Sunday - 21 December 2014

Frieze Week juggernaut arrives in London

15 October 2013Written by Anna Brady

This week is Frieze Week in London, a flurry of fairs, exhibitions and sales including the opening of the Contemporary art giant Frieze London.

Frieze London runs fromOctober 17-20, and its younger sister, Frieze Masters, the new fair from the Frieze machine, mixing modern and historical art, returns for a second time this year to Gloucester Green in Regents Park from October 17 to 20.

Sam Fogg, pictured below, is a London-based dealer in Medieval, Islamic and Indian art and a member of the Frieze Masters selection committee. He will exhibit at the fair for the second time this year and here he shares his views on the event.

 

13-10-15-2112NE03A Sam Fogg.jpg

 

What were your hopes for the first event and why did you want to be involved?

Firstly, I hoped for a great international fine art fair for London and the UK. Secondly, to help create a new kind of fair.

 

What was your experience of last year's fair? Did you meet a different clientele?

It was very successful for us with existing clients but also new ones.

 

Is there anything that was criticised at last year's event that you have looked to improve for 2013?

The quality of the participating galleries was high but has been improved.

 

How does the fair compare to other events at which you exhibit, for example Masterpiece and TEFAF Maastricht, in terms of approach, design, clientele and atmosphere?

It has a new and different style from those fairs - perhaps better suited to the way most collectors live and work, certainly in London.

 

• Competition for stands at this year's fair was stiff and it was very oversubscribed. Can you describe the selection process and what you were looking for in successful applications?

The priority was to get as many of the world's leading dealers in as possible. In some areas (Old Masters, Medieval art etc) almost every leading dealer is represented. In some areas, particularly Asian art, it has been improved but still needs strengthening.

 

• Have you noticed a rising importance of art fairs over the 30 years that you have been dealing?

Yes. Unfortunately too many people don't have time to visit galleries and private dealers.

 

• How and when did you become a dealer?

I became an independent dealer in my 20s by accident but have never wanted to do anything else since.

 

• What do you think are the biggest challenges that you and other dealers face today?

The rewards, practically, intellectually and emotionally, come from handling the greatest material. The challenge, which is getting harder, is to find it.

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