Usually, by now, London’s Regent’s Park would be a buzz with the first weekend of Frieze Week in the books. Of course, the pandemic had other plans and the London Frieze Week was moved online, becoming the second edition of the Frieze Viewing Rooms. While there are still plenty of things to do around London in relations to Frieze Week, namely Frieze Sculptures, still located in Regent’s Park, the Viewing Rooms offer a unique opportunity for anyone in the world to catch a glimpse of one of the biggest art fairs of the year.
Sifting through hundreds of gallery booths, though, is a daunting task, so we’ve got a few highlights to get your started:
kó gallery | Frieze Masters
In its Frieze Masters debut, kó features 12 works by Ben Enwonwu (1917-1994), a Nigerian artist who was the first African artist to gain global recognition for his works. Enwonwu considered himself a sculptor, first and foremost, but the works in his oeuvre cross mediums as represented in the selection of works included in kó’s Viewing Room. Wood and bronze sculptures as well as oil and gouache paintings by Enwonwu, spanning four decades, are available through the Nigerian gallery. The featured works revolve around themes of dance, performance, masquerades, the Negritude movement, and Pan-Africanism, all of which are prevalent throughout Enwonwu’s career.
David Kordansky Gallery | Frieze London
The Los Angeles gallery brings a solo exhibition of works by LA-based artist Lauren Halsey (b. 1987). Having worked across a variety of mediums, David Kordansky Gallery brings together works in three of Halsey’s signatures – hair-extension paintings, gypsum engravings, and silver-insulation collages – for Frieze London. Halsey’s works push the boundaries of art, reconsidering its limits and abilities in conjunction with architecture and community engagement. Among Halsey’s works presented in the Viewing Rooms, wall installations utilizing hair extensions, dubbed hair-extension paintings, are particularly enticing, thought-provoking, vibrant, and textural.
Gray | Frieze London
Featuring works solely by photographer Rashid Johnson (b. 1977), Gray presents images included in Johnson’s 1998-99 series “Seeing in the Dark.” The series launched Johnson’s career and the photographs are still hauntingly beautiful and pertinent today. At the time, Johnson was working in Chicago, where he got to know some of the homeless people in the area. Through “Seeing in the Dark,” which mostly consists of portraits, Johnson photographed some of them, portraying his sitters in a simultaneously intimate and obscure manner. The photographs embody the tension between public and private life experienced by each of the individuals Johnson photographed and knew. Read more of Johnson’s series here.
Garth Greenan Gallery | Frieze Masters
Between 1992 and 1998, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (b. 1940) created a number of works for a series called “I See Red,” which became a pivotal period in the artist’s career. Smith, an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation in Montana, uses red as a “signature of Native American identity.” In the eleven selected works by Smith for her Garth Greenan Gallery solo show, also titled “I See Red,” the artist works through serious topics, but not without humour. Earlier this year, Smith’s artwork I See Red: Target, of the “I See Red” series, was the first artwork by a Native American artist acquired by the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
Pilar Corrias Gallery | Frieze London
Pilar Corrias Gallery presents works by young artists represented by the gallery, including Tschabalala Self, Christina Quarles, Gisela McDaniel, Sedrick Chisom, Shara Hughes, Hayv Kahraman, Cui Jie and Sofia Mitsola, alongside established artists, like Tala Madani, Sabine Moritz, Rachel Rose, Philippe Parreno and Ulla von Brandenburg. Throughout Frieze Week, the gallery will rotate works offering different exhibited works in dialogue with one another. Selected artworks reflect on issues and topics of identity, social history, and the world as we know it.