All The Fun Of The Frieze

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

It's the biggest event in the UK art calendar – and one of the busiest weeks on the celebrity social scene too. Alice Jones joins the party circuit for five days of the Frieze Art Fair

11 Monday

It's good to start big and they don't come much bigger than Tate Modern's Turbine Hall where the outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei kicked off Frieze week with the 11th commission to fill the echoing space.

His beach of 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds went down a treat at the private view where guests, perhaps wary of a week of heavy spending ahead, debated the ethics of stealing just one tiny seed as a souvenir.

Then it was a totter down the river to Waterloo where Steve Lazarides, the man who made Banksy, threw a glamorously grungy party to launch his week-long exhibition in a railway tunnel. To a soundtrack of barking pit bull, guests including Kevin Spacey and Nadja Swarovski wandered around a dank underworld of artworks made from live maggots, dead pigeons, pornography and syringes while sipping Veuve Clicquot.

Across town, there were more macabre offerings – electric chair studded with butterflies, anyone? – at Vanitas, an exhibition in the former embassy of Sierra Leone in Portland Place where the Chapman brothers were ghoulish guests of honour. And at the opening of the Pavilion of Arts & Design in Berkeley Square, the art-world shared comfy sofas and a glass of Ruinart with the aristocracy, from Larry Gagosian and Dasha Zhukova to Princess Michael of Kent and Count von Bismarck, while L'Wren Scott – Mick Jagger's girlfriend – was rumoured to be the night's biggest spender. Meanwhile, the cash started flowing at Phillips de Pury with a Tatler charity auction of 25 water pots designed by Anish Kapoor, Tracey Emin and Marc Quinn, among others, which raised £185,000 for the Bhopal Medical Appeal.

12 Tuesday

Day two and time for a workout – at the Hayward Gallery's Move, an exhibition linking the visual arts and dance. Arty types flung off their stilettos and brogues to launch themselves across the room on William Forsythe's gymnastic rings, balance on tilting tables and hula hoop on the roof. The highlight, though, was the UK premiere of Isaac Julien's magnificent nine-screen installation Ten Thousand Waves, inspired by the tragedy of the Morecambe Bay cockle-pickers and starring Maggie Cheung.

There were parties, too, to launch Blain Southern, the new gallery from the pair behind Haunch of Venison, with a show of video works by Mat Collishaw (Tracey Emin's ex-boyfriend) while Tank Magazine held a charity event at DKNY on Old Bond Street and a discerning crowd headed to Lisson Gallery to congratulate the doyenne of performance art, Marina Abramovic on her retrospective. Guests at the after-party in a Paddington warehouse included curator and 2009's most powerful man in art, Hans Ulrich Obrist, actor Ben Whishaw and sculptor Richard Long, who cut some striking shapes on the dancefloor. But it was an exhibition of stuffed kittens and paintings by Cheetah the chimpanzee that became the night's hottest ticket. New on the Frieze scene last year, the Museum of Everything, a quirky collection of outsider art in a disused dairy in Primrose Hill, has hired Sir Peter Blake as its guest curator for 2010. Queues snaked around the block and later on the party was stormed by irate neighbours in dressing gowns. Perhaps the brass band and circus performers were a bit much.

13 Wednesday

The main event. Frieze Art Fair finally opened, though not to the public (they're allowed in on Thursday), and when you got into the marquees depended on how much of a VIP you were. There's a hierarchy to these things. By the time the VIPs turn up at 2pm, the VVIPs have been browsing for hours and slapped sold stickers all over the most-desirable works.

One of the first reported successes was Damien Hirst's cabinet of fish at White Cube, sold to an anonymous buyer for £3.5m. Collectors (Charles Saatchi, Dasha Zhukova), gallerists (Jay Jopling, Larry Gagosian, Sadie Coles) and assorted celebrities (Claudia Schiffer, Ronnie Wood, Zaha Hadid and Michael Gambon) browsed the stands. There were even some artists: Grayson Perry, Anish Kapoor, David Bailey, Ai WeiWei and Tracey Emin, who was in a wheelchair, having apparently tripped down the stairs at home while carrying a tray of tea. Queues formed for David Shrigley's temporary tattoos and the chance to ride one of Gavin Turk's art bikes around the sculpture park.

The selling continued across town at Phillips de Pury where 35 works went for a total of £6.6m, including David Hockney's Autumn Pool at £1.3m. By the time the hordes arrived at Frieze for the evening private view, the bottles of Pommery were empty but the art lived on – until 9pm at least – when the marquee decamped to Sunday, an upstart fair in Marylebone (young, trendy types), or the Groucho Club (celebrities, established types) where the art world attempted to out-drink the film world, also congregating there following the opening gala of the London Film Festival.

Meanwhile at Club 21, an exhibition/ happening in a former church, party-goers coyly circled a giant black bed in the scarlet-lit basement. So far, no one has taken up the artist Jota Castro's offer to create a "scene" by making love on it but the exhibition runs for another week so there's still time.

14 Thursday

As is now traditional for Frieze week, Damien Hirst went under the hammer again, this time at Christie's. While his butterfly painting sold below estimate at £2.2m, Andreas Gursky's photograph of the New York Stock Exchange, last seen hanging in the Lehman Brothers offices, exceeded expectations to sell at £433,250, almost three times its estimate.

There were private views aplenty but the largest crowd descended on Hauser & Wirth's shiny new gallery on Savile Row to see the fabric pieces Louise Bourgeois was working on when she died earlier this year. At Gagosian visitors queued semi-patiently to experience James Turrell's Bindu Shards, a 20-minute light and sound chamber installation for one person at a time, while White Cube stayed open through the night for Christian Marclay's 24-hour video collage The Clock.

The fashion pack, including Margherita Missoni, Pam Hogg and Jefferson Hack, turned out for Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld (son of French Vogue's editor, Carine) and his exhibition of Nicolas Pol paintings at The Dairy while Scream gallerist and rock scion Tyrone Wood hosted a blingy reception in a £16m penthouse where the art played second fiddle to the chandeliers and facelifts.

The House of the Nobleman, backed by the Russian real-estate billionaire, Sergei Polonsky, was perhaps the evening's most unexpected event, an elegant 18th-century townhouse crammed to the rafters with Picassos, Saatchi's rising stars and luxury bathrooms. Later on, the great and the good, including Jarvis Cocker, Zaha Hadid and Frieze director Matthew Slotover decamped to Bar Boulud for the glitzy Cartier dinner, a Frieze week high point.

15 Friday

Back to the auction rooms for one last push. The first half of Jerry Hall's art collection went under the hammer at Sotheby's last night, including a portrait of the model at eight months' pregnant by Lucian Freud, and works by Warhol, Ruscha and Auerbach.

Then, what better way to round off a week of sales, openings and parties than with a little collective back-slapping? The Art Review threw a party to celebrate the publication of this year's Power 100 at the Mayfair club Almada where movers, shakers and wannabes gathered to raise a glass to 2010's Number One most mighty in art, the sharkish American gallerist, Larry Gagosian. Finally it was home to bed and a swift escape from town before the public descends on Regent's Park for the closing weekend of Frieze. Next stop for the arty party? Art Basel Miami Beach in December.

Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Arts and Entertainment
Kate Bush: 'I'm going to miss everyone so much'
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’


Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'


Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from


Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?