Art & Photography / AnOther List

Ten Affordable Masterpieces to Snap Up at Frieze 2016

We challenged Joanna Stella-Sawicka, the artistic director of Frieze Art Fair, to spotlight ten of the event's more modestly priced (but equally fabulous) works around £1,500 – and she most certainly delivered...

Pin It
film still 5
Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Becoming Natural, HD Video Still, 2015Courtesy of the artist and Arcadia Missa

1. The Societal Musings of Quinlan and Hastings
Art duo Hannah Quinlan Anderson and Rosie Hastings are showing at Frieze with Arcadia Missa, and are my top pick from the young London galleries – they represent the DIY ethos of the Peckham crowd. Through their @GayBar project, they've archived the gay social scene, exploring how gentrification has placed LGBT communities at risk, and used CGI video to imagine new queer realities. They’ve exhibited at David Roberts Art Foundation and Somerset House this summer and here is a super accessibly priced video [see still above]. Supporting these artists early on in their careers makes a huge difference.

2. The Figurative Works of Grace Weaver 
Glasgow's Koppe Astner gallery will be bringing new works by the young, New York-based artist Grace Weaver – mostly paintings, but also works on paper. She’s one of a number of young artists returning to figurative and narrative painting, albeit in a psychedelic prism – her drawings are equally evocative and energetic. She has had a lot of attention in America already, so this is a great chance to catch her in Europe. 

 

3. Brilliantly Bizarre Collages by Elizabeth Wild
A totally new discovery for me, Elizabeth Wild, will be showing alongside her daughter, the painter Vivian Suter, at the Guatemalan gallery Proyectos Ultravioleta. Born in 1922 in Vienna and living in Guatemala for over 30 years, she has recently debuted a series of small in scale but powerful collages made from fragments of colour magazine supplements. These strange collages reveal an extraordinary sense of colour and composition from the nonagenarian artist, and will undoubtedly create a huge stir.

4. Intricate Paintings by Nestor Sanmiguel Diest
The Spanish artist was "rediscovered" late in his career. His complex paintings have a kind of algorithmic quality layering text and pattern in fractal broken planes. It's amazing that his works on paper, such as Dade en Marte [see above], remain so affordable given their scarcity and detail.

5. Cutting-edge Ceramics by Jesse Wine
Jesse Wine
is a lofty Yorkshireman who makes fabulous ceramics, and is at the forefront of the new wave of artist ceramicists in contemporary art. This is one of his larger works, priced at £7,000 [see above]. However, in a collaborative edition, he made a dining set for Swiss artist Nicholas Party for a live installation last year. You can pick up an entire dinner service here, or an individual plate for a song. Two super exciting young artists, I'd very much like to get my hands on those pots.

6. Limited Edition Prints by Sanya Kantarovsky
It’s always worth spending time at the Allied Editions stand – which brings together rare prints and multiples sold to benefit leading museums and galleries in London. Studio Voltaire consistently produces excellent editions and merchandise as part of their own House of Voltaire line. But this special print is Sanya Kantarovksy’s first ever woodcut made especially for Frieze. Sanya will also have a show concurrent at Stuart Shave Gallery, where his sought after paintings will, of course, sell out in minutes, so this is a unique chance to buy and enjoy his work with the added reassurance that the funds go straight back into Studio Voltaire’s serious programme supporting up and coming artists.

7. The Technically Minded Prints of Yuri Pattison 
I also have to mention Frieze Artist Award Winner Yuri Pattison – winner of the prize for an emerging artist, supported by LUMA Foundation – who will realise a ‘networked artwork’ throughout Frieze London. This print from Chisenhale Gallery also goes directly to supporting their amazing programme. 

8. An Iconic Screenprint by Anni Albers 
Over at Frieze Masters, accessibly priced works can generally be found on paper and in ancient art, so it's always worth asking dealers about pricing. Case in point: these vibrant screenprints by Anni Albers. Best known for her radical work with textiles, Albers is one of the unsung heroines of 20th-century art and an enormous influence on a generation of artists. Also the wife of Josef Albers, whom she met at the Bauhaus, Anni Albers has been shown in museums around the world including MoMA (New York) and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, but Alan Cristea’s solo presentation will hopefully help bring this artist the UK attention she deserves. It’s wonderful that prints from $2,500 will be available, so more people can walk away from the fair with a beautiful example of art history.

9. Rare Artefacts Via Rupert Wace
Frieze Masters is full of unexpected treasures and this Neolithic flint dagger from Denmark represents fantastic value for its age. Apparently, great pride was taken in their manufacture, and the pristine condition of the stone suggests that they weren’t simply used for cutting... Similar stone tools can be found in Copenhagen’s National Archaeological Museum, but you can pick up a dagger at Frieze Masters for less than £1,000. Handle with care…

10. Unique Historical Engravings 
I always spend time at the rare book and map dealer Daniel Crouch’s stand, particularly to see and handle some of the earliest maps of London that really inform the way you understand the city. Here [see above] is Johannes Kip's engraving of London dated 1726, which depicts a detailed panorama of the city. Many historical engravings and prints generally are very well priced, as they would have run in huge editions and sold for pennies to the public. But many of the popular prints are hard to trace, so can be incredibly scarce.  

With special thanks to Joanna Stella-Sawicka.

Newsletter