Another year, another Frieze! Frieze week in London came and went this year and brought along the usual amount of inspo, hype, FOMO, and naturally, some really great shows. Taking place in London’s Regent’s Park, the world-renowned fair celebrated its 16th year from the 4th until the 7th of October, and hosted more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries to showcase their programs.
Whether you snagged a pass and made a day of it in London or opted out to seeing it through your friends’ instagram stories instead, here are the shows that made the most noise during Frieze (and Frieze Masters), this year.
Tatiana Trouvé, The Shaman at Kamel Mennour
Kamel Mennour’s booth was hard to miss this year and not because it was right at the entrance of the fair. The famous Parisian gallery showed a larger than life sculpture by Tatiana Trouvé that was literally groundbreaking: The Shaman. The sculpture weighed over 30 tons, and stood massively with a bronze tree stump breaking into concrete floor with upended roots, a puddle, and an elaborate active fountain. What was arguably more impressive than the detailed engineering involved in producing and displaying such a piece was its price tag: €650,000.
Urs Fischer at Sadie Coles HQ
Equally hard to miss amongst the crowded booths this year was Urs Fischer’s life-sized candle figure of Italian curator, Francesco Bonami. Fischer, having produced many life-sized candle sculptures in the past, like Dasha for Gagosian recently, and The Rape of the Sabine Women for The Venice Art Biennale in 2011, created one of Bonami standing on top of a refrigerator looking down at his phone. The figure, as per usual, is realistically sculpted but given a red body, and is “autodestructive”: when lit, the sculpture will naturally melt to the ground.
David Shrigley at Stephen Friedman Gallery
Known for his witty and self-deprecating art that pokes fun at everyday life, David Shrigley had an entire booth dedicated to his works via Stephen Friedman Gallery. Showcasing neon signages like “Distractions” as well as a two-sided video animation of a joint being passed around on loop, the booth was converted into a “shop” and provided ample time for fair goers to immerse themselves in Shrigley’s easy-to-consume and light-hearted art.
Nan Goldin at Marian Goodman Gallery
Having just announced representation of famous American photographer, Nan Goldin, Marian Goodman Gallery showcased several of her photos dating from the 70’s until today. Goldin, who also curated this year’s booth, had powerful works on display spanning decades and featured her famous collection of polaroid-esque photos from “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”. The photos are powerful in their own right as they are deeply touching, tracing a personal narrative of love, drug-abuse and personal loss in Paris, New York and Berlin.
Vlassis Caniaris at Peter Kilchmann Gallery
Once you realize that the three figures with arched backs standing at Peter Kilchmann Gallery’s booth are not in fact real, and are part of the installation, you will begin to appreciate it. Urinals of History is a politically important work from 1980 by Greek artist, Vlassis Caniaris which features three figures facing a wall, seemingly urinating on it. The wall is as long as the entire booth and contains painted slogans resembling those painted on the walls of Athens during the Nazi occupation, where the artist lived and died.