The world’s coolest annual art fair duo – Frieze London and Frieze Masters – are back and this year, they’re bigger and bolder than ever. Here are my top 5 reasons to visit Frieze Masters, the fair for pre-21st century masterpieces, and why it’s better than Frieze London…
1. See history’s most important artists under one roof
Unlike Frieze London, there are no ‘Is this art?‘ or ‘My 5 year old can do this‘ moments at Frieze Masters. Showcasing only the most iconic works up until the 20th century, you know that the art exhibited are being sold for thousands, if not millions, and will never lose their worth. Within 5 minutes, I saw walls of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and countless other masterpieces.
2. You will see stands that are as original and ground-breaking as the art they sell
My favourite is the Helly Nahmad Gallery – the stand that does not look like a stand. Built to resemble the apartment of a hoarding collector, the art on sale (Giorgio Morandi, Lucio Fontana, Rene Magritte and much more) blend seamlessly into the installation.
Another highlight is the Espaivisor Gallery – their irreverent display of Graciela Carnevale’s works, in plastic wallets and binder clips, partly resembles a photographer’s studio and a police station wall. It is one of the most refreshing stands at the fair.
3. The atmosphere is refreshingly calm
Compared to other art fairs, walking around Frieze Masters feels relaxed: there are no rushing crowds or overenthusiastic dealers following your movements with their eager eyes; in fact, every other dealer has their head down, engrossed by their iPhone, iPad or laptop.
4. Bank on winning an iPhone 6
Art Mag, the online art magazine from Frieze-sponsorer Deutsche Bank, is running a selfie competition where you could an iPhone 6, or 10 Deutsche Bank ArtCards giving free access to over 60 international museums. Check out their Facebook page for more information.
5. It’s the serious art fair
Frieze London is a zoo for celebrity-spotting, wannabe fashionistas and sycophants; it is the art event of the year to see and been seen in. As the Observer magazine commented in 2005, Frieze London “puts the ‘art’ into ‘party'”. People who are serious about art, culture and history, however, also go to Frieze Masters.
The Fair for Art from Ancient to Modern
Founded in 2011, Frieze Masters is dedicated to selling works before 2000. This year sees 127 galleries from around the world exhibiting art dating back to Neolithic times.
Frieze London was founded in 2003 by the creators of Frieze magazine, Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotouer, and is now considered one of the world’s leading contemporary art fairs and cultural entertainment events. Its stateside counterpart, Frieze New York, was also founded in 2011 and takes place annually in May
Frieze Masters will be exhibiting until Sunday 19th October.