designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair

designboom guide to frieze london and frieze masters 2023


Marking 20 years of cultural prowess, Frieze London is landing once again in the British capital for its 2023 program alongside Frieze Masters’ 11th edition. Between October 11 – 15, 2023, the highly anticipated fair will explore the UK’s cultural landscape through a series of collaborations with key arts organizations and public institutions; novelties include the Artist-to-Artist initiative at Frieze London and two new programs at Frieze Masters: Studio and Modern Women. Complementing the main fair is Frieze Week, an extended program of cultural events running from October 9 to 15 at galleries, institutions, and artist-led spaces throughout the city. Frieze Sculpture, the much-celebrated free public art exhibition, also returns to The Regent’s Park, running between September 20 and October 29, 2023.

From Ai Weiwei and El Anatsui to Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas, from Gagosian and Pace Gallery to Serpentine and Sadie Coles HQ, designboom is rounding up a curated selection of Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2023’s most anticipated artists, galleries, and exhibitions popping in and out of the fair this October in London. Read on to see what this year’s edition has in store.

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Hank Willis Thomas, All Power to All People (2017) | Goodman Gallery and Pace Gallery

image © Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/ Frieze




marking frieze london’s 20th anniversary: the highlights


With more than 160 leading galleries spanning 40 countries and 28 participants, Frieze London 2023 is the most international edition of the fair to date, featuring a diverse range of ambitious solo, group, and thematic shows, with 59 operating spaces in the city. Highlights include the newly launched Artist-to-Artist initiative, the BMW Open Work commission, and a series of unmissable shows by local and international galleries — namely Sadie Coles HQ‘s Sarah Lucas retrospective; Pillar Corrias‘ solo exhibition for Margate-based Sophie Von Hellermann; Lisson Gallery‘s display of Van Hanos‘ paintings, Gagosian‘s solo Damien Hirst show, Hauser & Wirth‘s Barbara Chase-Riboud collection, Pace Gallery‘s unique lineup by Paulina Olowska, Mao Yan, Yto Barrada, Kiki Kogelnik, Robert Longo, and others; and Thaddaeus Ropac‘s multi-artist booth. Check out a more detailed catalog of Frieze London 2023 below. 

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Portia Zvavahera, We are sleeping in the presence (2023) | oil-based printing ink & oil bar on linen | 214.5 x 273 cm | image courtesy David Zwirner



BMW Open Work 2023: LA POTION (EH) by Sara Sadik


For the seventh consecutive year, Frieze and BMW continue their long-term partnership with BMW Open Work. French artist Sara Sadik worked closely with BMW to present LA POTION (EH) – a video and gaming experience that continues Sadik’s interest in the possibilities of computer-generated scenarios and her investigation into the changing emotional states of young male characters. The project uses BMW’s My Modes and the new AirConsole technology of the BMW i5 as a playing device. Guided by the Avatar Neregy, a virtually alienated character who struggles to connect with people, the viewer follows him across different worlds, tasks, and challenges to complete his quest for psychological healing and transformation. LA POTION (EH) is premiering at the KOKO concert and theater venue inside the BMW Open Work Lounge.

what: LA POTION (EH) 

when: 11-15 October, 2023 

where: KOKO, London 

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
image courtesy BMW Group



the secret gardens paintings by damien hirst | gagosian 


Gagosian presents a special solo presentation of new paintings by Damien Hirst in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of Frieze London. These previously unseen works exemplify the artist’s endless capacity for invention. In The Secret Gardens Paintings (2023), Hirst depicts thriving gardens in which different species of vibrantly colored flowers emerge from their verdant surroundings in a style that balances the designed and the natural, the harmonious and the chaotic. Rendering blooms, shrubs, and ponds in quick but convincing detail, he also incorporates consciously indistinct passages before finally adding an abstract layer to each canvas by hurling thick paint at its surface from a loaded brush.

what: The Secret Gardens Paintings

when: October 12–15, 2023 

where: Frieze Booth E7, Regent’s Park, London 

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Damien Hirst, Garden of Celebration (2023) © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. DACS/Artimage 2023 | image © Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd, courtesy Gagosian



eva jospin: promenades for ruinart


Champagne house Ruinart has invited Parisian artist Eva Jospin as its 2023 Carte Blanche creator. Together, they developed Jospin’s vision of the terroir of Maison Ruinart. Like a cross-sectional landscape, the site of the Montagne de Reims appeared to the French artist as composed of different geological and temporal strata, real and imaginary.

