An art fair with projects, discursive programmes, films and talks in London’s Regent’s Park? When the first Frieze Art Fair opened its doors in 2003 as a project conceived by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, the editors of the art magazine Frieze, it was almost like a rebellion against the establishment.
However, the innovative approach not only delighted the public, but quickly also the international art scene, cementing London’s reputation as a metropolis where art and finance enter into unique creative alliances.
Deutsche Bank recognised Frieze’s potential early on, became a partner of the fair, and over the following two decades helped it develop into a format with a global presence. In 2012, Frieze Masters, featuring old masters through to modern art, was added in London, and Frieze New York opened in the Big Apple. Frieze Los Angeles followed in 2019. In 2022, the first Frieze started in Seoul. Today, Frieze is one of the world’s most important art fairs.
The Deutsche Bank Collection: a longstanding commitment to art and culture
As part of its commitment to the arts, Deutsche Bank has supported and collected the work of cutting-edge, international artists for more than 40 years. With its world renowned art collection and being a global leader in corporate art programmes, the bank also runs an Artist of the Year programme, as well as its own cultural centre in Berlin, the PalaisPopulaire.
From the beginning, the fair provided a platform for the bank to communicate new positions in contemporary art and to showcase the Deutsche Bank Collection in its dedicated wealth management lounge. In the first years, thematic exhibitions featuring works from the collection were on view there, such as Teachers and Pupils with works by the London School, Joseph Beuys and his students, and the Young British Artists. In 2009, the bank presented photographic works by Thomas Struth as the first solo artist show in the lounge.
This exhibition was followed by interactive actions such as Mathilde ter Heijne’s Women to Go project, which features in the Deutsche Bank Collection, where hundreds of cards with photographs of women taken between 1839 and 1920 were displayed in the lounge and available to take home free of charge. On the backs of these cards are anonymous biographies of extraordinary women of the time – pioneers in their professions from around the world whose achievements have been left out of the male-dominated historiography.
A partnership with shared purpose
In 2018, to mark the 100th anniversary of the introduction of women’s suffrage in the UK, Tracey Emin initiated a special exhibition project in the lounges of the two London fairs that explored women’s perceptions and rights. She asked all 520 living women artists in the Deutsche Bank Collection to contribute up to four postcard-sized works, which could be purchased for a minimum donation of £200. The record proceeds of over £150,000 went to four woman’s aid projects in the UK.
Presentations such as the exhibition and live drawing performance by ruby onyinyechi amanze (2019) in New York and the VR installations on climate change by Shezad Dawood (2022) in London address a radically changing reality in which the relationship between nature and technology as well as concepts of identity are rethought.
In 2020, Deutsche Bank partnered with Frieze, Ghetto Film School and FIFTH SEASON (formerly Endeavor Content) to launch the Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award to support emerging filmmakers in LA and develop new ways of telling stories.
In the same year, the Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship was established. The programme aims to help emerging curators from POC (people of colour) backgrounds to gain a foothold in the art world and further develop their curatorial practice in UK-based public art institutions such as the Chisenhale Gallery and V&A Museum East. The programme is supported by sales of editions of works by artists from the Deutsche Bank Collection: Idris Khan in 2020, Yinka Shonibare in 2021 and Ibrahim Mahama in 2022.
These initiatives show how coming to terms with the past and future perspectives are mutually dependent. To mark the twentieth anniversary of the partnership between Deutsche Bank and Frieze, the presentations in both London lounges are dedicated to the work of Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, who engages with the consequences of colonialism in times of globalisation and African-European relations.
Frieze London & Frieze Masters takes place at The Regent's Park in London from October 11 – 15, 2023. Frieze Viewing Room will be live during the fair.
Art:LIVE will be available to watch on deutschewealth.com from Sunday, October 15.
For details about how to attend this and future fairs, please speak to your Relationship Manager.
Carousel image credit: Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, The British Library Collection (Female Artists), 2022, 226 hardback books, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, gold foiled names, white painted wooden shelves and index cards in presentation box, 233.7 x 139.7 x 33.7 cm (shelves with books). Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Photographer: Stephen White & Co.