If collectors landing in London today for the start of Frieze Week weren’t already spooked by the specter of Brexit, Prime Minister Teresa May was there to remind them of it once again, on the front pages of Britain’s beloved tabloids and broadsheets. “May Focuses on ‘Hard Brexit'” The Guardian proclaimed. “Business Wary of Brexit Bump,” read City A.M. “May: ‘It’s April,’ ” Metro splayed on the cover. (The London Evening Standard, on the other hand, led with Kim Kardashian.)
Last summer’s shocking vote has become the elephant in the room at this year’s Frieze Week, the annual art world pilgrimage to London for the sake of the namesake fair and its companion fair, Frieze Masters. This being the first edition to take place post-Brexit, it remains to be seen how much, if at all, the economic destabilization of the vote will impact what dealers have brought, and whether collectors buy. The fair’s opening hours, this Wednesday morning, will give us some impression.
Until then, and after, there are major museum exhibitions, such as the Abstract Expressionism show at the Royal Academy of Art and Philippe Parreno’s transformation of the massive Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. There are postwar and contemporary sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. There are major shows at mega-galleries, like Richard Serra at Gagosian’s Britannia Street outpost and Mike Kelly at Hauser & Wirth, plus a Jeff Koons show at Almine Rech Gallery, for good measure. So much happening in this town. Maybe, every once in a while, I’ll have a pint or two, who knows!
Watch this space for more Frieze coverage, live from London.