Eva Jospin is passionate about the richness of this region and the know-how transmitted there: from the underground world of the crayères to the roots and interlacing vines; from the coronation of the kings of France in Reims Cathedral to the ennoblement of the Ruinart family under Charles X; and from the conversion of the old chalk quarries into cellars to the Maison’s expanded commitment to supporting biodiversity. Through a series of artworks (drawings, sculptures and embroideries), she invites each of us to immerse ourselves in this landscape, as if plunging into a mysterious story intertwining the cycles of history and plants, life and creation.

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
image courtesy Ruinart





From Austrian artist Erwin Wurm‘s Ghost (2022) sculpture to German painter and sculptor Georg Baselitz’s Elke Rayskizeit (2018) oil on canvas, and Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s chicken noodle soup box (1986), Thaddeus Ropac Gallery is joining a versatile group of works from 18 international artists; paintings, sculptures, drawings, and textile art are all coming together under one umbrella at t Frieze London 2023’s Booth B04. You can check out the list of featured artists and works by visiting the gallery’s website.

when: October 12-15, 2023 

where: Booth B04, Regent’s Park, London

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
courtesy Thaddaeus Ropac





Marking Frieze London’s 20th anniversary, unique initiative Artist-to-Artist invites Alvaro Barrington, Olafur Eliasson, Tracey Emin CBE RA, Anthea Hamilton, Simone Leigh, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Haegue Yang to propose artists for solo presentations, drawing on Frieze London’s longstanding tradition of artist-led programming. Featured presentations comprise Deborah Anzinger proposed by Simone Leigh (Nicola Vassell); Mark Barker proposed by Wolfgang Tillmans (Shahin Zarinbal); Ayoung Kim proposed by Haegue Yang (Gallery Hyundai); Fabian Knecht proposed by Olafur Eliasson (alexander levy); Simonette Quamina proposed by Alvaro Barrington (Praxis); Vanessa Raw proposed by Tracey Emin CBE RA (Carl Freedman Gallery); Wantanee Siripattananuntakul proposed by Rirkrit Tiravanija (Gallery Ver); and Carlos Villa proposed by Anthea Hamilton (Silverlens).

Artist-to-Artist spans painting, photography, sculpture, video, installation, and works on paper and print, with themes of memory, labor, environment, diaspora, and time emerging across the section. Highlights include Vanessa Raw’s latest paintings, which meditate on the feminine body as landscape; Mark Barker’s new sculptures and silver gelatin prints, investigating how corporeal processes manifest in architecture; Wantanee Siripattananuntakul’s video and installation-centred collaboration with an African grey parrot named Beuys; and Deborah Anzinger’s latest body of paintings made using pigments ground from local cookshop charcoal, exposing the different economies, both local and aesthetic, attached to this fuel.


what: Artist-to-Artist

when: October 11-15, 2023

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Mark Barker, as yet untitled (2022) | graphite, charcoal and cigarette ash on paper | 42 × 30 cm

image courtesy Shahin Zarinbal, the artist, and Frieze




the must-see at frieze masters 2023


With more than 130 participating galleries and led by Nathan Clements-Gillespie, Frieze Masters brings together six millennia of art – from rare antiquities to Old Master paintings to 20th-century masterpieces – creating a destination where visitors can discover art history anew. 2023 sees the introduction of Modern Women, a new themed section curated by Camille Morineau (Co-founder of the non-profit organization AWARE – Archive of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions) and her team. Dedicated to solo exhibitions by women artists, this section focuses on works created between 1880 and 1980, a pivotal period for women’s rights and feminism. Featured artists include Tarsila do Amaral, Anna-Eva Bergman and Germaine Richier, Lisetta Carmi, Émilie Charmy, Kangja Jung, Maria Lai, Vera Molnár, Faith Ringgold, Paule Vézelay, and Ethel Walker.


Also new this year is Studio, curated by Sheena Wagstaff. Its focus is the artist’s place of making, where the spark of invention manifests as an object. It features five singular international artists – Maggi Hambling, Mona Hatoum, Lucia Laguna, Arlene Shechet, and Hyun-Sook Song – who dig deep into past culture to inform and reinvigorate their practice. Integral to each presentation are archival images and objects accumulated over many decades in an artist’s workroom, invoking their creative lifeline and the spirit of the Studio as an ever-changing living space. Accompanying these novelties are curated must-sees by Friedman Benda and Galleria Continua‘s Ai Weiwei retrospective. We outline some of these highlights below. 

