There are always great things to discover at Frieze Masters, an affiliate expo which is a great deal more pleasant to explore than the main show’s overcrowded aisles and stands. Every few steps, there is something to catch your attention, something exquisite or striking or unusual or old or even older.
Do you like religious art? Take your pick, from crucifixions to ancient Egyptians, from fragile bird-gods to a plumb Cycladic idols that would have made Brancusi envious. There is Brancusi here too, as well as abundance of of Basquiats and lots of Louise Bourgeois and Georg Baselitz. Do you like erotic art? There is plenty of that, including a shy little drawing of a naked woman by Joseph Beuys.
Other dealers in this part are showing Andean textiles from 200BC to AD1500, the colourful ceramics of George E Ohr, and eclectic treasures from the ancient world and artefacts from neoclassical Rome.
Frieze Masters is filled with chaotic contrasts. Niki de Saint Phalle’s lurid 1990 throne, entitled Horus, and a genuine Egyptian mummy’s sarcophagus occupy the same gallery, and a terrific early Piet Mondrian of three haystacks, hangs on dealer Jean-Luc Baroni’s stand, next to the exaggerated canvas by Baselitz and Julian Schnabel.
Elsewhere in the fair, most quirky of all is the recreation of Sir Peter Blake’s studio, located at the Waddington Custot stand, with all his paraphernalia, including model elephants and mannequins, toys and paintings and a little model train. A pointless clash of objects? Or perhaps Blake’s art only finds its meaning through all this clutter.
And as you pass an array of the stands presenting single artists, such as works of the 1960s and 70s by Anthony Caro (at Annely Juda) and Spanish sculptor Julio Gonzalez (at Elvira Gonzalez) prepare to be continuously dazzled.