London’s Frieze has swung open its doors to commence the fall season. Now in its 15th year, Frieze London gathers no fewer than 160 galleries from 31 countries beneath its massive white tent in Regent’s Park. Programming ranges from the curated section “Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics,” presenting pioneering feminist artists of the 1970s and ’80s, to Focus, the future-generation gallery sector focusing on emerging artists, co-curated by SculptureCenter’s Ruba Katrib.
Meanwhile, a short stroll through the park’s majestic greens brings you to the sixth edition of Frieze Masters, where more than 130 galleries present work made before the year 2000—whether that’s Lynda Benglis’s 1974 Artforum centerfold or Dan Flavin’s first-ever fluorescent. Between both fairs, you’ll encounter over 1,000 artists spanning 6,000 years of art history. That’s a daunting array, so we’ve combed the aisles for you to bring you the 20 presentations you absolutely cannot miss.
Frieze London, Focus Section, Booth H4
With works by Than Hussein Clark
Installation view of VI, VII’s booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
You could easily mistake Oslo gallery VI, VII’s booth for a Parisian-style couture atelier—which, for all functional purposes, it is. London-based Than Hussein Clark’s latest installation invites collectors into a fitting room where they can be measured, by the artist himself, for his new line of bespoke luxury gowns, JEAN DESERT, which will be hand-sewn in Rome post-Frieze. (If you fancy a fitting, keep your wallet handy: Appointments are for confirmed purchases only and dresses are on offer for €10,000–15,000, or priced on request for more elaborate designs.) The artists has placed sculptural objects—fabric samples, lookbooks, a tailor’s mirror—around the fitting room to complete the scene.
Installation view of Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle’s booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
The latest edition of Thomas Ruff’s “Negatives” series, in which the German photographer prints historical sepia photographs in shades of cyan, forms the centerpiece of a fantastic solo booth by Galerie Rudiger Schöttle. Twenty-four photographs depicting Russian ballet legend Vaslav Nijinsky’s seminal 1912 ballet L’Après-midi d’un faune (Afternoon of a Faun) are on offer for €11,900 a pop (including tax), in the first public debut of this iteration of the series.
Frieze London, Main Section, Booth B1
With works by Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley
Installation view of Pilar Corrias Gallery’s booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
Props, set installations, and lightboxes by Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley are a teaser to the artist’s forthcoming film, In The Body of The Sturgeon, which takes place aboard a military submarine during World War II. The film tracks the lives of young male sailors aboard the ship (all played by Kelley) and the works throughout the booth reflect their experience. A set of three bunk beds is strewn with novels and decorated with drawings of pinup girls and charts of naval vessels. The booth is punctuated by smaller sculptures, too, like one made from a stack of painted-over objects—a can of torpedo fuel, work boots, and Carson McCullers’s 1940 novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.
Frieze London, Main Section, Booth C6
With works by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Giuseppe Penone, Cristina Iglesia, Leonor Antunes
Installation view of Marian Goodman Gallery’s booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
The crowds at Marian Goodman’s booth were drawn for a distinct, Instagrammable reason: Portuguese artist Leonor Antunes’s giant bronze backdrop (Mary, 2017) cascading down the booth’s back wall, which no fewer than three collectors were photographing when I stopped by. But do look down to find the booth’s greatest treasure. Spanish installation artist Cristina Iglesias has gouged a working fountain into the booth’s floor (Bajo La Superficie (Under the Surface), 2011), that’s well worth a quiet pause.
Installation view of Kamel Mennour’s booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
Make sure to seek out Alicja Kwade’s fantastic Frieze outdoor sculpture commission, Big Be-Hide (2017), on your walk through Regent’s Park. But inside the tent, there’s plenty more from the sought-after Polish artist. Kamel Mennour, with a prime location at the fair’s entrance, has mounted a solo presentation that includes three large-scale sculptures (on offer for between €80,000–€180,000). But don’t forget to also give the wall-mounted sculptures—adorned with the tiny brass hands of pocket watches, and priced at €42,000 apiece—a closer look.
Installation view of Richard Saltoun’s booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
2017 has been a difficult year for women, but it’s also seen the Women’s March, older female artists getting due market recognition, and female photographers continuing to reclaim the male gaze. It’s little surprise that Frieze would devote its special sector—last year given over to recreations of seminal ’90s exhibitions—to once-censored female artists who created sex-positive work in the ’70s and ’80s. Among them is Austrian feminist artist Renate Bertlmann, whose presentation comprises the joys of sexuality, including a series of sculptures (Desert, 1999) that see sex toys erupt from bulbous cacti. (Bertlmann was not only rejected by critics, but feminist artists, too, for her focus on the phallus.) Nearby, there’s a print of a Catholic-style holy card that takes a dildo as its centerpiece, with a wall-hung cash box below, already stuffed with euros, dollars, and pounds (those who donate get a small £1 print).
