Preview: Frieze 2017 in London

Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze

The Frieze Art Fair is taking place between the 5th and 8th of October in London. Julia takes a look at the program and parallel events

After seeing new beginnings in Berlin and tried-and-true operations in Basel, the Frieze Art Fair is focusing on one thing above all: more, more, more. The press release that was sent out in advance is a sprawling 21(!) pages long – it’s not for nothing that so many social media posts can be found under #friezeartweek. The core of Frieze remains the classic art fair: stands from more than 160 contemporary galleries from 31 countries, including heavyweights like Marian Goodman, Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, and David Zwirner. You’ll find Esther Schipper and Sprüth Magers from Berlin, the latter of which is re-opening its London space after extensive renovation works with a solo show by Gary Hume, and Gisela Capitain from Cologne.

There’s a new section for the first time this year which is primarily dedicated to female artists. The selection was compiled by independent curator Alison M. Gingeras and is entitled Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics. Ruba Katrib from the Sculpture Center in New York took care of the new talents in the Focus section. You can also find the Frieze Sculptures section on the grounds at Regent’s Park as well as historical works at Frieze Masters.

The director of fair, Victoria Siddall, is proud of the extensive program: “This year, Frieze Week follows our first ever summer opening of Frieze Sculpture, a free exhibition of monumental outdoor work in Regent’s Park. This is our strongest ever exhibition of Sculpture and this is mirrored in the exhibitor list for Frieze London which I am extremely proud of – the fair will feature the best galleries from all over the world, from the emerging to the established. Don’t miss (…) the talks program investigating art in an age of ‘alternative facts,’ curated by Ralph Rugoff. All of this makes Frieze a vital destination for the art world and an important hub for international galleries.”


The list of satellite sections reads like a wish list for the creative expansion of the brand’s essence: There is Frieze Live with performances, Frieze Projects with non-profit commissions, Frieze Film, Frieze Music, Frieze Tate Fund, the Frieze Art Fair Stand Prize, Frieze Focus Prize, and BMW Open Work – more about that later.

A visit to the satellite events running parallel to the main fair will be worthwhile: Johann König from Berlin is opening a new, 3,750 square meter space in Winchester House on Old Marylebone Road, artist Thomas Ruff has a solo exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, Jasper Johns is at the Royal Academy, and the Barbican Center is showing Jean-Michel Basquiat. The architects will get their fill on Friday, October 6th: A full-day conference will feature panel discussions including David Chipperfield.

Frieze got its start in 1991 with the founding of the art and culture magazine of the same name. Today the Frieze brand extends to the Frieze London art fair, which has taken place every October in Regent’s Park since 2003, Frieze New York since 2012, Frieze Masters, and the year-round course and discussion program Frieze Academy. The latest updates on Frieze London can be found via Instagram (@FriezeArtFair) here and #FriezeArtFair.

Frieze London 2017
1 Marylebone Rd, Marylebone
London NW1 4AQ
(Regent’s Park)
Opening hours: 5–8 October 2017, 12 – 7pm