Art13 hits town. Is this Frieze with an Asian twist?

Whoever said art was all about money?

Lots to see at the first Art13 art fair, being held at London’s revamped Olympia Grand Hall. With 120 galleries from 29 countries there is a fair bit on offer, particularly if you are interested in Asian art, which is much in evidence.

The largest installation is a 12-metre-wide tube made of 8,000 sheets of rice paper, bamboo and cotton, titled Boat and made by Chinese artist Zhu Jinshi and 20 assistants over three days. He’s also showing this dramatic splodge below.

Zhu Zinishi with his version of Lichtenstein’s brushstrokes

Many big London galleries are notable in their absence but around 20 are attending including Albermarle, Fine Art Society, Brancolini Grimaldi, Flowers, Purdy Hicks, Michael Hoppen, Lazarides, Dark Matter, Jack Bell, and Jealous. Saatchi has sent its shop to flog books and prints at discount. A full list isĀ here.

A sumptuous Grayson Perry tapestry. Ideal on the wall of your banqueting room.

The best bit about the show is the sense of space and the classy facilities for VIPs. On preview night a good time was had by all with free art prints from Outsider Art, free oranges from the orange pyramid installation (below), and free entertainment from the performance artists wrapping copper wire round bits of plastic all night. Naturally the juice was flowing and by 8pm the place was feeling like Basle, Venice and Miami all rolled into one.

Fair Director Stephanie Dieckvoss said: “Art13 London will be a place for discovery – visitors will have the rare opportunity to encounter large-scale sculpture and installation works from across the globe. It’s great that the projects encompass so many different regions, particularly since a number of the projects have been crafted specifically for the fair.”

It’s on until Sunday. More info at the Art13 website.

No huge queues outside either last night at least. Frieze please take note.

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