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Frieze Art Fair London 2018: Dazzling whirlwind of creativity

Frieze Art Fair London 2018: Dazzling whirlwind of creativity

Walking into the Frieze Art Fair is like being physically swept into a whirlwind of creativity. On display are a dazzling range of work by artists from across the world. The range of colors and styles is breathtaking.

This year’s fair brings together the world’s leading galleries, showcasing today’s most significant modern and contemporary artists, alongside the fair’s celebrated programs of films, talks, and performances.

Visitors can explore the main gallery along with curated sections. New this year is a special section, Social Work, featuring women artists whose work emerged in response to the global social and political schisms of the 1980s and ‘90s. Paying homage to artists who challenged the status quo and explored the possibilities of political activism in their art-making, Social Work is devised by a panel of eminent art historians and critics.

Among the highlights are Frieze Projects overseen for the first time by curator Diana Campbell Betancourt. This encompasses artworks beyond the gallery booths, including Live, the Frieze Artist Award, and Frieze Film.

photo © Rita Payne


Live is a platform for interactive installations and performances presented by galleries. This year’s program is entitled “Control Tilde” a command on a computer keyboard that unlocks all formulas in a spreadsheet and thus makes them visible. Visitors will encounter works by international artists, all drawing attention to unexpected connections and hidden formulas which have an impact on social, political, and economic realities beyond the fair.

Frieze Artist Award

This year’s award winner, Alex Baczynski-Jenkins’ new commission, continues his choreographic practice engaging with “queer relationality” and the politics of desire, intimacy, and friendship. A neon sign outside the space indicates when the performance is on.

photo © Rita Payne

Frieze Film

The 2018 Frieze Film program questions systems that control and influence the dissemination of information. New commissions by the Otolith Group, Paul Pfeiffer, and Lucy Raven were premiered at the fair – with daily screenings at 3 pm – and are being broadcast on national television. Frieze Film is supported by Channel 4’s Random Acts.

photo © Rita Payne


Frieze Talks is co-curated for 2018 by Lydia Yee (Whitechapel Gallery) and Matthew (Frieze). This year’s program explores the role played by autobiography in arts and society, and features artists and writers including Laurie Anderson, Sonia Boyce, Nan Goldin, Olivia Laing, and Kemang Wa Lehulere. Talks are free, but seats should be reserved from 12 pm at the auditorium.

So, there is plenty to see and do, but do make sure you allow plenty of time for your visit. Frieze Art Fair ends on October 7.

For the full program, click here.