Art Market

The 15 Best Booths at Frieze London and Frieze Masters Online

Benjamin Sutton
Oct 8, 2020 6:15PM

Denzil Forrester, installation view in Stephen Friedman Gallery’s booth at Frieze London 2020. © Denzil Forrester. Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery.

Even the largest art fair tent would have difficulty accommodating booths for over 250 galleries. However, the silver lining—of sorts—to all the major art fairs going virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic is that spatial considerations no longer apply. While visitors to this month’s Frieze London and Frieze Masters fairs won’t be able to plop down for a break on a bench in verdant Regent’s Park as they trudge from one tent to the other, they will be able to navigate the Frieze Viewing Room platform to their hearts’ content without breaking a sweat.

The online platform for the fairs opened to VIPs yesterday and opens to the public tomorrow, running through October 16th. The offerings are typically wide-ranging: from millennia-old objects being offered by antiquities dealers at Frieze Masters to works made by emerging artists during lockdown on offer in many Frieze London virtual booths. Some galleries have opted for thematic or conceptual presentations, while others have indulged the time-honored tradition of bringing a little bit of everything. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the standout presentations are often those showcasing one or two artists, or curated around a very clear and compelling motif. Here, we take a look at some of the fairs’ must-click booths.

Victoria Miro

Frieze London, Main Section

With works by María Berrío, Chantal Joffe, Yayoi Kusama, Alice Neel, Celia Paul, Paula Rego, Adriana Varejão, and Francesca Woodman

Alice Neel, My Mother, 1952. © The Estate of Alice Neel. Courtesy of the Estate of Alice Neel and Victoria Miro.

Yayoi Kusama, AND LOVE IS FOREVER, SO I SAY IN MY SELF-PORTRAIT, 2009. © Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy of the artist, Ota Fine Arts, and Victoria Miro.


The venerable London gallerist Victoria Miro has curated a beautiful virtual presentation focused on depictions of women, all done by female artists. “These are all powerful women artists who are inspiring to me,” Miro said. “They all have an uncompromising vision and unwavering emotional and psychological intelligence, which I think shines through in the works I have selected for Frieze London.”

Some are traditional portraits, like a pair of paintings Alice Neel did of her mother in 1930 and 1952 (and priced at $600,000 and $1.2 million, respectively) or a self-portrait by the Brazilian master Adriana Varejão that pays homage to Agnes Martin and sold on the first day of the fair preview. Others are more wistful, like a 2009 Yayoi Kusama self-portrait of sorts (priced at $750,000) featuring her profile repeated across a canvas dozens of times, or a trio of enigmatic photographs by the late Francesca Woodman (priced at $6,500 each). The works range from exacting to irreverent, but in each image, there’s a palpable sense of connection between subject and viewer.

Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel

Frieze London, Main Section

With works by Efrain Almeida, Leda Catunda, Jac Leirner, Rodrigo Matheus, Rivane Neuenschwander, Gokula Stoffel, Janaina Tschäpe, Yuli Yamagata, Iran do Espírito Santo, Simon Evans™, Sergej Jensen, Ivens Machado, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ernesto Neto, Adriana Varejão, Erika Verzutti, and Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca

Installation view of Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel’s booth at Frieze London 2020. Photo by Vicente de Mello. Courtesy of Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel.

The Rio de Janeiro– and São Paulo–based gallery Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel unquestionably has its finger on the pulse, which makes its presentation for this booth—titled “Pulse”—all the more appropriate. The selection of works, which is concurrently on view in person at the gallery’s space in Rio, features a mix of works by Brazilian and international artists organized around themes of sensuality and eroticism. These themes sometimes manifest in monstrous ways, like a scene of sexual violence between humanoid animals in a work by Rivane Neuenschwander that sold during the first day of the preview; or it can be seen in playful, spare ways, like Jac Leirner’s Kissƨƨiꓘ (2020), a collage of paper bags (priced at $45,000) that evokes intimacy with an economy of means that would make Constantin Brâncuși envious. Another standout work is You Are Seeing Things (2016)—a short film that’s part documentary, part fictional, but very much rooted in Recife, Brazil’s brega music scene—by Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, who made a splash last year as Brazil’s representatives at the Venice Biennale. The 16-minute video is priced at $25,000.

