Thursday’s VIP preview—a particularly important sales day for Frieze—was busy, with galleries reporting strong early demand. Though Frieze is a staple of the art world calendar, this year the fair comes amid a jam-packed schedule for art world denizens. Gallery Weekend Berlin wrapped up days ago, and the Venice Biennale opens next week, although fears that this would dampen sales at Frieze proved, at first blush, unwarranted. Changes to this year’s edition include the expansion of the now 31-gallery-strong Spotlight, a section dedicated to solo art-historical presentations of works by 20th-century artists. Frieze Projects, a selection of commissions curated by Cecilia Alemani, was also an early highlight—particularly a
work that saw
by Leonardo DiCaprio roaming the fair. It wasn’t all blue skies, however. Heavy rains in New York City forced the fair to close early on Friday; one Instagram video showed
Frieze traffic tire-deep in water.
03 The Turner Prize shortlist was announced Wednesday, and includes two artists over age 50 for the first time.
In March, Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson announced that the prize would be lifting its restriction on artists aged 50 and older, for the first time since 1991. This year’s nominees include 62-year-old
, alongside younger artists
(both in their forties). Both the Tanzania-born Himid and British-Jamaican Anderson engage directly with
in their work. The Turner Prize, which comes with an award of £25,000, is meant to honor emerging artists who had standout shows during the previous year. “Now that its reputation is so firmly established,” Farquharson told the New York Times
, “we want to acknowledge the fact that artists can experience a breakthrough in their work at any age.” The jury will announce a winner on December 5th.
04 Controversial Russian protest artist Pyotr Pavlensky has won political asylum in France, according to his lawyer.
Following allegations of sexual assault against Pavlensky and his partner, Oksana Shalygina, the pair fled Russia for France last year. The artist, who has spent time in prison for brazenly challenging Russian authorities through his provocative work, denies the charges. Both Pavlensky and Shalygina say they were detained at a Moscow airport on December 14, 2016, and questioned by authorities before being told that there were “more or less two possibilities: either go to a prison camp for 10 years... or leave Russia,” Pavlensky said. The pair opted for the latter, claiming political asylum in France, which was granted according to the artist’s lawyer. Both Pavlensky and French authorities declined to comment.
05 Turkey attempted to halt the Christie’s auction of a $14.4 million artifact last week, claiming it was looted.