Featuring more than 190 galleries from 30 countries, Frieze New York 2018 showcases an extraordinary cross-section of work by international artists, from newly discovered talents to the most influential figures of the 20th century. Something Curated highlights 10 of the best presentations at this year’s edition of the fair.
Charles Harlan || JTT Gallery & Kayne Griffin Corcoran
In these new works, presented as part of Frieze Focus, Charles Harlan is continuing his use of found and industrial materials, in this case a bird bath, copper tiles, marble and a baptistery pool. In the centre of the booth is a fiberglass double entry church baptistery, such as those found in the sanctuary of Baptist churches. In this presentation, Harlan upends the ancient spiritual logic of descension and ascension by placing a stone birdbath on one end of the tub, balancing the baptistery upright. He manipulates objects to create new contexts or test the boundaries of fixed narratives.
Lara Schnitger || Anton Kern Gallery
As part of the Frieze Live programme, exploring histories of protest and collectivity, Adrienne Edwards has curated a body of works by artists including Lara Schnitger, Alfredo Jaar, Hank Willis Thomas, and Dave McKenzie, among others. For her procession, Schnitger crafted a series of sculptures and quilts, fragile textiles, some bleached or adorned with lace or sequins. Many of the individual pieces in the work, entitled Suffragette City, are reminiscent of lingerie or bondage suits. Each was hoisted high by volunteers who were enlisted via the New York Film Academy and the gallery’s Instagram.
Ana Mazzei || Galeria Jaqueline Martins
For Frieze Frame 2018, Galeria Jaqueline Martins exhibits a selection of Ana Mazzei’s most recent floor wood pieces. Beyond the formalist exercises, these floor objects invoke unidentified stories that suggest hidden and impenetrable archetypal structures. Mazzei’s artworks are like pieces and fragments of myths, lives and fictions that are represented in drawings, videos, sculptures and installations. At other times, her works function as observation devices, framing a vast repertoire from a specific point of view. The artist’s experimental practice appropriates different sensorial materials, such as felt and concrete, connecting her to the environments in which she works.
Arthur Jafa || Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise’s booth this year is devoted to six photographic pieces, all of them by Arthur Jafa. Across three decades, Jafa has developed a dynamic, multidisciplinary practice ranging from films and installations to lecture-performances and happenings that tackle, challenge and question prevailing cultural assumptions about identity and race. The works shown are from Jafa’s HA Crow series, which features prints of various pictures arranged in grids. Included are stock and fashion photography, colonialist imagery, documentary photography, and Instagram posts, comprising selfies, film stills, advertisements, and posters.
Pierre Huyghe || Marian Goodman Gallery
Leading the pack of institutionally-recognised artists enjoying solo attention at the fair was artist Pierre Huyghe, whose mesmeric L’Expédition Scintillante Act II (Light Box) (2002) is presented by Marian Goodman Gallery following Huyghe’s acclaimed installation at Skulptur Projekte Munster 8 and ahead of a new installation at London’s Serpentine Galleries this October. Many of his performance, film, and installation pieces employ a range of living creatures, insects, plants, animals, and human beings, in order to explore their behaviour and interactions. These works become laboratories for articulating complex social phenomena, the precarious distinction between fiction and reality, and contemporary belief systems.
Kapwani Kiwanga || Frieze Artist Award Winner
Kapwani Kiwanga is the winner of the Frieze Artist Award, a major opportunity for an emerging artist launched at Frieze New York 2018. Created with industrial metal and agricultural fabric and punctuated by holes and passageways, the imposing structure both invites and obstructs movement. The artist’s political choice of Shade Cloth, used in large-scale farming on the African continent and beyond, speaks to the colonial appropriation of land from indigenous communities and the manipulation of the natural environment for economic gain. In these ways, the artist builds on her practice shining new light on the psychological power of design and histories of exclusion.
Takashi Murakami || Gagosian Gallery
Curated by Matthew Higgs, Frieze New York’s first ever themed section, titled For Your Infotainment / Hudson and Feature Inc., is dedicated to the legacy of the dealer Hudson. The section highlights artists who came into prominence thanks to Hudson in the 1980s and ’90s, including Tom of Finland and Takashi Murakami. Gagosian presents works in different media by the Japanese artist, including large-scale paintings, sculptures, and drawings. Murakami’s distinct visual language, precise technical skills, and complex engagement with global visual culture draw from many sources including traditional Japanese painting, Western art history, sci-fi, and anime.
Luis Flores || Salon 94
Luis Flores’ work seeks to bring light to topics surrounding gender and masculinity that are often ignored and blindly accepted; those related to unconscious and automatic responses to preconceived expectations or beliefs. Creating life size self-portraits out of yarn, Powerbomb is part of a series of recent works that focus on wrestling. Flores is interested in the spectacle of the WWE style: the flamboyant costumes, the exaggerated performances, and the hypermasculine culture that the sport breeds. Flores uses this context as an avenue to investigate the inherent homoeroticism and hyper-sexualisation of the wrestlers, while creating a dialogue about his own masculine identity.
Tal R || Cheim & Read
Working across a diverse range of media including painting, drawing, print, textiles, sculpture and furniture, Tal R questions our conceptions of and presumptions about reality. A focus of Cheim & Read’s presentation is a new suite of drawings by the Copenhagen-based artist. The drawings, executed in crayon, ink, acrylic and oil on paper, primarily in tones of blue, merge a vision of the open sea with the artist’s conception of New York as a city that is unique in the world.
Nick Cave || Jack Shainman Gallery
Nick Cave is widely acclaimed for his exuberant “Soundsuits”, wearable sculptural forms based on the human body, intricately composed out of a vibrant assortment of second-hand materials. Simultaneously sculptures, costumes, and musical instruments, the Soundsuits are meant for motion. Cave and other dancers wear them, transforming them into transfixing blurs of color and sound for performances and video works. Contemplated on mannequins, the Soundsuits seem to embody the full range of human emotions. Some, covered with a pelt of dyed twigs with baskets for heads, resonate sadness; others, composed of a crazy array of colourful blankets or thrift-store tchotchkes, burst with joy and humour.
Feature image: Kapwani Kiwanga, Frieze Artist Award supported by Luma Foundation, Frieze New York 2018 (Photo: Mark Blower | via Frieze)