Impressions from the fair.
This year sees an excellent edition of Frieze Masters. The quality level of classical modern and contemporary art, which is on display at the fair, is able to compete with the TEFAF Modern section shown earlier this year.
There are some magnificent solo exhibitions at the fair. Marlborough Fine Art showed works by Frank Auerbach who currently has a large retrospective at Tate Britain. At Frieze Masters, the gallery gave a mini-preview of their upcoming Auerbach solo exhibition; a painting and a drawing of J.Y.M., (Julia Yardley Mills) one of Auerbach’s regular models until 1997. One of the reasons that made her good model was that she was capable of sustaining poses for many hours. Also on display was a selection of seven etchings including the one shown above.
More single artist booths were: Richard Hamilton (Alan Cristea gallery), Dewaine Valentine (Almine Rech) and semi-solo artist booths such as Richard Artschwager (Gagosian) and Egon Schiele (Richard Nagy).
Last year, the booth of Helly Nahmad attracted the most attention at Frieze Masters with an installation of an imaginary collector’s apartment, set in Paris in 1968. The art works that were for sale were displayed on the walls of the apartment, packed with furniture and books. The visitor was not able to view the works up close as they were not allowed to enter the installation. On the outer walls they were able to see duplicates of the works with descriptions.
This year, the viewer was able to see the works up close in another high-profile installation by Helly Nahmad, titled ‘The Asylum’, featuring works by Jean Dubuffet. The French artist became inspired by works created by patients of French and Swiss asylums. He coined the term ‘Art Brut’; denoting works by the untrained, those whose work possess a raw, direct energy. The stand displays a series of work by Dubuffet hanging on the walls facing a suite of rooms that resemble the clinics and sanatoria. For Dubuffet, real art was not a craft, but a release.
Written by Thierry Somers