No one doubts Frieze is the leading Art Fair, with Art Basel and its sister Miami Beach, on a global scale. Its success has been phenomenal, especially since the addition of Frieze Masters. Art Fairs have reacted to this challenge by specialising and offering something that Frieze does not. Early examples can be seen with Kinetica Art Fair, which is the UK’s only art fair specialising in Kinetic, Electronic, Robotic, Sound, Light, time-based and multi-disciplinary New Media Art. The Fair is produced by Kinetica Museum. Alongside the Fair, Kinetica curates a programme of events that involves some of the world’s most eminent leaders in the most experimental and exciting realms of art, science and technology. Conveniently located in Ambika P3, in Marylebone Road, is thought-provoking and very stimulating.
Claiming that 70% of galleries will be participating at a fair in London for the first time and 50% of works presented will be created by non-western artists, makes it a must-see to experience the next talented newcomers. Art13 is a welcome newcomer.
Stephanie Dieckvoss, Fair Director of Art13 London commented: “We are thrilled to welcome galleries from all across the globe, from countries as diverse as Hungary, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. It is exciting to see such a strong grouping of galleries from different territories, for example we welcome a total of six South Korean galleries in London First, the Young Galleries and the general section of the fair. The line-up thoroughly reflects the global ethos of the Fair, and the current state of the art market, which has seen a considerable growth of interest in art from previously underrepresented territories. By bringing together exhibitors from all corners of the world, we offer visitors an unparalleled opportunity to see the extraordinary quality and variety of art produced across the globe”.
Installations dispersed over the stands, rather than on a separate venue, is a great idea. The Fair becomes playful rather than boring and repetitive. It becomes a place for discovery. A 12-metre-wide installation made of 8,000 sheets of rice paper by the Chinese artist Zhu Jinshi invites the visitors to walk through it and is made of bamboo, cotton and rice paper.
Adding to that, a dedicated platform for the presentation and discussion of performance art is welcome. Due to its non-commercial nature, performance art is always underrepresented in art fairs. Curated by Amanprit Sandhu, who has overseen projects for the Liverpool Biennial and outdoor commissions for the Cultural Olympiad, promises a great programme of events as an introduction and as a way to explore further conventional ideas of: “what art is”. A series of discussions by leading private collectors: focusing on China on Friday and on the global rise of the private museum on Saturday, rounds up a new kid on the block that has already emerged as a key player the cultural scene.
The next specialised Fair before the Frieze Art Week is Pinta and it will take place this June. It is the only art event dedicated to Latin American Art providing a unique platform in Europe to exhibit and promote Latin American artists. Pinta also includes artists from Spain and Portugal reflecting these countries’ undeniable influence in the formation of the Latin American identity.
As Samuel Johnson said once: “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”.
Artwork by James Ireland