As the 13th edition of Frieze opened last week to its (by now well-rehearsed) welcome from the art and fashion A-grade elite, the capital hosted a string of parties, dinners and openings to coincide with it. Etro kicked off festivities; the Italian fashion house presented a collaboration with the British artist Victoria Morton, melding luxe textiles with a rich Scottish heritage. At the store former face of Leon Max, Lady Mary Charteris dj’d, Amber Le Bon, another Leon Max favourite attended too. Across town Yana Max was attending the Harper’s Bazaar Art party at Mark’s Club.
At the main Frieze London fair, attendees were treated to an surprisingly uplifting array of contemporary masterpieces. The big talking point was curator Nicolas Trembley’s ‘Nineties’ section. He recreated moments that changed the artistic climate and shaped art as we now know it today. For example, Gallery Massimo De Carlo glanced back at the celebrated Aperto ’93 exhibition and reminded us of the era in which artists from Höller to Gonzalez-Torres were thrust into the spotlight and visual culture changed.
The usual stands still held their own. Hauser and Wirth presented ‘L’atelier d’artistes,’ a mock artist’s studio seemingly cluttered with works. It drew crowds in. They wandered through delights from Louise Bourgeois to Peter Fischli and David Weiss. A dethronement of the pedestaled object of the white walls generation.
Meanwhile Frieze Masters looked back to the 20th Century and beyond: think, Robert Motherwell of the New York school meeting a 19th Century Mask from the Makonde peoples. The overall charm of this approach seemed to show in a particularly good year in sales. Amongst the hype and the fashion week-style crowds – a Vogue article considered that the street style on display was just as significant as the art – at this fair there are still important pieces to be seen.