our top picks for the frieze week 2015

With Frieze week getting in action and galleries gearing up for the world's attention here in London, we have continued our tradition and hand-picked our favourite 10 listings below for our followers -

1. Frieze 
Apart from the galleries booths, the sculpture park, the cafes and the queues, we recommend our followers not to forget the talks in the fair itself are also intellectually unmissable. We find the topics of these 2 sessions particularly relevant in the current climate globally and locally:  The New Museums: Coming Soon to a City Near You and Off-Centre: Can Artists Still Afford to Live in London?
We are also interested to explore the installations Rachel Rose created inside the Freize tent, which sounds intriguing from the way it was described by FT in her interview in their Weekend Magazine.

(image from Victoria Miro's website)

2. Elmgreen & Dragset at Victoria Miro Mayfair
The Scandinavian maverick duo returns to Victoria Miro featuring a new series of works that are representations of museum wall labels of other artists’ works, including David Hockney, Ross Bleckner, Roni Horn, Martin Kippenberger, and Nicole Eisenmann, among others. They are also having another solo show at Massimo de Carlo gallery called Stigma, which was shown in their Milan gallery earlier this year.

3. Ai Wei-wei at the Royal Academy
The Chinese artist has proved his celebrity artist status with his own show in the Royal Academy. Apart from his works on display, it is also the interviews he did with the press and the instagram posts and tweets he made during his visit which gives you the full wei-wei experience.

Cm_bill viola in mt rainier coffee shop 1979 photo kira perov_photoshopped

(image from Blain|Southern's website, by Kira Perov)

4. Bill Viola at Blain|Southern
Viewers visiting this show can see the predecessor of all Bill Viola's videos - one monumental installation Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), 1979, shown for the first time since its inauguration at Media Study/Buffalo New York. In conjunction and presented for the first time ever, recordings of Bill Viola’s early sound compositions form an immersive installation The Talking Drum at The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, London. Two works are featured, The Talking Drum,1979, and Hornpipes, 1979–82, that explore the resonances of an empty swimming pool.

(image from Dominique Levy's website)

5. Gerard Richter at Dominique Levy
Another show which celebrates the earlier works of a monumental artist of our time. Dominique Levy is showing a vital group of paintings selected from the artist’s original nineteen Colour Charts produced in 1966. Presented with the support of the Gerhard Richter Archive, the exhibition is the first to focus on the earliest works of this series since their inaugural appearance at Galerie Friedrich & Dahlem, Munich in 1966.

Cy Twombly -

Bacchus, 2006–08,  © Cy Twombly Foundation (image from Gagosian's website)

6. Cy Twombly at the Gagosian new space in Mayfair
The exhibition will include as yet unseen large Bacchus paintings, with loans from the Cy Twombly Foundation and other collections. it is a tradition to open a new Gagosian gallery in Europe with Cy Twombly, apparently.

(image from a previous site-specific installation in 2014)

7. Neil Ayling at "Berloni off-site" 49 Greek Street
Ayling will present a site-specific projection across the dilapidated townhouse floor, alongside a space specific three-dimensional piece using images of the walls, ceiling and floorboards themselves. Through deconstructing an enlarged camera obscura, Ayling's studio creation here becomes fragmented to give way to a further sculpture.

(image from Gasworks' website)

8. Kemang wa Lehulere at Gasworks
Unravelling the relationships between personal and collective histories, amnesia and the archive, Wa Lehulere’s practice explores how South Africa’s past continues to haunt the present. Inspired by theatre and set design, his drawings, performances and sculptures are often conceived as ‘rehearsals’, framed by longer-term research projects about motifs such as the act of falling or the unfaithfulness of language.

(image by Ravi)

9. Architecture by Caruso St John
This year art lovers can also experience two much anticipated new spaces both built by architect Caruso St John - the Gagosian Mayfair mentioned above and Damien Hirst's Newport Street gallery at Vauxhall. You can find an article with interview of the architects by the Evening Standard here.

