Frieze Masters highlight: Helly Nahmad Gallery’s recreation of a French intellectuals bed-sitter apartment in May 1968 during the student protests.
Amazing that the biggest players in the art market should use one of the most commercial fairs in the world to make a statement about how art used to be at the centre of the political and intellectual life of its times not merely an expensive commodity.
To present the installation, as the press has done, as a celebration of the collector only makes sense if one has an old fashioned view of collecting that is very different from that of most Frieze visitors. As a curator from the Pompidou Centre remarked to me this week: “now it’s all about money…. today’s collectors don’t read books”.
I was also impressed with Leon Kossoff’s uncompromising solo show at the shared booth of Annely Juda and Mitchell-Innes & Nash. A dense hang of heavy drawings after the Old Masters, this was a display that made no concessions whatsoever to its installation at an art fair. One would have expected half the number of drawings and the inclusion of some related paintings but it certainly made for a powerful statement about drawing as a method of understanding.