Frieze Art Fair is an international contemporary art fair that takes place every October in London’s Regent’s Park.
The fair is staged by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, the publishers of frieze magazine. Frieze Art Fair features more than 170 contemporary art galleries, and the fair also includes specially commissioned artists’ projects, a talks programme and an artist-led education schedule.
Although staged for the purpose of selling work, the fair has become a cultural entertainment event and out of its 68,000 visitors it has been suggested that 80% attend purely to spectate.The fair also commissions artist projects and holds a programme of talks.
Frieze Art Fair released sales figures following the first three fairs. However, Sharp and Slotover came to regard such results to be misleading and inaccurate, as many sales are completed post-fair, and many galleries choose to keep their sales figures private. From 2006 the fair has not released sales figures.
In 2008, Deutsche Bank was the main sponsor of Frieze Art Fair for the fifth consecutive year.
In 2010, Matthew Slotover, co-founder of the fair, debated whether “art fairs are about money” with Louisa Buck, Matthew Collings, and Jasper Joffe for the motion and against the motion Norman Rosenthal, Richard Wentworth, Matthew Slotover. Joffe claims that his criticisms of Frieze Art Fair led to his work being banned from the fair in 2010.
In May 2011, Slotover and Sharp announced the launch of two new art fairs – Frieze New York, and Frieze Masters.
Since the mid-2000s, auction houses Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips have expanded their mid-season contemporary sales that coincided with Frieze London