Goodman Gallery

Frieze London, Main Section

With works by David Koloane, Kapwani Kiwanga, William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Alfredo Jaar, Grada Kilomba,Tabita Rezaire, Naama Tsabar, Jabulani Dhlamini, Shirin Neshat, Carlos Garaicoa, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Sue Williamson, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Ghada Amer, Sam Nhlengethwa, and Mateo López

Installation view of Goodman Gallery’s booth at Frieze London 2020. Photo by Alexander James Edwards. Courtesy of Goodman Gallery.

The storied South African gallery Goodman opened a London outpost last year in time for Frieze, and this year, it is turning heads again with one of the fair’s most powerful booths. The gallery’s presentation features works by artists deeply engaged in the politics of their particular time and place. Often, this takes the form of works that have a taxonomy-like or indexical quality, as seen in William Kentridge’s set of 40 bronze sculptures, Cursive (2020), priced at $600,000.

“The pandemic has often been experienced as a disembodied fixation with counting the numbers: infections and deaths,” said Jo Stella-Sawicka, director of Goodman Gallery London. “Similarly, the recent global #BLM movement has challenged the very categories upon which Western hegemony has been built. The taxonomy becomes then a way to not only critique these histories of ordering the world, but also suggest ways of ordering the world otherwise.”

These tendencies also manifest, for instance in a work by Alfredo Jaar (priced at $150,000) and a painting by Sam Nhlengethwa (priced at $18,000), in startling images dealing with the dangers and inequalities of the mining industry, but also in more allegorical works like Grada Kilomba’s arresting two-channel video installation Illusions Vol. III, Antigone (2019), which is priced at €42,000 ($49,000). Occasionally, the featured artists approach their difficult subjects through humor, as in Kiluanji Kia Henda’s six-panel piece Migrants Who Don’t Give a Fuck (2019, priced at €25,000, or $29,000), which features the titular words printed atop images of that most conspicuous of migratory bird, the pink flamingo.

David Kordansky Gallery

Frieze London, Main Section

With works by Lauren Halsey

Lauren Halsey, detail of we want full and complete freedom (I), 2020. Photo by Allen Chen. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.

Lauren Halsey, installation view of land of the sunshine wherever we go, 2020. Photo by Allen Chen. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.

After a knockout debut solo show with David Kordansky Gallery at the beginning of the year, Lauren Halsey is back with more of her powerful works. Halsey’s pieces take formal cues from modernist abstraction, Egyptian hieroglyphics, pop culture, wig shops, and urban ephemera like stickers, flyers, and graffiti. The presentation includes recent examples of her carved gypsum panels, which meld seemingly ancient symbols with contemporary iconography, and her monumental works on foil-insulated foam, their surfaces ridged with inscribed messages and collaged with stickers and found objects. But the booth’s standout works may be the three riotous compositions made of synthetic hair extensions, which call to mind not only Stanley Whitney and David Hammons, but also pioneering fiber artists like Sheila Hicks and Claire Zeisler.

Kamel Mennour

Frieze London, Main Sector

With works by Tadashi Kawamata

Tadashi Kawamata, Tree hut in Tremblay n°54, 2020. © Tadashi Kawamata. Photo by archives kamel mennour. Courtesy of the artist and kamel mennour, Paris/London.

Tadashi Kawamata, Site plan study n°15, 2017. © Tadashi Kawamata. Photo by archives kamel mennour. Courtesy of the artist and kamel mennour, Paris/London.

The Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata is best known for public art interventions whereby he builds makeshift wooden huts and forts in more or less improbable locations—say, near the top of the obelisk in Paris’s Place Vendôme, or clinging to a utility pole on the Messeplatz outside Art Basel in Basel. For its Frieze London presentation, Parisian powerhouse Kamel Mennour has gathered a trove of studies and maquettes—priced between €9,000 and €120,000 (or about $10,600 and $141,000)—showing, in miniature, Kawamata’s various exploits in vernacular architecture.

“We have decided to present a curated viewing room bringing Tadashi Kawamata’s outstanding projects to the fore,” said gallerist Kamel Mennour. “Our wish was also to show the artist’s creative journey from his first participation at Documenta in 1987 to his recent series of ‘Destruction’ and ‘Tree Huts,’ leading to his current recognition on the international scene.”

Galeria Nara Roesler

Frieze London, Main Sector

With works by Brígida Baltar

Brígida Baltar, installation view in Galeria Nara Roesler’s booth at Frieze London 2020. Photo by Erika Mayumi. Courtesy of Galeria Nara Roesler.

