Frieze New York, NADA, gallery shows and The Brant Foundation
Back in NYC for the much anticipated Frieze Art Fair New York on Randall’s Island. So excited to be home. And this is the view from my hotel room-I am in an Empire State of Mind.
FREIZE NEW YORK
The ferry ride over was a little surreal. I haven’t spent much time on boats in NYC. But it was incredibly easy. We just jumped in a cab to 35th and the East River and then hopped on the boat which dropped us off right at the entrance to the fair. My overall thoughts are that it was exceptionally pulled off. The tent was spacious and airy; the food choices were inspired and varied, everything from the art haunt Sant Ambroeus to Roberta’s pizza and food trucks. The quality of galleries was of the highest caliber, and being so far removed from Manhattan, the dealers had a captive audience. Once you were out at the fair, you weren’t headed anywhere else and so you resigned yourself to the fact that you would be there all day. Some went once and never came back, but others (myself included), went on multiple days. I felt I had to go more than once because one of the drawbacks for me was its size. Though it was spread out and well laid out, I never felt like I seen all the art on view. It still seemed too big. One of the reasons I am not including many images of work on view at the fair is because I felt that the majority of it was safe. And I feel like I had seen a lot of it before, some of it just a few weeks earlier at ZONA MACO in Mexico City. The exception was the work on view in the Frame and Focus sections. And the furniture in the common areas was pretty weak, half-ass painted mdf in snakelike forms. But what was a big question mark has turned into a whopping success. Well done, Frieze!
In addition to all of the wonderful works on view inside, Frieze included large scale sculptures and installations outside, much as they do in Regent’s Park in London. Not many of the works inspired me except for this gorgeous Bourgeois sculpture which you could see from the outdoor eating area.
Soho house set up shop in the VIP lounge with sit down food service by Cecconi’s.
Night Gallery is one example of the innovative booths in the section for younger galleries.
Random cool art that made me laugh.
And then, of course, there is always the celebrity buzz. Gavin Brown and doppelgänger, Mark Ruffalo served up sausages to visitors at the VIP preview.
NADA Art Fair
I always enjoy the NADA fair in Miami and the first iteration in NYC did not disappoint. In the same space the Independent uses every March, the old Dia building with its winding staircase provided the ideal location for this fair. Small and manageable with much more interesting work on view than the main fair (in my opinion), the layout is less open than the Independent but it still somehow manages to feel cohesive. I loved this terrifically unique work by DeLucia at Eleven Rivington’s booth at the NADA art fair.
And these works at Christopher Crescent’s NADA booth intrigued me.
David Hendren’s works hung on the outside wall of The Company’s booth. I loved the raw jute with dabs of pinks and reds, patterned yet disorganized.
Unfortunately, I do not have much to say about the Pulse fair. My mother taught me that if you don’t have something nice to say, not to say anything at all. The only work I found remotely interesting, despite its decorative nature, is this work made out of sequins by Daniel Gonzalez at Diana Lowenstein’s booth.
The show that I knew nothing about upon entering was the same one that knocked me off guard. I had never heard of Sheila Hicks but as I walked around the galleries at Sikkema Jenkins, I was blown away! I am not normally a fabric/fiber woven art kind of woman. Am I not familiar with her because she was born in 1934 and has lived in Paris since 1964? A student of Albers and a contemporary of Eva Hesse, Hicks explores ideas of color and form in her work.
I loved the installation of Jedediah Caesar’s work at D’Amelio Gallery. In the center of the gallery are tables with mounds of clay. Along the baseboards of the main gallery are stills from a film about a trip from the city to the desert and back. I am not even sure what the show was all about. I just knew the moment I walked in that it was new and different and that I responded positively to it.
And then on the Lower East Side, I stumbled upon one of the finest shows I have seen in recent years at Untitled: Oddly enough, while talking to a friend the artist was pointed out to me at the opening and I knew I had seen her somewhere before. Aha, I remembered, it was at the Columbia MFA open studios. And even then I was interested in her work. This, her first solo show in NYC, includes monochromatically neutral works devoid of true color. But even wall works have a three-dimensionality that makes the viewer long to touch the textured surfaces. It was is a wonderful show that is an absolute must if you are in New York.
On view through June 16th is the incomparable Dana Schutz’s show at Friederich Petzel.
At Marianne Boesky’s 24th Street Gallery and The Pace Gallery on 25th Street, a wall has been knocked out and the collaboration between the two spaces is wonderful. “When the dreamer dies, what happens to the dream?” is an historical exhibition of works by Arte Povera artist, Pier Paolo Calzolari. The press release for the show states, “the artist may best be described as an activator—an activator of materials, senses and environments who seeks to “contaminate” art with life. His toolbox is elemental and frequently organic, including frost, fire, water, salt, lead, copper, neon, tobacco, moss, burnt wood, feathers, wax, butter, and plant leaves. In his installations, Calzolari transmutes these materials, oftentimes fixing them in ephemeral states, suspending matter in a transfiguration that envelops and inundates the viewers’ senses.”
And lastly, “The Unplayed Notes,” an exhibition by Loris Gréaud at Pace on 25th, was certainly a different kind of experience. Gréaud is concerned with creating alternate realities using the help of engineers, architects, scientists and musicians. One enters the show through a black corridor made from ashes of previous works that have been burned. I am familiar with the artist due to his inclusion in the last Venice Biennale.
KAREN KILIMNIK AT THE BRANT FOUNDATION
Up through September at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, the show is by appointment only but if you like her work, it is worth a visit. She began as an installation artist and the people I went with explained that she is a bit of a recluse and believes strongly in the occult.
which explained the rooms that looked like this. I am more used to seeing works like the one below with tents, etc.
But I had not seen photographs by her and I quite liked this one with marker.
Outside, people dined on roasted lamb under a beautiful tent. And I got to schmooze and hobnob with the art elite that afternoon. Taking a break from it all with gallerist, Nicolo Cardi.