Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Frieze London returned to Regent’s Park this week with presentations from over 160 galleries spanning 46 countries. A global art fair, this edition honors Britain’s broad cultural community with collaborations between leading arts organizations and institutions and features a new “Artist-to-Artist” presentation and extended public programs of cultural events. During the fair’s VIP preview on Wednesday, the aisles were full and several dealers reported early sales.
Below is a list of 10 best offerings, from exciting up-and-coming artists to established ones, at Frieze London, which runs until October 15.
Danielle Mckinney at Marianne Boesky Gallery
Showing her work for the first time in London with a solo booth of new paintings, New Jersey–based artist Danielle McKinney’s enchanting, cinematic paintings showcase women in various states of leisure and rest. Asleep, sprawled on the bed reading, and smoking gazing away in deep thought. Of a dream-like nature, the sitters are in a world of their own. As a viewer, you’re curious to know more about these women. How do they go about their day-to-day lives, away from the intimate space they inhabit? In one, splashes of dark orange, from the lipstick to the nail varnish and orange lamp in the bedroom, contrast with brown, adding layers to the imagery.
These new paintings present a new chapter in the artist’s ongoing survey of portraiture, composition, and color with her extensive knowledge of art history that directly references Vermeer’s domestic interiors and use of light. Alongside the oil paintings, McKinney is also debuting works with watercolor on paper, a first for the artist who typically works with acrylic or oil paint. They are small-scale but impactful—works you will remember.
Cece Philips at Peres Projects
London-based artist Cece Philips evoke a reflective essence in her paintings. With interior composition reminiscent of Edward Hopper, people are seen inside their homes, through the windows, going about mundane activities. One painting shows a long, almost dark corridor lit with yellow artificial lights, its blindless window overlooking the blue-colored outside world. Experimenting with spatial dimensions, Philips uses light as a way to move between spaces from the middle to the background.
Part of a group presentation, Peres Projects dedicated a section of its booth to Philips’s new series of ultramarine-centered paintings that delve into the nocturnal cosmopolis. Enigmatic in nature, they reimagine social dynamics and environments examining how modernist interiors and urban surroundings are occupied by women, mainly women of color. Next month, Philips will be included in a group exhibition, “The Painted Room,” curated by Scottish artist Caroline Walker at Grimm Gallery in Amsterdam.
Van Hanos at Lisson Gallery
Lisson Gallery presents a new series of paintings by the US-born artist Van Hanos commissioned for Frieze London. Inspired by months spent as a “voyeur” in Vienna, according to a release, these works emphasize his reflections from walking around the city, observing the environment around him. Still Life with Polizei, for example, features an opulent spread of fruit and lobster in fine China, surrounded by tableware items including a silver jug; a modern-looking police car drives past this still life—itself a reconsideration of Dutch artist Abraham van Beyeren’s Banquet Still Life (1667)—that bulges out of the background. Like his other paintings in the presentation, Hanos mixes classical elements with more contemporary imagery as seen in Sex Dolls, of an antique shop showing cherubs kissing with an advertisement to a strip club posted outside. The window reflections give a nod to the windows of art history.
Larry Achiampong at Copperfield Gallery
Video games galore are the subject of this presentation from South London’s Copperfield Gallery. Exhibiting as part of the fair’s Focus section for young galleries, the gallery has brought new paintings by Larry Achiampong, as well as a video games installation furnished with sofas, colorful rugs, small TVs, a cabinet filled with gaming DVDs, and even the popular African and Caribbean drink Supermalt. The immersive (playable) display makes you feel like you’re at home enjoying a session playing video games.
The intriguing paintings follow Achiampong’s investigation into racial and gender bias and whitewashing in computer games. He answers this narrative with alterations of his own, taking from the visual expression of popular game advertisements to create blockbuster-like characters surrounded by text.