10. Outside London
If you haven't seen this yet, you have roughly 2 more weeks to go before it closes - Lightscape by James Turrell at Houghton Hall. It is definitely not easy to get over, given the state of railway transport in this country, and a drive from London and return will cause you half a day. But we are very sure the lights can add some beautiful memories to your Frieze week 2015, and lots of likes on your instagram as well.

our top picks for the frieze week 2014

​It is the week of the year here in London. Everybody suddenly becomes very cultural and talks about art. Yes, everybody.

So you want to catch up with the chat and impress people on how cultural you are? Here is our annual cheatsheet, free of charge. We would appreciate if you mention @londonart to others if they praise your insight. Thank you.

If you are visiting for the occasion, we suggest you try to take into all of the below (in no particular order) in your stay in London -

1. Sculpture Park at Frieze Art Fair
This is where everything starts, so it deserves to be mentioned year after year. A stroll in Regent's Park is an essential stop of your art week. No matter it is raining or sunny, you would be able to enjoy the wonderful marriage of horticulture, nature and art. No admission fee.

Anselm Kiefer, Ages of the World, 2014; Private collection; Photo courtesy Royal Academy of Arts. Photography: Howard Sooley / © Anselm Kiefer

2. Anselm Kiefer at Royal Academy
We attended the blogger's event from the Academy and curator Kathleen Soriano explained that site-specific works are commissioned in the show, "Yes, it’s a retrospective – 60 percent of the show is a retrospective – but the 40 percent remaining we really hand over to the artist. We want them to work with these fantastic galleries and create something that’s specific for those spaces." The very nature of Anselm's works strike one's mind because it asks fundamental questions about life. Read his interview with the Telegraph if you still have second thoughts.

3. Aiko Miyanaga at White Rainbow

4. Matthew Barney at Sadie Close

5. Tom Dale at Copperfield

6. Pierre Huyghe at Hauser & Wirth
The gallery has brought both installations as well as video works of Huyghe. The centre-piece is a disturbing piece of a masked monkey left behind after the Fukushima disaster. Huyghe's use of materials with life in his works adds another layer to the meaning of 'creation' in the hands of nature as well as the artist. 

7. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Carroll / Fletcher
First solo exhibition by the Mexican-Canadian artist, which displays 4 sound installations

8. Jan Kempenaers at  Breese Little

9. Performances Evening in DRAF on 16/10
DRAF is transformed into a stage for their annual evening of performances. Quinn Latimer & Megan Rooney, Joe Moran, planningtorock, Sarah Lucas and Eloise Hawser present new live works for a unmissable event. The gallery space is showing works by Nina Beier

10. Krijin de Kroning's Dwelling at Turner Contemporary & Folkestone Triennial
This is the first time we recommend something outside central London on our list. When it takes over 2 hours from Heathrow to the galleries in East and South London, we think it is fair to include something outstanding as de Kroning's work which is only about an hour away from St Pancras or Stratfor Intetnational stations on high speed train. And if you really take the courage to ride the train there, your would be rewarded with other amazing works of the Triennial in Folkestone or Edmund de Waal and Jeremy Deller in Margate. Here's an interview with the artist himself by Icon magazine.

More photos here on our flickr album for de Kroning's Dwelling.


And one last thing. As usual, we list the official websites of all the other art fairs in town we know here for your easy reference -

1:54 Art Fair - The African art fair in Somerset House has firmly established itself to be the place where people could go see contemporary art from the continent.

Sunday Fair - This is the satellite fair in Ambika P3 focussing in North American and Northern European galleries and artists. We love its no-frills approach, the website has only gallery listings, nothing else. You need to REALLY go to the fair to see what it's about. Now that's confidence.

Kinetica Art Fair - Kinetica moves its date from February to the frieze week this year, and change venue to Truman Brewery (probably because Sunday art fair is occupying its past base). We expect a lot of cool performances in the fair as usual, which differentiates itself from the other satellite fairs.

