N is for the new section, Collections
Frieze London and Frieze Masters have tried to stay ahead of the art fair competition by regularly launching new sections and initiatives. This year sees the first iteration of Collections, a section curated by Norman Rosenthal, the dynamic former Exhibitions Secretary of the Royal Academy who was responsible for sensational shows including Sensation in 1997. Eight galleries are on view, all of whom bring together collections of artworks rarely seen elsewhere in the fair, including Italian Renaissance Maiolica ceramics and Egyptian carvings.
Collections, Frieze Masters, London, Wednesday 14 – Sunday 18 October
O is for Olabarrieta
OK, this O – Beatriz Olabarrieta’s solo show at MOT International on Bond Street – is not strictly opening in Frieze Week, opening as it does the following week, but the Bilbao-born London-based contemporary artist is one artist to watch. Her witty installations blend industrial-electric elements (neon bulbs, fans, heaters) with moving image (animations, videos, projections) and playful, sculptural objects: the perfect hair of the dog after a Frieze Week art hangover.
Beatriz Olabarrieta: Cosmic Clap, MOT International, London, 23 October – 21 November, 2015
P is for PRA
In Royal Academy parlance, the acronym PRA stands for President of the Royal Academy, and these three letters have been suffixed to the artist Christopher Le Brun since his election in 2011. In Ben Luke’s recent words in RA Magazine, Le Brun has a “deep conviction in and passion for painting’s transcendent power and enduring mysteries”, and visitors to recent Summer Exhibitions have been captivated by his emotionally intense, large-scale, increasingly abstract oils. A new show at Colnaghi contrasts the artist’s canvases with his prints, rugs and sculpture produced.
Christopher Le Brun Colour: Rugs Prints Paintings Sculpture, Colnaghi, London, 7 October – 6 November
Q is for Quaintance
Frieze London inaugurates its “Reading Room” this year dedicated to art publishers. One of its innovations is a series of talks and other events, programmed by the magazines involved, which include Art Forum, White Review and Art Monthly. The latter tackles the thorny subject of post-internet art – art in any media informed by the structures and manifestations of the internet – with a panel discussion including critic Morgan Quaintance, one of the most interesting thinkers on this subject (and a man with a very attractive surname for someone trying to write an art A to Z).
Art Monthly: The End(s) of Post-Internet Art, 12.30pm The Reading Room, Frieze London, Friday 16 October
R is for Riley
The advent of Frieze Masters alongside Frieze London since 2012 is an overdue acknowledgement that contemporary art is always constantly in dialogue with art of the past. A perfect example was Bridget Riley, one of Britain’s greatest living artists, whose unique Op Art approach – which now seems so singular – was actually developed through the study of Pointillism, in particularly the supreme painter George Seurat. The influence of Seurat on Riley is tracked today in a lovely show at the Courtauld.
Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat, Courtauld Gallery, London, until 17 January 2016
S is for Schools alumni
In the latest issue of RA Magazine, we focused on RA Schools alumni Eddie Peake and Prem Sahib who, only two years after graduation, have major public solo shows opening during Frieze week, at the Barbican and the ICA respectively. But there are other recent RA alumni to mention too, such as Hannah Perry, who has a show at Shoreditch gallery Seventeen opens this week, and Rebecca Ackroyd, whose new work is on view at Hunter/Whitfield. The Royal Academy is smiling collectively like a proud mother.
Rebecca Ackroyd: Taken Care, Hunter/Whitfield, London, 9 October – 21 November; Eddie Peake: The Forever Loop, The Curve Gallery at the Barbican, London, 9 October – 10 January 2016; Hannah Perry: Mercury Retrograde, Seventeen Gallery, London, 10 October – 5 December; Prem Sahib: Side On, ICA, London, until 15 November; Prem Sahib: End Up, Southard Reid, London, 7 October – 14 November