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Modern art hits a new high in London

The Frieze Art Fair – London’s exhibition of international modern art – is just one component of a celebration that now stretches right across the capital. Now a decade old, the festival offers galleries a chance to display their very best work to scholars, dealers and collectors, over the course of an exciting and relentless long weekend.

Aside from the almost fantastically light-handed manner of the financial exchanges that take place here, the ever-changing mood is one of the most exciting things about VIP day at the festival.

One New York gallerist noted that there was more of a buzz and simple more people than she had witnessed, and that this crowd was more diverse than usual too. This highlight’s the ability of both the festival and art as a whole to appeal and attract a widely varied audience even at a time of great austerity in Britain.

The manner in which the work is presented to its excited and hungry audience is one of the more notable things to have changed through the years. There is today an air of restrained and considered curation, and pieces are laid bare and with honesty. There are very few examples of grand statements; it is understated, thoughtful art that reigns supreme here.

The Tate has chosen to purchase a piece from newcomers Stevenson Gallery, who travelled all the way from Johannesburg, South Africa to present at the festival. Upcoming South African star Nicholas Hlobo’s ‘Balindile I’ is a very creative piece, using inner tubes to sculpt a rubbery plant which slumps realistically, and it’s held together with ribbons. It was one of four pieces purchased by the Tate.

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