The Other Art Fair - Director Ryan Stainer has Polly Morgan on this year's committee to pick who should show in this fair

The Independent Artist Fair - Now tell me what's the difference between this one and the one above? Less commercial? What does that actually mean?

Art Apart - A boutique art fair from Singapore in Town Hall Hotel

Moniker - The focus is on street and graffiti art, which it labels as 'urban art'

the future of photography as art

Photo 50 in London Art Fair 2014

With smartphones everywhere and instagram (we have started ours this year, by the way) becoming the de facto photo-app in every smart phone, every one is his/her own photographer telling famly, friends and strangers around the world what they want to share through the tiny micro-lenses on their phones.

Some people would wonder what would be the future of photography - would people really treat it as an art form? Or simply an aspect of everyday life no different than food and transport because it has become 'superficial'? Our visit to the London Art Fair last week provided some insight.

As usual, there is a section of the fair dedicated to photography called 'Photo 50'. This year, it is curated by Charlie Fellowes and Jeremy Epstein, Directors of Edel Assanti. With the title ‘Immaterial Matter’, the artists they have selected are linked by their use of a variety of photographic images to examine the increasingly indiscernible distinction between the digital and the material. Below we look at three of the selected artists -

Andrew Norman Wilson's works reveal the intensive, reptitive human labour behind Google's endeavour to digitize printed books. The series document errors in the conversion process, when accidental distortions of scanned images or the presences of employee's hands. It is precisely the existence of these errors showing human remains the force behind these efforts.

Nicholai Howalt applies a step on astronomical images made available to the public by NASA, making them from colour to grayscale. The process to create these images, is on the contrary to the Google book-scanning, highly automated under the sophisticated technology employed by NASA. Striping part of their attributes away, is regarded as an act of artistic creation.

Aram Bartholl's 'Greetings From the Internet' explores the crucial accucracy of WiFi codes vs the classic notion of human error. Displayed on a postcard stand, each post-it appears unique, despite the reginmented accuracy required by the Internet. It highlights the importance of physical actions in the digital world - without asking for the WiFi Code and receiving it from the other person, one would not be able to connect online and would remain shut off from the prospect of communication to others outside the immediate proximity.

It is worth noting that in many of the works selected, photography is no longer the ultimate medium of the artist creation, but an intermediate source which forms the final piece. In some cases, the photographs used in the works are not actually taken by the artists themselves. In a way, this could be what distinguishes photographic art from daily snapshots taken by all instagram users - that these works are created by artists, not photographers. True to many other art forms, people would probably judge an art piece based on the message it brings out, rather than the format, the fame of the creator or the medium it is on.

Full album set here

More on London Art Fair 2014 in future post.


Further Readings:
Page - Joe Hamilton in London Art Fair’s Photo50 Project by Nicholas Forrest for Blouin Art Info; 16.01.2014
Page - Photo50: "Most of the artists did not actually use a camera." by Tim Clark for a-n; 13.01.2014

Frieze Art Week 2013

It's the time of the year in London when everybody suddenly talks about art. Yes, it's Frieze week (or weeks) coming up. Following our tradition, we have handpicked our favourites from the endless offers in town so you don't have to be frustrated scanning through the listings.

Our top 10 of the week are as follows (in no particular order!) -

1. Catch L’Expédition Scintillante, Act 2 (light show) by Pierre Huyghe in Raven Row's current show “Reflections from Damaged Life” - A great retrospective show spanning decades of works, make sure you stay in the gallery until you see this performance, it runs every half hour.

2. "Tomorrow" by Elmgreen & Dragset in V&A - The Norwegian duo's greatest site specific commission yet in Britain inside the V&A museum's former Textile Galleries.

3. "Beyond the Black" by Idris Khan int Victoria Miro - an important departure from Khan's photographic based works, this show comprises a suite of large black paintings, a monumental site specific wall drawing and a series of works on paper.

4. Tatsuo Miyajima's "I-Model" in Lisson Gallery - the Japanese artist is famous for his zen minimal pieces incoporating LED digit displays. There is a clay chamber room for meditation in the show, only one person to enter at time.

