Minneapois Institute of Arts
New Pictures at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

London: Frieze Art Fair

Posted Oct 21, 2010

Kelly, an intern with the department of photography and new media, is currently studying design in London. She will keep us updated with reviews, first hand reports, and gallery events. Keep an eye out for more of her posts from the other side of the Atlantic!

Greetings from London! I have strolled through Regent’s Park countless times and its beauty always amazes me. However, I have never been as “wowed” by Regent’s Park as when it was full with thousands of spectators, curators, art dealers, and artists at the eighth annual Frieze Art Fair. This international art fair brings together art connoisseurs and lovers from all over the world to view works of both established and upcoming artists.  It was a pleasure to be at the center of this.  Word on the street was that the event did not match up to past years, but as a first time visitor I was impressed by the scale and spectacle of it all. Rows upon rows of contemporary galleries were represented. Each showed their best work, hoping to gain attention for their artists and from art buyers. It was fascinating to observe the friendly dynamic between the gallery representatives and patrons. Though the art world is a serious and expensive business, I observed an excited energy, glow in all eyes, and a light, chatty atmosphere. I did not see a frown in the building (well, tent)! One piece that made me particularly happy was Sam Durant’s work, Let’s Behave Like Americans.  It was made up of a large horizontal mirror, spray-painted with the titled words. As people walked by, it was easy to identify fellow Americans. We all gave a little chuckle and knowing looks as if in a secret club. Additionally, I enjoyed two photographs by Yang Fudong’s from the series Ms. Huang at the M last night.  They are large prints that speak of a luxurious night out, focused on a beautiful Chinese woman surrounded by alcohol and men. The subject would suit the “Embarrassment of Riches” exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Overall, it was thrilling to see so much great art under one temporary roof. I highly suggest making it to the vibrant city of London and the Frieze Art Fair next year.