Frieze London, Main Section, Booth D10
With works by Louise Bourgeois, Henry Moore, Fausto Melotti
Installation view of Hauser & Wirth’s booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
Hauser & Wirth has long mastered the thematic Frieze London booth. In 2015, it was a chessboard-like labyrinth of sculptures on plinths through which visitors could weave their own adventure; in 2016, a fictional artist’s atelier was swarming with collectors—and their iPhones. In 2017, the gallery has nailed it again, spotlighting an all-bronze presentation purportedly pulled from a “forgotten museum.” Here we find all manner of objects: A knobbly, mutilated female torso by Louise Bourgeois (Femme, 2005) shares space with a mortar and pestle found on eBay and an old Roman coin. Realized in collaboration with University of Cambridge classics professor Mary Beard, the booth playfully puts quotidien objects, and artworks and artifacts loaned from museums and private collections, on the same level.
Galerie Emanuel Layr
Frieze London, Focus Section, Booth H22
With works by Lili Reynaud-Dewar
Installation view of Galerie Emanuel Layr’s booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
At the booth of the Vienna-based Galerie Emanuel Layr, mannequins by Lili Reynaud-Dewar wear silk dresses stamped with titles like “Activist Artist” and “Museum Staff”; one, lounging on the floor, is apparently a “Curator.” (Works on offer range between €8,000–€12,000.) The booth presents an updated version of the artist’s operatic performance at WIELS earlier this year, which raised timely and important questions about the interlocking roles of the artist, the audience, and the museum today.
Installation view of Goodman Gallery and Galerie Lelong & Co’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar was a teenager during the 1973 Chilean coup, when president Salvador Allende was famously overthrown by General Augusto Pinochet after bombs dropped on the presidential palace. The date was September 11, 1973, and most everything in the booth reflects how this particular date marked a profound moment in the artist’s life. The works include a series of modified calendars in which, after 9/11/1973, each day is labeled as the 11th; in another work (Faces, 1982), Jaar has enlarged faces clipped from press photos taken after the coup, humanizing the individuals otherwise lost in the crowd.
Installation view of Annely Juda Fine Art’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
In 1963, for an exhibition at Whitechapel, English sculptor Anthony Caro made the key decision to place his sculptures directly on the floor, marking a pivotal moment in 20th-century sculpture. At Annely Juda, a solo booth for the artist encapsulates this subtle revolution, and the wider development of the artist’s work, focusing on early figurative works on paper (€50,000 each) from 1954 and 1955, to his abstract sculptures of the ’60s and early ’70s (€110,000–€1.2 million).
Frieze Masters, Main Section, Booth B7
With works by Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Gilbert & George, Antony Gormley, Ilya Kabakov, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sigmar Polke, Robert Rauschenberg, David Salle, Emilio Vedova, Andy Warhol; and a collaborative work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, Andy Warhol
Installation view of Thaddaeus Ropac’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
Citydwellers may have noticed an increasing number of subway riders reading, or re-reading, George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 in the aftermath of the U.S. election (the titled spiked to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list in January). This curated booth takes the book’s titular year as its starting point, but the gallery’s intention is to refute the English novelist’s vision of a totalitarian, creativity-free era. In contrast, they present a swath of work by artists who were all working creatively around 1984—Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, and Georg Baselitz among them. The year also has particular significance in the U.K., since it marked the launch of the Turner Prize and the public’s growing appreciation for contemporary art.
Frieze London, Focus Section, Booth H9
With works by Evgeny Antufiev
Installation view of Emalin's booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze.
In the far-back corner of Focus, young Russian artist Evgeny Antufiev presents a lottery where every player wins. After walking through the solo booth’s mouth-shaped entryway, you’ll find a clear, hand-cranked lottery machine filled with small white envelopes. For €20, you can win anything from a crystal or a bronze mask to a full-size artwork—like one of Antufiev’s sculptures, crafted from bones, wood, and traditional Russian fabrics, which reflect a renewed interest in contemporary shamanic mysticism. I took the plunge and won a paper mask; moments later, collector and M Woods co-founder Michael Xufu Huang walked away with a purple crystal.
Frieze London, Sex Work Section, Booth S3
With works by Natalia LL
Installation view of Natalia Lach-Lachowicz, Velvet Terror, 1970, at Lokal_30’s booth at Frieze London, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
Like most artists in the Sex Work sector, the work of Natalia LL was initially subject to moral and political censorship, in this case when it debuted in 1960s and ’70s Poland. The gallery presents intimate black-and-white photographs of couples making love (€19,000 apiece); images of an angelic blonde sucking on her fingertips (€110,000 for the series of six); and a portrait of two women in an erotic embrace (€8,000). The artist’s 1971 solo exhibition “Intimate Photography”was shut down by Poland’s communist authorities within days; today, she’s celebrated as a feminist art pioneer and champion of female sexuality.
