AF: The new Collections section at Frieze Masters, curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal, is a particularly interesting addition this year, offering a selection of work previously unseen at Masters—like Egyptian carvings and Paleolithic stones. What drove its development?
VS: We have a lot of curated sections at our fairs, but they’re often focused on young or emerging art. I was keen to introduce a curated section for historical art, but it couldn’t be a solo presentation of an Old Master because no one has that amount of work by one artist. We also wanted to show people the different ways that you can collect. It doesn’t have to be paintings, and it doesn’t have to be sculpture. These are exquisite collections that dealers have put together themselves. And often it’s their private passion rather than their business. For example, Daniel Blau typically deals in photography, but in Collections, he’s showing his personal collection of fish hooks from the Pacific Islands, some of which are thousands of years old. They’re incredibly beautiful. It really adds to the diversity of work that you find in the fair and opens perspectives of what you can collect.
Norman was an obvious choice when we thought of who to work with: he has such broad interests and is quite good at convincing people to do things. His vision for the section is eight presentations that could each be the beginning of a museum exhibition. It’s a different kind of discovery on offer there. Even though most of the work on view was made hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, most people won’t have come across it before. There will be something to learn, talk to dealers about, and maybe start collecting.