London is abuzz with art fairs surrounding Frieze week.
LONDON - Frieze Week seems more like a blink than several days. As packed as ever, I decided the best policy is to focus on MENA-related art and activities, and follow my regional friends where I might find them! This was not hard to do as on the opening morning I ran into several who were admiring the Walid Raad at Sfeir-Semler where an interesting Akram Zaatari was also being shown. After Zaatari’s success at this year’s Venice Biennale, I have a feeling we are going to see more of this talented artist. A bit further along I spotted a Farhad Moshiri at Perrotin, and I was heartened to see the presence of The Third Line at a fair where Middle Eastern galleries are not widely seen. I guess that is now left to Art14 in February of next year.
Farhad Moshiri's work is being shown at Perrotin gallery.
The ArtDubai breakfast is always a focal gathering point for Frieze visitors who take an interest in this thriving regional art fair. This year was no different, and Antonia Carver’s presence at the various events and the fair itself will no doubt inspire many to favour Dubai in the glorious month of March.
With the opening of 1:54, the world’s first contemporary African art fair, having opened in tandem with Frieze, and PAD a stone’s throw away in Berkeley Square, London has been a veritable beehive of fair-related buzz. It is the one time when we are all so immersed in the art world that extracting multi-cultural elements becomes a challenge! Moshiri’s work, for example, popped up again as a charity auction lot at Sotheby's amongst the group of international works on offer at the Mimi Foundation Dinner – raising a staggering £1.3 million. With Edge of Arabia and Ayyam having made a splash with Abdul Nasser Gharem’s work, and the Delfina Foundation continuing to show emerging artists from the MENA region, one is never short of a reminder that these artists persist in featuring prominently in the cultural life of the Western world. And speaking of prominent: the party to end all parties at Frieze was of course Fatima Maleki’s, which brought together the crème de la crème of the week. Savouring exceptional Persian food amongst a guest list which must have featured at least 20 nationalities, made one realize why London hosts Frieze in the first place!