Frieze London is in full throttle with day two of the previews underway at the time of writing. I spent the first day walking around with curator Lee Cavaliere and artist-writer Michael Petry, a much less taxing way of seeing as we were immersed in conversation. Each year there is an outstanding trend which clearly manifests and this year it is weaving. Here are my top ten picks from the Fair, in no particular order.
Why weaving? This is a Post Annie Albers world. Why not return to the Arts & Crafts movement?
Frieze London aims to present the most on-trend international contemporary art by emerging and established artists, alongside a challenging programme of newly commissioned artworks, films and talks. The fair features more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries and some new disrupters. This year there seemed to be less disposable bling and art-selfie fodder was pared down to a minimum. The annual curated programme includes Frieze Artist Award, presenting new site-specific works by contemporary artists; Frieze Music, the fair’s off-site music programme; and Frieze Talks, a dynamic series of panel discussions, conversations and keynote lectures. In the curated gallery sections, Focus features presentations by galleries aged 16 years or younger and Live is a space for performance and participation works.
The Frieze Focus Stand Prize 2019 has been awarded to Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala City) for their outstanding solo presentation of Hellen Ascoli in Focus, the section at Frieze London for galleries aged 16 years or younger. This year’s jury of institutional curators and directors included Fatoş Üstek (Director, Liverpool Biennial); Anna Katherine Brodbeck (Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Dallas Museum of Art); and Tanya Barson (Chief Curator, MACBA Barcelona). Jurors commented that ‘The solo presentation of Guatemalan artist Hellen Ascoli at the Proyectos Ultravioleta booth stands out with its subtle aesthetics, a sophisticated revisiting of textile tradition, poetic abstraction of the body and layering of personal and political histories.’ Yes, yet more weaving and wall hangings.
Proyectos Ultravioleta’s presentation features the most recent textile works woven by the artist in a backstrap loom, as well as a series of multi-layered drawings presented on top of a new series of rustic bespoke furniture (as a base) designed by her husband, industrial designer Karl Williamson. Through her works, Ascoli is interested in inserting herself in a broader conversation on weaving with both the native Mayan women of Guatemala and artists who have pushed the boundaries of fabric into an avant-garde artform like Anni Albers, Gunta Stölzl, and most recently Sheila Hicks and Faith Ringgold. Her drawings reflect the way in which one would approach weaving in a backstrap loom altogether, through an intricate process of layering single elements to create a larger whole. Presented on top of the furniture designed by Williamson, the drawings take on a sculptural presence that directly relates to the small stools and benches used by the Mayan weavers of Guatemala to elaborate their weaves.
The following works have been acquired as gifts to the Tate collection thanks to the Frieze Tate Fund 2019 to benefit the Tate collection. It is the first time that works have been acquired from both Frieze London and Frieze Masters. Yep more weavings macrame is back with a vengeance!
Jagoda Buić (born 1930) Orpheus 1972, Richard Saltoun Gallery, Frieze Masters, G11, Marc Camille Chaimowicz (born 1947) Folding Screen (Five-Part) 1979 , Andrew Kreps Gallery, Frieze London, C3 Patrick Staff (born 1987) Weed Killer 2017 Commonwealth & Council, Frieze London, H7, Paulo Nazareth (born 1977) IMAGES THAT ARE ALREADY IN THE WORLD [A FUNERAL PROCESSION FOR ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN BLACK, WHO WERE LYNCHED IN 1946 BY WHITE RACISTS PEOPLE] 2019 Stevenson Gallery, Frieze London, G2
It is the fourth year that Endeavor has made available £150,000 for the Fund. The Fund enables Tate to acquire works by emerging and leading international artists at the Fair. To date more than 120 works by over 80 artists have been acquired, many of which can be found on display across Tate’s four galleries by artists including Anna Barriball, Marwan Rechmaoui, Lorna Simpson and Jack Whitten. The selection panel includes two guest curators: Eugene Tan, Director of the National Gallery of Singapore and Singapore Art Museum and Erin Christovale, Associate Curator of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
This year the fair has inaugurated ‘Woven’, a section featuring eight international artists who employ textiles, weaving and tapestry curated by Cosmin Costinas (Para Site, Hong Kong).
Kaari Upson at Spruth Magers has created a sculptural installation from polychromed wood again nature has played a large roll in work shown at Frieze this year.
Thaddaeus Ropac showed an immaculately curated selection from the gallery including Tony Cragg and Georg Baselitz
Maureen Paley put together an engaging array of work by General Idea, Wolfgang Tillmans and Turner Prize nominee Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Bobby Dazzler! Ben Brown Enterprises made sure you noticed the stand with this carpet of ‘Do not Cross the line tape. The work on the walls equally clashed but somehow it worked.
Painting Lives! One foot in the Grave: This remarkable painting from Duggie Fields pushes his pop sensibility beyond Lichtenstein and Caulfield. A blast from the 1980s painted this year yes it’s back!
Have I ever forgiven Joseph Kosuth for making a pass at my girlfriend when he came to lecture at my MA program in Toronto in the late 1970s? …NNNawwww!
Yep…Live body casting from Kembra Pfahler painting live with her body at Emalin (London)
Top Photo: The best is first. I loved the seaside theme of this installation by Donna Huanca at Simon Lee for this Presentation at Frieze, London. Photographed here with my actor friend David Agranov