Granted, London’s Frieze Week feels bigger every year. Exhibitions, talks, and performances are mushrooming in London’s every nook and cranny. But the 2012 edition is set to be a very special vintage. Not only is Frieze Art Fair (now known as Frieze London) celebrating its 10th edition, but it has begotten a sister fair, Frieze Masters, which will showcase “pre-21st century” art in a second big tent in Regent’s Park. Contemporary art is no longer Frieze Week’s only focus, and galleries and institutions of all stripes are going to extraordinary lengths to attract attention. To help you navigate the sea of art on offer, ARTINFO U.K. has compiled an ideal day-by-day itinerary.
MONDAY: Old favorites and Newcomers
With Frieze London and Frieze Masters only opening to the public on Thursday, the beginning of the week can be devoted to some of the best galleries in town, old and new. Start in Bloomsbury at the British Museum, which has gathered an extraordinary selection of Spanish drawings from the mid-16th to the 19th century, including Diego Velázquez, Francisco Zurbáran, and Francisco Goya.
A stroll to the West End will take you to David Zwirner‘s spectacular new space, in a 18th century townhouse on Grafton Street. Belgian painter Luc Tuymans is inaugurating the gallery with a series of new works inspired by the myth of the artist and the exotic other. Pace — another American big shot gallery that recently opened a London outpost — has embraced Frieze Masters’ spirit and juxtaposed Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s photographs of water with Mark Rothko‘s sombre late paintings. On Savile Row, Ordovas‘s pairing of Carracci and Lucian Freud is not to be missed; neither is Hauser & Wirth‘s double exhibition of Thomas Houseago‘s thrillingly grotesque sculptures.
In the afternoon, head to Tate Britain for the exhibition of this year’s Turner Prize nominees: Spartacus Chetwynd, Paul Noble, Elizabeth Price, and Luke Fowler. Across the river, the Hayward Gallery is showcasing Chinese installation and performance art. Ai Weiwei didn’t approve, but the chance to see rarely shown pieces by the likes of Chen Zhen, Gu Dexin, and MADEIN Company is well worth a visit. Back to Mayfair in the evening for Thomas Dane‘s private view of neo-psychedelic works by L.A. artist Lari Pittman, loosely redolent of Mexican and Russian folklor.
— Coline Milliard
To read more about Frieze and Frieze Masters, visit www.artinfo.com/friezefiac
This post also appears on ARTINFO U.K.