Marguerite Humeau at Clearing
Marguerite Humeau’s thought-provoking solo booth for Clearing expands on her ambitious 160-acre land art project Orisons (2023) in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. The booth at Frieze features a number of sculptures and wall-mounted works that call to attention the imperfect way we coexist with other beings and forces in our world. Among the themes explored are life and death, knowledge, transience and resilience, and mysticism. The sculptures include a wind-activated mechanism in recycled steel while their “network of roots” are made with wax cast in bronze to represent the roots pulled from the desert soil. The wall-hung art, replete with symbols sewn on textiles and hanging in translucent layers of colored wax, present the map the artist created of the Orisons land.
Humeau took three years to research the project, working with geologists, conservationists, farmers, and Indigenous communities—people who know the landscape. The booth’s immersive space really feels like you’re experiencing nature in its truest form. Her aim is to honor the landscape, celebrate life, and restore bonds that may have been forgotten.
Sophie von Hellermann at Pilar Corrias
Likely to be praised as the star of this year’s Frieze London is Pilar Corrias’s solo presentation of Margate-based German artist Sophie von Hellermann. The incredible space transports you to another world like you’re going through a dream. Aptly titled “Dreamland,” the project was inspired by Margate’s iconic funfair of the same name. One of Britain’s oldest surviving amusement parks, it opened in 1970 on the coastal town as a form of entertainment for the working class who could participate in leisure like the aristocracy.
Bringing the funfair to Frieze, the paintings feature Ferris wheels, people on carousels, and other characters from popular culture and literature including a bather frolicking and seagulls flying across Turner-esque skies. While the paintings elicit joy, vibrancy with bursts of color, and the promise of thrill-seeking adventures, there is also a sense of eeriness and melancholy, highlighting the decay of a once opulent amusement park.
Ayoung Kim at Gallery Hyundai
As part of the new “Artist-to-Artist” display, Haegue Yang nominated Ayoung Kim’s fascinating video titled Delivery Dancer’s Sphere for a solo booth in Frieze London. It shows a woman delivery driver named Ernst Mo (an anagram for monster) who works for a company called Delivery Dancer and controlled by algorithm-generated routes through Seoul. The work is inspired by Kim’s personal experience as a user of the gig economy that became especially prominent in South Korea during the pandemic’s lockdown. The artist’s work centers complex narratives based on her extensive research on Korea’s history and modern issues as well as geopolitics and international movements.
Kevin Beasley at Casey Kaplan
Kevin Beasley’s abstract wall-based and freestanding sculptures dive deep into the notion of landscapes and how that informs our shared spaces. Described by the artist as “new slabs”—a sculptural form drawing from centuries-old relief sculptures—the series of four sculptures, titled Garden Windows, show a constructed version of a natural environment we could live in. Abundant greenery with pretty flowers outlined with Sharpie against a cloudy but brightly colored backdrop, the works have a romantic aspect to them.
Leilah Babirye at Stephen Friedman Gallery
Leilah Babirye’s eye-catching solo booth for Stephen Friedman Gallery with its red-painted walls immediately draw your attention. The presentation includes a selection of hand-carved sculptures made in wood and ceramic alongside works with acrylic paint on paper, part of her ongoing series “Queer Identity Card.” These portraits show nonbinary folks wearing bright red lipstick and colorful clothes—and evenly green-dyed hair. The wood sculptures are decorated with found objects including wire, metal spoons, and nails that are welded, burnished, and woven, while the ceramic ones are fired then splattered with glaze. Babirye’s multidisciplinary practice reconstructs everyday materials into new objects that focus on the issues surrounding sexuality, human rights, and identity. With this installation, she imagines establishing a community for queer Ugandans.
Deana Lawson at David Kordansky Gallery
One of the first booths visible upon entering Frieze London is David Kordansky’s duo presentation of Deana Lawson and Fred Eversley. Lawson’s large-format photographs feature subjects from different walks of life. One shows a woman holding her baby, while another woman, topless sitting on a lounger, stares ahead, almost looking right at the viewer. Upon close inspection of the mirror placed at the corner of the room, Lawson, taking the picture, is visible. Her work explores how complex individuals and communities take up space within changing social and ecological landscapes and capital circumstances within and beyond the US borders.