Of the dozens—if not hundreds—of international contemporary-art fairs that have popped up during the art market’s staggering ascent this past decade, London’s Frieze remains a perennial favorite among patrons and professionals alike. Maybe it’s the critical cache (the fair was founded as an offshoot of the eponymous UK art journal); maybe it’s the strong extracurricular programming (think panels, performances and not-for-sale projects and installations); or maybe it’s the fact that unlike its counterparts, Frieze is held in airy, bright-white tents perched in the city’s idyllic Regent’s Park (as opposed to, say, a drab convention center).
Frieze will launch its eighth edition today, running through October 16. Inside the massive tents, well-healed representatives from 173 galleries (and 33 countries) will man booths adorned with some of the most cutting-edge contemporary art available. Competition is increasingly stiff. Frieze’s success has prompted the emergence of a slew of local satellite fairs (including the Pavilion of Art & Design, for those of you who favor more functional art), not to mention a string of “Frieze Week” auctions shilling equally blue-chip wares. Herewith, some of our favorite offerings.