Frieze New York 2018 | Highlights

Frieze New York 2018 | Randall’s Island | May 4–6, 2018

 

Robert Therrien, Gagosian, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Robert Therrien at Gagosian

 

This year’s edition of Frieze art fair in New York lives up to the “brand”‘s reputation of relatively higher quality. Remarkably, this year the fair is of huge proportions. That, and the heat that just recently invested New York leaving the rigors of a prolonged Winter behind, makes the experience challenging for fair goers and especially art galleries’ personnel.

As could be expected, since current interests have been shifting more and more towards themes of discrimination, also at Frieze we see a better representation of certain categories – or rather, a shift from “a certain kind” of representation of women and people of color (if any) to a representation that hints to a reclaim of power from these groups. Contextually, lots of artwork from the 1970s through the 1990s is being proposed again because more in tune with current activism than the artwork produced in the last twenty years. Obviously, this is a broad generalization that anyways applies to the current art world, where – just like in the rest of the cultural world – throwbacks to that period are the most refreshing in today’s communication. This topic needs more deepening, and this is not the place to do it, also since so many words have been written on it. Let’s move on.

 

Krzysztof Wodiczko, Galerie Lelong, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Krzysztof Wodiczko (1991) at Galerie Lelong

Krzysztof Wodiczko, Galerie Lelong, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Krzysztof Wodiczko, Poliscar Variant 2 (1991/2017) at Galerie Lelong

 

In the Main section, at Esther Schipper, Simon Fujiwara’s installation Anne Frank’s Birthday Cake (2018) arrived at Frieze fresh out of Austria’s Kunsthaus Bregenz, where Fujiwara reconstructed the Anne Frank House this February. This particular artwork refers to Anne Frank’s birthday cake, that she mentions in her diary.

 

Simon Fujiwara, Esther Schipper, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Simon Fujiwara, Anne Frank’s Birthday Cake (2018) at Esther Schipper

 

Among this year’s curated sections, there is Frieze New York’s first-ever themed section: FYI – For Your Infotainment. Celebrating the legacy of New York and Chicago maverick art dealer Hudson (1950-2014) and his gallery Feature Inc., the section is curated by Matthew Higgs (White Columns, New York), and showcases major artists who had history at Hudson’s seminal space Feature Inc. from the 1980s through the early 2000s. Entitled after the words printed on Feature Inc.’s compliments slip, For Your Infotainment: Hudson and Feature Inc. features artwork by Dike Blair (Karma, New York), Tom of Finland (David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles), Jason Fox and Daniel Hesidence (Canada, New York), Tom Friedman (Stephen Friedman Gallery, London), Andrew Masullo (Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York), Raymond Pettibon (David Zwirner, New York), Takashi Murakami (Gagosian, New York), and Tony Tasset (Kavi Gupta, Chicago).

 

Takashi Murakami, Gagosian, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Takashi Murakami at Gagosian – FYI: For Your Infotainment Section

Raymond Pettibon, David Zwirner, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Raymond Pettibon at David Zwirner – FYI: For Your Infotainment Section

 

Among the invited artists in the Live curated section, Alfredo Jaar (Galerie Lelong & Co./Goodman Gallery) presents a broadcast of recorded messages by a range of artists and writers over the fair’s speakers as a form of direct public address. His work on show at Galerie Lelong’s space, in turn, deals with migration routes towards Europe.

 

Alfredo Jaar, Galerie Lelong, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Alfredo Jaar, (Kindness) of (Strangers), 2015 at Galerie Lelong

Alfredo Jaar, Galerie Lelong, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Alfredo Jaar, (Kindness) of (Strangers), 2015 at Galerie Lelong

 

In the Focus section, Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon also works with sound. For Empty Gallery, Hong Kong, Gordon created a separate space inside the art fair, which is appropriate, given that her artwork focuses on insulation; inside it, a sound installation reproduces environmental noise from another point within the art fair, modified by a software, and coming out of «sculpted» speakers accessorized with insulation materials, which are used for different items in Gordon’s installation.

 

Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon, Empty Gallery, Hong Kong, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon at Empty Gallery, Hong Kong

Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon, Empty Gallery, Hong Kong, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon at Empty Gallery, Hong Kong – Focus Section

 

Also in the Focus section, the artwork on display at Essex Street, New York are an example of this “new” attention devoted to political issues in art. Cameron Rowland (2018) shows an 18th-century clock, acquired from Airy Hall Plantation in South Carolina, along with tax receipts from the time, that include property taxes collected on slaves; those taxes went into funding the formation of today’s state governments. Plantation owners introduced clock time to further regulate the labour of slaves in order to keep up with the increasing demand fueled by a developing industrialization, particularly in Britain.

 

Essex Street, Cameron Rowland, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Cameron Rowland (2018) at Essex Street, New York – Focus Section

Essex Street, Torey Thornton, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Torey Thornton (2018) at Essex Street, New York

 

In the Main section, Jeff Keen at Hales is one of those (re)discoveries that is not fueled by an activism hype. Keen died in 2012 at 88, having worked extensively in many media and languages for the best part of the previous century. Mostly known for his filmmaker career, Keen’s work presented at Hales is mostly devoted to graphic works approaching comics, and book objects with an equal hallucinatory richness of imagination.

 

Jeff Keen, Hales, Frieze, New York, 2018, art fair, contemporary art, Frieze New York 2018

Jeff Keen (1962) at Hales

 

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by Matilde Soligno
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