The Rosewood London Hotel featuring a Lorenzo Quinn sculpture.
Photo: Courtesy of the Rosewood London Hotel

Highlights from This Year’s Frieze Art Fair in London

The monumental event included groundbreaking exhibits, city-wide installations, and glamorous gatherings of celebrities and art-world insiders

Already a banner year for art events, with eagerly anticipated biennials, mammoth museum shows, and major fairs luring cultural connoisseurs to market capitals like New York, Maastricht, Basel, and Seoul. This week, London stepped into the spotlight with the opening of the Frieze art fair. A who’s who of art-world insiders and celebrities—including tennis star Maria Sharapova, actors Jared Leto and Josh Hartnett, designer Raf Simons, model Claudia Schiffer, Princess Eugenie, and journalist Hamish Bowles—filtered into the 220,600-square-foot tent, designed by the London-based architecture firm A Studio Between, for the VIP preview, where 160 international galleries offered a broad palette of work.

View of Laure Prouvost's mixed-media installation at Frieze London 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Lisson Gallery

French artist Laure Prouvost’s show-stopping mixed-media work quickly pulled fair hoppers to Lisson Gallery’s corner booth. The participatory installation, which included elongated pink gloves piercing through the artist’s whimsically abstract paintings, received its approval from none other than icon and humanitarian Bianca Jagger who literally had her hand in Prouvost’s display. The show received a well-deserved celebration the same night at the posh Chiltern Firehouse’s Ladder Shed in Marylebone.

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Like many other international art happenings, the works and the events spilled beyond the host venue into the city. The late artist Carolee Schneemann’s ambitiously radical oeuvre was on view at her New York gallery P.P.O.W’s booth and also presented at the multidisciplinary art hub Barbican Centre, which dedicated its program to female empowerment. Included in the survey was Iranian artist Soheila Sokhanvari’s portraits of 27 women, tied to her nation’s revolution. The timely show honored the likes of actress Roohangiz Saminejad and poet Forough Farrokhzad. “The bravery and resilience of the ‘Rebel Rebel’ women and their sisters of the past is the genetic source for these lionesses that are in the streets of Iran right now, standing in front of machine guns with their hair uncovered chanting, ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’,” Sokhanvari told Galerie.

Still from James Nares’s film Street (2011). Photo: Courtesy of James Nares and Kasmin Gallery

Kasmin Gallery hosted a screening of James Nares’s 2011 film Street at gallery space No.9 Cork Street where the New York-based artist’s survey occupies the first floor while Athens-based Zoe Paul’s exhibition of stoneware, terracotta, and porcelain bead curtains is displayed upstairs. Although Nares shot the hour-long film in September 2011, the impossibly paced-down footage of New Yorkers floating around the streets with both confidence and obscurity speaks to the post-pandemic sentiments of time feeling warped and people seeming at distance. Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore joined Nares during a screening in the gallery’s basement to provide a live soundtrack for a truly captivating performance.

View of Leo Villarreal’s installation of LED screens at Soho’s Stone Nest. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Outland

At Soho’s 134-year-old Stone Nest chapel, digital art platform Outland hosted Leo Villarreal’s one-day-only installation of LED screens coupled with a DJ set by KODE9, who brought the show of otherworldly geometric forms running on massive screens to life. “As a one-day presentation, it is certainly challenging to work on a short timeframe, but there is an equally wild rush of energy when showing the ambitious artwork that Leo has been working so hard on,” Outland’s chief artistic director Christopher Y. Lew told Galerie.

Elsewhere in Soho, Prada debuted its new fragrance, Paradoxe, to a mixed crowd of fashion insiders and art-world luminaries, who danced until the early morning hours.

Taner Ceylan, Portrait of Seker Ahmet Pasha, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of the Istanbul Center for Culture and Arts

Yağız Özgen, Stars, Dust and Gas near NGC 3572, 2021. Photo: Courtesy of the Istanbul Center for Culture and Arts

The 159-year-old organization The Arts Club threw its annual Frieze party in collaboration with the Evening Standard at its ornate Mayfair venue, where Belgian DJ duo 2ManyDJs performed in front of YBA artist Sue Webster, architect Sir David Adjaye OBE, and Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller.

At MatchesFashion’s Mayfair townhouse, fashion icon and designer Michèle Lamy whisked truffled eggs with Les Deux Cafe chef Isis Neal. Holding chairs at the long table were artist Wolfgang Tillmans and Downtown New York’s favorite cabaret duo, Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo, who are across the pond with their Only An Octave Apart show.

In neighboring St. James, Christie’s October 14 Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale included established Turkish contemporary artists, such as painters Taner Ceylan and Yağız Özgen and ceramicist Elif Uras, as well as Shirin Neshat and Beauford Delaney; a portion of the proceeds went to benefit the Istanbul Foundation for Culture Arts (ISKV).

The Rosewood London Hotel featuring a Lorenzo Quinn Sculpture. Photo: Courtesy of the Rosewood London Hotel

The timeless ritual of British high tea received an artful upgrade at the Holborn district hotel Rosewood London where Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn installed his larger-than-life resin fiber hand sculpture, GIVE, in the courtyard. Replicating two hands holding a patch of soil that has sprouted an olive tree, the work is a massively-scaled yet poetic reminder of our gentle relationship with nature. Inside, at the hotel’s Mirror Room Restaurant, Executive Pastry Chef Mark Perkins carries on Quinn’s vision with a decadent olive oil cake, made with mango and passion-fruit jelly and vanilla mousse, served on a hand-shaped stand, and paired with fine tea and a flute of champagne.

Works shown at Thomas Dane Gallery at Frieze London 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Frieze and Linda Nylind

At the conclusion, Frieze saw bombastic figures, including a $6 million Kerry James Marshall painting sold by David Zwirner; Antony Gormley’s two sculptures acquired at White Cube’s booth, each for around $558,500; and Hauser & Wirth’s sale of a Philip Guston abstract canvas for $4.8 million—excellent momentum leading into the next gathering, Paris+ by Art Basel at Grand Palais Éphémère, with over 150 galleries presenting and 20 pubic artworks installed across the City of Light.

Cover: The Rosewood London Hotel featuring a Lorenzo Quinn sculpture.
Photo: Courtesy of the Rosewood London Hotel


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