Frieze, Frieze Masters and PAD:first-look at London's biggest art shows from Regents Park to Berkeley Square

Three shows, Frieze, Frieze Masters and PAD, provide a feast for art fans in London this month.

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It’s Frieze week and London is crammed with art collectors, aficionados and shows. The three big deals are Frieze, Frieze Masters and PAD.

While other shows abound, these are the places to see some of the most controversial artworks, the best of those from previous centuries and striking contemporary applied arts.

The shows offer as much fascination to visitors as to serious collectors; a provocation and/or a feast for the eyes. Much of the art is at a very high price point but is an enjoyable education in major art trends.


Some 160 of the world’s leading galleries take part in this, the 14th edition of Frieze London. All the major London galleries put on significant shows and the world’s galleries join in.

Frieze highlight: Philippe Parreno’s Speech Bubbles (Green), 2015 made up of 1,500 Mylar balloons (Damian Griffiths)

Highlights include several magical immersive light installations by James Turrell (Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles), a new sculptural work by Philippe Parreno (Pilar Corrias Gallery, London) and Hauser & Wirth (London)’s L’atelier d’artistes, a tongue-in-cheek look at how artists’ studios are reconstructed in museums.

This year women artists are at the fore with work by Latifa Echakhch (Kamel Mennour, Paris), Goshka Macuga (Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich), Penny Siopis (Stevenson, Cape Town), Francis Upritchard (Kate MacGarry, London) and Channa Horwitz (Ghebaly Gallery Los Angeles). P.P.O.W (New York) shows four generations of feminism with Carolee Schneemann, Betty Tompkins, Portia Munson, Aurel Schmidt and Erin Riley.

Frieze also runs a varied non-profit programme of ambitious new artist commissions and talks. This year in The Nineties, Nicolas Trembley selects artists who changed the nature of art in that decade. Galleries will revisit seminal exhibitions from the 1990s, highlighting key collaborations between dealers and artists that have had a lasting impact on contemporary art.

The free Sculpture Park, where 20 works by 20th-century masters and contemporary talents are placed throughout the English Gardens of Regent’s Park, this year includes sculptures by Conrad Shawcross, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi and Jean Dubuffet. Selected by Clare Lilley (director of programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park), it links Frieze London with Frieze Masters and runs from October 5 until January 8.


Generally a less frenetic affair than its older sister, Frieze Masters is the chance to see pieces from more than 130 of the world’s leading galleries specialising in everything from ancient art to 20th century masters.

Star of Frieze Masters: Paula Rego’s The Gluttony of Fish, 1985

This year it includes extraordinary artefacts such as a life-size wooden face of a 6th to 7th Dynasty Egyptian nobleman (Rupert Wace Ancient Art, London) and a Surrealism fest (Dickinson, London) which includes an iconic painting by René Magritte —L’Empire des lumières’ (1949), the very first work from the artist’s most influential and celebrated series, originally owned by Nelson Rockefeller — and a Joan Miró maquette of his Unesco mural, rediscovered after 50 years.

Intriguingly and unusually, women artists feature strongly here too, with solo exhibitions by Anni Albers (Alan Cristea Gallery, London); Paula Rego (Marlborough Fine Art, London); and Susan Rothenberg (Sperone Westwater, New York).

There is a mix of gallery collaborations, with 18 international galleries partnering to mount creative and thought-provoking shows, such as Salon 94 (New York) and Bernard de Grunne (Brussels) collaborating for the first time to show figurative works by Judy Chicago, alongside African and Oceanic sculptures in a stand designed by leading architect David Adjaye. A particular highlight is always Helly Nahmad (London), which is showing three monumental Picassos.

  • Frieze London, Regent’s Park South; Frieze Masters, Regent’s Park North; October 5-8, 11am-9pm; October 9, 11am-6pm. Tickets from £26 depend on time of day. One-day entry to both shows £52.


Sensuous lacquer: Takeshi Igawa’s bowl (Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon)

Over in Berkeley Square, PAD, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, is the place to find some of the more cutting-edge contemporary craft collectables, which these days come in a wide range of media.

Michael Eden employs digital techniques such as additive layer manufacturing to create nylon vessels on show at Adrian Sassoon alongside press-forged and hand-hammered anodised aluminium vases by Robert Foster, the Australian designer who died earlier this year, and sensuous lacquer vessels by Takeshi Igawa.

Katie Jones is the specialist in Japanese makers who create contemporary takes on traditional Japanese concepts, such as Shouchiku Tanabe’s elegant bamboo flower container and Takeshi Mitsumoto’s silver-plated copper one.

PAD craftwork: Rowan Mersh’s Asabikeshiinh (Dreamcatcher), 2016 (Courtesy of Fumi Gallery )

On the metal theme, Fumi show work by Studio Glithero fresh from their LDF installation at the V&A. Je Ne Sais Quoi is a set of tables constructed first in bamboo and wax before being direct cast entirely in bronze.

Sarah Myerscough, showing for the first time at PAD, specialises in wood. She presents Jack’s, a super-tall cabinet in English Sycamore by Gareth Neal, and Abyss Horizon by Christopher Duffy. This coffee table made of layered high-grade reconstituted wood and different shades of layered blue Perspex looks like map contours of the ocean floor and gives the viewer the impression of diving into the depths towards the seabed. Sylvester Stallone bought one of the series last year.

  • PAD Berkeley Square; October 5-8, 11am-8pm; October 9, 11am-6pm; £25.

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