Frieze’s Middle East VIP consultant, Fiza Akram
For one week in October, over 300 of the world’s most important art galleries are brought to Frieze London(www.friezelondon.com) and Frieze Masters (www.friezemasters.com), two architect-designed structures in The Regent’s Park.
Tens of thousands of visitors travel from across the world to view and acquire the most exciting, inspiring and high-quality art available globally. In a single visit you get a survey of art history, a unique insight into the art market and an unparalleled opportunity for collecting and networking.
There are 10 world-renowned curators working across the feature sections and special-events programmes – such as Collections, a new section at Frieze Masters curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal, which brings together remarkable ensembles of art and objects, from coloured Roman marbles to rare portraits by David Bailey. There’s also a strong Middle Eastern presence, with galleries like The Third Line and Grey Noise from Dubai participating, as well as the Lebanese dealer Andrée Sfeir-Semler.
We aim to make all visitors to the fairs have a meaningful encounter with art. Frieze encourages innovative presentations by galleries and artists, and they respond accordingly; as a result the fair is a place of discovery. With something new happening every day, you can feel that special kind of excitement throughout the week.
This energy spreads across the whole city, with major exhibitions timed to coincide – this year there’s Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy of Arts, and at the Whitechapel Gallery, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi’s U.A.E.-based Barjeel Foundation reveals highlights from its outstanding collection of Arab art.
Rub shoulders with
Art collectors and enthusiasts come from all sectors. Over Frieze’s thirteen years, the fairs have welcomed everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Princess Eugenie, Roman Abramovich to Beyoncé and Jay Z. We believe in putting artists at the centre of the fair, so it’s always gratifying to see them visit: Tracey Emin and Wolfgang Tillmans have visited, among many others.
The London EDITION (10 Berners St.; +44 20 7781 0000; www.editionhotels.com/london) is one of our partner hotels, offering contemporary style, service and comfort in a historic building. It’s very well located for the fairs.
Every year there’s a mix of long-standing partners and hot new places from across London. Twelve acclaimed restaurants and bars are taking part this year, including Brunswick House, Caravan, The Arts Club and Ibérica. I think Frieze is the only art event in 2015 that can boast not just one but three Michelin-starred restaurants, as Locanda Locatelli, Petersham Nurseries and Umu are all hosting pop-ups for us.
The art and fashion worlds are interlinked – Gucci is an associate sponsor of Frieze Masters and is hosting a private champagne viewing of the fair this year, but there’s no dress code at Frieze. Since there’s so much art to explore, you’ll sometimes see seasoned collectors wearing sneakers!
Download the app to get a map and plan your visit. As well as taking in the highlight galleries and special artist installations that make up Frieze Projects, take in one of our “Talks” with leading artists and curators, or participate in a workshop in our “Live” programme – like Trevor Shimizu’s portrait booth, where you can take a drawing of yourself away for free.
Frieze London and Frieze Masters are just a short walk from each other, so take the time to visit both: you can visit the outdoor Sculpture Park, located in the beautiful English Gardens, on the way. If you’re interested in learning more about collecting, or expanding your own collection, we are launching a new service, “Bespoke” (www.friezebespoke.com), which pairs you with an independent specialist to introduce you to works, price ranges and important art dealers.
Before you leave the fairs, buy a copy of Frieze Week, a new publication we’ve put together to give insight into the artists, collectors and sponsors that shape the fairs, as well as a guide to cultural events happening around Frieze, and insiders’ guides to London’s best spots.