5. Wolfgang Tillmans' solo show Central Nervous System in Maureen Paley - once again Tillmans returns to Frieze week and we couldn't wait to see his latest creations.

6. "A series from Within" by Larissa Nowicki in Man & Eve - intriguing pieces formed from the printed pages of books, sliced and intricately woven to form new works that cannot be read in the traditional sense

7. "Sandra Blow Paintings & Prints" in Kings Place - Sandra Blow is a pioneer of the British post-war abstract movement. Seeing her works in the multi-storey atrium in Kings Place is a joyful experience

8. "Erebus" (film) by Du Preez & Thornton Jones in Londonewcastle Project Space - Du Preez & Thornton Jones have created a new body of work in collaboration with choreographer Russell Maliphant, inspired in part by the work of Auguste Rodin

9. "The Seymour & Milton Posters Show" in Kemistry Gallery - a great retrospective show about one of the most influential designer duos in the 20th century who signature push-pin style has become iconic.

10. Frieze Sculpture Park in Regent's Park - this year's sculpture park is the largest in the history of Frieze, and it's free so how can you miss it?

And apart from the Original Frieze and Frieze Masters, you have the choice of numerous satellite fairs around town. Here are a few we believe most of our followers could find something they like and go have a look -

Sunday & Touch Art Fair in Marylebone
Sluice in Bermondsey
The Other Art Fair in Brick Lane
Multiplied at Christie's
Moniker in Brick Lane

Visit our facebook page over the week to see what we have found in town apart from the above. Enjoy the best London offers in the Autumn!


Further Readings -

Page - Top 10 Photograph Exhibitions in town on TimeOut London
Page - Top 10 Art Exhibitions in town on TimeOut London
Interview - of the Director of Sluice Art Fair Ben Street by Tabius Khan for Londonist

interview with jester jacques gallery

by Tom Rowbotham

The Other Art Fair will open in a week's time (25-28.04.2013), with 'buying direct from artists' as its USP. Jester Jacques gallery is teaming up with the fair's media sponsor FAD to showcase several emerging artists in their stand. We had an interview with co-owner of Jester Jacques, Karen Shidlo to tallk about their participation.

Q: Is there a recurring theme throughout this presentation, 'Electric Moon Candy', in the fair?

A: Each of the artists I chose brings something unique to the show yet they tie together quite nicely. The work of Steven Quinn and Super Future Kid go hand in hand through the artists’ approach and process; both use the cut and paste technique, whether in painting or collage. Both are outwardly playful, with Quinn’s series exploring apocalyptic Americana scenes, whilst SFK’s characters can be a bit haunting and sinister. In a similar vein, the work of Nicholas Goodden offers layered narratives through his tightly composed architectural shots or captures the faint silhouettes of strangers in timeless images of London.

Chris Daniels and Rob Bellman both attended Royal Academy / Royal College of Art and they both lean towards abstraction. Bellman is multidisciplinary, highly adept at installation work, constructing sculptures, and creating drawings, whilst Daniels uses acrylic and oil paints to create an impeccable finish on the surfaces of the paintings allowing the viewer to engage in the strong tensions between figure and ground. The drawings and paintings of these two artists work very strongly together and tackle the fundamentals of colour and form.

Hydapes and Issus by Chris Daniels

Q: What motivated you to choose these artists?

A: I met Steven Quinn and Rob Bellman last year and loved their work from the start; I was simply waiting for the opportunity to show their art. I wanted to exhibit work that worked welltogether, yet showed a variety of genres and techniques; setting out to be bold, whimsical and engaging, I chose Daniels and Super Future Kid, as both are incredibly strong painters with their own compelling style. Nicholas Goodden is an artist I came across online whose photography really captured my attention, and I felt his voice would be cohesive with the other artists work.

Q: Do you have any favourite pieces from the exhibition?

A: I like every piece for a different reason, but I feel that ‘Smoking on the Moon’ by Steven Quinn is particularly poignant and really represents his current body of work. Having spent time with him, I know his process is painstaking and that allows me to appreciate it on another level!

