From May 9 to 12, Frieze New York’s unmistakable canopied white tent bridged New York with the rest of the contemporary art world. Global collectors, dealers, galleries and all those associated with the art world flocked to Randall’s Island on the East River for the annual event. In just three years since its inception, Frieze, the New York edition, has made a name for itself. Aimee Boden, President of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance, felt that bringing an art fair as significant as Frieze to the island would be a good fit for the city. The results have been immediately evident. Tickets to the fair sold out in advance once more this year. Frieze New York has gained much popularity, becoming one of the leading contemporary art fairs in New York, assuming a place beside the long-standing Armory Show.
The sleek, temporary quarter-mile structure, designed by Brooklyn architects SO-IL, straddled Randall’s Island, creating a welcome and bright setting. The art fair brought many celebrities and international figures of the art world to New York for the week, adding to the rich cultural mix already reflected in exhibits from over 190 contemporary art galleries from around the world. Frieze New York has distinguished itself from most art fairs by offering an opportunity to see a global cross section of contemporary art by living artists.
Comprised mainly of galleries, the fair also highlighted Frieze Projects, a series of commissioned site-specific works curated by Cecilia Alemani. This year Al’s Grand Hotel (1971) with Public Fiction (2014) caught everyone’s attention with its landmark piece from Allen Ruppersberg’s revived 1971 project. Public Fiction helped realize Ruppersberg’s modern version as a fully functioning hotel, complete with two guest rooms located in the interior of the Frieze tent. It was booked solid for overnight stays during the week of the fair. The novelty of becoming part of the fair’s history proved difficult to pass up.
A sampling of the work that made up this year’s fair gives a idea of some of the range of materials, approaches, as well as the geographical distribution of artists and galleries. In addition to the Frieze Projects, Frieze Sounds and the popular Frieze Talks added to the list of special events. If that was not enough, fairgoers could also indulge in more art-viewing at some of the concurrent satellite art fairs in the city.
In the weeks following the fair, New York has shifted back to its normal bustling state. With every fair there is always an excitement at the moment of its opening where one can observe a gathering of minds, ideas, and an anticipation of the new. These feed and ignite the minds and hearts of the city until the next Frieze Art Fair at Randall’s Island in 2015. In the meantime there is always Basel Switzerland around the corner.
Well-known Fluxus artist Alison Knowles was showing several of her pieces at the Focus and Fame section of the fair. Pictured here is part of her journal in the form of a shirt.
Munich-based Benedikt Hipp creates darkened surreal landscapes of otherworldly hybrids that evade description.
Colombian Gabriel Sierra creates appealing conceptual sculptures. His architectural abstractions of space implicate the psychological in his interventions. At Kurimanzutto, Mexico City
At Galerie Greta Meert, Tobias Putrih frees a sensual transparency out of cardboard and plywood that is immediately tactile and pensive.
At White Cube, London, Rachel Kneebone’s All Words Choke (2012) embraces her lavish use of writhing bodies constricted in the fine white porcelain.
The Gelitin art group does not assume the conventional or banal. At Massimo de Carlo Gallery, Milan.
Servet Kocyigit’s humor takes on a disturbing facet in this C-print Brrrrroom (2005). His commentary on women’s work and the home, while very attractive, reveals a darker context. At Rampa Gallery, Istanbul.
FRAME artist Avery Singer’s large format monochrome paintings reveal a fusion of Cubist geometry and hyperreal 3D modeling. At Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Roman Signer straddles humor and thought with his inescapable brand of simplicity. Hemd (Shirt) (1995) by Roman Signer at the Galerie Martin Janda, Austria.
At Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Untitled, an intense, looming installation of closely-aligned black panels commanded the surrounding open space around it. The installation succeeded in creating a tension that only added to the weight of its title. The work consists of eleven partitions of white chalk over black oil on canvas, each measuring 220 x 300 cm.
A detail of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Untitled (2014).
Xue Feng contemplates the visual experience in vivid dualities of the landscape and organic wallpaper constructions as psychological references to identity. Xue Feng, Flashback 38, 2014. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 60 x 150 cm. At Boers Li Gallery, Beijing.
Ariel Reichman’s examination of the delicate boundaries between public and private spaces was inspired as he researched military graveyards in Israel.
