Capturing the zeitgeist of the moment, Frieze New York, which runs through May 7, returns to Randall’s Island Park with more than 200 international galleries showcasing a stellar mix of modern and contemporary art in a wide variety of media.
Descending from the dock after a short ferry ride across the East River, visitors are greeted by a massive white tent, which is not only the largest continuous tent structure in the world but also a pavilion for the art world’s up-and-coming talents, seminal art stars and rediscovered 20th century masters.
Politics are front and center with Galerie Nathalie Obadia showing Andres Serrano 2002 photographic series America, which features Donald Trump and Snoop Dogg side-by-side in the gallery’s dynamic display, Galerie Lelong’s group show of such socially engaged artists as Nancy Spero and Nalini Malani, and a juxtaposition of artist-activists like Martin Wong and David Wojnarowicz alongside hip hop pioneer’s DAZE and Charlie Ahearn at P.P.O.W, which was awarded one of the Frieze Stand Prizes for its powerful presentation.
Pop Art is also prominently on view in several solo booth displays, with Simone Subal Gallery showing of trippy paintings and sculptures from the 1960s to ‘80s by Austrian-American feminist Kiki Kogelnik, Honor Fraser presentation of Kenny Scharf’s space-age paintings, collages and altered boom-boxes from the late-1970s and early-‘80s and Fleischer-Ollman’s rediscovery of riveting collages by Felipe Jesus Consalos, a cigar roller and self-taught artist who made 850 works that were found at a garage sale by a Philadelphia Museum of Art curator in 1983.
Newer offerings of Pop Art related pieces include Emily Mae Smith’s paintings on canvas and on paper of surreal femme fatales at Rodolphe Janssen and Gavin Brown’s enterprise’s presentation of Panda paintings by Rob Pruitt and text canvases by Karl Holmqvist—with such whimsical phrases as Hug A Hunk – Don’t Wait and Hug A Hippie – They’re All That—hung on silver painted walls that famously bring to mind Andy Warhol’s Factory.
Other standout solos include Keith Sonnier’s lyrical neon-light pieces at Pace, Paul Kasmin Gallery’s offering of James Nares’ abstract black-and-white canvases with giant brushstrokes that he made with a road painting machine, Aura Rosenberg’s vintage head shots of artist Mike Kelley in an orgasmic state at Martos Gallery, Mark Hundley’s handmade recreation of his Williamsburg apartment—complete with a dream art collection—at Canada, Joanne Greenbaum’s energetic abstract canvases and ceramics at Rachel Uffner Gallery, Anri Sala’s amusing self-playing snare drums at Marian Goodman Gallery and a delightful display of more than 100 works on paper by John Currin, who confidently deals with provocative sexual and social themes, at Gagosian Gallery.
Although group shows abound, two that are by or about women are worth noting—Lehmann Maupin’s presentation of three female, California artists (Mary Corse, Liza Lou and Catherine Opie) that utilize the language of minimalism to explore light, landscape and identity and Cheim & Read’s thematic exhibition of works by Louise Bourgeois, Tal R, Lynda Benglis and others, whose paintings, sculptures and photographs are defined by the color pink.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on Randall’s Island, as Frieze New York offers old works, new works, projects, talks and tours—as well as great food at its nine restaurants—and it’s all just a boat ride away.
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, independent curator, artist, and lecturer. He is a New York desk editor at ArtAsiaPacific and a contributing editor at artBahrain. He is a contributor writer to Time Out New York, New York Observer, Modern Painters, Cultured Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, ArtPulse, Glasstire and ConceptualFineArts.com → Click here for more. ←