What to See and Buy at Frieze Week

Courtesy the Artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

Departures’ guide to browsing and shopping Frieze Week 2011.

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.