All you missed at Frieze Art Fair New York
The unmissable contemporary-art fair took place from 14 to 17 May in New York. Numéro reports back from four hectic days.
“Do you know why the Europeans wanted to create Frieze New York after creating Frieze London? They were looking for a new excuse to hang out in Manhattan clubs in the springtime.” During the evening receptions at the Frieze Art Fair New York, American guests never tired of this little joke, which has been doing the rounds ever since the original Frieze, in London, gave birth to a little sister Stateside (although she’s not so little now!). But it has to be said that it was Europeans who contributed enormously to the fair’s success this year, and not only in the clubs.
Just inside the (south) entrance, it was a European gallery that was displaying the one work not to be missed: Oslo’s Standard had the excellent idea of installing a giant screen to show Ian Cheng’s Emissary in Squat of Gods. The 31-year-old American prodigy particularly stands out in his use of new technology, here exhibiting a video which was nothing less than a computer programme proposing an epic journey among prehistoric humans. Based on psychologist Julian Jaynes’s theory that man wasn’t really “conscious,” and realized with graphics recalling 90s computer games, the piece masterfully used the possibilities of the digital camera (to the point of passing through pixelated volcanic scenery) to evoke the wanderings of these early humans. It’s a brilliant study of mankind’s accession to consciousness, or a lack of it…
A propos, as of 13 May the privileged few invited to the preview were much more interested in having their photo taken in front of Instagram-inspired paintings by Richard Prince. The star artist had been amusing himself posting online comments (for example under a selfie by model Lara Stone), taking screen shots, and then reproducing them as paintings. Obviously it’s less complicated and more bankable than a computer programme exploring humanity’s dawning consciousness. A little further on, Jonathan Horowitz’s “creative workshop” also attracted the crowds. The prestigious guests all had to draw black circles of a particular diameter that were afterwards put up on a wall, and each received a cheque for $20 in return. It was an excellent idea worthy of an advertising agency – consumers are personally involved and remunerated. Only here they’re called collectors.
Marian Goodman also stood out by dedicating her stand, as she usually does, to one single artist. Giuseppe Penone’s huge nature pictures were impressive, to the point that one of them was rumoured to be going for $1 million. The French were not to be outdone: on Kamel Mennour’s stand, the duo formed by Petrit Halilaj and Latifa Echakhch (winner of the 2013 Marcel Duchamp Prize) appeared particularly pertinent and convincing – two rising stars who are well on the way to finding a permanent place in the firmament.
Among the hot names, Ryan Gander - who put on a great show at Gb Agency in Paris in 2014 - was creating a buzz on the Lisson Gallery stand, where Cory Archangel made visitors smile with a Homer Simpson piece (you found yourself literally saying out loud the character’s famous D’oooh after which the work is named). Also of note were Petra Cortright’s rainbow videos at Foxy Production, Mark Flood at Peres Project, and Eddie Peake at White Cube....
Sam Falls had put together a very poetic installation of balloons and fluorescent tubes for Italian gallerist Franco Noero, with whom he currently has an exhibition in Turin. But the most remarked-upon figure was without contest Korakrit Arunanondchai, whose massage chairs, accompanied by hypnotic music, were available throughout the fair. Now living in New York, where he’s represented by the Clearing Gallery, the Thai artist will be exhibiting his eccentric, explosive aesthetic at the Palais de Tokyo in June. We’ll see you there.
By Thibaut Wychowanok
Korakrit Arunanondchai, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, du 24 juin au 13 septembre 2009. http://www.palaisdetokyo.com/
Homepage : Paola Pivi at galerie Perrotin's booth.