London’s Regent’s Park where once again hoisted with white tents as the contemporary art fair Frieze returned after going virtual in 2020 owing to the pandemic. the Frieze London and Frieze Masters fairs had guests ushering into booths from 276 galleries representing 39 countries. “It is so exciting to be back in the tents in Regent’s Park to see art in real life together again,” Frieze London’s artistic director Eva Langret said. She also emphasized the impact of Frieze on London more broadly, noting that the outdoor sculptures in Regent’s Park helped to widen accessibility and bring the city together.
Global galleries reported overwhelming interest from the opening moments of the fairs’ preview days. David Zwirner sold a Kerry James Marshall painting for $2.2 million while White Cube sold Mona Hatoum’s kinetic sculpture + and – (2021)—a central attraction in its booth—for £175,000 ($240,000). Apart from these major galleries that attracted immediate attention was the three Indian art galleries in attendance and interestingly, all three were held up as a success.
Nature Morte presented a triad of artistic presences with Jitish Kallat, Imran Qureshi, and Tanya Goel exemplifying their use of radically different techniques and methodologies in works.
Jitish Kallat’s new photographic lenticular series, Epicycles was on view at Frieze with Integer Study. This comes after an epic showing at Art Basel with Galerie Templon. Imran Qureshi mixed tropes of traditional miniature painting with postmodern idioms, gold leaf and red which is a distinct feature of his work. He showcased the tropes of traditional miniature painting as developed during the Mughal Empire, from the perspective of his hometown Lahore, Pakistan.
Tanya Goel’s new work was an intersection of botany and geometry – illustrating the lifecycle of flowers as they bloom, wither, and decay. The imagery was not a discernible connection to a living plant but a strong abstract of the same.
The winners of Stand Prize at Frieze New York 2018, Jhaveri had the presentation that shines a light on contemporary artwork work from South Asia and its diaspora. A swarm of fingerprints evoking horizon in the new works by Rana Begum (2020) that was akin to large Asian scrolls was made in the early days of lockdown last year and was also displayed at the Dhaka Art Summit. And then there were the like of artists of global critical acclaim like Lubna Chowdhary, Shezad Dawood, Matthew Krishanu, and Harminder Judge alongside rare, historical paintings by Anwar Jalal Shemza and Mohan Samant on display.
Vadehra had a booth at Frieze showing the works of A Ramachandran. They presented a rare body of early drawings, etchings and canvases from the 1960s and 1970s by the celebrated Indian modernist in a curation titled A Victorious Storm: Early Works by A. Ramachandran.
Other presentations included paintings by artists at B.V. Doshi, Rameshwar Broota and Atul Dodiya, photographs by Sunil Gupta and Shilpa Gupta as well as mixed media works by Anju Dodiya.