This May there was a lot of excitement in the air with the arrival of Frieze New York. An established cultural institution in London since 2003, there was much speculation about the Fair’s arrival in New York and even more speculation about its location – Randall’s Island! And I must say, the organizers did not disappoint. Arriving at Randall’s island is an adventure in itself for most New Yorkers who have never ventured there (myself included). Visitors were greeted by panoramic city views and a Sculpture Park scattered with outdoor art installations by the likes of Jeppe Hein and Louise Bourgeois on their way to a sprawling white tent filled with ample natural light and booths displaying their best art.
Without a doubt, all the major international galleries were present as was the global cast of individuals that circle the art orbit, giving it its distinct and impenetrable aura. The big players did not disappoint in showmanship. Gagosian Gallery presented a tightly edited selection of silver and aubergine paintings by Rudolf Stingel modeled after Persian carpets and Lisson Gallery brought along large-scale crowd-pleasing pieces by Anish Kapoor (a shell sculpture in a sensual shade of yellow) and the Chinese activist Ai Weiwei (three standing wood boxes with circular cut-outs, all joined without nails or screws).
However, I went in search of unique pieces that would stand out for me as well as artists whose work I might not be familiar with. Music, like architecture, is a big part of my life and a constant source of inspiration. Amongst my favorite artworks at the Fair were Jim Lambie’s circular multicolored “Vortex” cut-outs, penetrating specially erected walls at my friend Anton Kern’s Gallery and the avant-garde sound installations by Haroon Mirza, whose work I was introduced to last year by Nicholas Logsdale at Lisson Gallery. Vahap Avsar’s starkly elegant “Supreme,” a set of neon letters spelling ALLAH laid out on an aluminum case and lined in soundproof foam at Rampa Gallery (Istanbul) as well as Gregor Hildebrandt’s alluring “All you meant to me – Silvana Mangano,” a black and white print of the Italian actress with slivers of cassette tape running across at Sommer Contemporary (Tel Aviv) are now on my ABSOLUTELY MUST OWN list!
Outside of Frieze, I was very happy to see Lawrie Shabibi Gallery (Dubai) in New York for the first time at one of the satellite fairs. It’s always exciting to see new art from the gallery’s roster of established and emerging artists, such as Driss Ouaddi’s abstract paintings of steel, glass and concrete housing developments in Algeria – another piece on my ABSOLUTELY MUST OWN list!
To be continued….
Frieze New York took place from 4-7 May, 2012 at Randall’s Island.
See full diary on ModeWalk.