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
G.R. Santosh, Untitled (1969) | oil on canvas, 91.4 x 91.4 cm | image courtesy DAG and Frieze



ai weiwei: earlier works | galleria continua


Celebrated Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is landing at Frieze Masters 2023 with an expansive retrospective presented by Galleria Continua. Displaying at Booth D09, Ai Weiwei: Earlier Works traces the artist’s career starting with his decade-long stay in New York (1983-1993). Ai moved to the United States in 1981 at the age of 24, with only $30 in his pocket; he visited countless museum and gallery exhibitions, finding great inspiration in the art of Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns, which compelled him to produce his first works: paintings, ready-made objects, and black and white photographs (Untitled 21 is one of the rare paintings dated back to this period). The exhibition continues with his trip to Beijing in 1993 to care for his ailing father. Between 1993 and the 2000s, Ai Weiwei contributed to establishing Beijing’s East Village, a community of avant-garde artists, breaking away from the past and opening himself up to a modernity unknown in his native land. Ai also started using art to confront the sociopolitical system in China. Resulting works include the Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995) and Wave (2015).

what: Earlier Works 

when: October 11-15, 2023 

where: Booth D09, Regent’s Park, London 

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Wave (2015) | porcelain, 17 x 46 x 35 cm | image courtesy Galleria Continua



friedman benda


For Friedman Benda’s inaugural participation at Frieze Masters 2023, the gallery is pleased to present a selection of seminal works by Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007), most of which are shown in the UK for the first time. In celebration of his experimental years between 1955 and 1966, the installation will include key works across different media such as ceramics, furniture, and painting – many of which came from the artist’s personal collection. The presentation explores the breadth of Sottsass’ remarkable creativity in the early stages of his career and reveals how his industrial collaborations and independent projects influenced each other.

when: October 11-15, 2023

where: Booth G09, Regent’s Park, London

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Ettore Sottsass, Mobile Barbarella (1966) / Tondo FF no. 19 (1959) | image courtesy Friedman Benda





Frieze Sculpture, the much-celebrated free public art exhibition, returns to The Regent’s Park, London, from 20 September–29 October, 2023. Frieze Sculpture coincides with Frieze London and Frieze Masters, which occur concurrently from 11–15 October 2023. Directed for the first time by independent curator and writer Fatoş Üstek, this year’s Frieze Sculpture features 21 leading international artists whose works will be situated throughout The Regent’s Park’s historic English Gardens. The participating artists are: Ghada Amer, Leilah Babirye, Sanford Biggers, Jyll Bradley, Catharine Czudej, Ayşe Erkmen, Yuichi Hirako, Suhasini Kejriwal, Tony Matelli, Louise Nevelson, Temitayo Ogunbiyi, Zak Ové, Li Li Ren, Hans Rosenström, Tomas Saraceno, Yinka Shonibare, Josh Smith, Amy Stephens, Holly Stevenson and Hank Willis Thomas.


Frieze Sculpture 2023 features artists exhibiting major works in the public realm for the first time alongside young practitioners pushing boundaries. Comprising site-responsive and site-specific projects, Frieze Sculpture addresses how the medium can be both monumental and ephemeral. This year’s edition highlights new and existing works and the breadth of sculptural methods employed by today’s artists. Spanning conceptual, experiential, humorous and imaginative approaches, the artworks are linked by ideas of transformation, political empowerment, contemporary rituals, and social imaginary.

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Material (SG) IV (2023) | Stephen Friedman Gallery | Frieze Sculpture 2023

image © Linda Nylind, courtesy  Linda Nylind/ Frieze


Louise Nevelson, Model for Celebration II (1976) | Pace Gallery | Frieze Sculpture 2023 | image © Linda Nylind, courtesy  Linda Nylind/ Frieze



frieze week: beyond the main fair


Beyond the main fair, Frieze Week is joining in with an extended programme of cultural events running from October 9-15 at galleries, institutions and artist-led spaces throughout the city. Check out the best of Frieze Week here. 



sarah lucas: happy gas | Sadie Coles HQ


Happy Gas presents a captivating and unexpected installation of older and newer works by English artist Sarah Lucas from 1991 to 2023. Unlike a typical retrospective that follows a linear progression of an artist’s career, Lucas curates this exhibition freshly and unconventionally. She juxtaposes older pieces with more recent creations, allowing viewers to perceive them in a novel light. Lucas, often characterized as a ‘slacker’ since her emergence in the late 1980s, has been remarkably prolific. She not only created the artworks but also meticulously designed the exhibition, from the arrangement of seating to the placement of the works on plinths.

