14/10/10 - 17/10/10
With the prospect of substantial art cuts, artists are more than ever dependent on the market. How does this translate to this years Frieze Art Fair?
Something to be had for everyone seems to be an appropriate adage for the selection of artworks this year. If you have a taste for kitsch you will be very well served even by galleries who normally do not venture into that region. It feels like some galleries have betted on several horses. Others however have not and present great solos. In this respect Pilar Corrias Gallery stood out with one big work by artist Tala Madani, who studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. In a kitschy wall full of waterfalls and Walt Disney Cinderella’s, she made several peepholes through which one can see rather gruesome animations. It was snapped up on opening day by a private European collector.
Another stand-out solo was by David Shrigley at Stephen Friedman Gallery. The booth was closed off by a sort of prison fence and two doors. On the opening day Shrigley himself painted small drawings on the skin of art lovers who were lucky enough to get an appointment.
Touching was a re-enactment of a Santiago Sierra work at Lisson Gallery; Hooded woman seated facing the wall. The work was originally performed in the Spanish pavilion for the Venice Biennial in 2003. The silent woman formed a striking contrast to the surrounding upbeat flow of people at the fair.
Fons Welters succeeded in cleverly accommodating three impressive solos in his booth, by Claire Harvey, David Jablonowski and Gabriel Lester. Lester’s work was a surprising combination of movement and projection, whereby forests and cities collapsed and rose again in an ongoing circle.
Another surprise was the return of one of the ugliest artworks of Art Basel. XL Gallery brought their big I-Phone again. Unsurprisingly it did not sell at Art Basel. There might be takers in London, but to show such a conspicuous work so shortly after Basel, seems to stem more from a shopkeeper’s standpoint than from a curatorial point of view.Low points:
The same goes for the work of artist Banks Violette, who seems to have a habit of making a large and a smaller version of the same work. In Basel this consisted of a light installation of the American flag. A large version was at Team Gallery, a smaller one at Maureen Paley. At Frieze a large version of a light installation with the text The End is at Team, a smaller version at Paley.
A bike by Gavin Turk can be had in black, white and red at Galerie Krinzinger and in black, red, yellow and blue at Almine Rech Gallery. Arresting to see was a large black dress with a telephone dial on it by artist Frances Stark. What startled me most though was that I saw it twice, once at Gavin Brown’s enterprise and again at Galerie Daniel Buchholz. The question springs to mind whether these kinds of editions for larger works are intrinsic to the artists’ practices or intrinsic to the art market. I am afraid the answer is not hard to give.
Fortunately another wind is starting to blow. Rirkrit Tiravanija’s latest works, a video work and a slide projection that are shown in the gallery of Pilar Corrias in London are in an edition of one. Quite unique in today’s market and an example that deserves following.
With regard to the Mark Ryder it had sold for $950,000. Way out of our range but we did briefly fantasize about selling our apartment had it been available.
The fourth was the Ryan Mc Ginley also sold by the time we saw it on Saturday.
I am not sure what all this says about your taste or ours apart from the observation that if (God forbid) we all had to share a home together decisions on decor might be a little tricky.
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Personally, I rather like the knitted art made by Maria Nepomuceno. Your remark about 'art or craft' is something that can be discussed. I think the idea is no longer valid that craft can not be art. All through history, craft has been associated with feminity, and regarded as something inferior to art with a capital A.
I think it is about time to abandon these ideas, and be open-minded about art with crafts elements. It is too easy to associate it with knitting house-wifes. Knitting can be art and craft at the same time!
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Concerning Mark Ryder's work. Thank you for mentioning the price it was sold for, but unfortunately price does not equal quality. I do admit it would make things easier if it did. The thing I don't like about this work is that it only seems to reference itself. It is art for art's sake. Technically perfect, conceptually vacant. Many people will deem it pretty to look at. For them it will score high on decorative value. Personally I am not that interested in whether something will match the colour scheme of my house. I am interested in artists that critically look at the environments and societies they live in and in their work try to bring across insights that have not yet occurred to the viewer.
In that sense I have to agree with Petra when she mentions that my remark about art or craft is something that can be discussed. That is exactly why I added the words 'you decide'. Why I am not very enthousiastic about Nepomuceno's work is that in my opinion it also heavily depends on its decorative value. It is more charming than critical. A female artist that is more interesting in this respect is Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, who definitely walks the line between craft and art, masculinity and femininity and who does not shy away from decoration, but does not make it paramount.
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door Alexander Mayhew