What to See in London During Frieze Week

Everyone will be talking about these shows.

Olof Dreijer, 2016. Courtesy of Alexa Vachon.

The nights are drawing in, the days are getting colder, and the leaves are falling from the trees. In London this means not only that fall is on the way but also that it’s nearly time for the city’s busy Frieze week. Catching up on all the fairs and auctions is enough of a challenge already, but once the hustle and bustle has lost its luster, there are excellent exhibitions to discover, as galleries and institution put on their finest to coincide with the influx of art world denizens to London.

We’ve picked our top 20 exhibitions and events in London you wouldn’t want to miss this week:

Works in progress for "And the Wall Fell Away" by Yinka Shonibare at his studio. Photo courtesy Wig Worland

Works in progress for “And the Wall Fell Away” by Yinka Shonibare at his studio. Photo courtesy Wig Worland

1. Yinka Shonibare, “…And the Wall Fell Away,” at Stephen Friedman Gallery, September 28 – November 5
Opening for Frieze week, “…And the Wall Fell Away” will be installed across both of Stephen Friedman’s galleries and will showcase only new works from Shonibare.

Known primarily for his sculptural work using Batik Dutch fabrics—which appear to be printed with African imagery but are actually produced using Indonesian designs and sold in the former colonies—Shonibare has now taken his practice in an entirely new direction—and scale. His new body of work encompasses large-scale prints, murals, and bronze sculpture.

This exhibition comprises two sections, Gallery One dealing with ideas of rationality in classical art and Gallery Two with religious hybridity.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

Tony Cragg. Photo: Courtesy Lisson Gallery, London.

Work by Tony Cragg. Courtesy of Lisson Gallery, London.

2. Tony Cragg at Lisson Gallery, October 1 – November 5
Tony Cragg’s 14th exhibition with Lisson Gallery is set to span both London venues and will feature new works by the British sculptor. Prepare to be surprised as Cragg continues to deepen his career-long experimental approach to the medium of sculpture.

For his new show the artist explores new and familiar materials, utilizing both organic and artificial elements, glass works, and monumental bronze sculptures. The exciting utilization of a wide range of material reimagined by the artist, is all the more enthralling when the viewer is confronted with his signature abstract sculptural works.

—Henri Neuendorf

Amalia Ulman, Privilege 2016. Photo Courtesy: Arcadia Missa.

3. Amalia Ulman, “Labour Dance” at Arcadia Missa, October 1 – November 5
The show’s title could be read as a nod in the direction of the late Capitalist work culture of recent years, but is instead a term used for a practice that induces birth. Philosopher Julia Kristeva gives the show its conceptual frame, with the quote “One does not give birth in pain, one gives birth to pain.”

This installation at Arcadia Missa, a solo show by the millennial multi- and social-media artist Amalia Ulman, will act as a durational piece designed to follow premise of the work Privilege, which was shown at the 9th Berlin Biennale.

—Skye Arundhati Thomas


Walnut Coffee Table, Zaha Hadid. Courtesy David Gill Gallery.

4. Zaha Hadid, “UltraStellar” at David Gill Gallery, October 3 until October 29 2016
In memory and celebration of the late Zaha Hadid, the show will feature some of the key furniture designs from Hadid’s final collection in collaboration with long-term gallerist and close friend David Gill. Furniture on display will be rendered in materials like walnut, silver, glass and leather—sitting alongside a clear Hadid favorite—clear acrylic.

The pieces are a reflection of her continuing dialogue with fluid and sinuous lines, as well as post-modern manipulations of contemporary materials put together with more traditional ones. The show builds on the ongoing partnership between Zaha Hadid Designs and the gallery itself.

—Skye Arundhati Thomas

Paula Rego, Dancing Ostriches from Disney's ‘Fantasia’, 1995. Copyright Paula Rego, Courtesy Marlborough Fine Art.

Paula Rego, Dancing Ostriches from Disney’s ‘Fantasia’, 1995. Copyright Paula Rego, Courtesy Marlborough Fine Art.

5. Paula Rego “Dancing Ostriches,” Marlborough Fine Art, September 28 – November 12
Originally commissioned for the 1996 exhibition “Spellbound” at the Hayward Gallery, London, and subsequently acquired by the Saatchi Gallery, the Dancing Ostriches is a series inspired by a specific scene from Walt Disney’s Fantasia, namely, The Dance of the Ostriches.

