October 15, 2021

Photo by Deniz Guzel. Courtesy of Deniz GuzelFrieze 

Britain's prestigious annual art fair, Frieze London, reopened on October 13, for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic forced it online. Staged in giant tents in Regent's Park, as well as across the 410-acre (170-hectare) green space, the event showcases both contemporary art and earlier works, including Old Masters. The organisers cancelled the physical event last year because of the challenges thrown up by the pandemic, instead creating a platform for commercial galleries to show art online. This year, with the art market returning to physical shows, more than 150 galleries are involved, but visitors have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Photo by Linda Nylind. Courtesy of Linda NylindFrieze.

"Everyone is just so excited and happy," said Nathan Clements-Gillespie, artistic director at Frieze Masters. "It's been nice seeing all these friendly faces, seeing the exhibitors back in the tent. "Everything about the last few years has been challenging," he added, noting that enthusiasts had adapted "but equally people want to see and experience art in person".


Photo by Linda Nylind. Courtesy of Linda NylindFrieze. 

As always, Frieze London is not confined to the fair itself. Off-schedule events and exhibitions are set to take place across the city, showcasing a range of other artists at various galleries. A stand-out this year is the Antwaun Sargent-curated “Social Works II” at Gagosian’s Grosvenor Hill location, featuring works from Tyler Mitchell and Grace Wales Bonner among others. Elsewhere, White Cube is showing Theaster Gates’ “Oh, the Wind, Oh the Wind” to coincide with other exhibitions by the artist at Whitechapel and the Victoria & Albert, while Stephen Friedman Gallery is showing works by Marina Adams. Additionally, MatchesFashion is hosting a series of events at its 5 Carlos Place location, beginning with a conversation between Turner Prize co-winner Alberta Whittle and Nicky Wilson, director of Jupiter Arland.

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