Frieze London & Frieze Masters

11 – 15 October 2023

Stephen Friedman Gallery, D’LAN Contemporary, Vadehra Gallery, The Modern Women section, The Gallery of Everything. Dive into the 2023 edition of both Frieze held in the heart of Regent’s Park.

I kicked off my journey at Frieze London, which was celebrating its 20th anniversary. The place was buzzing! So much so that it was a bit overwhelming. But the dealers seemed thrilled with the turnout, and many told me their sales were through the roof on day one.

Through the lens of women artists, several booths caught my eye. Hauser & Wirth had a spacious booth featuring a solo show by Barbara Chase-Riboux, an acclaimed Paris-based American artist who joined their roster just before summer. I was absolutely captivated by her black bronze statues titled ‘Standing Black Woman of Venice,’ which were strategically placed at each corner of the booth, adding an incredible rhythm to the space.

Another solo show that really struck me was by Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye, featured at the Stephen Friedman Gallery. A proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, Babirye’s art is both committed and diverse, featuring large-scale ceramics, wooden sculptures, African masks, as well as drawings and paintings. The booth was painted in a vibrant red, making the artworks pop even more. Alissa Friedman, the Senior Partner at the gallery, showcased a series of drawings in one of my ‘1 minute in the booth’ video.

Three hours later, I took a leisurely stroll through Regent’s Park to get to Frieze Masters. A different fair, a different vibe. The atmosphere was much more subdued and intimate. I had the opportunity to highlight the ‘Modern Women’ section curated by Camille Morineau, founder of AWARE, whom I had interviewed just the week before. The section aimed to break the mold of a male-dominated modern art scene with 10 solo presentations. I was particularly drawn to the works of French painter Emilie Charmy at Galerie Bernard Bouche, the intimate and quirky photographs by Lisetta Carmi at Ciaccia Levi, and the delicate abstract paintings by Anna-Eva Bergman at Perrotin. You can see the full review here. I also discovered the work of Australian contemporary artist Emily Kam Kngwarray at D’LAN CONTEMPORARY, whose art beautifully blends pointillism with Aboriginal art. This year’s Frieze Masters was truly exceptional, thanks to various initiatives by its talented director, Nathan Clements-Gillespie.

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