In the mid-1990s, Brazilian conceptual artist Brígida Baltar began making a series of works that now feel uniquely attuned to the current trend of domestic tinkering brought on by prolonged work-from-home situations. “Her practice draws from a sensitive and universal approach, often through intimate, small-scale artworks,” said Daniel Roesler, a partner at the gallery. “Baltar is able to navigate between the intimacy of the home, the idea of shelter coming to reach a universal perspective around the body, and its relationship with nature. Since the 1990s she has been exploring these timeless concepts consistently and they might be even more relevant today than they were then.”

Galeria Nara Roesler’s presentation foregrounds a selection of these works that Baltar made by excavating bricks from the walls of her home. In the action documented in Abrigo (Shelter, 1996, priced at $25,000), this involved digging an alcove that exactly matched her silhouette. In another piece, Venus (1995, $12,000), Baltar transformed bricks removed from her wall into a sculpture of a female silhouette. The more recent works on view include Baltar’s work in textiles (priced between $7,000 and $22,000), which often use fabric as a metaphor for human flesh, and ceramic and bronze sculptures (priced between $10,000 and $40,000) that, beyond their formal grace, have deep autobiographical significance.

Cooper Cole

Frieze London, Focus Section

With works by Tau Lewis and Brie Ruais

Brie Ruais, Turning Inward 3, 2, 1, 128 lbs, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Cooper Cole.

Tau Lewis, Sword of War, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Cooper Cole.

Toronto gallery Cooper Cole has opted for an impactful two-artist, six-work presentation that highlights formal and thematic parallels between Tau Lewis’s textile assemblages and Brie Ruais’s ceramic starbursts. In her latest pieces, Lewis eschews her freestanding figures for wall-based works that represent stylized figures of motherhood, rendered in contrasting hues of hand-sewn leather. Two of Lewis’s pieces have a mandala-like shape that matches the pair of works by Ruais on display. Ruais created the pieces by pressing her body into blocks of clay. The resulting compositions, carved with numbers from 1 to 12, glazed, and arranged around a central void, become clock-like records of the time and labor that went into their making.

“Through their respective processes, these artists imbue their sculptures with agency that travels with the works; they believe them to be bodies unto themselves,” said Simon Cole, the gallery’s founder and director. “This presentation reflects on Lewis and Ruais’s common concerns with materials, the narratives they carry, and their transformative potentials.”

Green Art Gallery

Frieze London, Focus Section

With works by Kamrooz Aram and Ana Mazzei

Ana Mazzei, Anjos I, 2019. Photo by José Pelegrini. Courtesy of the artist and Green Art Gallery, Dubai.

Kamrooz Aram, Backdrop to Distant Cities, 2020. Photo by Jeffrey Sturges. Courtesy of the artist and Green Art Gallery, Dubai.

Dubai’s Green Art Gallery has paired paintings by the Iranian-born, New York–based artist Kamrooz Aram with sculptural groupings by the Brazilian, São Paulo–based artist Ana Mazzei. While the artists draw on very different histories and contexts, the formal echoes between their works—both of which feature crowd-like groupings of geometric but vaguely anthropomorphic shapes—makes for a winning combination. “Both artists use the language of modernism to translate their ideas to the public,” said Green Art Gallery’s director, Yasmin Atassi. “While Kamrooz Aram’s art practice focuses on [the] complicated relationship between Western modernism and ornament, Ana Mazzei takes a [looser] approach on the legacy of Brazil’s late modernist movements and fully embraces the notion of theatricality and spectatorship in her works.”

In his colorful mixed-media paintings (priced between $22,000 and $42,000), Aram takes up abstract ornamental patterns that were historically dismissed as less significant than “fine art” in the Eurocentric canon. Mazzei, meanwhile, melds traces of Brazil’s Concrete and Neo-Concrete modernist movements with elements of earlier avant-garde groups that strived for a utopian integration of art, design, dance, theater, and everyday life. Her groups of wooden objects—priced between $22,000 and $25,000—alternatively evoke human silhouettes, design objects, ritual artifacts, empty frames, and tools with mysterious military or agricultural applications.

Galerie Tanja Wagner

Frieze London, Focus Section

With works by Grit Richter and Kapwani Kiwanga

Grit Richter, The Long Breath Out, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Tanja Wagner.

Kapwani Kiwanga, Seed Bank, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Tanja Wagner.