The paintings look to challenge normative notions of the body, especially as imagined by the films of Disney, the result is a spectacular series of strong and beautiful women of color calmly going through a variety of poses. These stunning paintings will be displayed together for the first time in twenty years and were Rego’s response to the centenary of cinema in Britain.

—Skye Arundhati Thomas

Bedwyr Williams, Visual for the show "The Gulch, at the Barbican. Courtesy the artist

Bedwyr Williams, Visual for the show “The Gulch,” at the Barbican. Courtesy the artist

6. Bedwyr Williams, “The Gulch” at The Barbican, London, September 29 – January 8.
Quirky Welsh artist Bedwyr Williams takes over the immense Curve Gallery at The Barbican with an immersive installation accompanied by a series of events with his trademark humor-infused artistic practice.

“The audience will become performers,” Williams told the Art NewspaperBecause of the design of the space, the artist has planned for the exhibition to be experienced in parts: “It makes you think about missing out on things,” he said. “It’s not a shared experience kind of room.” The series will feature a performance by Williams, yoga, an artist talk and book launch, and “gulch”-themed events, including “Celtic Gulch,” “Poetry Gulch,” and “The Gulch: An Amateur Symposium,” which will touch on topics ranging from taxidermy to hypnotism.

—Caroline Elbaor

People watching Michael Craig Martin at Serpentine Marathon. Photo Lewis Ronald

People watching Michael Craig Martin at Serpentine Marathon. Photo Lewis Ronald

7. Miracle Marathon, at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, October 8-9
Celebrating 10 years of the Serpentine Galleries’ “forum for open discussion and idea exchange,” the Miracle Marathon will include speakers such as Christo, Etel Adnan, Adrian Villa Rojas, and Gilbert & George.

The two-day event—a brainchild of the indefatigable Hans Ulrich Obrist—combines, performance and more traditional conference speeches and discussions and will be broadcast via Serpentine Radio online for those who can’t get a ticket or make it down to West London. For those who would like to go, booking is required.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

Mårten Spångberg: Natten, <i>The Series 2016</i>. Photo Anne Van Aerschot, courtesy ICA

Mårten Spångberg: Natten, The Series 2016. Photo Anne Van Aerschot, courtesy ICA

8. ICA Live at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, October 3 – 8
The ICA will be hosting a series of live events including dance, discussion, film, performance, and music to coincide with Frieze London, to celebrate the ICA’s own ongoing program of experimental work. Talks will include guests to the like of James Richards, Sanya Kantarovsky, and Christopher Kulendran Thomas. The list of performances will include works by Anrew Kerton, PAN, and Mårten Spångberg.

A new exhibition will also open at the same time, dedicated to the ICA’s 1968 show, “Flourescent Crystanthemum,” which was the first ever presentation of Japanese experimental art, music, and film in Europe. This year’s Live program follows up from a successful run last year, which saw 20,000 visitors in just 6 days. The ICA will also have free entry to its bar and events including nights held by a variety of DJs.

—Skye Arundhati Thomas

 Lucio Fontana, <i>Concetto Spaziale, Attese</i>(1967) and <i> Fausto Melotti, I Maggio, </i>(1971) . Photo courtesy Mazzoleni

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1967) and Fausto Melotti, I Maggio, (1971). Courtesy Mazzoleni

9. Fontana/Melotti, “Angelic Spaces and Infinite Geometries” at Mazzoleni Gallery. September 28 – November 18
The exhibition aims to draw out the relationship between these two influential Post-War Italian artists, Lucio Fontana and Fausto Melotti, exploring the parallels of both their practices, focusing primarily on their later works. The works have been selected and curated by Daniela Ferrari, art historian and curator of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Roverto (MART) in Italy.

Displayed together, one is able to see how these two artists had a major role in creating a new type of Italian art, particularly sculpture, with works that look to explore interpretations of space, emptiness, and infinity. The exhibition will also feature rarely seen works by both artists.

—Skye Arundhati Thomas

Wifredo <i>Bélial, Emperor of the Flies </i>(1948). Photo © SDO Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Bélial, Emperor of the Flies (1948). Photo © SDO Wifredo Lam

10. “The EY Exhibition: Wifredo Lam” and “Georgia O’Keeffe” at Tate Modern
If you need an excuse to check out the new Tate Modern including the added exhibition space at Switch House then use these two great shows which will both be on view during Frieze Week.

