Frieze Masters is an art fair unlike no other. The fair is one of the world’s most influential contemporary art fairs, focusing only on contemporary art and living artists. This year it made a debut return in London and took place live inside Regent’s Park from the 13-17 October 2021.
The nature of the works on the show range from Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities through to Medieval and Renaissance sculpture; old Renaissance paintings luminaries of the 20th century tend to draw a calmer, more deliberate crowd.
With close to 160 galleries, the Frieze London 2021 art fair saw a lot of significant sell-outs.
For example, this year, “art dealer David Zwirner sold works by Ad Reinhardt, Josef Albers, Paul Klee, and Yayoi Kusama for prices ranging from $500,000 to $1.1 million,” says Art-Net.
While other Frieze masters made history. For example, one of the highlights of the Frieze 2021 art fair was this group of miniatures or illuminations by a Flemish illuminator or painter – Simon Bening. He was the last Flemish illuminator of his kind. His work consists of small medieval paintings that contain immense detail.
Every time you look at the artwork, you are guaranteed to discover more amazing miniature objects or people within one image. Three of the pages he did within a prayer book were on display in the Frieze.
Other highlights included William Kentridge, a South African artist who featured unseen work created during the apartheid period, including his very first stop-animation videos. “This as well as several other presentations by leading British artists like Antony Gromley, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Sickert,” explains Frieze.
As there is so much to see, it is, of course, entirely subjective to pick out just a few things to highlight.
Curated by Laura Hoptman, who is the executive director of the Drawing Center in New York, the space aims to challenge the meaning of art history by shining a spotlight on artists who have been overlooked. This could be due to reasons such as sexual orientation or geography.
From this artists like Beauford Delaney and Huguette Caland for example could be present among the past. Overall this years debut in London aimed to include more modern-day artists and exhibit today’s contemporary ways of thinking.
For example, a Canadian artist formerly known as Victoria Sin chose Frieze to reintroduce themself under their nonbinary Cantonese name: Sin Wai Kin.
The exhibit consisted of a set of foam cutouts and a series of posters, pre-folded and creased to resemble magazine cutouts.