frieze london 2019

The Gentleman’s Journal guide to Frieze 2019

Your comprehensive companion to the capital’s unmissable art fair…

London has long been a city of contradiction. In our remarkable capital, Regency buildings sit as neighbours to skyscrapers, and a 93-year-old monarch presides over a democratic constitution. Every year, Frieze hosts art fairs side by side in Regent’s Park, which in their own way showcase and celebrate this unique relationship between all that has gone before, and all that is to come. Frieze London showcases the best of contemporary art, and Frieze Masters specialises in art from the past.

This year, the events will take place from 3-6 October, and feature works from more than 150 of the world’s top contemporary galleries, alongside showcases of art history and exhibitions from over 100 leading international galleries — including ancient works and pieces by the Old Masters.

And, if you’re lucky enough to be heading over to NW1 this week, we’ve curated an insider’s guide to help you make the most of the delights on offer in Regent’s Park for 2019.

Listen up: Frieze Masters Talks 2019

Curated by the Royal Academy’s Tim Marlow, the Frieze Masters Talks returns this year and will feature today’s most significant contemporary artists in conversation with museum directors and curators. The talks are all free to attend with a fair ticket, and take place daily at 12pm and 3pm in the Frieze Masters Auditorium.

Frieze Masters Talks 2019
Tacita Dean, Frieze Masters Talks 2018

Highlights this year include Mark Bradford in conversation with Serpentine Galleries’ artistic director, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, and Elizabeth Peyton in conversation with Dr Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery. Take a look at the full list here.

Take part in the art at Frieze London

Presentations at Frieze London 2019 invite visitors to interact and participate with the artists and artworks. From Kembra Pfahler’s painting live with her body at Emalin, to Tang Dixin inviting visitors to relax by having their limbs cast as the latest iteration of his Rest is the Best Way of Revolution series at Aike — the Focus section of Frieze London presents dynamic and interactive presentations, including a hotel room frozen in time designed by Urara Tsuchiya at Union Pacific.

For anyone wishing to buy a random object or artwork for £1,000, Tokyo-based gallery Taro Nasu will feature Ryan Gander’s Time Well Spent, a black vending machine dispensing mysterious items. Offering bourbon tastings from 2-4 October, David Nolan Gallery’s stand will feature a bar designed and hand-painted by Jonathan Meese. This immersive installation is inspired by the mythology of a 19th century Western saloon and incorporates many of the artist’s signature references and obsessions.

The sculptures by the South Korean artist Koo Jeong A are viewed through a mobile phone app. Photograph: Koo Jeong A/Acute Art

Curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, LIVE also returns to Frieze London this year with daily performances and time-based works around the fair. Highlights from LIVE include a tea party by Yasmin Jahan Nupur. Having harvested the tea at her home, through the act of sharing she brings participants together to think more closely about the origins of this everyday commodity.

Frieze also invites visitors to discover its first augmented reality work, part of Frieze Sculpture Park 2019. Fair-goers can discover geo-located works by South Korean artist Koo Jeong A by scanning the sign-posted areas using the Acute Art app.

Enjoy a tipple at the Ruinart Champagne Bar

For its annual commission, Ruinart Champagne has enlisted Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz to create six striking pieces of art, titled Shared Roots. The series hangs in the Ruinart Bar at Frieze and fittingly pays homage to winegrowers and vineyards. Typical of his mixed-media works, which often incorporate unconventional materials, Muniz uses blackened wood and charcoal to depict twisting tree branches, while a chardonnay leaf is made using the plant itself. For those lucky enough to visit, these works act as a companion to an interactive instalment housed in the cellars of Ruinart’s maison in Reims and inspired by the traditional winemaking process.

Art on a plate: Adam Handling Chelsea

Inspired by Vik Muniz’s aforementioned photographic series, Adam Handling has created a decadent five-course tasting menu at his Chelsea restaurant, adjoined to the Belmond Hotel on Sloane Street. Supporting Handling’s commitment to zero waste and sustainability, dishes incorporate foraged herbs and often overlooked ingredients such as broccoli stems, which are elegantly matched with turbot and caviar, while vine leaves and grapes are used as a nod to Ruinart’s vineyard. The menu is paired with Ruinart Champagne, naturally.

Adam Handling Chelsea

Dishes include celeriac with truffle, cream cheese, confit egg yolk and apple; turbot with broccoli stems, vine leaves and caviar, duck with wild herbs and a Ruinart champagne vinegar; and a dessert of ‘Grapes, Grapes and More Grapes’ featuring grape granita paired with a goats’ cheese mousse and a panna cotta covered in fine grape slices. You get the idea.

For more from inside the art world, check out our interview with Trino Verkade, trustee of the Sarabande Foundation

Further Reading