Frieze Masters was founded in 2012 by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover. Nathan Clements-Gillespie is Frieze Masters' Artistic Director.
Frieze Masters offers a unique contemporary perspective on thousands of years of art history, from collectible objects to significant masterpieces from the ancient era and Old Masters to the late 20th century. The 2021 edition of the fair showcases over 130 of the most significant galleries from around the world.
The fair takes place in The Regent's Park in the heart of London, in an elegant, contemporary environment designed by renowned architect Annabelle Selldorf, benefiting from natural light and avoiding the atmosphere of a trade show. World-leading independent curators advise on feature sections for 20th-century art and focussed presentations of historical art and objects. The relationship between historical art and contemporary practice is further explored through the acclaimed Frieze Masters Talks programme, which was curated in 2020 by Nicholas Cullinan (National Portrait Gallery, London).
This year, Frieze Masters will introduce a new section called Stand Out, curated by Luke Syson (Director of Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), which will bring together art objects from across the ages that are great works of design, of sculptural and conceptual brilliance. Stand Out looks beyond hierarchical distinctions between works of art in different media, and in doing so reconsiders art objects often termed ‘decorative’ or ‘functional.’ The celebrated Spotlight section will also return. Dedicated to pioneers of avant-garde art from across the world, and overseen by Laura Hoptman (Executive Director of The Drawing Center, New York), Spotlight will feature solo presentations of work by overlooked figures and rarely seen practices by modern masters.
Frieze Masters coincides with and is within walking distance of its sister fair, Frieze London, in The Regent’s Park. Frieze London focuses on contemporary art and living artists, showing work created mainly post-2000 whereas Frieze Masters presents work made before the year 2000. Connecting Frieze Masters and Frieze London, Frieze Sculpture is a free display of major outdoor works located in The Regent’s Park’s English Gardens at the south end of The Broadwalk. Clare Lilley, Director of Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, will again select and place the works in Frieze Sculpture 2021. Frieze Sculpture is free and open to all from 14 September until the end of October.
Each year, we have over 60,000 visitors to Frieze Masters and Frieze London combined. These visitors include those with an interest in the art world, such as curators, artists, collectors, gallerists and critics, as well as the general public. Some visit as first-time collectors of art whilst others view the fair more as an exhibition, enjoying the experience as a cultural day out.