Frieze London 2018

5 November 2018 § Leave a comment

As soon as Frieze makes its annual appearance in Regents Park everyone knows that it is time to check out the London art scene. The annual schedules of the galleries – both commercial and public – are all heavily weighted towards the Autumn and the most important names carefully lined up for exhibition. This is the time when anyone can get an all-round view of global trends without leaving central London.

David Shrigley Frieze London 2018

With the twin clouds of Brexit and falling market confidence hanging over the art world, it was good to arrive at Frieze to receive a David Shrigley newsflash accompanying the Art Newspaper – NEWS: PEOPLE GATHER IN LARGE TENT. It helped to lighten the mood – for more of Shrigley you could visit Stephen Friedman where he took over the whole stand and showed some witty neon works alongside his more usual sketches and bonkers animations.

Julia Scher Frieze London 2018

Also lightening the mood were US artist Julia Scher’s pink-clad pensioner security guards who were regularly seen patrolling the fair.

Tatiana-Trouvé-The-Shaman-2018-Frieze 2018

As seemingly has been the trend for several years now the big institutional-type works were largely absent from a show that was dominated by smaller and mid-ticket works. An ugly and rather pointless exception was Tatiana Trouvé’s The Shaman which nevertheless apparently sold on the first day. Many other big name – big ticket items were perhaps held back for gallery events or even Frieze Masters.

Swiss artist Urs Fischer dominated the show entrance at Gagosian with a suite of iPad paintings printed on to reflective aluminium panels. All show his New York home with the image disintegrating across each set as if digitally erasing itself.

Marina Abramovic Frieze London 2018

Lisson Gallery had works from Marina Abramovic and John Akomfrah , whilst at David Zwirner were Wolfgang Tillmans and Chris Ofili. Tacita Dean was at Marian Goodman Gallery’s stand.

This years #metoo angled theme was Social Work, exploring how women artists looked at political activism within their work. With artists including Faith Ringgold, Sonia Boyce, Helen Chadwick, Nancy Spero and Berni Searle it was however somewhat underwhelming and could easily be passed largely unnoticed.

As usual though there was plenty to enjoy and here are a few of the other works that caught our eye:

Thomas Struth m.n.o.p 05, 2013, MAi 36 Galerie Frieze London 2018
Thomas Struth m.n.o.p 05, 2013, MAi 36 Galerie Frieze London 2018
Cindy Sherman Untitled Metro Pictures Frieze 2018
Cindy Sherman Untitled Metro Pictures Frieze 2018
Urs Fischer Gagosian Frieze 2018
Urs Fischer Gagosian Frieze 2018
Alice Neel, Harold Dyke 1971, Xavier Huffkins, Frieze 2018
Alice Neel, Harold Dyke 1971, Xavier Huffkins, Frieze 2018
Nicholas Party Portrait with Flowers 2018 Modern Institute, Frieze 2018
Nicholas Party Portrait with Flowers 2018 Modern Institute, Frieze 2018
Thomas Struth, Full Scale Mock up 3, 2017, Marian Goodman Gallery
Thomas Struth, Full Scale Mock up 3, 2017, Marian Goodman Gallery
Marilyn Minter Big Bang 2012, Studio 94, Frieze London 2018
Marilyn Minter Big Bang 2012, Studio 94, Frieze London 2018
David Shrigley, Stephen Friedman, Frieze London 2018
David Shrigley, Stephen Friedman, Frieze London 2018

Frieze 2018

Last but not least, as you leave the fair in Regent’s Park, perhaps to venture up to Frieze Masters, some twenty five different sculptures were dotted throughout the greenery and included Kimsooja (above), Rana Begum , Tracey Emin, Conrad Shawcross and Elmgreen & Dragset. They will remain until the end of Frieze week.

CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of Frieze London

For more information visit www.frieze.com

This post was also published at CELLOPHANELAND*

Barbara Kruger at Modern Art Oxford

27 July 2014 § Leave a comment

You have already seen Barbara Kruger’s work. Whether you realise it or not is a different matter, but the bold graphic design and powerful statements that typify her work have infiltrated the world of western consumer culture and have strongly influenced the world of media around us. You will recognise it on advertising hoardings, T Shirts, shopping bags and political banners.
Barbara Kruger Untitled (I Shop Therefore I Am) 1987 - not in show

