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October 09, 2012

Frieze Masters Debuts in London

By Maud Doyle | Art

Frieze Masters Debuts in London
Courtesy of De Jonckheere

Frieze—the youthful contemporary art fair come to save us from its more overblown predecessors—has had a big year. It inaugurated Frieze New York in the spring, and opens Frieze Masters today on the opposite end of Regent’s Park from where the now-classic Frieze London sits.

More than 90 galleries will show at Frieze Masters, standing shoulder to shoulder in a temporary space designed by Annabelle Selldorf, displaying great artworks of every era, from antiquity to the 20th century. Such staple modern and contemporary galleries as Gagosian, Pace and Acquavella will show alongside heavy hitters from, one might say, other museum departments, such as Galerie Meyer Oceanic Art of Paris and Daniel Katz, whose London gallery is more neoclassical manor-house-library than white cube.

Paris’s Galerie 1900–2000 specializes in dark, heady works of Surrealism, while London’s eminent Colnaghi gallery (established in 1760) will show treasures from its sepia-tinted collection of unimpeachably beautiful European paintings. “We want people to see works with fresh eyes,” says Victoria Siddall, the new fair’s director. “A gallery that shows 1960s minimalism might be next to a medieval gargoyle, and we hope that they both benefit from these unexpected encounters.”

At the Talks element of the fair, contemporary artists like Cecily Brown and Luc Tuymans will speak with curators about the historic collections of the National Gallery and the Louvre, seeking to articulate continuity between the art of the past and the work of the moment—or even to blur the distinction altogether. And for those who don’t care to make the 15-minute trek from one end of Regent’s Park to the other to see both Friezes, a fleet of BMWs will be available to ferry visitors back and forth. October 11–14; Regent’s Park, Gloucester Green; friezemasters.com.