5 Shows to See During Frieze London

Liu Ye, Jorge Luis Borges, 2022-2023 at David Zwirner during Frieze London
Liu Ye, Jorge Luis Borges, 2022-2023 at David Zwirner during Frieze London

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This week, the art world descends on London for Frieze London, the city’s premier contemporary art fair. If you want to add a few local shows to your plans, there are plenty in the surrounding areas of Mayfair, Soho, and St. James.

So whether you’re a seasoned art collector or just a curious visitor, there’s something for everyone in London this week.

Christina Quarles on ‘Come In From An Endless Place’ in Menorca

Christina Quarles’ Tripping Over My Joy

Christina Quarles’ show inaugurates Pilar Corrias’s new 5000 sq. ft. Mayfair flagship space at 51 Conduit Street. 

The work explores themes of identity, representation, and perception, featuring seven new paintings on canvas and nine works on paper. Quarles’ work is characterized by its bold colors, intricate patterns, and ambiguous forms.

Her paintings often depict familiar and alien figures, inviting viewers to question their understanding of identity. In this new body of work, Quarles continues to push the boundaries of her practice.

The paintings on canvas are particularly striking, with their dense layers of paint and shifting perspectives. Quarles’ use of color is masterful, and her work will surely delight even the most casual viewer.

The works on paper are smaller in scale, but they are no less powerful. Quarles’ use of line and gesture is particularly expressive in these pieces, offering a unique glimpse into the artist’s creative process.

Christina Quarles’ “Tripping Over My Joy” at Pilar Corrias | Oct 10 – Dec 16 | 51 Conduit St. in Mayfair, London, UK

Derek jarman queer at amanda wilkinson during frieze london
Derek Jarman Queer at Amanda Wilkinson during Frieze London

Derek Jarman’s Queer

Derek Jarman’s “Queer” exhibition at Amanda Wilkinson includes paintings that were first exhibited in 1992 and are a powerful response to the homophobic and sexist coverage of the AIDS crisis in the media. Jarman’s use of language and paint is beautiful and disturbing, and his work is as relevant today as it was when it was created.

The exhibition is divided into two parts. The first part, “Love,” features paintings that explore themes of love, sex, and death. The second part, “Sex,” features paintings more explicitly about the AIDS crisis. Both parts cut directly into the homosexual experience of the early 1990s.

One of the most striking things about the paintings is Jarman’s use of color. He uses bright, vibrant colors to create a sense of life and energy, even in the face of death. The paintings are also full of movement and energy, with figures dancing, kissing, and embracing.

Jarman’s use of language is just as powerful as his use of color. He scrawls words and phrases across the paintings, often in an unsettling way. The terms are often homophobic and sexist, reflecting how the media covered the AIDS crisis.

Forthcoming Jarman exhibitions include:

  • Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, Japan, Oct – Dec 2023
  • City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand, 2024
  • Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand, 2024
  • The Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, 2024

Derek Jarman’s “Queer” at Amanda Wilkinson | Oct 5 – Dec 16 | 1st Floor, 47 Farringdon Rd in Soho, London, UK

Liu ye, jorge luis borges, 2022-2023 at david zwirner during frieze london
Liu Ye, Jorge Luis Borges, 2022-2023 at David Zwirner during Frieze London

Liu Ye: Naive and Sentimental Painting

Liu Ye’s recent paintings are a fascinating exploration of the intersection of history and representation. The exhibition title, “Naive and Sentimental Music,” refers to a symphony by John Adams.

The title is apt, as Ye’s paintings can seem naive in their sentimental approach to their subjects. But, what can appear simple turns and shows its hand to be deeply personal and revealing.

Ye’s work draws on a variety of sources, including authors, artists, and architects, to explore the history of portraiture and the possibilities of painting. His paintings reflect his diverse interests, which range from literature and art to his family and pets.

Ye’s paintings are like windows into his own mind. They are full of personal references and allusions, which can be rewarding and challenging to decode. But even if you need help understanding every connection to his life, Ye’s paintings are still powerful and moving. They offer a unique glimpse into the artist’s inner world.

Liu Ye’s “Liu Ye: Naive and Sentimental Painting” at David Zwirner | Oct 10 – Nov 18 | 24 Grafton Street in the Mayfair district of London, UK

Robert Irwin
A Desert of Pure Feeling – In theaters and available to stream on Amazon and Apple TV beginning October 20, 2023

Robert Irwin + Mary Corse’s Parallax

Robert Irwin and Mary Corse: Parallax is an exhibition combining the work of two Southern Californian artists who offer unique perspectives on the nature of reality.

Robert Irwin is widely considered the originator of the California Light and Space movement, which rejected the traditional practice of making objects. Instead, Irwin and his fellow Light and Space artists focused on creating experiences that engaged the viewer’s senses and perception. The exhibition includes work from Irwin’s ongoing Unlight series, which consists of light-based installations that explore the relationship between light and space.

