The Booths Everyone's Talking about: Frieze Highlights 2015
What to see at Frieze Art Fair: read our insider's guide to navigate the scrum with aplomb
Impossibly beautiful galleristas, head honchos in crisp white shirts, haggard journalists and heiresses in real fur with plastic faces: it can only be Frieze.
Read our Frieze Primer here
Read our Guide to Frieze Talks here
Frieze London tips
Remember: it's quality over quantity. You really, really can't see everything; the layout's a maze and the whole thing is fairly exhausting. We've picked out the highlights below.
But first, some general tips:
1) Arrive as early as you can, before the crowds
2) Bring a coat for the sculpture garden and wear comfortable shoes, but also...
3) Dress to kill - it's a fashion parade
4) Take pictures - not just for Instagram, but so that you can remember what you saw
5) Head to the über cool ICA Frieze Bar afterwards
6) Don't get too drunk and spend all your money on a sculpture made of coat-hangers and chicken-bones, or a giant inflatable Felix the Cat
FRIEZE 2015 HIGHLIGHTS
LISSON, FRIEZE LONDON BOOTH
Ai Weiwei's gallery have put together a cracking booth at Frieze London, with works from Richard Long, Anish Kapoor and many others. The highlight, though is Iron Root, Ai Weiwei's enormous tree cast in Iron and pimped up with purple car paint. Ohhh how we want it...
HELLY NAHMAD, FRIEZE MASTERS BOOTH
Everyone is talking bout Helly Nahmad's Frieze Masters stand. The publicity-grabbing 2014 Frieze appearance was a hard act to follow; the gallery worked with a set designer to create a louche apartment of a collector.
This year's booth is even better; a recreation of the 1940s asylum that French writer and sculptor Debuffet was obsessed by. The walls are scrawled upon, there are horrible stains, and eerie music completes the effect. A tour de force.
HAUSER & WIRTH, FRIEZE LONDON BOOTH
Hauser and Wirth turn their attention to sculpture, putting forward pieces by Martin Creed and Phyllida Barlow among others. It’s work by Paul McCarthy, though, that’s raised the most eyebrows. Evidently not one for obfuscating titles, he offers a selection of work including Dick Eye: a bust that’s indecorous to say the least. Rendered in matt blue, the silicone sculpture is certainly crude. Whether gloriously so is a matter of debate.
PACE GALLERY, FRIEZE MASTERS BOOTH
PACE's Frieze Master's booth was filled with Alexander Calder, whetting our appetite for the Tate's major show later this year. We're shown some wonderfully vivid paintings, a single mobile and, thrillingly, a whole wall of his charming animal drawings.
MARIAN GOODMAN BOOTH
We loved Marian Goodman's Frieze London booth, which was wonderfully pastel in colour. The walls were taken up with beautiful minimalist works by Ettore Spalleti. In the centre of the booth, clay objects in rainbow colours were arranged on a platform, raised to eye level. We loved this installation, and could pick out bowls, cans and Nike Dunks from the assortment of clay forms.
The sculpture park was our favourite bit of the whole affair. Freed from the claustrophobic and overwhelming interior of the tents, the artworks are allowed to breathe. You wander through the park, dodging joggers, and are surprised by sculpture behind a corner, or hiding underneath a tree. Great fun.
Our favourites were Tony Cragg's Contradiction, a beautiful marble creation that started out looking like strata of stone, and ended up in big, cloud-y ripples. We also loved Jesse Wine's Let Me Entertain You, a stack of boulderesque, rusted gargoyle heads. The best of all, though, has to be Aaron Angell's Shoe Chew: a giant, metal version of the dog treat.
Don't miss the two silent 'Siamese Hair Twins' wandering around the Frieze London tent, courtesy of Brazilian artist Tunga. The artist staged the work in 1984 when it was documented in a series of eerie photographs showing the two girls in different settings with their long hair braided together.
This year's twins are not the original pair, and their conjoined hair dos are in fact wigs, but they make for a disquieting presence.
Victoria Siddall, the director of Frieze Fairs, said that it would probably go to a museum though any one can buy the piece, “but the twins are not included”. The buyer will be given a certificate and the rights to the work. Right...
KEN KAMAGIR PROJECT
It's a portrait sitting, but not as you know it. Artist Ken Kagami is the kind of man who never grew out of drawing phalluses. In just thirty seconds, the artist will ask your name, look at your face, and sketch your breasts or genitals. A rather brilliant p*ss-take of the whole affair, we think.