Untold Stories: exhibition curated by Peter Lindbergh himself soon before his tragic death in 2019, is launching today in A Coruña, Galicia, and will run through February 28, 2022. 🎨🧑‍🎨🙏


Frieze London 2021 | The Return Of The International Art Fair Ends With Sky-High Sales

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. 

Colourful face masks may have concealed the cheerful smiles of VIPs and exhibitors at Frieze Masters, but the excitement of returning to a physical fair in London after a prolonged period of lockdown was still evident during this year’s event. 

The support from collectors really helped stable the art market during the pandemic. It has enabled artists and galleries to continue creating masterpieces for the world to see.

Compared to Frieze New York, the fair’s debut in London, situated across the park, traditionally saw Frieze Masters with a slower pace of sales – but nothing too dramatically new.

Frieze Art Fair 2018. London. David Zwirner gallery. Photo by Linda Nylind. 4/10/2018.

The nature of the works on the show range from Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities all the way through to Medieval and Renaissance sculpture, old Renaissance paintings luminaries of the 20th century tend to draw a calmer, more deliberate crowd. 

However, some well-known contemporary artists who made their way to the art fair this year ended on a very high note. 

With close to 160 galleries from 40 countries showcasing the very best of contemporary art worth millions of pounds, the Frieze London 2021 art fair saw a lot of exhibits excel with major sell-outs.

Galleries offering work by brand-name, blue-chip artists—particularly those who had done the legwork to preview and reserve works ahead of the opening—were the first out of the gate with multimillion-dollar sales. 

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. 

An Ad Reinhardt Art Piece

There was no shortage of works evoking wonder on view at the fair. Memorable highlights included the 2.25 million collection of rare books titled One Hundred Seconds to Midnight – Sounding the Alarm for Climate Change presented by Peter Harrington.

While other Frieze masters made history. For example one of the highlights for 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. 

Bening worked for a group of international royal patrons. He specialized in books and is also known to have received commissions for painted genealogical tables and portable altarpieces on parchment. 

Bening’s art continued the Flemish tradition of skillfully representing the natural light of haunting nocturnal scenes. 

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. 

As there is so much to see, it is, of course, entirely subjective to pick out just a few things to highlight. The new art fair exhibit called Stand Out gave nine galleries and several new galleries to the fair, a chance to shine. While other projects making a return like Spotlight. 

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. 

Sin Wai Kin

After building a career on exaggerated femininity through drag, Sin went all out with a 1990s boy band, casting themself as a variety of stereotypes: “The Storyteller,” “The Universe,” “The One,” and “Wai King.” 

The exhibit consisted of a set of foam cutouts and a series of posters, pre-folded and creased to resemble magazine cutouts. 

Its five editions and two artist’s proofs are priced between $10,000 and $20,000. They all represent facets of Sin’s personality, and their individual “looks” combine elements of the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC with face paint inspired by characters from Chinese opera.

Frieze Art will always be a place for art enthusiasts to gather as they wander between galleries. Some simply enjoy the art while others look to source an original artwork perhaps to start collecting on a new theme or simply to add something they love to their walls at home. 

And then there are those trying to discover the next investment pieces as well as curators seeking to acquire work for leading museums and public galleries. It is a stimulating mix of motivations and it makes the time spent there special.

SEE MORE: Art Basel 2021 | The Extraordinary Exhibit You Won’t Believe Costs Millions