Berlin-based Galerie Tanja Wagner has brought together work by the German painter and sculptor Grit Richter and the Canadian conceptual artist Kapwani Kiwanga. While there are few thematic resonances between their works, formally they’re complimentary. “Even though Grit Richter and Kapwani Kiwanga’s artistic approach and use of material is completely different, they both create relations through history and memory that help us to reflect and connect on a personal and universal level,” gallerist Tanja Wagner said.

Richter executes some of her paintings on stretched and partially bleached black denim, on which she then paints her ambiguously anthropomorphic figures in dazzling, gradient hues. In addition to her paintings—priced between €12,000 and €19,500 ($14,000 and about $23,000)—the gallery is showing a series of recent sculptures made since lockdown titled “Fatigue Mom” that resemble sentient (and exhausted) mattresses. The sculptures are priced at €16,000 and €18,000 (nearly $19,000 and over $21,000).

Kiwanga’s sculptures and prints, meanwhile, use the formal language of abstraction to address histories of racism, surveillance, and control. Works on view incorporate two-way mirrors, texts from a 1961 Green Book that helped African Americans navigate the United States while (hopefully) avoiding racist violence, and the bouquets featured at ceremonies commemorating African nations’ independence from colonial invaders. Her most recent work in the booth, Seed Bank (2020), references the roles of enslaved women in the U.S. cotton industry. The intricate hanging textile and ceramic work is priced at €25,000 ($29,000).

Soft Opening

Frieze London, Focus Sector

With works by Tenant of Culture and Stephen Polatch

Tenant of Culture, Flash s/s (Series), 2020. Photo by Theo Christelis. Courtesy of the artist and Soft Opening, London.

Stephen Polatch, Cyclist and Snake, 2020. Photo by Theo Christelis. Courtesy of the artist and Soft Opening, London.

London gallery Soft Opening is showing sculptures by the Dutch artist Hendrickje Schimmel, who goes by Tenant of Culture, and British painter Stephen Polatch. The works have few formal or thematic correspondences, but they play off each other improbably well. “There is definitely an unexpected unity to be found in their formal consideration of medium or material,” said Soft Opening’s director, Antonia Marsh. “Both artists create an image or object from separate fragments—Stephen Polatch uses deftly positioned dabs of bright color to create dreamlike folkloric visions, while Tenant of Culture uses scraps of fabric or deconstructed garments to build sculptural assemblages.”

Tenant of Culture’s sculptures are made from disassembled pieces of mass-produced clothing and accessories that she strings and fuses back together into Frankensteinian creations, which are priced between €3,000 and €4,800 ($3,500 and $5,600). Polatch’s intimately scaled egg tempera paintings depict mysterious scenes peopled with seemingly mythical figures and ominous animals, and are priced at €1,200 and €1,400 ($1,400 and $1,600). Tenant of Culture’s works dissect the stuff of everyday consumer capitalism, while Polatch offers up inscrutable allegories that hark back to the Symbolists and Surrealists. The combination makes for a one-two punch of poignant dissection and escapist intrigue.

ACA Galleries

Frieze Masters, Main Sector

With works by Faith Ringgold, Ad Reinhardt, Jacob Lawrence, and Robert Gwathmey

Installation view of ACA Galleries’s booth at Frieze London 2020. Courtesy of ACA Galleries.

Faith Ringgold’s iconic work has long drawn upon a wealth of influences, from historical African artifacts to European modernism. At Frieze Masters, New York’s ACA Galleries has brought together her works and examples of those influences. The presentation features works by Ringgold spanning the 1960s to 2000 including tapestries, paintings, collages, prints, and mask sculptures (priced between $40,000 and $325,000). Also on view are pieces of hard-edged abstraction by Ad Reinhardt, paintings by Jacob Lawrence and Robert Gwathmey, and Tibetan thangka paintings and masks from the Ivory Coast and Cameroon.

“Although Ringgold has had over 200 exhibitions, there has never been one that examined her influences in the context of her artistic output,” said Mikaela Sardo Lamarche, ACA Galleries’s curator. “It was very important for us to put her work from the 1960s to the present in context so our viewers had the opportunity to discover her dialogue with the past and read about the artist’s process and history in her own words.”

Stephen Friedman Gallery

Frieze Masters, Main Sector

With works by Denzil Forrester

Denzil Forrester, installation view in Stephen Friedman Gallery’s booth at Frieze London 2020. © Denzil Forrester. Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery.