I also love both paintings by Chris Daniels as I have a degree in painting and his work is exactly the kind of painting I am passionate about; I love Ellsworth Kelly and Ab Ex in general, so I really engage with his work.

Scuta II by Chris Daniels

Q: Have you always been interested in curating?

A: Even though I studied painting in college, I interned for most of my 4 years at Pratt Institute and I think that is where my passion for curating started. I worked at a few different galleries, an art agency and an art council on Long Island, and I began to feel that even though I loved painting, my heart was really more in the business side of art.

Curating is only one aspect of my job, and I love it, but I relish every part of what I do, from meeting artists and doing studio visits, to dealing with clients and organizing pop ups, exhibitions and art fairs.

Q: Do you have any advice for young curators?

A: I would say to go to as many museums and galleries as you can and try to make connections. Make mental – or physical, if necessary – notes on similarities you see. Also, when you go to an exhibition that is either particularly exciting for you or has received wonderful press, make sure you ask yourself as you go around what makes it stand out and cohesive? What themes are there, how is the work hung, etc.?

As far as work goes, I know a lot of people are against internships, but I did them for 4 years – sometimes for no pay, sometimes for little pay – and what I learned from them was incredible! Something that they can’t teach you in school, you get real life experience and, if you are lucky, a good connection for the future. Build up as many experiences for your CV and trust me, people will give you a chance, especially if you show that you are hard working.

Legio II by Chris Daniels

Q: What is the most memorable exhibition you have seen?

A: When I was studying in New York City, I went to The New Museum desperate to see an exhibition of Mary Heilmann. When I walked in, I saw the shipping crates stacked against a far wall in a closed off area through the large glass window. It was then that it struck me that they were taking the exhibition down; it was the last day of the show! All of a sudden, a beautiful painting caught my eye. It was ‘Surfing on Acid’ byHeilmann and it was breath taking. I stared at it for a good long time and even though I couldn’t see all the works, seeing that one was enough to satiate me. I was lucky enough to see her solo show at Hauser & Wirth last year here in London.That was wonderful!

Q: What do you have in-store for the near future?

A: After The Other Art Fair, I want to get back to what Jester Jacques is all about – working closely with emerging artists! We will be working on getting more artwork for our online shop, an on-going project which is very slow and tedious, as everything is hand-picked. We meet all the artists, discuss their work and build our stock slowly.

We will also be working on putting together a book, maybe doing a pop up in Shoreditch, definitely another workshop and planning more future events for the long term/later in the year. Perhaps more art fairs! We are also working on a monthly, online curated image gallery, where we select the best submissions of art to our website and work with a guest curator to put it all together to create an online venue of interest, discussion and learning. Our first curator is Tabish Khan, Art Critic for Londonist.

top picks in the frieze week 2012

Venue Design by Kevin Carmody & Andrew Groarke for Frieze Art Fair 2011

With the return of Frieze Art Fair to its home town after a trans-atlantic conquer in New York earlier this year, it would be interesting to see how its spin-off fair Frieze Masters would fare among fellow art critics and audience. Continuing its well-praised tradition last year, Carmody & Groarke is reappointed (see photo above) to design the venue of the main fair this year. The Masters show next door would be, interestingly, designed by New York-based Selldorf Architects. It seems the competition between the two global cities are everywhere.

As usual, apart from the Giant Frieze, Moniker Art Fair in Village Underground and Sunday Art Fair in Ambika P3 are catering to a slightly more specific audience and do not cost a penny to get in. For the numerous shows in galleries around the whole city, we have shortlisted the followings for those who have no time to do the window-shopping: (in no particular order)

Kris Ruhs in the Wapping Project - full photo set here

Landing on Earth by Kris Ruhs in the Wapping Project
Kris has created a series of large installations in the power station (see photo above) that have a dialogue with each other as well as the space.

