Frieze London 2020
October 2020

We started planning this issue deep in lockdown, without being sure what the COVID-19 pandemic augured for the rest of the year. As the autumn has crept around, for the first time, Frieze London and Frieze Masters have moved online, onto the Frieze Viewing Room: go to register. Meanwhile, the city will still come alive with exhibitions and events, as it always does in this week in October: see our listings in the supplement at the back of the issue as a guide. Nevertheless, to reflect these unique circumstances, for this issue we decided to focus on stories that emerged from this year’s epically strange summer—from recipes perfected over the hours spent in the kitchen (p.2), to excerpts from the blog artist Issy Wood kept as a daily regimen of mental exercise (p.14). The pandemic’s interruption of our normal lives coincided with the beginning of a long overdue, international conversation about racism, the operation of violence and the embeddedness of structural inequality. On p.20, Zoé Whitley explains the new joint effort between Frieze, Deustche Bank and the Chisenhale Gallery to support emerging curators of colour. You can help support this with the purchase of a sustainable face mask, designed by the artist Idris Khan, whose work is featured on our front cover. For this issue, FriezeWeek has a back cover too—these are ‘unprecedented times’, after all—by the photographer Jamie Hawkesworth, whose visual essay in this issue is a tribute to the ordinary people of the city. This sublime image of a lone, resting figure against a metal barrier captures the mood of many in the capital this year, but also reminds us we may never know what’s coming: at top right, the balloon, unseen, sails calmly on.

—Matthew McLeanSenior Editor, Frieze Studios

From this issue

When lockdown hit London, the artist Issy Wood used her blog as a regimented daily exercise: an attempt to describe the experience of a time when ‘every day is precious but of no consequence’

BY Issy Wood |

Madeline Hollander’s BMW Open Work commission utilizes recycled headlights to explore forms of human connectivity

In Collaboration with BMW

From Swatches to Sarah Lucas, the founder of London’s The Perimeter on forming his collection – and why you won’t find him in a gallery’s DMs

BY Alex Petalas AND Matthew McLean |

The photographer has been capturing meetings with ordinary people on the streets of the UK for twelve years: now, he's bringing this body of work together for the first time

BY Jamie Hawkesworth |

For a new commission in east London, the artist is drawing on local histories to celebrate those that the UK government has turned its back on

BY Thomas J Price |

On the haunted, transatlantic landscape of Alberta Whittle’s new film commission, shot at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

BY Taylor Le Melle |

Tracing survivals of past pandemics across London’s architecture and public spaces, Gillian Darley shows how disease has shaped the city

BY Gillian Darley |

‘Having people around and making dinner is what gives me the most pleasure’

BY Claudia Roden |

The clubland veteran is committed to sharing stories of survival

BY James Greig |

From 5-11 October, don't miss performances on Cork Street, Frieze Sculpture at Regent's Park, new shows at West and East End galleries, plus unmissable virtual talks with leading contemporary artists 

From an exclusive supper club at Whitechapel Gallery to tapas at Moro and DIY pizza, enjoy special offers from our partner restaurants

A simple dessert recipe from the chef’s time at St. John Bread & Wine, London

BY Max Rocha |