artist pushes the boundaries of what it is possible to paint, often depicting gruesome subjects, such as cadavers and pornography.
Now, in her first solo show in London since 2004, she has taken Christ’s words on the Cross as her starting point: ‘My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’, to explore questions about tragedy, lost love, falls from grace, betrayal of belief. She looks pain in the face in her images of The Crucifixion, as well as portraying infamous figures such as Osama Bin Laden – but she does so with such exquisite beauty that it is impossible to stop looking.
14 October – 26 November 2011, 17–18 Golden Square, London W1F 9JJ
Opening of White Cube Bermondsey
The opening of White Cube’s vast new gallery in Bermondsey is one of the main events of Frieze week. The gallery that spawned YBAs such as Damien Hirst and the Chapman brothers from a tiny white cube space and now has blue-chip galleries in Hoxton and St James’s is expanding its empire south of the River. Its mammoth new gallery opens from 12 October in a refurbished warehouse.
The vast space will turn the gallery into a kind of mini kunsthalle-cum-performance space, with an auditorium and a bookshop, as well as three exhibition galleries. One presents a show that uses Chinese scholars’ rocks as a device to reshuffle its pack of blue-chip contemporary artists, including Andreas Gursky, Gabriel Orozco, Robert Ryman, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Jeff Wall.
Another space will present new artists who haven’t been shown at White Cube before, and the third will stage special displays of gallery artists such as Cerith Wyn Evans and the Chapman brothers.
open from 12 October 2011, 144 -152 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ
Multiplied Contemporary Art Fair
Multiplied - the contemporary editions fair hosted by Christie's South Kensington - offers a potentially more affordable way to collect contemporary art. It features editions of all kinds, from original prints, to digital art, ceramics and sculptures. An international array of galleries show work from well-known names such as Michael Craig-Martin RA (right) to newcomers, such as Jack Featherstone, who has been commissioned to do a special artist's map of the fair. To celebrate its twin themes of multiplying and modernity, this year the fair has invited award-winning photographer Chris Floyd to create Wallpaper* Tweet Life,
a unique, Twitter-inspired artwork that will be featured on Wallpaper.com.
Intrigued by the way that social media has revolutionised the way we communicate, keen tweeter Floyd embarked on a year-long portrait project by meeting, engaging with and photographing a selection of the people he follows on Twitter, resulting in One Hundred and Forty Characters by Chris Floyd, which will go on exhibition at HOST Gallery in London in November. The 140 images of Chris’s Twitter friends include a number of well-known faces: singer Lily Allen, writer and broadcaster Caitlin Moran and internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales.
With almost 500,000 Twitter followers, Wallpaper* has decided to take the concept a step further and photograph its own followers during Multiplied. Wallpaper* and Chris Floyd’s pop-up photographic studio will be at the fair from 14-17 October, ready to take portraits of visitors, and a gallery of Wallpaper* Tweet Life pictures will be featured on Wallpaper.com after the event. Portraits will be taken on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability. The Wallpaper* Tweet Life pop-up studio will be open 11am-5pm each day.
14-17 October 2011, 85 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LD
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for more Frieze week coverage on the RA Magazine Blog.