Elmgreen & Dragset's transformed attic space in Victoria Miro

Harvest by Elmgreen & Dragset in Victoria Miro (@victoriamiro) -
The duo who put a bronze boy on a rocking horse on the 4th plinth is making two distinct spaces inside the gallery's two floors in their latest show in town.

snails on junk in one of Bertozzi & Casoni's works in the show

Regeneration by Bertozzi & Casoni in All Visual Arts (@allvisualarts) -
Examine the bizarrely colourful life-like works of the Italian duo which are almost renaissance paintings come alive in 3D.

Left: Untitled 12050; Right: Untitled 12044 (2012) by Lee Knagwook

Invisible by Lee Kangwook in Hada Contemporary -
Korean artist Lee uses colour pencils and charoal to create minimalist works (see photo above) that look vibrant yet intriguing in order as a whole. The sparkle highlights in his works make a glam touch to the works.

Revolver presents works by ten artists made between 1983 and 2012 in discrete spaces in the gallery in a three-part series of short exhibitions. Show 2 features Anna Barham's live installation, Graham Gussin's sepia toned photographs and Tai Shani's sound-tracked installation.

Spazio di Luce by Giuseppe Penone in Whitechapel Gallery (@_thewhitechapel) -
No other artist have made a more poetic piece for Whitechapel Gallery's columned room yet than Penone (see photo above).

Ligurian Sea Saviore (1993) by Hiroshi Sugimoto

Dark Paintings & Seascapes by Rothko and Sugimoto in Pace (@pacegallery) -
If you think David Chipperfield's museum space is a must-see, a joint show of Mark Rothko & Hiroshi Sugimoto inside a space designed by Chipperfield would be one that is seen to be believed. See the above teaser photo. We hope the show can stay forever, it is timeless.



Blastfurnace by Atelier Van Lieshout in Carpenters Workshop (@cwgparislondon) - 
Carpenters Workshop is renown for their taste of craft designs. It is showing a few pieces of AVL's works that viewers can view the chemistry among them when they are all in the same space. 

On a sidenote, there was outrageous queue everyday in the Barbican Curve gallery since its current show opened last week (see below photo), those who live in London should avoid getting there in frieze week to save your valuable time in this period.

Random International (also represented by Carpenter Workshop)'s interactive Rain installation in the Barbican Curve gallery

A Kassen's work in Sunday Art Fair 2011 represented by New Gallerie Paris

A Kassen's work in Nettie Horn, 17A Riding House Street

17A Riding House Street by A Kassen in Nettie Horn (@nettiehorn) -

Danish Collective A Kassen is known for their reaction with the environment and space in their works. The show would see how they respond to the relocated gallery (from Vyner Street) in its new premise and hence an one-off not to be missed.

art that moves

Kinetica Art Fair 2012
Ambika P3 Gallery

The annual Kinetica Art Fair is back in Ambika P3 gallery this week, with many exhibits, seminars and performances lined up for visitors to indulge themselves into art that moves and performances that intrigue.

There is a shift in the people who exhibit this year - more universities are showing student works, Kinetica Art Museum also seems to be occupying a larger area to showcase their collection. The programme also present the Musion Academy MAMAs Awards.

Overview of the venue this year

The followings are some highlights of this year, with more to come in part 2 in our next post.

Titia Ex's Flower from the Universe is the welcome piece visitors will see by the entrance

Titia Ex featured in Deutsche Welle's youtube video - link

Linear UV drawing (2012) by David Ogle - David's florescent fishing lines remind viewers of the metal wires installation by Lygia Pape showing recently in Serpentine Gallery

Gear Mobiles by Jonathan Miller has a retro sense of elegance & precision

Gear Mobiles by Jonathan Miller - link

Karen Neill's Liquid Crystal art

The booth of Alexander Berchert has 3 wonderful installations on display

Water Wheel (2011) by Alexander Berchert - video link

Xylophone Wheel (2011) by Alexander Berchert - video link


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the frieze art week 2011 - part 2

Frieze Art Fair 2011
Regent's Park

This is the long over-due part 2 of our frieze art fair review. Although the sculptural park seems to be quite disappointing this year, we found some encouraging development in the tent.

