Frieze London, the annual carnival of Contemporary art in Regent’s Park, can seem forbidding.
Maybe it is the sprawling size – ever a place to get lost in, the fair boasts more than 160 exhibitors at this year’s edition, which runs from October 12-16.
Or it could be the soaring price point for leading artists of today, or perhaps that some works can seem divorced from the art of the past.
If these objections sound familiar, consider as an antidote this year’s selection of Cornelia Parker multiples offered by Cristea Roberts Gallery. The stand is in the Editions section of the fair, which was launched last year to showcase prints as more affordable options.
Parker is currently the subject of a retrospective at Tate Britain, where her works include massive installations of suspended objects, monumental embroidery, and sculptures.
Despite the size, scale and complexity of the Tate project, at Frieze her works can be snapped up for less than £2000.
The offering revolves around her gravures and etchings in which she draws inspiration from historical figures such as pioneering photographer William Henry Fox Talbot, with results reminiscent of early photographs or old cyanotypes.
“I find printmaking very enlivening for my practice, it means I can move through ideas very quickly,” the artist says.
“And you can make as many of them as you want, which is very exciting to me. That means it’s much more affordable.
“As an artist who’s come from a working-class background, I know that the possibility of owning art might seem out of reach, so the print world for me seems very democratic.”
Cristea Roberts, a gallery in London’s Pall Mall, recently staged Light Passes, Shadows Fall, an exhibition of Parker’s works coinciding with the Tate Britain retrospective.
In Frieze’s editions section it exhibits alongside galleries such as Borch Editions from Copenhagen and STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery of Singapore.
Much to enjoy
Of course, Parker is far from the only artist at Frieze to be informed by the past, and with so many galleries showcasing a variety of creators, there is likely to be plenty to enjoy – even for staunch traditionalists or raw beginners.
Among the exhibitors are familiar giants such as Pace Gallery, David Zwirner and White Cube.
A ‘Focus’ section is devoted to galleries established in the last 12 years and features Gallery Vacancy, Addis Fine Art and Sweetwater among others. UK galleries include Thomas Dane Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, The Modern Institute and Ingleby.