Lucas’s sculptures, often depicting headless figures, exude a sense of vitality and variety. Constructed from materials like stuffed tights, wire, bronze, raw concrete, and painted resin, these figures twist and contort unexpectedly. They convey a dynamic presence, challenging traditional notions of form and representation. In one instance, an androgynous figure reclines on a robust chair, boldly asserting itself with a silvery-bronze erection reaching the ceiling. In another, a figure appears entangled in a folding chair adorned with expressive paint strokes. Throughout the exhibition, black cats playfully roam the galleries, adding a whimsical touch to the overall experience. Lucas’s ability to infuse humor into her art shines through, even in the most unconventional and thought-provoking pieces. ‘Happy Gas’ thus offers a unique and engaging exploration of Lucas’s oeuvre, demonstrating her mastery in combining creativity, wit, and artistic diversity.


what: Happy Gas

when: September 28, 2023 – January 14, 2024 

where: Tate Britain, London 

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Sarah Lucas: Happy Gas installation view at Tate Britain 2023 | © Sarah Lucas | image © Tate, courtesy Daria Borisova





Julie Mehretu’s solo exhibition, They departed for their own country another way (a 9x9x9 hauntology), is on view at White Cube Gallery in Bermondsey, London, from September 15 to November 5, 2023. Marking her fifth collaboration with the gallery, the show debuts three new series of nine paintings each. For this show, Mehretu, who has been announced as the 20th BMW Art Car artist draws inspiration from the biblical verse Matthew 2:12, in which God warns the Magi to return home a different way after paying homage to the infant Jesus. This admonition resonates poignantly with Mehretu’s new work, which continues her exploration of our discordant contemporary moment. Focused on enduring conflict, widespread displacement, and the asymmetry of power, Mehretu sources images from current affairs media, particularly the ongoing war in Ukraine and the events of the US Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. Read more on designboom here.


what: They departed for their own country another way

when: September 15 – November 5, 2023

where: White Cube Gallery in Bermondsey, London

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
image courtesy White Cube



Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon | tate


Hyundai Motor Company and Tate Modern today announced the opening of Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon as Tate Modern unveils a monumental sculptural installation created by artist El Anatsui. Thousands of metal bottle tops and fragments have been stitched together into three expansive abstract compositions. These undulating forms, the artist’s most significant work to date, cut through the vast industrial space of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, reflecting on the expanse of human history and the elemental power of the natural world. Each sculpture refers to Anatsui’s interest in the movement and migration of goods and people during the transatlantic slave trade. Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon is the eighth annual Hyundai Commission, a series of new, site-specific works by international artists responding to the unique context of Tate Modern’s iconic Turbine Hall. Staged in three acts, viewers are invited on a movement journey through Anatsui’s dynamic metallic sculptures.


what: Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon

when: October 10, 2023 – April 14, 2024,

where: Tate Modern, London 

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon | installation view | image by Ben Fisher Photography © Tate


image by Ben Fisher Photography © Tate


Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015 | serpentine


Bringing Georg Baselitz’s sculptural works to the fore, this solo exhibition at Serpentine Galleries offers an intimate glimpse into the creative process of a ground-breaking artist. With a career spanning over six decades, Georg Baselitz first came to prominence in post-war Germany as a painter. From 1969 onwards, he has been known for inverting – or turning upside down – human forms and other motifs within expressionistic paintings that attempt to move away from content and narrative. Baselitz instead focused on shape, color, and texture, bringing new perspectives to the tradition of German Expressionism. He turned to sculpture in 1979, continuing to explore tensions between the figurative and the abstract through crude approximations of figures and body parts carved from wood. Selected with Georg Baselitz and taken directly from his studio, the show features never-before-seen towering sculptures alongside loose, inky drawings.