Frieze Projects has selected a handful of cool works this year, and arranged them to be scattered around the fair.  Laure Prouvost plays jokes about the physical environment and the visitors. Christian Jankowski puts a boat in the venue, and ironically it does not actually look odd among all these contemporary art works - the nature of an art fair as the flea market for the rich is spelt out loud. Bik van der Pol's slogan-generating scoreboard is an attempt between installation and performance. And Pierre Huyghe leaves his work to the hand of mother nature for his aqua creatures to entertain the guests.

Laure Prouvost - one of the Frieze Projects this year

Laure Prouvost for Frieze Projects - http://www.friezefoundation.org/commissions/detail/laure-prouvost/

Christian Jankowski - one of the Frieze Projects this year

Bik van der Pol in Frieze Art Fair 2011 - one of the Frieze Projects this year

Pierre Huyghe in Frieze Art Fair 2011 - one of the Frieze Projects this year

We are also very pleased to see many galleries have devoted time and efforts to create a presence in the fair by a unique booth design. This creates an identity to the gallery and a set for the art works featured inside the booth. The followings are our favourites this year -

IBID Projects (London)

the IBID Projects booth - video link

Alex Zachary (New York)

Ken Okiishi / Alex Zachary at the Frame section - video link

Galerie Eigen & Art (Leipzig/Berlin)

Carsten Nicolai in Galerie Eigen & Art (Leipzig/Berlin)

Galerie Eigen & Art (Leipzig/Berlin)

Georg Kargl (Vienna)

Sies & Höke (Düsseldorf)

Sies & Höke (Düsseldorf)

There is an official Stand Prize of  £10000, and it was given to Gavin Brown's Enterprise this year. The gallery has displayed works by Turner prize winner Martin Creed, Elizabeth Peyton, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Joe Bradley and Alex Katz in the booth. From the office website's announcement, “the judges agreed that the stand articulated a long-term commitment to and understanding of the artists represented.” No further elaboration is provided.

Winner of Frieze Art Fair's Stand Prize - Gavin Brown's Enterprise (New York)

The tent itself also gets a breakthrough form - no more total white prefabricated assembly. We hope the fair has the money to keep this exciting move next year.

The cafe, as well as other parts of the venue this year, designed by Carmody and Groarke

Video link

If you haven't read part 1 previously, it's here. Have a happy new year in a few hours!

Further Readings -
Page - Official website of Galerie Eigen & Art
Page - Official website of Galerie Georg Kargl
Page - COS supports Frame

the frieze art week 2011 - part 1

Frieze Art Fair 2011
Regent's Park

Icon (2011) by Will Ryman

The Frieze art week is as busy as usual, with returning fairs Sunday, "Pavilion of art & design" & Moniker. This year we also saw newcomer Sluice joining the party. Headmaster Frieze is spearheading the crowd with its blockbuster programmes in addition to over 170 exhibitors.
Frieze Sculpture Park is one of Frieze's unique programme, only Frieze has the privilege to have a collection of large-scale art works to be displayed outdoor in Regent's Park. However, this year's line up is arguably a little bit disappointing compared to the past 2 years which we had also witnessed.

video link

Non-profits arts organisation Measure quoted curator David Thorp's comment on the selection this year - ‘This year’s Sculpture Park continues to provide a fascinating cross section of sculpture being made today from the monumental to the socially engaged. The twelve works on display by established and emerging artists build on a dialogue begun in previous years, developing a debate about art in public places and the condition of sculpture as an evolving conversation that proceeds by example, as an exchange of ideas between artists and artworks.’

However, the background of the selected works and their creators is practically invisible in the official website. The official page of the Sculpture Park has only a list of artists' names and the titles of their works. In a thorough search across the whole website, we still cannot find any further details. Should a curator's statement at least be displayed? Is it too much to ask to have some basic information for the general public or new art fan who knows nothing about Frieze & contemporary art in the website? Only the hardcore fans or insiders would pick their time of visit to the park to catch a guided tour. And does Frieze really think that by not providing any basic information, people would then be forced to buy the official catalogue? All we want to say here is this approach does not help promoting art to the general public and does not help Frieze to develop an educated audience which would be more likely to purchase art than just attending for the sake of ticking the box off the social calendar.

