Frieze, PAD and Serpentine in picture

London was at the centre of an art-frenzy last week – the capital city turned into one giant arts exhibition. At the centre was off course Frieze, the annual art fair based in a gigantic pavilion in Regent’s Park. Running alongside this was Pavilion Art and Design London, showing art and design from a much smaller and a rather more elegant marquee in Berkley Square, Mayfair. Combined with all the other satellite events around city it gave a speedy overview at the state of art today.

In Frieze and PAD galleries from around the world create micro spaces showcasing their flair and ultimate finds. At Frieze there was a cocktail of work that ranged from the brilliant to the silly, the artists were a mix of super names such as Anish Kapoor to lesser known contemporary artists hoping to be spotted by the many buyers who flock on Frieze for this very purpose.

Highlights included work by Portuguese photographer Helena Almeida shown at Galería Helga de Alvear whose large black and white photographs with splashes of red from the 70s are rather haunting. It was, however, outside the confines of the pavilion where the art really shone – the amazing sunny autumn week for sure highlighting the sculpture park  that includudes work by Gavin Turk and Tom Friedman.

PAD was less extreme. As with last year, this refined exhibition space only really shows the very best in art and design that covers work from the last century and features work by Picasso, Rothka & Co alongside new designers and artists. It is more palatable but rather less exciting than Frieze.

Kensington Gardens saw the Serpentine Marathon. The two-day art event ran alongside Frieze and featured non-stop live presentations by over fifty artists, poets, writers, philosophers, scholars, musicians, architects, designers and scientists.

This year the theme was gardens. Participants included architects and designers Elizabeth Diller, Alice Rawsthorn, Stefano Boeri, Dan Pearson, Andrea Branzi, Pascal Cribier, Adriaana Geuze, Fritz Haeg, Charles Jencks, Catherine Mosbach, Gunther Vogt, among many others.

For more on Frieze and London’s art-frenzy week read the FT report. Read our report on PAD London 2010.

Nargess Shahmanesh Banks

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