“Wifredo Lam” is a retrospective of the artist’s work exploring his life-long art making. Born of African, Cuban, and Chinese heritage Lam spent much of his early career in Europe before returning to Cuba and discovering his African heritage there. His work is filled with symbolism from these traditions, and relates to the styles and movements of Cubism and Surrealism.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s floral paintings are known the world over and this is a great opportunity to see her work in the UK as there are no works by O’Keeffe held in British collections. O’Keeffe’s sensual floral paintings are the most recognizable, but she also painted skyscapes, deserts, and cityscapes.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

Pablo Bronstein Historical Dances in an Antique Setting (2016). Photo Brotherton Lock

Pablo Bronstein Historical Dances in an Antique Setting (2016). Photo Brotherton Lock

11. “Turner Prize 2016” and “Pablo Bronstein: Historical Dances in An Antique Setting” at Tate Britain
The Turner Prize—ahead of its temporary move to Hull in 2017—will take place at Tate Britain in London, alongside a performative exhibition by Pablo Bronstein.

This year’s Turner Prize nominees are Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten, and Josephine Pryde. Despite the positive response to the female dominated list there have still been complaints related to Hamilton’s sculpture featuring  a large pair of buttocks acting as a doorway. Every year the relevance of the Turner Prize is called into question by the mainstream British media, but the only way to really make your mind about the Turner Prize is to go and check it out.

Meanwhile, Bronstein—who’s known for his satirical work combining elements from history with contemporary art practice—created a site-specific performance, choreographed for professional dancers, which is a response to the Duveen galleries at Tate Britain.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

Olof Dreijer, 2016 Photo: Alexa Vachon.

Olof Dreijer, 2016 Photo: Alexa Vachon.

12. Evening of performances, at David Roberts Art Foundation, October 6, 2016 

In this, the ninth annual Evening of Performances at the David Roberts Art Foundation includes the impressive—and intriguing—line up of Amalia Ulman, Mark Wallinger, Olof Dreijer of band The Knife, Mary Hurrell, Goshka Macuga, and Roman Ondak. Previous editions of this exclusive event have included performances by Nina Beier, Micheal Dean, Rodney Graham & Kim Gordon, Sarah Lucas, Eddie Peake, and Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

13. “What’s The Riddle?” at Pi Artworks October 5 – November 5
Hosted at the renowned Turkish gallery’s space in London, “What’s the Riddle?” is a group show curated by Övül Durmusoglu, whose show have earned her a place as one of the top upcoming curators of late.

The show aims to bring together work by artists such as Kasper Bosmans, showing drawings and illustrations; Osman Dinc, a sculptor exhibiting a piece entitled Hope is Bread for the Poor; New work by Rodrigo Hernandez and Anca Munteanu; and a video work titled Workers Forum by Pilvi Takala. This promises to be an enthralling combination of artists, some exhibiting for the first time in London.

—Skye Arundhati Thomas

Installation Image: She'd Dawood, Kalimpong. © Shezad Dawood, courtesy Timothy Taylor. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates.

Installation view of Shezad Dawood, “Kalimpong.” ©Shezad Dawood, courtesy Timothy Taylor. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates.

14. Shezad Dawood, “Kalimpong” at Timothy Taylor, September 16 – October 22
This exhibition looks at the border between virtual and material reality—and whether this line can become a metaphor for the border between the figurative and the abstract. To probe these demarcations, the show brings together a new body of work comprising sculptures, painting, neon, and an immersive Virtual Reality (VR) piece set in the small town of Kalimpong, West Bengal.

Dawood uses Kalimpong as a bridge between the past and the present, a layering up of ideas that seek to interweave Buddhism, painting, textiles, digital new media, animation, as well as a historical and speculative narrative. Places can be reserved for the VR installation on the Gallery website.

—Skye Arundhati Thomas

Bonnie Camplin, <i> Multi-Dimensional Princess</i>(2013). Photo the artist and Cabinet Gallery

Bonnie Camplin, Multi-Dimensional Princess(2013). Photo the artist and Cabinet Gallery

15. Bonnie Camplin, at Camden Arts Centre, September 30 – January 8, 2017
The 2015 Turner Prize nominee draws from a number of interdisciplinary subjects such as physics, philosophy, psychology, witchcraft, quantum theory and warfare.

