A more subdued fair than in recent years but nonetheless an invigorating opportunity to view what's what in contemporary art, this year's Frieze Art Fair ultimately does not fail to inspire.
Perhaps we're just more inured, but the 2010 mega-plunk of art in Regent's Park seems less grand than we remember from year's past. Still, where the world's top galleries appear to be scaling and/or holding back, the artists they represent seem eager to forge ahead with as much audacity of vision as ever. Less photography and massive pieces but considerably brasher and cheekier (at times down right raunchy) than 2009, the art world goes gritty and lean in this annual showcase of new and established artists to an international audience.
Highlights? After a thorough meander through, Spartacus Chetwynd's giant cat bus ode to Hayao Miyazaki, “A Tax Haven Run by Women (in the Style of a Luna Park Game Show)”, more than pleased while Gillian Wearing's “Me as Warhol in Drag with Scar” (Maureen Paley gallery, London) got an audible 'huh?' out of us and Keiichi Tanaami's ultra vibrant offerings (Nanzuka Underground, Tokyo) were a weirdly wonderful wow of a display. Our favourite piece? Well, leaving a semi-permanent smirk on this reporting Londonista's face, Marcus Coates' video installation, “The Plover Wing - A Meeting with the Mayor of Holon, Israel” (Kate MacGarry gallery, London) was as irksome as we suppose great contemporary art should be.
Frieze Art Fair runs through Sunday October 17th at the southern end of Regent's Park and features art from more than 150 of the “most exciting contemporary art galleries in the world” along with specially commissioned artists’ projects, a prestigious talks programme and an artist-led education schedule. Visit www.friezeartfair.com for more info.