Frieze Art Fair 2012: Top Ten

Dazed's visual arts editor, Francesca Gavin, looks back at last week's art frenzy and picks her highlights

1. Paul McCarthy @ Hauser and Wirth

1. Paul McCarthy @ Hauser and Wirth
If Frieze was generally a rather disappointing affair this year, with lots of rather dull thrown together work, it was worth it alone for this Paul McCarthy sculpture at Hauser and Wirth's stand. The case peachy face of Snow White, which was also a beautiful reference to the ecstasy of Saint Theresa, looked like a cum-covered ice cream scoop. I was literally dreaming of licking this sculpture after I saw it.

The case peachy face of Snow White, which was also a beautiful reference to the ecstasy of Saint Theresa, looked like a cum-covered ice cream scoop. I was literally dreaming of licking this sculpture after I saw it

2. Frieze Masters
The was the first year of Frieze masters, the second uber fair on the other side of Regent's Park. No-one understood the point until it opened and the result was spine-tingling. Showing 'art before 2000' which meant - Odilon Redon, Cranach, Brueghel, Axel Veervordt's genius fusion of 1970s portraits and ancient Egyptian masks, Cezanne, a sea of Picasso, Diane Arbus and what had to be a sea of ransacked churches. A pop up national gallery that will hopefully come every year.

3. Alan Kane/Simon Periton @ Frieze sculpture park
The outdoor Frieze sculpture park might have been a bit boring this year but this installation of sculpture on playful pastel plinths was sheer genius. Alan Kane is better known for collaborating with Jeremy Deller on the Folk Archive show, but had been working with Simon Periton for Frieze. From punk cut outs to a fibreglass mannequin to Greco-Roman copies - this was like a potted history of sculpture throughout the ages. And bloody fun.

4. David Raymond Conroy
The Sunday Art Fair, as ever, had a sense of lo-fi energy in comparison to the big Frieze number. Seventeen's one man stand of David Raymond Conroy beat them call (though Tanya Leighton was a close second with lots of work from Aleksandra Domanovic). Skewiff photography, videos covered with old jeans, reworked poster works, even the walls of the stand themselves were artworks. A very interesting artist who should do very very well.

From punk cut outs to a fibreglass mannequin to Greco-Roman copies - this was like a potted history of sculpture throughout the ages. And bloody fun

5. David Noonan
David Noonan has long been a Dazed favourite. His first show at Stuart Shave Modern Art, after leaving Hotel, did not disappoint and was one of the highlights of the week. Noonan takes found imagery of avant garde 60s theatre groups and prints the images in layers on jute, linen and rich canvas. The result is hypnotic and deeply atmospheric. Australian pavilion at Venice in the next few years? Hope so.

6. Toby Ziegler
Punters queued to take the lift 14 floors down in a car park in Mayfair to see this show of Toby Ziegler's sculpture work. The concrete space was enclosed by light boxes printed with details of horses feet from Piero Della Francesca painting which the sculptures themselves were brilliant neo-modernist reworkings of historical sculpture in geometric style. A brilliant space with perfectly fitted content.

7. Eddie Peake & Prem Sahib catalogue
Peake and Sahib's collaborative exhibition (making art with your mates is 'in' these days) at Southard Reid's top floor gallery in Soho consisted of a room intersected by a bronze room divider, a ton of plants behind one side, and a video shown on the other. The real star was the black catalogue made from black on black stills of film. An artwork in its own right.

8. Ryan Trecartin
This is a grudging choice as, in all honesty, the soundtracks to Ryan Trecartin's films make me want to tear the skin off my face. Yet it is undeniable that he did a very impressive job at the Andrea Rosen booth at Frieze, with film surrounded by sculptural dirty messy film-referencing assemblages that took the videos off flat screen and into the space. Trecartin, who is co-curating the next New Museum triennial, knows what he's doing.

9. Ed Fornieles
Young gallery Carlos Ishikawa entered Frame with a solo performance presentation from Ed Fornieles, an artist with a serious hard on for American teen narrative and the manipulation of identity that can emerge online. At his booth - which was a vile baby pink - sculptural elements connected to the main focus - character dates from his ongoing Facebook soap opera works. The American references may feel forced and naive, but in a sea of blandness at least his approach felt fresh.

10. Missed performances

There were three stand out performance projects and I missed them all but they were all getting deserved rave reviews. Hannah Perry's erotic discourse performance at V22 Young London show in Bermondsey, Ed Atkins performance to coincide with his incredible show at Chisenhale, and of course Hans Ulrich Obrist's latest 24 hour performance marathon at the Serpentine - this time about memory with contributors like Michael Stipe, Dennis Cooper and David Lynch. These were all 'you had to be there' experiences.

Special shout out - to the Frieze Projects / Space Studios / Opening Ceremony party on Saturday night which was without question the best party of the week, thanks to the imported DJs who had us going til 3am and it wasnt enouht- Total Freedom, Nguzunguzu and DJ MikeQ

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