Frieze Masters, Main Section, Booth F11
With works by Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Ruth Asawa, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joseph Beuys, Alberto Burri, Joseph Cornell, Dan Flavin, Lucio Fontana, Donald Judd, Yayoi Kusama, Giorgio Morandi, Robert Rauschenberg, Bridget Riley, Richard Serra
Installation view of David Zwirner’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
Everyone at Frieze Masters is abuzz about Dan Flavin, whose first-ever fluorescent work, made in 1963, is on view here. It changed the course of the artist’s work—and influenced how his generation, and future ones, would think about sculpture. At the time, The diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi), 1963—a readymade incorporating lighting technology and utilizing the architecture of its surrounding space—was beyond groundbreaking. For today’s viewers, it offers a thrilling glimpse into the beginning of Flavin’s prolific body of work.
Frieze Masters, Collections Section, Booth G5
With works by Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Theodor Bogler, Otto Lindig, Wilhelm Wagenfeld
Installation view of Galerie Ulrich Fiedler’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
Since it launched in 2015, Frieze Masters’s Collections sector, featuring dealers selected by curator Sir Norman Rosenthal, has been an opportunity to discover true rarities of the fair—like Pacific Island fish hooks or an Egyptian cosmetic spoon from 14th-century B.C. This year, an exhibition of Bauhaus furniture by Berlin’s Ulrich Fiedler is not to be missed. The booth takes Walter Gropius’s 1938 Bauhaus exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art as inspiration; among the highlights are Hungarian-born modernist Marcel Breuer’s iconic Lattenstuhl armchair.
Frieze Masters, Main Section, Booth F6
With works by Lynda Benglis
Installation view of Cheim & Read and Thomas Dane’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
Twenty-two years of feminist pioneer Lynda Benglis’s nearly five-decade career get a spotlight in a joint booth by Thomas Dane Gallery and Cheim & Read, including her iconic Artforum self-portrait and a poured, glitter-covered sculpture, Hoofers II (1971–72). But the booth’s most interesting work is Night Sherbet A (1968), a garish, seminal installation made from DayGlo-colored foam. Like much of Benglis’s work, the sculpture is autobiographical: It recalls the oil slicks Benglis saw as a child in Louisiana, while boating with her father on the bayou.
Venus Over Manhattan
Frieze Masters, Spotlight Section, Booth H9
With works by John Dogg
Installation view of Venus Over Manhattan’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
As the story goes, in the mid-1980s, beloved New York dealer Colin de Land wanted to show work by Richard Prince—but the artist would only accept the offer if he could show under a pseudonym. And thus, “John Dogg” was born. Beneath this alias, Prince mounted solo exhibitions in 1986 and 1987 and produced a total of 23 works, six or seven of which have gone entirely missing after artist Ford Beckman’s art collection was seized by the IRS in 2002, said the gallery’s Zach Fischman. Save for a couple group shows, the remaining works haven’t been shown together in a presentation of this size since the 1980s. At Frieze Masters, they offer a fascinating peek into early Prince: sculptures made from tire cases, tires, and vinyl tire covers. The Dogg pieces were created around the same time that Prince was exhibiting car hoods under his own name, suggesting a generative period where the artist wasn’t afraid to freely experiment.
Frieze Masters, Main Section, Booth G2
With works by Peter Blake and various artists from his collection
Installation view of Waddington Custot’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
In 2014, Helly Nahmad unveiled a staged Parisian collector’s apartment at Frieze Masters, helping to kick off an art-fair trend of showing work in the context of its natural habitat: studios and homes. The results have been somewhat hit-or-miss, but Waddington Custot’s recreation of Peter Blake’s studio is most definitely a winner. The gallery has incorporated all aspects of the artist’s workspace—from his cutting table, to his books, potted plants, and personal art collection. Even Blake himself, 85, can be found milling about. The set-up includes a display of in-progress paintings by Blake, which share the space with for-sale works, on offer for between £20,000–£300,000. Collectors can contemplate their favorites while listening to selections from Blake’s record collections (he favors jazz).
Installation view of Gagosian’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
At Gagosian, a surprising pairing brings together work by Georg Baselitz and Roy Lichtenstein from the 1980s, when both artists were heavily experimenting. The presentation takes its lead from a 1989 exhibition at Museum Ludwig, “Bilderstreit,” in which artworks by the likes of Picasso, Donald Judd, and over 125 other artists were carefully arranged to create dialogue between divergent aesthetic styles. In that show, Baselitz and Lichtenstein were displayed in tandem—and here they’re together again, beautifully pitting the latter’s Pop art and the former’s expressive hand against each other.
Installation view of Pace’s booth at Frieze Masters, 2017. Photo by Tom Carter for Artsy.
“Our image of New York comes from Saul Steinberg,” said Pace president Marc Glimcher, amongst a solo booth filled with sculpture and works on paper by the late, legendary cartoonist and illustrator. Indeed, in the 1960s and ’70s, Steinberg’s cartoons—including his New Yorker commissions, particularly his famous 1976 cover View of the World from 9th Avenue—shaped how the world saw the city. At Frieze Masters, Pace pays tribute to the artist, beloved by Picasso and Calder alike, with work spanning his six-decade career. That includes a mixed-media collage on wood (Summer Table, 1981) which Glimcher says the artist made for his father. Across the booth, works on offer for between $40,000 and $200,000 are paired with objects brought from the late artist’s home—including his rug, coffee table, and a set of wicker chairs.