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Frieze Masters

  • Wow! This art fair is good, really really good - I’d expected to see some great examples of modern art and old masters but I hadn’t expected all the other eclectic works on offer here from Egyptian statues to Indian Miniature paintings to a collection of boomerangs.



    It was like walking around 50 different museums that had put out some really fine pieces of art that you’d have to traipse around the world to see normally. And the works were really good as well. It wasn’t second rate ‘masters’ by any means. There were Picasso, Matisse, Willem De Kooning, Roy Lichenstein and Constable paintings. Plus Andy Warhol and David Hockney prints - all available to purchase. There were also William Blake drawings - even this list doesn't touch the amount of quality works here. There were things I'd never even seen in museums like five different states of a Picasso print - absolutely fascinating.


    One minute you were looking at Egyptian bird statues that you could have seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York - and the next a gallery from Vienna with stunning drawings by Egon Schiele and Klimt.


    The whole thing has a very different feel to Frieze London as well - instead of the crush of people there’s more space, a sedate atmosphere and the galleries have worn luxurious sofas. That’s possibly as the prices of works here are much higher than those in Frieze London. (As an example as The Art Newspaper cites Hauser & Wirth at Frieze is selling ten wall reliefs by Hans Josephsohn late 1960s - late 1990s for £10,000 a pop while at Frieze Masters works on paper by Eva Hesse are priced from $320,000 to $2m.)


    A few things that I really liked included a nice Patrick Heron abstract, a brilliant Corot landscape drawing that was partially painted in and had such space and detail that is was marvelous.


    There were also a few Gerhard Richter photos with paint dragged over - I always like the way he uses the dragged paint to add another layer, and a greater sense of depth to a photo that can seem flat - and many of the photos he uses have layered depth in them anyway, like the one below where the plant pot in front is in focus and the one behind out of focus - the paint then exaggerates this depth.



    Plus there was a fantastic Gunther Uecker nail painting - even that quick round up shows exactly how many superb and different things you could see here. 


    This fair may be smaller than Frieze London but it takes more time to go around as there is so much to look at. It is also ideal for people who feel that contemporary art, like the work at Frieze London, makes them literally want to vomit because of the sick qualities they say some of it contains.


    This art fair is sheer quality and a really different offering to Frieze London.


    Review by Robert Dunt, Artist and Founder/CEO

    Frieze Masters is in Regent's Park until Sunday October 14