Abbas Zahedi: Winner of the Frieze Artist Award 2022

We speak to the artist about his new installation, premiering at Frieze London 2022

in Frieze London , News , Videos | 16 OCT 22
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3–5pm, daily: Open Mic performances at the Frieze Artist Award installation outside the entrance to Frieze London

Abbas Zahedi is the winner of the 2022 Frieze Artist Award, realized in partnership with Forma for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 2013, the award provides an emerging artist with the platform to debut an ambitious new commission on the occasion of Frieze London. Previous recipients of the Frieze Artist Award include Himali Singh Soin (2019), Alberta Whittle (2020) and Sung Tieu (2021). 

Frieze London will take place alongside Frieze Masters in The Regent’s Park, from October 12 through to 16, 2022. The Artist Award is part of the fair’s anchor programme of special projects and collaborations.

Abbas Zahedi, CSM Degree Show Portrait, Unofficial Year Book (2019). Bálint Álovits and Thats So CSM.
Abbas Zahedi, CSM Degree Show Portrait, Unofficial Year Book (2019). Bálint Álovits and Thats So CSM.

About the Frieze Artist Award Project

Titled Waiting With {Sonic Support}, the work can be seen as a conflation of two particular sites: a public waiting area and a public support space, the commission builds upon Zahedi’s long-standing interest in borders, thresholds and how things can move within systems or networks. Situated adjacent to the entrance of the fair, the installation will consist of a wooden structure co-designed with Harley Gray, Bassam Ibellini and Neurofringe, echoing the architectural forms of modernist bus stops. Over the course of the fair, this structure will host a series of live activations each of which will be broadcast, via a DIY radio, both online and into the heart of the fair. The installation furthers the artist’s research into the potential of sound to hold and create space. 

This year, participating artists were invited to consider sustainable approaches in their production and installation processes. In-line with the prize’s criteria, Zahedi’s commission will utilize reusable and sustainably sourced materials and will seek to minimize any disruptive impact on the installation’s site. 

Abbas Zahedi, Brick Lane Foundation, part of Whitechapel Gallery’s Nocturnal Creatures Festive, 2021
Abbas Zahedi, Brick Lane Foundation, part of Whitechapel Gallery’s Nocturnal Creatures Festive, 2021

Zahedi’s winning commission was selected by a jury composed of leading industry figures including Eva Langret (Director of Frieze London), Isabella Maidment (Curator, Contemporary British Art, Tate), Maitreyi Maheshwari (Head of Programme , FACT Liverpool), Chris Rawcliffe (Artistic Director, Forma), and Sung Tieu (Artist and 2021 Frieze Artist Award Winner). 

Eva Langret, Director of Frieze London said: ‘Congratulations to Abbas Zahedi on winning this year’s Frieze Artist Award. Zahedi joins an illustrious list of previous recipients and I look forward to seeing his commission realized this October. As ever, we are grateful to our colleagues at Forma for their ongoing support, and to the brilliant nominators and jurors who helped to select Zahedi’s winning commission.’ 

Chris Rawcliffe, Artistic Director, Forma added: ‘This year marks a special development in the Frieze and Forma collaboration for the Frieze Artist Award, with more resources and space available to the winning artist along with a brief that invites time-based works across video, performance and audio. Abbas Zahedi, the 2022 Frieze Artist Award winner responded with a proposal that sits perfectly at the intersection of these different artforms, creating a space of communion, collaboration and exchange for Frieze London 2022. Congratulations to Abbas and our friends at Frieze London.’ 


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Main image: Abbas Zahedi, 11&1, Belmacz, 2021