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Frieze Week is officially upon us, starting last night with a mad dash around the parties of London. All in an arty way, of course.
The evening started at the Royal Institute of British Architects, where Anish Kapoor held a retrospective of his space-confounding art and architecture, sponsored by Deutsche Bank, who are also chief sponsors of Frieze. Kapoor's curving silver forms and inside-out buildings throw back at us our traditional notions of how space should work.
Next was the evening's big event, just across Portland Place: the official Frieze welcome party, which packed No 33 almost to bursting with the great and good of Europe's collectors and art world. Matthew Slotover, founder of Frieze magazine and the art fair, was there, as were representatives of both the media and gallery sides of the art world. The party was dark and fabulous, with tealights up the stairs providing the scant illumination, while the Laurent Perrier champagne did not stop flowing.
Then on to Julian Opie at the Lisson Gallery, which was packed out despite its far-out (i.e. Edgware Road) location. There were plenty of cabs arriving at Lisson, disgorging familiar faces, which suggests that the party circuit was truly being circuitous.
After that, the Art Dubai party at Sketch, with hardly enough room to breathe but plenty of strong, long whisky cocktails. The directors of Art Basel, Annette Schonholzer and Marc Alain Spiegler, were there, making it easily one of the most powerful rooms of the night.
Finally, the Haunch of Venison after-party at the Bloomsbury Ballroom, where the younger party-goers had evidently left their predecessors behind, since the average age in the room was about 26. The HOV waitresses were, startlingly, wearing branded motorcycle helmets, which made their pizza deliveries authentic if frightening. Once the salsa started up, the crowd broke into dancing, and for all I know, are dancing there still.