what: Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015

when: October 5, 2023 – January 7, 2024

where: Serpentine Galleries, London 

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Georg Baselitz, Zero Mobil (2013-2014) | image © Jochen Littkemann, Berlin, courtesy Serpentine





From October 11, 2023 to January 7, 2024, the Hayward Gallery in London presents Hiroshi Sugimoto: Time Machine, the largest survey exhibition of the Japanese artist, architect, and photographer to date. The exhibition showcases Sugimoto’s best-known works, as well as lesser-known projects, and highlights the artist’s interest in the history of photography, mathematics, and optical sciences. Featuring key works from all of the artist’s major photographic series, the exhibition illuminates his philosophical yet playful exploration of our understanding of time and memory, as well as the ambiguous nature of photography as a medium that lends itself to both documentation and invention. Read the full article on designboom here

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Manatee (1994) | image © Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Hayward Gallery



Marina Abramović | Royal Academy of arts


Marina Abramović Hon RA has earned worldwide acclaim as a performance artist. She has consistently tested the limits of her own physical and mental endurance in her work, subjecting herself to exhaustion, pain, and even the possibility of death. In her early work Rhythm 0, Abramović invited audiences to interact with her freely however they chose – famously resulting in a loaded gun being held to her head. Her later work, The House with the Ocean View, saw the artist live in a house constructed in a gallery for 12 days. Held in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, the performance invited audiences to witness and share in the simple act of living.


This major exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts‘ Main Galleries presents key moments from Abramović’s career through sculpture, video, installation, and performance. Works such as The Artist is Present will be re-staged through archive footage. In contrast, others will be reperformed by the next generation of performance artists trained in the Marina Abramović method.


when: September 23, 2023 – January 1, 2024

where: Main Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, London 

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
image courtesy Royal Academy of Arts





With Free Fall’ her first solo exhibition in the UK, American artist Avery Singer reflects upon her personal experience of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and explores the wider societal impact of collective trauma and proliferating image culture and media dissemination. Based entirely upon Singer’s childhood memories, the works and architectural intervention in ‘Free Fall’ are a testament to the power of memory—and a memorial to a moment of terror and survival. For the exhibition, Singer has created an environment that replicates her memories of the interior of the World Trade Center offices—spaces she regularly visited in the years prior to 9/11, as her mother worked in both towers of the World Trade Center.

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
Avery Singer, Free Fall (2023) at Hauser & Wirth London | image courtesy the artist via Instagram



Here, Singer combines the atmospheric banalities of office life with the architectural specificity of the towers’ iconic design by Minoru Yamasaki, creating a quietly disorientating installation that is part stage-set, part minimalist sculpture. Within this environment, the artist displays new paintings that bridge the gap between the anonymous digital world and her own interior universe by merging computer-generated worlds created on programs such as Autodesk Maya, the same 3D software used to build the exhibition’s immersive architectural environment based upon Singer’s memories.

Since 2010, Singer has employed the binary language of computer programs and industrial materials to remove the trace of her own hand while engaging the great traditions of painting and the legacy of modernism. The new large-scale paintings on view in ‘Free Fall’ combine digital renderings with manual and digital airbrush techniques, liquid and solid masking, and complex layering processes.

designboom's guide to frieze art week 2023: the best exhibitions to see in and out of the fair
image courtesy Avery Singer via Instagram





Serpentine is delighted to announce Infinite Ecologies Marathon: The Prelude. This all-day event will gather key cultural figures to address pressing questions on environmental issues and set the agenda for the return of the acclaimed Serpentine Marathon program in 2024. The Prelude will take place on Saturday 14th, October, from 12 pm to 8.30 pm in the 22nd Serpentine Pavilion by Lina Ghotmeh, one of this year’s participants. Infinite Ecologies Marathon: The Prelude aims to seek agency in the current times of crisis, focusing on what must be witnessed, remembered, and held in facing a climate breakdown that is unequally distributed between different persons, human and non-human alike.


what: Infinite Ecologies Marathon: The Prelude

when: October 14, 2023 (12om-8pm) 

where: Serpentine Pavilion, London



Adrián Villar Rojas, Mi familia muerta (2010) | unfired local clay, cement, 3 x 27 x 4m | installation view in Sierra Chica de Zonda, San Juan, Argentina | image © Alan Legal, courtesy the artist

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