Kaleidoscope Exposé: Alexandra Donaldson on Frieze

Meet Alex Donaldson, founder of art consultancy Kaleidoscope and our very own Frieze insider. Having worked for global art businesses, Alex has extensive experience in building art collections with corporate firms, luxury brands and private collectors. And with her own platform Kaleidoscope, she provides a bespoke service to connect emerging artists and contemporary art with collectors who are keen to intelligently expand their collection while fostering young talent. With impressive consulting expertise and a history in curating cultural programmes for the likes of Soho House and London Design Festival, Alex is your go to for what’s hot and what’s not this Frieze fair. Here, she gives us a scoop of the luxury art attack that is Frieze.

Frieze art fair brings together over 160 of the world’s leading galleries showing iconic and emerging art from contemporary artists of today. With its robust sales and top-notch roster of galleries it’s easy to see how London’s creative curiosity is piqued by this colossal contemporary art circus.

Kaleidoscope advises clients on the best that Frieze has to offer, so here’s a little breakdown of what’s hot this time around. This year’s edition has a dedicated section called “Woven” exploring textiles, weaving and colonialism. Across cultures, tapestry has been used for practical, decorative and spiritual purposes. Textile culture emerged in ancient Peru in the absence of a written language, and in the Middle East tapestries were often thought to possess magical properties, think along the lines of flying carpets! There will be a series of solo presentations of artist’s work will try to make visible the histories and legacies of certain regions around the world. The artists are from a number of areas including Brazil, the Philippines, China, India and Madagascar, in their own way working with their local indigenous traditions, in order to expand this medium into something that feels completely contemporary. Pacita Abad is from Silverlens Galleries in Manila and is known for her colourful paintings and mixed collages. After moving to New York and going through the experience of being an immigrant she became fascinated with the concept of the “American Dream”, weaving this into the fabric of her works.  Tapestries are finally having a deserved revival, so keep your eyes peeled for some beautiful wall candy!

 L.A. Liberty by Pacita Abad

L.A. Liberty by Pacita Abad

Aside from the expected string of blue-chip galleries, there is a particularly stellar line up from the younger galleries in London who have very much been rising through the ranks and gaining in confidence each year. Some star attractions include The Sunday Painter, Arcadia Missa and Union Pacific who continue to showcase their works in the subsidised emerging gallery section “Focus” for galleries under the age of 12 years. As is always the case, there will be some fun attention seeking works like “Spent”, a matt black vending machine that vends randomly at £1,000 per object!

Although the line up at Frieze can be intimidating, collecting art is not only reserved for Russian oligarchs. Starting out your art collection, it can be feasible to invest in affordable works by younger artists and spaces. The ‘Focus’ section at Frieze allows up and coming artists to showcase their work at discounted rates. 

Interested in building out your own collection with inspiring work? Kaleidoscope will help you on your way! Get in touch with their team and have a snoop around the fair to bring that ultimate piece home info@kaleido-scope.com

If you also have a thirst for knowledge and would like to book a tour at Frieze in order to learn more please do so here.



Instagram: alexlouisedonaldson