Back in the dismal depths of 2020, it felt as though art fairs were on the brink of pandemic-induced extinction. The art world, like the rest of the world, turned into a virtual affair; viewing rooms were the status quo, and Zoom screens contained galleries, studios and our sole link to the creative community.
Could the art world glitterati ever congregate en masse in an indoor tent again? Yes, as Frieze London 2021 is proving. The fair has made a mighty return to the UK capital, armed with a renewed sense of optimism, community spirit, and focus on the most pressing issues of the era.
As per (new) normal, remnants of masked greetings, time-slotted bookings and elbow bumps remain, but parties are back on the schedule, galleries have decked their booths with world-leading art, and visitors arrive dressed in their head-turning Frieze best. Beyond sartorial requirements is this year’s must-have accessory: a grey fabric wristband offered in exchange for proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test result.
Now Frieze has, at last, emerged from hibernation, it feels as though spring has sprung on the art world, albeit a few months behind schedule.
High tech meets high art
Perhaps it’s a post-pandemic craving for something to saturate the senses when reality becomes too much, but ‘immersive art’ seems to be dominating this year’s Frieze Week, from LUX at 180 The Strand, to AA Murakami at Superblue’s new space, and Anicka Yi’s scent and science-infused Hyundai Commission at...
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