Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Really, Seriously the Artworld — Frieze London


One of the most artworld-of-artworld events took place last week in London: Frieze. Everyone and anyone wanting to be in-the-know is probably already paying attention. But in case you’re not…


“Nickelodeon” by Adrian Ghenie sold for 7.1 million pounds, or about $9 million.

Why is Frieze such a big deal? Well, all eyes are on the works of art that sell and flop at this event because all of the most important galleries flaunt and sell the work of the artists that they represent–emerging, successful, and deceased alike. The event is described on their website:

Taking place a week earlier this year, Frieze London brings together over 160 of the world’s leading galleries from New York to Berlin and Shanghai to São Paulo, to showcase works by newly discovered artists alongside some of the most respected names in contemporary art.

Explore our curated sections – Focus, the definitive destination to discover young talents; Live, creating moments of immersion and interaction with participatory performance works; and new this year, The Nineties, recreating seminal exhibitions from this decade.

Other highlights include our non-profit programme of new artist commissions, a lively series of talks, guided tours, impressive large-scale works in the Frieze Sculpture Park, and a selection of pop-ups from London’s favourite restaurants.


Bonnie Camplin, Multi-Dimensional Princess (2013)

Despite the ridiculousness of the curated section titles… If you’re interested in learning about which artists and curators are so hot right now, you should definitely check out the galleries that are invited to show at Frieze. Regardless of whether or not you care how much such-and-sos painting sold for, you can expose yourself to all sorts of new works and artists–highly recommended. Also highly recommended: approach the galleries and works of art from your own point of view without letting the big bright lights overwhelm your opinion and experience. Feel free to critique and question and laugh out loud. The artworld is much more palatable that way. At least that’s how I feel.

"Transdimensional Serpent" Jon Rafman (2016), virtual reality work

Jon Rafman, Transdimensional Serpent (2016), virtual reality work

If you’re up for it, check out this article written all the way back in 2009 by Jörg Heiser for Frieze Magazine titled “Sight Reading”. Heiser asks the incredibly important question: Do philosophers understand contemporary art? Perhaps a bit prickly for those analytic philosophers out there… but it’s always a good idea to see what’s being said on the other side of the fence. In other words: it’s a pretty good short article if you’re interested in learning about the recent history of continental philosophy of art.

Happy artworlding!

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