Corse’s early work layered glass microspheres into Tesla coil-powered lightboxes integrated into beveled-edge canvases. Her White Inner Band paintings in the exhibition take a more painterly approach to changing the viewer’s interaction with light using reflective paint.

Corse and Irwin explored abstract human perception in their art. They transcend convention to create multi-sensorial experiences. Both artists embrace the viewer as the primary component of the work. 

The ICA will present the European premiere of Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling on October 26th. A Q&A with Lawrence Weschler will follow the premiere.

Robert Irwin + Mary Corse’s “Parallax” at Pace | Oct 10 – Nov 11 | 5 Hanover Square in Mayfair, London, UK

Christies evening sale during frieze london
Christies Evening Sale during Frieze London

20th/21st Century: London Evening Sale at Christie’s

While not a traditional exhibition, nothing quite matches attending a Christie’s evening sale in London.

The auction will feature a selection of exceptional artworks from the previous century. The auction will be headlined by Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 masterpiece Future Sciences Versus the Man, a thrilling historical painting that captures the hopes and failures of humanity.

The sale will also include works sold to benefit the MOWAA (Museum of West African Art) Rainforest Gallery and Nigeria Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2024. Tunji Adeniyi-Jones and Yinka Shonibare have generously donated works to be sold.

The 20th/21st Century lots are clearly picked for the Frieze crowd in mind with work by Pam Evelyn, Peter Doig, and Mark Bradford. So, it should be a fun event if that’s why you are in town.

20th/21st Century: London Evening Sale at Christie’s London | Oct 13, 5 PM | 8 King St in St. James’s, London, UK

London Art Map

The map is marked for easier planning. Art fairs have yellow pins. Galleries, auction houses, and museums are blue pins with numbers.

Zoom into London, England, and pan over to the north side of the city center to find Frieze London. All the exhibitions are between Regent’s Park, where Frieze London is held, and Buckingham Palace to its south.

Art Galleries & Spaces in the United Kingdom

50 Golborne
Addis Fine Art London
Aleph Contemporary Ltd
Alison Jacques Gallery
Almine Rech – London
Amanda Wilkinson Gallery
Anima Mundi
Annely Juda Fine Art
Atlas Gallery
Bartha Contemporary
Ben Brown Fine Arts
bo.lee gallery
Cardi Gallery
Carl Freedman Gallery
Carlos Ishikawa
Castor
Collective Ending HQ
Cooke Latham Gallery
Cristea Roberts Gallery
Cromwell Place
Cynthia Corbett Gallery
David Hill Gallery
David Zwirner
Dellasposa Gallery
Diba Art London
Ed Cross Fine Art
Edel Assanti
Flowers Gallery
FOLD Gallery
Foreland
Francis Gallery
Frith Street Gallery
Galerie Max Hetzler
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Gazelli Art House
Goodman Gallery | London
HackelBury Fine Art Ltd
Hales Gallery
Hamiltons Gallery
Hauser & Wirth Somerset
Hauser & Wirth
Herald St
HOFA Gallery (House of Fine Art)
Huxley-Parlour
Ingleby Gallery
Jack Bell Gallery
Jack Shainman Gallery: The School
Janet Rady Fine Art Ltd
JD Malat Gallery
Kate MacGarry
KOPPE ASTNER
Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery
Large Glass
Lévy Gorvy Dayan – London
Lisson Gallery
Long & Ryle Ltd
Lumitrix ‘The Studio’
Lyndsey Ingram
Marlborough
Massimo De Carlo
Maureen Paley
Mazzoleni Art
Michael Hoppen Gallery
Modern Art – London Bury Street
Modern Art – London Helmet Row
Michael Werner Gallery London
New Art Projects London
Nicoletti Contemporary
Offer Waterman
Pangolin London
Parafin
Patrick Heide Contemporary Art
Pilar Corrias
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
Pontone Gallery
PUBLIC Gallery
Rabley Drawing Centre
Repetto Gallery
Rhodes Contemporary Art
Richard Saltoun
Ronchini
Sadie Coles HQ
Seventeen
Skarstedt Gallery
Sid Motion Gallery
Simon Lee Gallery
Southard Reid
Sprovieri
Sprueth Magers London
Stephen Friedman Gallery
Sulger-Buel Gallery
TASCHEN Store London
Tate Modern
Taymour Grahne Projects
The Approach Gallery LLP
The Cob Gallery
The Hepworth Wakefield
The Modern Institute
The Paragon Press
The Perimeter
Thomas Dane Gallery
Timothy Taylor
TJ Boulting
Turley Gallery
Union Gallery
Victoria Miro
Vigo Gallery
Waddington Custot
WORKPLACE
Wren London

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