The trees in London’s Regent’s Park will soon be about to take on the colors of autumn. However, when I walk around the park, there is still heat in the air, the light is bright, and there is “color, playfulness and sparkle” at Frieze Sculpture 2021. Such sentiment was the clear goal of curator Clare Lilley.
With no entry fee, the exhibition (until October 31) offers access to the creativity of some of the world’s most exciting contemporary sculptors. Many of these artists are eager to see their works exhibited again and there is a sense of relief to be able to once again share their artistic expression with a large audience. It’s also clear that they haven’t backed down from some of the issues we’re facing, so there’s a mix of all kinds of things to come across. Art doesn’t always have to be “easy” to experience, and Frieze Sculpture successfully combines challenge, beauty and interest.
I love the way the park seems to embrace the sculptures. You see them in and across the landscape and they seem very much at home here. The movement of people between each exhibition shows that it is a living event with a pleasant relaxation contrasting with the atmosphere of a museum or gallery.
With so much to see, everyone will have their own favorites, and you can hear a lively discussion about what works for whom. My eyes went straight to “Event Horizon” by Stoyan Dechev presented by Anca Poterasu Gallery in Bucharest, Romania. This aluminum and stainless steel work is an image that strikes in all directions as a thunderous cloud unleashes lightning from inside. I felt more than an echo of HG Wells and the scale of the sculpture matches the subject.
Timothy Taylor invited British artist Annie Morris to Regent’s Park this year. His “Stack 9, Ultramarine Blue” is a colorful assembly of bronze spheres of different shapes grouped together in a vertical shape. It is an expression related to motherhood and the female body and appears to be on the verge of collapsing while standing. I especially liked the way his shadow captures the human form and shows it in an altered way.
Carlos Cruz-Diez’s work “Environnement de Transchromic Circulaire” (presented by the Galerie Philippe Gravier) shows a colorful world as I look at the park through the multicolored stained-glass windows. It works both indoors and outdoors and it’s interesting to see how the colors and light patterns change.
To the question “How did he do that?” Is the piece “Biosignature Preservation” by Jorge Otero-Pailos that Holtermann Fine Art brought to Frieze Sculpture. Made up of galvanized steel and painted elements, it has a twisted but somewhat orderly structure with meandering metal appearing to move in all sorts of directions. The transparent appearance of the spaces between adds to the impact of the natural environment around.
Responding to environmental concerns about plastic waste in an innovative way, Tatiana Wolska exhibits with L’Etrangère / Irene Laub Gallery. His “Untitled (module 1 and 2)” is made from cut and heat-sealed plastic bottles with the most striking shade of red. The shapes created are extraordinary and act to remind us of our responsibility to consider our consumption, the materials we waste and the long-term impact of our behavior on our planet. The work is all the more effective because it is part of one of the large trees in the park – it shines and inspires us to be a little better.