"The Sweet Perfume of Optimism"
The Press on the Frieze Art Fair 2010
The Frieze Art Fair in London has lived up to its reputation as being the most vital contemporary art fair. The eighth edition of the fair, whose main sponsor was Deutsche Bank, drew more than 60,000 visitors to the tents in London's Regent's Park. The consensus in the press: the barometer of public opinion was very high again.
"Contemporary Art Makes Collectors Hot Again," was the headline in the Handelsblatt, ArtReview talked about "The Sweet Perfume of Optimism,", and Wallpaper reported on "solid sales, huge crowds, and tons of great galleries." The mood was buoyant even before the Frieze Art Fair began. More galleries than ever before had applied for a booth. During the fair, 173 participants from 29 countries presented works by more than 1,000 artists in the tents in Regent's Park. To give people an overview despite the immense offer, the organizers relied on innovative technology: for the first time visitors could download apps for their iPhones and iPads free of charge - including an interactive map of the fairgrounds. Deutsche Bank made this service possible. Bloomberg devoted an entire article to the art program of the sponsor Deutsche Bank discussing the art in the bank's London headquarters and its commitment to the Frieze. Bloomberg quoted Alistair Hicks, a Deutsche Bank art advisor: "We recognized back then that London needed an international fair that promoted a broad spectrum of new art, and we shared the same ambition."
The Frieze is "more than a fair," wrote the Spiegel. It is the "focal point and impetus for a London art event week with an exemplary joint venture between the trade fair, auction houses and exhibitions at museums and galleries which (…) are absolutely worth the trip." In its report, Art also said that the importance of the fair goes beyond the tents. "The true success of the Frieze is reflected by the fact that today the capital's entire art scene is oriented to it. (…) Not bad for a fair that has only existed for eight years." An important factor is the fringe events, for example Frieze Projects, "a kind of ironic counterweight to the commercial aspect." For CNN, too, the projects were among the highlights of the fair. For Adrian Searle of the Guardian, Spartacus Chetwynd's project encapsulated the atmosphere of this year's fair: "It was delightful, stupid, faintly nightmarish and carnivalesque." The Financial Times talked about a "mood of controlled anarchy" in Regent's Park.
The New York Times registered "an influx of buyers from Asia and the countries of the former Soviet Union," while Art found that this year special artistic positions from Latin Americ aroused visitors' interest - for example "Gabriel Orozco, who was presented by Barbara Gladstone from New York and who was also shown in the lounge of the main sponsor Deutsche Bank." The Frankfurter Rundschau mentioned that the bank presented its Artist of the Year 2011, Yto Barrada, within the framework of the fair. Monopol discovered a new trend at the Frieze: "Large is the new small. Many works cry out: hello, here I am!" The NZZ commented on this as well: "What was noticeable almost everywhere, more than in previous years, was the large number of giant works."
"London is indisputably the most important marketplace for very young art," was the FAZ's summary of its impressions of this year's Frieze. And Artnet came to the following conclusion: "In the constantly changing and globalizing art market, London seems to be clearly among the winners." For the Independent, the Frieze has developed into a "creative hub." "A decade ago, London didn't even have its own contemporary art fair. Now, for five days in mid- October, the art set wouldn't dream of being anywhere else."