Despite the perception that contemporary art is more about the concept than the technique, one may wonder why some of the works are selected. Just look at the art piece below -

Ajar (2011) by Gavin Turk

We understand that sometimes it needs radical approach to bring the message out, but simply placing a door with frame in the middle of the park without any explanation about the intent of the artist is not working. All we hear from the 'official' source on site is the confirmation from the security guard the green plastic bag taped on the door was due to vandalism. A lack of understanding and sense of ownership are common causes of vandalism. We hope this message is clearly shown to the organiser now. Also in our memory there are no security guards by the side of every piece of works in previous years - is this a new clause in the insurance contract or else?


Full photo set here

We do find some encouraging developments in the fair this year inside the main ehibition tent, and would talk about them in part 2.

Further Readings -
Page - official page for Frieze Sculpture Park
Page - Sculpture Park Showcases Stunning Creations by Pippa Jane Wielgos and L. Meir for MutualArt.com, 18.10.2011
Interview with David Thorp - The Age of Discover - Frieze Education Programme 2010
Video - Frieze Sculpture Park 2010 by vernissage.tv
Page - our review on Frieze Sculpture Park 2009

the circus at kinetica art fair

Kinetica Art Fair 
Ambika P3 gallery

Spotlight Entrance Sign

In its 3rd year from the debut in 2009, Kinetica Art Fair has gained the status of flagship event in London's art world for February, and provides a fundamentally different flavour to art-lovers from January's London Art Fair.

As of last year, there's a 'weclome' piece at the entrance to the fair - however it is ironically full of EXIT signs:

Exit-Wall by Cécile Colle & Ralf Nuhn

There are also some layout changes to various parts of the fair - the cafe has moved from below the main entrance platform to the platform, right behind the reception counter, replacing the souvenoir and kinetica publications / merchandise shop. One may wonder whether the sales of merchandise would be significantly affected because it exists only as one of the exhibition stands now, losing its prominent physical location. Or perhaps the sales of food & beverage is a much more profitable business which even the organiser can't resist the tempt to make more money from it? 

The bar has moved from the main exhibition level to the entrance level

There is an anchor piece at each end wall of the gallery - a moving floral matrix (above) as the backdrop of the bar, and a video projection wall (below) at the other end. This actually helps to contain the space and give some visual stimulations to people when they are walking across the exhibition stands at the main exhibition area and looking up.

The rear end wall of the gallery is filled with video projections this year

Here are a few highlights (in no particular order) in the fair -

Tunnel View by Hans Kotter at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art

Seeper - interactive visualisation sphere

Moving objects no 486 - 501 by Pe Lang - there's a real sense of life in these cables if you keep looking at them!

Fascinating Revolving Installations consisted of calculators (front) by David Cranmer

Work, Eat, Sleep by New Opera Hero

Trailer of a similar show they have done at the Shunt last year - video link

Electro Set Visuals - these are part of the contents they performed in the fair - video link

Floatins Forecaster by Poietic Studio, with each foam sphere's motion individually customisable by an iphone app interface

The Particle by Alex Posada

Official video from the artist's vimeo - video link

Departures 2010 by the Trope Troupe - this screen-based travel information system is meant to help travellers to be aware of local laws

Moodski 2004 by the Trope Troupe - sample more here: http://t.co/CzBiggq


Further Readings -

Page: Official page of Kinetica Art Fair
Page: Works of Swiss artist Pe Lang
Review: "Art with a life of its own: ears, skulls and holograms by Roland Hancock" for the Telegraph, 04.02.2011 (with video clip)
Review: Kinetica Art Fair 2010
Review: Kinetica Art Fair 2009
Video report from the BBC - 04.02.2011