Calling her approach “The Invented Life,” Bonnie Camplin’s work comprises film, performance, as well as object and image making, This exhibition will be based around a “semiotic technology” which manifests itself as a schematic diagram.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

William Eggleston <i>Untitled, 1974 (Karen Chatham, left, with the artist's cousin Lesa Aldridge, in Memphis, Tennessee) </i> (1974). Photo Wilson Centre for Photography

William Eggleston Untitled, 1974 (Karen Chatham, left, with the artist’s cousin Lesa Aldridge, in Memphis, Tennessee) (1974). Photo Wilson Centre for Photography

16. William Eggleston, “Portraits” at the National Portrait Gallery until October 23
William Eggleston’s portraiture retrospective doesn’t disappoint, and if you are in town for Frieze week then you would be a fool to miss it.

Drenched with color and an underlying sense of darkness, Eggelston’s images from throughout his career show precisely why he is such a loved photographer. As well as some of Eggelston’s most iconic images, the exhibition includes his previously unseen pictures in black and white taken in the 1960s.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

Sol Calero

Sol Calero, Installation view of “Solo Pintura.” Photo courtesy Laura Bartlett

17. Sol Calero, “Solo Pintura,” at Laura Bartlett, September 23 – November 13
Sol Calero’s exhibition at Cabaret Voltaire last autumn was one of our highlights for Frieze Week 2015. This solo exhibition, the artist’s second with the gallery, includes 10 new paintings, building on her past work which draws on South American culture.


However, this exhibition of only painting is a slight departure from Calero’s past combining of installation, and painting, and the canvases include new techniques such as mosaics and cut-up texts.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

Darja Bajagic, Nobody Knows I’m Funny (2016). Photo Courtesy: Carlos Ishikawa Gallery.

Darja Bajagic, Nobody Knows I’m Funny (2016). Photo Courtesy: Carlos Ishikawa Gallery.

18. Darja Bajagic, “Nobody Knows I’m Funny,” at Carlos Ishikawa Gallery September 22 – October 29, 2016
Darja Bajagic has been making waves since the start of her career, famously known for juxtaposing risqué, sometimes pornographic, images pieced together into larger explorations of contemporary image making with a skilled aesthetic precision.

Her work often encompasses several mixed layers, monochromatic pieces of canvas featuring laser-cut icons and found images from fetish sites pulled together to create arresting collages. This new show promises no less, it is one certainly not to be missed.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

eff Koons Gazing Ball (Poussin The Triumph of Pan) (2014 to 2016). Photo © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons Gazing Ball (Poussin The Triumph of Pan) (2014 to 2016). Photo © Jeff Koons

19. Jeff Koons at Almine Rech, October 4 – January 21, 2017
Almine Rech will inaugurate their new Grosvenor Hill space with a show by art titan Jeff Koons. The series of works featuring a blue “Glazing Ball” set against, atop, or amidst references to classic or art historical works.

This also marks the unveiling of Almine Rech’s new space, which is billed to be a serious expansion situated in the heart of Mayfair, right in the middle of the action.

—Skye Arundhati Thomas

The Gallery of Everything. Photo the Gallery of Everything

The Gallery of Everything. Photo courtest The Gallery of Everything

20. “Journey into the Outside,” in collaboration with Jarvis Cocker, at The Gallery of Everything, September 25 – November 20
Based around Jarvis Cocker’s now legendary 1998 documentary series on “untrained” artists (don’t call them “outsider” artists, says James Brett, who founded the Museum of Everything seven years ago), the exhibition is curated in collaboration with Cocker to inaugurate at the newly launched Gallery of Everything just in time for Frieze.

Artists include the Indian landscape architect Nek Chand Saini, French multi-disciplinary recluse Chomo, graphic artist St EOM, self-ordained minister and house painter WC Rice, German carpenter Karl Friedrich Junker and preacher Howard Finster whose artwork was made famous on album covers by REM and Talking Heads. If you get tired of blue chip precision, this show should be your next port of call.

—Amah-Rose Abrams

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