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  • Alison Jacques Gallery, Frieze London 2017. Photo: Mark Blower. Image courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze

The best things we saw during Frieze Week

By Sara Khan

As the days grows darker and colder, you would think it would be a time in the year we all start slowing down. However, October has always marked the start of a ramp up in the arts and cultural calendar with PAD kicking things off in October followed by Frieze, then Art Miami and Design Miami taking place in December, and finishing with Collect in February 2018. 

This week Frieze London returned for its 15th edition. Frieze London 2017 once more coincides with Frieze Masters and Frieze Sculpture in Regent’s Park, together forming the heart of Frieze Week on 5 – 8 October.

Art lovers and collectors from across the world will descend into London to see over 160 galleries showcasing artists from over 31 countries. Here’s some of our favourite and not to be missed works at Frieze.

Night, Doug Aitken, 2016. Image courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery

Frieze London

American artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken defies the definitions of genre, and likes to explore every medium, from film and installations to architectural interventions. Doug’s work NIGHT on display with Victoria Miro gallery is an example of his iconic sculptural text works. It is formed of mirrored stainless steel with the lettering being picked out in a contrasting midnight blue. The sculpture is symbolic of the moment when daylight gives way to the mysteries of the night.  

Get Back In Your Shell-like (work in progress), Emma Hart. Image courtesy the Sunday Painter Gallery

Emma Hart was the winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women and the subject of a major show at the Whitechapel Gallery. Emma presents a series of new ceramic works part of Sunday Painter gallery. The series consists of a plethora of ceramic satellite dishes mounted to the wall, echoing the arrangement of dishes sometimes found on the exteriors of blocks of flats. Each dish was individually decorated with patterns, images and symbols that explore the purpose of the dish to receive broadcast information and the inevitable corruption of the transmission by interference, noise and feedback.

Untitled (short people), Gimhongsok, Kukje Gallery. 

Korean artist Gimhongsok’s Untitled (short people) at Kukje Gallery explores themes within culture and identity. He says he is used to “experiencing the world second-hand”: referring to reading Korean translations of English texts or watching Korean interpretations of western television shows. He takes the imperfections and pitfalls of such translations as the starting point for his sculptures, installations, videos, and performances with most works beginning with a piece of text.

Stripping that word of its given meaning, he begins to associate it with various objects, building an accumulation of text and objects that eventually suggests a fictive narrative or reality. In Untitled (short people), Gimhongsok plays with a non-textual translation: he translates the form of a balloon into resin. Stacked in a column, the resulting objects resemble buoyant objects; one expects them to topple or weightlessly float away. However, their weight grounds them, making the viewer question their own expectations of form and the reality of material.

Main Entrance, 388 Benefit Street, DoHoSuh, 2016. Image courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery

Do Ho Suh’s magical and intricate installations have been displayed worldwide including Victoria Miro Gallery earlier in the year.  Inspired by his peripatetic life, Do Ho Suh explores the idea of the home as both a physical structure and a lived experience that can connect individuals of differing identities and cultures.

His installation is a meticulous replication of part of his home during his undergraduate years at Rhode Island School of Design. The one-to-one scale translucent fabrics form a structure that invites the viewer to explore their surroundings. The artist has captured the small details that make a home such as the location of the grain of wood, the grout between tiles, the subtle bumps on painted walls. The effect is like stepping into a drawing or being engulfed in a three-dimensional dreamscape. “I see life as a passageway, with no fixed beginning or destination,” says Do Ho Suh. “We tend to focus on the destination all the time and forget about the in-between spaces. But without these mundane spaces that nobody really pays attention to, these grey areas, one cannot get from point A to point B.”

Frieze Sculpture

If you’re unable to get a ticket to Frieze London then try to catch the sculptural wonders of the talented artists at Frieze Sculpture - a free outdoor display in London’s Regent Park till 8 October. You’ll be able to view sculptures by 25 international artists including masters such as Bernar Venet, KAWS, and Takuro Kuwata.

One of my personal favourites were the thought provoking sculptures by London-based Thomas J Price. Thomas works across media that often encompasses sculpture, film and photography within his work. He is often engaged with issues of representation and perception within art and society. 

Numen (Shifting Votive One, Two and Three), Thomas J Price, 2016. Hales, London & New York. Photo: Stephen White

Since 2005, Price has been making figurative sculptures. 'Numen' (Shifting Votive 1, 2 & 3) on display at Frieze Sculpture features three large portraits of African men that are placed on marble stone plinths. Thomas’ work takes the traditions of western sculpture that often portrayed only western societies in positions of power and adds a twist by placing more diverse figures in the limelight that asks the viewer to question the traditional social and aesthetic hierarchies we are exposed to. 

17 Acute Unequal Angles, Bernar Venet, 2016. Image courtesy of Blain Southern. Photo: Stephen White

Feeling inspired and what to see more? Why not book an early an Early Saver ticket to Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects that returns to London’s Saatchi Gallery from 22-25 February 2018. Buy tickets now from £14. 

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