Art World Icons: 5 Highlights from Frieze London

In October of each year, art patrons flock to London’s Regent’s Park for Frieze Art Fair.  This event, staged by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, the publishers of frieze magazine, is the place to observe and enjoy the world’s most exciting artists, both new and established. The annual event features more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries.  Attendees have the opportunity to view and buy art from hundreds of leading artists.  Here are five of our recommendations for art world icons to watch from Frieze London.

Thomas Ruff


Art World Icons: 5 Highlights from Frieze London
Photo Courtesy of Artsy

I don’t believe in the psychologizing portrait photography that my colleagues do, trying to capture the character with a lot of light and shade,” the artist says. “That’s absolutely suspect to me. I can only show the surface. Whatever goes beyond that is more or less chance.


This innovative German photographer uses advancements in technology to bring the viewer new visual possibilities of photography.  His best known series, “Portraits” (1981-85), features 60 facial photographs of expressionless men and women.  Authenticity is a recurring theme of Ruff’s work.

Sex Work


Art World Icons: 5 Highlights from Frieze London
Photo Courtesy of

The special collection, Sex Work, was assembled especially for Frieze London by independent curator Alison Gingeras.  The collection is devoted to the work of nine radical feminist artists.  The tongue in cheek title of the collection, Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics, brings together the work of artists Judith Bernstein, Mary Beth Edelson, Dorothy Iannone, Betty Tompkins, Renate Bertlmann, Mary Beth Edelson, Dorothy Iannone, Birgit Jürgenssen and Marilyn Minter.


The title is a play on words but it’s very literal.  It’s artists who make work that deals with sex. And it’s sex in a broad sense, not just erotic art but also sex as a vehicle for political critique, women making work that is explicit and that challenges certain phobias within the women’s movement about pornographic representation.


The Harrisons, Various Small Fires


Art World Icons: 5 Highlights from Frieze London
Photo Courtesy of VSF LA


Our work begins when we perceive an anomaly in the environment that is the result of opposing beliefs or contradictory metaphors. Moments when reality no longer appears seamless and the cost of belief has become outrageous offer the opportunity to create new spaces — first in the mind and thereafter in everyday life.” — The Harrisons (1987)


Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, octogenarian innovators, are pioneers of the Ecological Art movement initiated in the late 1960s.  The duo have collaborated with biologists, engineers, and governments around the globe to develop problem solving using a range of visual art modalities.

Alicja Kwade


Art World Icons: 5 Highlights from Frieze London
Photo Courtesy of Alicja Kwade


Berlin based Polish artist Alicja Kwade’s work finds references in the language of cinema.  The dream like ability of cinema to blur the boundaries of reality and imagination is prevalent in her work.  She often contorts everyday items by juxtaposing or mirroring them  to delight and confound viewers.  Using every day items like rocks transformed to look like shiny jewels and two cars that are similar yet different, she exposes the contradiction between form and material.

Neha Choksi 


Art World Icons: 5 Highlights from Frieze London
Photo Courtesy of Project 88


Neha Choksi is a Mumbai based artist whose work is represented at Project 88.  She uses performance, video, photography, painting, sculpture, and sound to create her multi media art.  Through her art she explores absence through presence.  By setting up situations involving erasures and emptyings she explores how we experience and acknowledge absence and loss. She was recently honored with the India Today 2017 Award for the Best New Media Artist of the Year.

These artistic innovators are just a small part of all that there is to enjoy at Frieze London. If you missed the event this year, make plans to attend next year. From panels to exhibits to shopping opportunities, this is an event you do not want to miss.  While you are planning, you might also enjoy a trip to Germany’s Documenta Art Fair.

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Art World Icons: 5 Highlights from Frieze London