Who to Network With During Frieze Week 2016
It's time to get out there and make the right friends.
Frieze London and Frieze Masters draw the best and brightest in the art world to the British capital, making Frieze Week one of the best networking opportunities of the year. And, while one of the great things about art fairs is the incidental conversations you might have, it is also wise to have a “hit list.”
With around 300 of the world’s top galleries gathering for Frieze London and Frieze Masters alone, not to mention the other fairs taking place the same week, the wealth of dealers, collectors, artists, and art world denizens might be overwhelming.
To help you successfully navigate the upper echelons of the art scene, we’ve compiled a list of 10 art professionals you’d do well to meet.
Gregor Muir, outgoing director at the Institute of Contemporary Arts
Muir has navigated the public and private spheres of the British art world with equal panache and success. He started his stellar career at London’s Lux Gallery in 1997, where he worked until 2001, when he became a curator at Tate Modern. He then joined Hauser & Wirth as director from 2004 to 2011, when he became the director of the ICA. This past June, Muir was appointed director of international collections at Tate, a homecoming if there ever was one.
Muir is worth tracking down if only to get some tips on how to plot your career, but he also might have an answer to the question of the moment: who will replace Nicholas Serota as director of Tate?
Stefan Kalmár, incoming director at the Institute of Contemporary Arts
The ICA recently announced that their outgoing director Gregor Muir (see above) will be succeeded by Stefan Kalmár, the executive director and curator of Artists Space in New York. Kalmár, who started his career at London’s Cubitt Gallery, was highly successful in his role at Artists Space, expanding the board and increasing funding.
The ICA has seen an upturn under Muir’s directorship and there is much hope that Kalmár, who has the rare ability of both pleasing the art world with his innovative programming and aptly managing the strategic and financial side of things, will take Muir’s improvements even further.
Vincent Honoré, director, David Roberts Art Foundation
Vincent Honoré is the director and curator of London’s David Roberts Arts Foundation (DRAF). Since its inception in 2007, Honoré has devised a successful exhibition program that has turned the foundation into a curatorial powerhouse.
Prior to his post at DRAF, Honoré was a curator at Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2001-2004) and at Tate Modern in London (2004-2007), where he developed exhibitions and projects by Carol Bove, Pierre Huyghe, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Jeff Wall, Louise Bourgeois, and Hans Haacke among others—so one can bet his reach stretches far.
Iwona Blazwick, director, Whitechapel Gallery
As the director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London, Blazwick is a force to be reckoned with—and somewhat of a London institution herself. She was the first to stage a public show of Damien Hirst’s work way back in the early 1990s, when she was a junior curator at the ICA, and she oversaw the £13.5 million expansion of the Whitechapel Gallery. And rumor has been circulating for years that she is one of the top contenders to take over for Nicholas Serota at Tate.
Victoria Siddall, director, Frieze Fairs
If you want the inside edge on all things Frieze Fairs related then why not track down the woman in charge if it all? Victoria Siddall can be credited with having launched the Frieze Masters and Frieze New York iterations in 2012, before being appointed director of Frieze Fairs in 2014, taking over from its original founders, Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp.
Siddall started at Frieze in 2004, after working at Christie’s, and was instrumental in turning the original Frieze fair into a financial success as well as an art world institution. Siddall is also a great innovative thinker who probably has tons of advice and anecdotes for someone looking to break into the art world or further their careers.
Rozsa Farkas, director and founder, Arcadia Missa
Farkas is the director and founder of Arcadia Missa, an experimental gallery nestled in Peckham Rye that has quickly gained popularity and recognition since its inception in 2011. Her interest lies in new media and digital and performative practices, and she is known for exhibiting and fostering the careers of young, emerging artists, including Amalia Ulman, Jesse Darling, and Hannah Black, who is currently on view at New York’s New Museum.
Make sure to stop by the gallery’s booth at Frieze London, G28.
Polly Staple, director, Chisenhale Gallery
Polly Staple has gained a formidable reputation since leaving the post of curator at Frieze London for one of the most respected art institutions in the city: the Chisenhale Gallery.
Through commissioning new work and promoting the artists showcased at the gallery—including Jordan Wolfson, Helen Marten, and Ed Atkins—Staple has turned the space into a key part of the London art scene. In 2014, she was awarded the £25,000 ($32,550) Genesis Prize, announced with the statement: “Polly runs one of the most important arts organisations in the country whose track record of launching young artists is outstanding. Polly has made a real impact on the artistic life of the country and in particular the East End where the Chisenhale Gallery is based.”
You can see the work of Yuri Pattison—winner of the Frieze Artist Award this year and recently exhibited at the Chisenhale—as part of Frieze Projects, if tracking Staple down eludes you at the fair next week.
Catherine Wood, performance curator, Tate Modern
As an “instrumental” member in founding Tate’s performance program in 2003, Catherine Wood has an eye for spotting and cultivating the careers of performance artists; she has worked on acquisitions to the Tate such as Tino Sehgal, Joan Jonas, and Suzanne Lacey. Her curation of the 2012 show “A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance” spotlighted artists typically not categorized as working with performance art—including Cindy Sherman and Jack Smith—demonstrating Wood’s ability to approach practices from a different angle.
Valeria Napoleone, collector
Valeria Napoleone is a stalwart of the London art scene and a champion of emerging art and artists in the capital. Last year, Napoleone launched Valeria Napoleone XX, a venture to get more female artists into museums which has already commissioned a work by the Turner Prize 2016 nominee Anthea Hamilton.
Napoleone’s collection is focused on female artists, so through this project we will see more art made by women entering institutions. She is both determined and unafraid to be different.
Patrizia Sandretto, collector, and museum owner
Founder of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Patrizia Sandretto is one of Italy’s foremost collectors. “To collect is in my DNA,” Sandretto once said. She began her collecting days in the early 1990s with London’s Lisson Gallery, securing her relationship to the city and its most famous annual art fair.
Sandretto is also known for commissioning and exhibiting emerging artists at her foundation, which is currently showcasing exhibitions by Ed Atkins and Daniel Frota. Although based in Turin, Sandretto is a staple of Frieze Week, during which you can easily run into her scanning the booths at Frieze London as well as staging her own coveted events in the city.
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