The ‘game’ for reviewers at every annual iteration of Frieze London is to try a spot some sort of a trend. The fair itself tried to supply a hint of its own thoughts with a section set aside for textile art.
At CELLOPHANELAND* however we do not buy that ‘trend’, and if anything, there was abundant evidence that painting, particularly figurative, has come further to the fore.
It was also easy to see, thankfully, that there were less random ‘sculptures’, student-like installations and virtually no videos or new media.
There had naturally been worries in the run up to the fair that current Brexit concerns would hit both attendance and spending at Frieze London. The contemporary art market however is both resilient and international – with 35 countries represented this year – and worries were brushed aside in the hours after opening with strong sales of works in to the low millions. Some stands sold out completely within a few hours, Sterling Ruby’s bright Helios works at Gagosian amongst them, at $325,000 a piece.
Trying to avoid the obvious here are some other works that caught our eye this year.
Joyce Pensato and Stanley Whitney were exhibited together at the Lisson Gallery booth. Following Pensato’s recent death her works were not for sale.
Nicholas Party at Xavier Huffkins was definitely eye-catching!
At Tokyo gallery Taro Nasu’s booth, was a black vending machine installed by Ryan Gander. For just £500 random artworks were dispensed – a plain stone or a blackened version embellished with perhaps a diamond or a casio watch.
Lia Rumma Gallery, Naples successfully left curation of its entire stall to conceptual art giant Joesph Kosuth who contributed two neons.
The enigmatic paintings of Mamma Andersson at Stephen Friedman were one of our personal highlights.
At Hauser & Wirth Matthew Day Jackson showed a delightful multi-media vase of flowers (detail above).
At Brazilian Gallery Naria Roesler was an impressive collection of huge steel sculptures from Raul Mouao. Each was hypnotically gently rocking, like pendulums, on their support.
Last, but definitely not least was one piece of tapestry that did impress. Victoria Miro showed a piece from Grayson Perry’s current gallery show – Super-Comfortable Rich Interior Decoration.
Was there lots of stuff to forget? Yes, but thats all the fun of the fair…
CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of Frieze London
For more information visit www.frieze.com