Back for its second year on Randall’s Island, British export Frieze NY delivered some great booths this year. Easy to navigate and enriched with beautiful natural light, the fair is earning its stripes with New Yorkers and visitors alike. Yes, the bus ride out felt a little like a bumpy safari ride, but who cares when at the end you see Paul McCarthy’s giant balloon dog eagerly waiting to welcome you to the temporary home of galleries from around the globe?
Paul Kasmin had some great James Nares works on show at Frieze, a teasing taster of the “Road Paint” exhibition by Nares at the gallery right now (ending June 22nd 2013.) Though different in approach and form, something about the paintings is reminiscent of Nares brushstroke paintings. Tiny glass spheres released in the painting process create a subtle and glorious iridescent effect. According to the press release:
“These works continue the artist’s ongoing kinetic investigations—exploring the form, direction, rhythm, and repetition of objects in motion. The result of a completely new technique developed by Nares exclusively for this exhibition, this unique practice seeks to capture movement’s own moment of creation, its own primal genesis.”
Casey Kaplan had a wonderful solo presentation of German artist Julia Schmidt. Her abstractions are inspired by the everyday (the internet, print media, phone photography etc.) and repurposed with new meaning. Upon closer inspection the works appear more tangible. What’s interesting about the work is the colour palette chosen by the artist. According to Kaplan gallery:
“This body of work marks a new exploration of color, favoring an artificial palette that in itself becomes a referent, whether to the newsprint of the international edition of The Financial Times or cheaply produced colored copyshop paper. These lurid washes, which at times seem as equally luminous as they are poisonous, work not only to deconstruct her source images, but to rebuild them with new contents.”
David Zwirner stunned the audience once again with a fabulous presentation of works by Thomas Ruff. Exploring a variety of themes, the artist employs a range of techniques examining the structures of photography. Ruff confronts traditional conventions of photographic representation and pushes them past traditional finish lines. According to Aperture Magazine: Turning away from straight photography in the mid-1990s, “Ruff has taken up a study of the photogram, updating the form for the digital era by creating his works in a 3-D digital studio environment and outputting the resulting images in the large scale he tends to favour.” For an excellent interview with the artist in Aperature, click HERE.
Société Gallery of Berlin had a fantastic booth showing Sean Raspet and Timur Si-Qin. Washington-born Brooklyn-based Raspet injects acrylic paint into plexiglass cubes filled with hair gel. In other instances of Raspet’s work, he encases objects in cubes of hair gel, suspending the object in time and space.
Tinur Si-Qin’s process involved melting yoga mats onto large aluminum plates, changing the form and colour organically. Both artists work well together in the space and it was clear that the gallery put time and thought into creating a conversation between the artists they presented.
Lisson Gallery had a particularly strong show this year. Favorites included three Pedro Reyes musical sculptures adorning one wall of the booth – musical instruments created from remnants of decommissioned weapons. Mexican born Reyes juxtaposes the dangerous with the lyrical in these darkly beautiful and haunting sculptures. The weapons were seized from Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. In 2010, the city had a murder rate of 230 killings to every 100,000 inhabitants. In an article in Mail Online, Reyes describes his work: ‘It occurred to me to make musical instruments, because music is the opposite of weapons,’ Reyes said. ‘This exercise of transformation we see with the guns, is what we would like to see in society.’