A former writer, Simon Evans collages the scribbled notes, scotch tape, and ephemera of daily life into tapestries of delicate poetic elegance. Simon Evans, Cloud, 2014. Mixed media on paper, 147 x 177 cm. At James Cohen, NY.
Charles Avery has actualized a mythical island at the fair comprised of drawings, installations, and sculptures. Charles Avery, Untitled (Tree No. 4 for Jadindagadendar), 2013. Steel, brass, magnets, Perspex, and paint, 310 x 360 cm.
Using collage and sculpture Kazuyuki Takezaki revisits traditional landscape painting inspired by actual landscape compositions and specific works of Japanese printmaker Utagawa Hiroshige.
Michael Wilkinson’s work added to the abundance of collages and mirrored surfaces at the fair. Wilkinson pursues altered perceptions through layered conceptual collages and etched mirrors in Real Abstraction (mirror) 8, 2014. Mirror, painted steel grill, aluminum, fabric, paper, copper wire blackboard paint, beeswax 154 x 123 x 12 cm. The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow.
Zhan Wang 展望, Flying Stone No. 2《飞来石 No.2, 2012–13.
This is another example of using mirrored surfaces so popular at the fair this year. London-based artist Alice Channer relates to her materials as reflective skins in her sculptural processes. Alice Channer, Abyssal Plain, 2014. Mixed media, mirror polished and laser-cut stainless steel; cast and mirror polished aluminum; machined- carved and hand-polished marble; accordion-pleated coated polyester. 185 x 250 x 74 cm.
Not to be overlooked this year was the sheepskin draped tent playing an edited version of the 1966 film Pharaoh directed by Polish filmmaker Jerzy Kawalerowicz. Jasper carefully edited out all traces of the film’s actors from the footage. C.T. Jasper, Sunset of the Pharaohs, 2014.
Zoe Leonard’s memorable camera obscura installation earlier this year at the Whitney Biennial brought her additional attention at the Frieze Art Fair. 1961, 2002 ongoing is an autobiographical work addressing memory by way of vintage suitcases. For every year of the artist’s life, one suitcase is added. At Galerie Gisela Capitain, Germany.
Lena Henke at Real Fine Arts, NY.
Uwe Kowoski presents biomorphic abstractions that excavate color and line at Galerie Eigen + Art, Leipzig, Berlin.
Renowned Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander’s mapping and systems address issues surrounding the environment in Firmamento, 2012. Porcelain plate, wood, tomatoes and tomato seeds, 80 x 171 x 86 cm. At Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo
Cuban artist Wilfredo Prieto stops you in your tracks with his readymade, Shark Cage (2012), as a simple and provocative statement of the fair.
Los Carpinteros, the leading Artist collective from Cuba, has engaged the humorous side of form and function in art and society with both painting and Lego sculpture this year at Frieze. Edificio de números uno, 2014. Watercolor on paper, 113.5 x 199.5 cm. Courtesy Sean Kelly, New York, © Los Carpinteros.
The late British-Romanian artist Paul Neagu’s earthen- colored works resonate distinctly with his influences of Cubism and Marcel Duchamp.
Billy Childish’s paintings are personal. They exude an intuitive and raw use of paint that steps away from conventions. Billy Childish, The River Kroonstad, 1901, 2013. Oil and charcoal on linen, 183 x 244 cm. At Carl Freedman Gallery, London.
Cameroon-born, Pascale Marthine Tayou uses found objects in innovative ways to raise awareness of the postcolonial world and the global conditions he’s observed through his constant travels. Tayou’s Classroom M (2014) includes colored blackboard chalk, pins, and wood frame.
Moroccan-born Hassan Hajjaj takes on quotidian subjects while playing on the stereotypes of culture and branding in the Arab world. Photos by Hassan Hajjaj at The Third Line, Dubai.
Chadwick Rantanen’s restrained forms allow for new interpretations of interior spaces on the surrounding the walls of Standard Gallery, Oslo.
The psychological landscape of the body is explored within thin veils of paint that seem to disperse into the air around. Alessandro Pessoli, Painter’s Foam #3, 2010. Oil, enamel, and spray paint on paper.
Mexico City artist José León Cerrillo uses site-specific geometric transformations of space as iconographies of language. At Proyectos Monclova.