Nicolaas Warb, Jour de Fete (No. 203), 1952, oil on canvas, 1.17m x 1.03m x 25cm, included in Marlborough’s exhibition The Laughing Torso where prices range from £5000-250,000.

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Running from October 11-15 in Regent’s Park, London, the event has both individual stands and entire sections devoted to female artists - such as Vanessa Bell and Dod Procter (via dealer Philip Mould), Mona Hatoum (White Cube), Arlene Schecht (Pace Gallery), Ethel Schwabacher (Berry Campbell) and many others.

Though remarkable in terms of volume, this is hardly surprising. Like most big-ticket fairs, Frieze Masters fosters important relationships with institutions and in recent years, selling to museums has been synonymous with a healthy offering of art by women.

Consider the number of female-focused exhibitions on offer this autumn. At Tate Britain there is Women in Revolt! and a solo show on Sarah Lucas, while the Royal Academy stages its Marina Abramovic retrospective. As the Hepworth Wakefield wraps up If Not Now, When? Generations of Women in Sculpture in Britain, the Baltimore Museum of Art opens Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800.

Meanwhile, the first European museum devoted to female art is to open next year in Mougins, France.

And while Lucas might be the focus of the Tate, she is also part of Frieze Masters Talks, appearing in conversation with fellow artists Maggi Hambling and Louisa Buck. According to the fair’s director Nathan Clements-Gillespie, such crossovers with London institutions help in “emphasising how Frieze Masters is a rare opportunity to engage with museum-quality works”.

The most visible commitment this year is a new section dubbed Modern Women. Dedicated to works from 1880-1980, it starts with the first wave of feminism in Europe and the US.

Curated by the British and French association AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research & Exhibitions, it brings together galleries such as England & Co featuring Paule Vézalay and Galerie Bernard Bouche, showing Emilie Charmy. Piano Nobile, which showcases Ethel Walker, says it is ”not actively offering the works for sale but would consider appropriate institutional placements”.

Fritsch focus


Two works by Elizabeth Fritsch: Spout Pot, 2010, and Blue Horn Vase II - Collision of Particles, 2005. Both hand-built stoneware with coloured slips, offered by Adrian Sassoon. Prices start at £20,000.

Elsewhere at the fair, Adrian Sassoon presents a solo show on the work of ceramicist Elizabeth Fritsch (b.1940), comprising more than 20 works made in 2010 or before.

Fritsch developed a style of ‘New Ceramics’ after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London during the 1970s and is known for dramatic silhouettes and colourful patterns. This is her first public exhibition since her retrospective at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff in 2010.

It is included in the fair’s Stand Out section, which is devoted to art other than the pictures and sculpture which dominate at the fair.


The Gallery of Everything brings a selection of works by Judith Scott to Frieze Masters, with prices starting at £35,000.

The Gallery of Everything focuses its stand on the works of Judith Scott (1943- 2005), a self-taught fibre artist from the US, who created complex unusual structures by binding found objects in multicoloured materials.


Valentine Hugo, Winter Sport, 1938, oil on canvas, 15 x 29cm, included in Marlborough’s exhibition The Laughing Torso where prices range from £5000-250,000.

Meanwhile, Marlborough Gallery devotes its stand to an exhibition titled The Laughing Torso, which celebrates the work of women artists who changed their birth names to male or ambiguous titles. Among those featured are Claude Cahun (1894-1954, born Lucy Schwob), Marcel Moore (1892-1972, born Suzanne Alberte Malherbe), Gluck (1895-1978, born Hannah Gluckstein) and Marlow Moss (1989-1958, born Marjorie Jewel). Prices range from £5000-250,000.


The Granary, Charleston, 1932, by Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), £45,000 at Philip Mould.

Among the pictures on offer from Philip Mould is a collection by Bloomsbury Group artist Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), including The Granary, Charleston, 1932, priced at £45,000.


Davida, c.1954, by Dod Procter (1890-1972), £35,000, at Philip Mould.

Also on the stand will be a c.1954 portrait by Dod Procter (1890-1972) called Davida. Priced at £35,000, it is likely this was painted on one of the artist’s trips to Jamaica in the mid-1950s.

Procter began to travel extensively after her husband died in 1935 and she returned to the Caribbean islands repeatedly, visiting Jamacia in 1953-4, 56, 58 and 61. Mould believes this portrait was probably painted during her first trip to Jamaica.

Procter often criticised other artists, such as Augustus John, for their failure to convey the nuances of black sitters’ skin tones. Mould said her genuine concern to depict black subjects in a considered way was rare among British artists at this date.

In the Frieze Masters’ Spotlight section, which displays previously overlooked works of the 1950s-70s, Cecilia Brunson Projects shows Judith Lauand, the ‘First Lady of Concretism’ in Brazil, while Kisterem presents a solo exhibition of abstract reliefs by Anna Mark from the 1970s.