It’s all change over at art fair mothership Frieze London, which opened yesterday to the press and well-heeled VIPs. The reconfigured layout designed by Universal Studios, takes up a bigger footprint in Regent’s Park, to accommodate the 162 galleries, that’s 12 up on last year. The spacious corridors make for a more relaxed viewing experience (and when you’re going to see thousands of art works, that’s what matters). So, once you’re in, where the hell do you start? Here are just a few exhibits not to miss.
There seems to be a concentration on interiors - whether that be artists recreating inhabited environments or architectural artifices. Konrad Fischer Galerie (A9) is exhibiting an eerie Gregor Schneider room, radiator and all, housed in a shipping container. Goshka Macuga has taken over London’s Kate McGarry’s (A4) stand with a tapestry rendering of a collectors home. The illusion then spills into real space with a table and chair set, if you fancy perching on Angela Merkel or Marcel Duchamp – another Macuga tapestry also features on Andrew Kreps (D11). Venezuelan-born Sol Calero has transformed Laura Bartlett Gallery (H3) into an exotic salon.
Psychedelia comes in many forms this year, whether it be Cory Arcangel’s Miley Cyrus inspired installation on Lisson Gallery stand (B5) or Steven Shearer and Lothar Hempel at Stuart Shave/Modern Art (E2). There are equally vibrant wool paintings by Jacin Giordano at Sultana (G25) in the ‘Focus’ section.
Ultramarine is the colour of 2014. Of course the don of blue, Yves Klein is present at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (A5) and following in his footsteps are Mark Flood at Peres Projects (G2), Ella Kruglyanskaya at Gavin Brown's enterprise (F9) and Chantal Joffe at Victoria Miro (B3).
While you’re up in the ‘Focus’ section make a beeline for Los Angeles gallery The Box (G3). Not only did one of our fave gallery’s from last year win this year’s Frieze London 2014 Stand Prize with their display of Barbara T Smith Xerox works, but right next to them is ‘Frieze Sounds’ listening station. It’s worth stopping to appreciate Keren Cytter, Cally Spooner and Hannah Weinberger’s audio interventions.
Throughout the fair there are a number of performance-based projects under the guise of the new ‘Live’ initiative. Call it the Marina Abramovic effect, but it’s intriguing how performance has a real voice among all the immobile work this year. Adam Linder’s dance and text medley at Silberkuppe (L5) creates a real-time critical expression of the fair, with a little help from an art writer.
With so much to see, you’ll be envious of Christoph Buchel’s ‘Sleeping Guard’ in Hauser & Wirth’s stand curated by artist Mark Wallinger. It's like a mad collector’s home, with walls lined with contemporary masterpieces – the lucky guard gets to have a snooze amid the mayhem.
And to make sure the kids are kept happy while mummy and daddy peruse the art, Gagosian Gallery (C3) has been turned into a colourful playground by Carsten Höller.
The biggest contemporary carnival in London’s art calendar hits its twelfth year in 2014. Last year's redesign and fewer galleries (still over 150) made for a better viewing experience and highlights included the daily-changing Frieze Projects performed and displayed on a Andreas Angelidakis bespoke structure, being able to climb inside American artist Jennifer Rubell’s ‘Portrait of the Artist’ on Stephen Friedman’s stand, picking up a bargain on the Allied Editions stand selling prints from London organisations like Chisenhale, ICA and Studio Voltaire, and taking in the solo presentations in the Frame section.
SEE ALL THE ART FAIRS HAPPENING LONDON www.timeout.com/london/art/art-fairs-in-london