Although we witnessed a raid of art fairs last month, the calendar still has some free capacity left. Here comes October with the art market’s heavyweights - Frieze London and FIAC. Also take a look at the events next door, because The Affordable Art Fair has finally anchored in Stockholm but Tallinn welcomes its first Estonian art photography fair.
Affordable Art Fair, Stockholm October 4-7, 2012
The price for a piece of art may not exceed 45,000 Swedish kroner (or 5,000 EUR)! With this motto, the Affordable Art Fair has set down anchor in Stockholm, the 18th site for this network of art. Having debuted in 1999 at London's massive Battersea coal-powered power station, the fair has now branched out not only to other European centers of art (Milan, Brussels, Amsterdam), but has also spread to the most culturally vibrant cities of the world (New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Hong Kong and New Delhi).
It should be noted that this is not the kind of art fair where you'll find the most scandalous artists and their prestigious galleries. However, it is an affordable opportunity for those with more modest incomes to acquire some quality art. According to the organizers of the fair, participating galleries tend to take in a combined total of anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 EUR, which means that visitors to the fair come with an eagerness to buy. Although some of the world's most constructive art collectors and curators do sometimes make an appearance at the Affordable Art Fair, it remains more of a starting point for the formation of a collection.
This weekend, the annual Estonian art photography fair, Eesti Fotokunstimess, will be held as part of the traditional Tallinn Photography Month, which got its start in 2011. Last year, the initiative was kicked off by several substantial photography exhibitions in the city's art spaces and museums, including the group show BEYOND, which was held at KUMU Art Museum. This year, however, photography is being presented as a thoroughly independent form of artistic expression, and in the format of a contemporary art fair. In addition to the usual exhibit stands, the fair will also provide opportunities to meet with the artists, see the various behind-the-scenes processes of photography, and get helpful tips on starting a photography collection. There will also be an artistic film program taking place under the umbrella of Tallinn Photography Month; created by London-based curator Rowan Geddis and Estonian photographer Marge Monko, it will reveal the connections that exist between photography, film and video art.
Frieze London and Frieze Masters, London October 11-14, 2012
Now in its tenth year, London's celebrated Frieze Art Fair can be safely said to be the standard to which all other contemporary art fairs are now held. The biggest buzz about Frieze occurs in October, of course, but its achievements and associated scandals are still on the lips of art fair enthusiasts still long after the event has closed its doors for the season. After this year's highly anticipated premier of the fair in the US, where it debuted under the moniker of Frieze New York, it will now return to Regent Park as Frieze London.
175 galleries from 35 countries will be presenting at the fair this time, including the following representatives of the Northern Region: Andersen's Contemporary from Denmark, Standard (Oslo) from Norway, Galleri Magnus Karlsson from Sweden, as well as Regina Gallery from Russia. Elastic, from Malmö, Sweden, will be in the Focus section of the fair, meant for newer galleries whose expositions contain works from no more than three artists each.
Visitors to Frieze London will also be able to: see the part of the fair devoted to the platform of video art, Frieze Film; take in the panel discussion program at Frieze Talks; see special artist projects in Frieze Projects; and view the solo presentations of new galleries, selected according to suggestions made by curators Rodrigo Moura and Tim Saltarelli, at Frame.
Alongside the contemporary art fair, the classical art fair, Frieze Masters, will be opening its doors for the first time. With its own individual program and group of participants, it can be looked upon as a wonderful addition to the richness of Frieze London, as well as a separate, little world of their own for those who have not yet fully accepted modern art.
Coming up almost right on the heels of London's contemporary art fair is the charming Paris art fair, FIAC, which has always chosen to be held at the Grand Palais exhibition hall, built in 1900. This will be the 39th year for the fair, and will bring together 178 of the most prestigious galleries from 24 countries. For the first time in the fair's history, visitors will also be able to experience the just-restored VIP hall, or Salon d'honneur, which has been selected to house the contemporary art galleries.
The Northern Region will be represented at the fair by two Danish galleries – the conceptual art gallery IMO, and Galleri Nicolai Wallner – which will feature the world-renown Scandinavian artists Elmgreen & Dragset, Jeppe Hein and Joachim Koester, as well as Jonathan Monk and David Shrigley from the UK.
As a side note, last year's fair was visited in an air of exclusivity by two of the art world's most ambitious private collectors – François Pinault, owner of Christie's Auction House and the luxury retail company PPR; and Bernard Arnault, owner of the luxury brand LVMH. Admittedly, the situation in France has been drastically altered by President François Hollande's “tax on the rich” (a rate of 75%, applicable to annual incomes of over one million EUR), which has given more than one art collector the impetus to leave France. During FIAC, it will be revealed whether or not this government decree will make an impact the contemporary art market in Paris.