The focus of Stephen Friedman Gallery’s booth is a three-year period in the 1980s when Grenada-born British artist Denzil Forrester was at the British School in Rome. “His time in Rome in the early 1980s was formative, and encouraged him to fuse elements of Old Master iconography and the dynamism of Italian Futurism within his compositional arsenal,” said Mira Dimitrova, director of sales at Stephen Friedman Gallery. “Bringing together several of the works based on the gardens at Villa Borghese, our presentation underlines the influence on his work not only of the famed Italian light but also more generally the Italian cultural heritage that Forrester experienced there on a daily basis and then melded within his more usual subject matter stemming from his Caribbean and British background.”

The works from that stint are bold and dynamic renderings—not only of what Forrester saw in the eternal city, but also allegorical tableaux and ebullient nightclub scenes he’d witnessed back in London. In addition to Forrester’s large, riotously colorful paintings (priced between £100,000 and £500,000, or $129,000 and $645,000), the presentation features a suite of smaller works on paper from the period priced between £10,000 and £20,000 ($12,900 and $25,800).

Garth Greenan

Frieze Masters, Main Sector

With works by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, I See Red: Migration, 1995. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, I See Red: Pala Brave War Shirt, 1992. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.

In its solo booth of works by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, New York gallery Garth Greenan is showcasing works from the artist’s “I See Red” series. Created between 1992 and 1998, the large-scale works include painted and collaged elements, juxtaposing newspaper clippings and advertisements featuring racist imagery with gestural compositions that address—and often derisively satirize—stereotypes about Native American life and identity. The works are priced between £100,000 and £250,000 ($129,000 and $322,400); three sold within the first day of the fair preview. Earlier this year, a work from the “I See Red” series became the first painting by a Native American artist to be acquired by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

“For over four decades, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith has been creating work that is not only stunningly beautiful, but also politically relevant,” Garth Greenan said. “Finally, her paintings are enjoying a renaissance of interest. It is long overdue.”


Frieze Masters, Spotlight Sector

With works by Katalin Nádor

Katalin Nádor, Untitled, 1972. Courtesy of acb.

Katalin Nádor, Untitled, ca. 1970. Courtesy of acb.

Budapest’s Acb Gallery is showcasing the recently rediscovered work of Hungarian avant-garde photographer Katalin Nádor, who died in 2018 but left behind an incredible trove of largely abstract, monochrome compositions. In these images, priced between €2,300 and €7,000 ($2,700 and $8,200), Nádor trained her lens on patterns she isolated from their man-made or natural contexts—whether the wings of butterflies or grids of modern building façades—and turned into purely abstract forms. Informed primarily by her day job of 30 years as a museum photographer, the indelible images are also firmly within the lineage of European modernist photography and photograms.

“In her secret and quietly evolving artistic life, the photographer developed a poetically experimental artistic universe reflecting the visual heritage of abstract Hungarian photography,” said Acb’s co–artistic director, Róna Kopeczky, “especially the abstract and photogram-based visual investigations of György Kepes and László Moholy-Nagy—the spirit of the Bauhaus movement, deeply embedded in the cultural history of [her hometown of] Pécs, and the new constructivist, geometric endeavors of the local contemporary art scene.”

Frieze Masters, Spotlight Sector

With works by Ben Enwonwu

Ben Enwonwu, Untitled, ca. 1950. Courtesy of Kó.

Ben Enwonwu, Black Culture, 1986. Courtesy of Kó.

For its Frieze Masters presentation, Kó—a new gallery in Lagos founded by collector Kavita Chellaram—has brought together a trove of works by the revered Nigerian modernist Ben Enwonwu. The presentation of Enwonwu’s work spans 44 years and an array of media: from bronze and wood sculpture, priced between £30,000 and £300,000 ($39,000 and $387,000), to gouache and oil painting, priced between £30,000 and £220,000 ($39,000 and $284,000). Included in the booth are energetic compositions featuring dancers in celebratory scenes and allegorical figures, as well as his stylized and streamlined sculptures melding influences from traditional Nigerian sculpture and European modernism.

“The recent auction records in the past few years have spotlighted certain aspects of Enwonwu’s work, and once again re-ignited interest and recognition of his legacy,” Chellaram said. “For Frieze Masters, the gallery’s presentation spans the breadth of his practice to showcase how his works were in conversation with so many other modern art movements around the world.”

Benjamin Sutton