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Frieze Week: Digby’s Diary (Tuesday)

14 October 2014

Tuesday, 14 October: Mayfair

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Oof. Barely 24 hours in, and I’m already wiped out. Last night was the biggest launch date in the art calendar. I lost count of the number of openings going on, and the geographical spread was too much to contemplate. I realised I needed an accomplice who wouldn’t, unlike me, run screaming at the mention of the word ‘itinerary.’

Thank god, then, that I ran into one of the most clued-up art editors in the business. She’d already devised a plan, and very kindly invited me to join her in a tour of the Mayfair private views. There was just one snag: she had to be at a dinner on the other side of town by 8pm. This left us 45 minutes to attend seven exhibitions.

But we did it, starting at Blain|Southern on Hanover Square and ending up at Italian gallery Mazzoleni’s new space on Albemarle Street. It was knackering – you know you’re beaten when you come within inches of mistaking a Justin Adian painting for a coat hanger. Mayfair became an assault course, polite conversation a Herculean feat.

But incredibly, I want to go back to almost everything. I can’t recommend the Adian show at Skarstedt enough, and if you’re into your Arte Povera, Frieze week will be a blast. Luxembourg & Dayan on Savile Row are showing Alighiero Boetti’s stunning i Colori series and the Mazzoleni exhibition, which features work by Fontana, Manzoni, Scheggi and Burri, is the sort of thing you’d describe as ‘world class’ if you were pushed for time. And believe me, I was.

My accomplice dashed out into the rain to get to dinner on time, and I tossed a coin to decide between ‘Mirrorcity’ at the Hayward Gallery and ‘New Sensations’ in Bloomsbury Square. The Hayward lost out, and I wound up at the Saatchi gallery’s annual youthfest, soaked to the skin by a sudden downpour as I emerged from Holborn station.

There may have been some great stuff at ‘New Sensations’, but after 10 minutes of squelching around I threw in the towel – and not without good reason. Today I face three art fairs in the space of four hours. Wish me luck.

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More from Digby Warde-Aldam

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