Barbara Kruger Untitled (I Shop Therefore I Am) 1987 – not in show

Kruger’s instantly recognisable work combines bold lettering, colours and dramatic juxtapositions of text and image. Through ironic appropriation of specific slogans and imagery she deploys the visual strategies of mass communication in order to challenge the often manipulative logic at work in the language of advertising, television and other media and the role of Western consumerist culture.
Barbara Kruger Modern Art Oxford
Working since the 1980’s she is considered a vital element of the Pictures Generation – a group of artists including the likes of Richard Prince, John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman and Sherrie Levine that appropriated images from consumer culture questioning things like gender and identity.
Barbara Kruger Modern Art Oxford

Kruger’s latest exhibition at Modern Art Oxford comprises different strands of her work – a site specific text installation, multi-channel video and her trademark collages. The first work that you encounter having ascended the stairs in to the spacious first floor gallery is untitled ‘architectural wrap’ that impressively covers the covers the entire lofty space.

Barbara Kruger Modern Art Oxford

Over the floor variety of black and white words list supposed categories of people as varied as posers, fatuous fools or survivors. One might be happy to be considered grouped with intellectuals and professors as well as perhaps with doers and winners but to be labelled within sycophants, fatuous fools, jerks or airheads however may not be quite so desirable.

Barbara Kruger Modern Art Oxford

Here then is a potted selection of labels that we, consciously and unconsciously attach to those around us and Kruger cleverly forces us to consider our complicity in categorising not just ourselves but those around us. On the walls in words up to thirty feet high we are meanwhile invited to ponder statements like Be Here Now, Remember Me or Is That All That There Is

Barbara Kruger Modern Art Oxford

In the middle gallery a selection of her 1980’s pasted collages is presented – works that evolved from her work as a Conde Nast designer. Including Talk Is Cheap and You Kill Time these modest black and white pieces set the template for iconic future works like I Shop Therefore I Am or Your Body Is A Battleground.

Barbara Kruger Modern Art Oxford

Finally, Kruger’s video Twelve, 2004 comments on the absurdities of human interaction. Members of staged four-way interactions are projected on to the four walls of the gallery surrounding us. Whilst we see the expressions of the actors and hear their words, their ‘real’ thoughts are presented in written form as a news-channel style ticker-tape across the bottom of the screen challenging any cohesive narrative.

Barbara Kruger is at Modern Art Oxford until 31 August 2014

Le Surrealisme et l’Objet – Centre Pompidou, Paris

11 January 2014 § Leave a comment

A weekend in Paris allowed me the opportunity to visit this breathtaking exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, as well as enjoy some excellent art, interesting sights and fine food counterposed by rude service, lousy cappuchinos and overpriced coffee and bread (or petit dejeuner as the French imaginatively call it).

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp

There shouldn’t be a better place than Paris for an exhibition on Surrealism, the movement being founded here in 1924 having developed out the more international influences of Dada. The Pompidou Centre have proved that this is indeed the case, with this mightily impressive exhibition bringing together a remarkable collection of almost every conceivable iconic object or sculpture connected to the movement.

Hans Bellmer - Poupee

Hans Bellmer – Poupee

Alongside the roll call of iconic pieces like Hans Bellmer’s Poupee, Marcel Duchamp’s Bottlerack, Salvador Dali’s Lobster Telephone, Alberto Giacometti’s Suspended Ball are photographs from the likes of Man Ray, collections of works gathered plus a selection of more recent surrealist-influenced works by the likes of Mark Dion, Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha and Cindy Sherman exhibited under the title ‘Echoes of the Surrealist Object’.

Salvador Dali - Lobster telephone

Salvador Dali – Lobster telephone

The exhibition starts with ‘Ready-mades and Mannequins’, a section led by two great influences of the movement – Giorgio de Chirico and Marcel Duchamp who respectively brought the mannequin and object to the fore.

Alberto Giacometti - Suspended Ball

Alberto Giacometti – Suspended Ball

Subsequent rooms focus on ‘Objects with a Symbolic Function, Alberto Giacometti, Hans Bellmer’s Doll (an extraordinarily powerful object in real-life, and also larger than one imagines),  five rooms each dedicated to iconic exhibitions from the famous ‘Exposition Internationale de Surrealisme’ in 1933 to ‘Eros’ in 1959/60.

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Joan Miro

Joan Miro

Each room is well curated and nicely laid out with admirable logic, careful thought and atmospheric lighting.

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This opportunity to view so many of Surrealisms iconic objects together plus the insight in to the movement that can be gained from the experience well worth a trip to Paris on its own. Just take your own breakfast.

Meret Oppenheim

Meret Oppenheim

Le Surrealisme et l’Objet runs until the 3 March 2014 at the Pompidou Centre, Paris.

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