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*

Summer Exhibition Royal Academy, London

2 July 2016 § Leave a comment

This review is also posted in arts & culture magazine CELLOPHANELAND here

There is probably little point in making any sort of critical analysis of the latest Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. It is what it is, which to be honest is rather a mess. Pretty much every gallery is hung by a different curator and whilst it is interesting to see what they have done it is ultimately beside the point.

Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

The whole show should rather be taken more at face value – an annual opportunity for the talented, enthusiastic, amateurish and hopeful to apply to have their work on the walls of the academy. Here they can rub shoulders with the latest pieces from the Royal Academicians in a gloriously anarchic jumble.

David Mach Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

David Mach

Marina Abramovic Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Marina Abramovic – Carrying the Skeleton

This years ‘co-ordinator’ is the sculptor Richard Wilson best known for 20:50 – the oil filled installation at the Saatchi. He has invited twenty artistic duos to present their work within this years exhibition. We therefore have Gilbert & George with Beard Aware and Jane & Louise Wilson in the lobby stairwell with Chernobyl. 

Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Jane & Louise Wilson

Boyle Family Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Boyle Family – Elemental Study

There are other obvious duos like Jake & Dinos Chapman, Eva & Adele, Allora & Calzadilla, Bernd & Hilla Becher and Tim Noble & Sue Webster. Their presence however serves no real curatorial purpose and they are lost within the show – at best it is simply of interest to see some of their work.

Gilbert & George Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Gilbert & George – Beard Aware

Almost all of the pieces are of course for sale and it is quite a good opportunity to pick some work for your own walls. Prices of course vary considerably from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand, and for the uninitiated it is not always easy to spot the difference!

Anselm Kiefer Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Anselm Kiefer – Bose Blumen

For the first time the works are available to browse and buy online and we would highly recommend taking a look online before the show and before purchasing (link here).

Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

George Shaw – Black Magic

For our part we loved a little George Shaw edition (we highly recommend his National Gallery exhibition reviewed here) , Marguerite Horner’s enigmatic painted landscapes and Tom Hunter’s Rose prize-winning photograph Winterville. Harry Hill had one of his witty celebrity-oriented works – a tattooed David Beckham (sold but we hear High House Gallery has work available).

Tom Hunter Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Tom Hunter – Winterville

Marguerite Horner Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed by www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Marguerite Horner – On the Edge

Harry Hill - David Beckham Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed by www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Harry Hill – David Beckham

With rather more to spend Gert & Uwe Tobias’ had two spectacular works and there was a bright Gillian Ayres, which all seemed reasonable value despite the big ticket prices as did Rose Wylie’s Spider, Frog & Bird.

Gert & Uwe Tobias Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed by www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Gert & Uwe Tobias – Untitled

The floor to ceiling ‘salon’ hang – which is the norm at the Summer Exhibition – makes for difficult viewing, but it is not often that so much (varied) talent is on view at the same time. Take it slowly and concentrate on works that catch your eye – we have posted a selection of those that caught ours – and you may just have a very enjoyable visit.

Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed by www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

David Mach

Gary Lawrence Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Gary Lawrence – Cinque Terre with Runner Beans

The RA Summer Exhibition runs until 16 August 2016

Rose Wylie Summer Exhibition Royal Academy reviewed at www.CELLOPHANELAND.com

Rose Wylie – Spider Frog & Bird

For more information visit www.royalacademy.org.uk

100 Works Of Art That Will Define Our Age – Kelly Grovier

24 February 2016 § Leave a comment

100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age Kelly Grovier www.cellophaneland.comThis post is also published on CELLOPHANELAND* (link here)

I am usually rather sceptical about anything featuring numbered selections. Nowadays hardly anything seems to reach the pages of a magazine or a TV screen without being reduced to a seemingly arbitrary list. At best it can be of modest help where information has been distilled from something extensive or complex but at worst is simply a pointless exercise made with minimal critical judgement. The title of 100 Works Of Art That Will Define Our Age therefore aroused suspicion. How much selection was there? Was there really a nice round number? Could, or should, ’100’ just have been left off?

100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age Kelly Grovier www.cellophaneland.com

Numerical gripes aside this is an exceptional book. It is a formidable task to attempt to scroll forwards in time and make a judgement on how a future population will have judged art of the present day or indeed judge the art of your own era. It would also be easy to get bogged down in an almost endless series of semantic or philosophical questions but Grovier however delicately navigates this minefield with humour and skill.

100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age Kelly Grovier www.cellophaneland.com

He notes that Vincent Van Gogh’s contemporary view of his own ’Starry Night’ was that it was a dreadful ‘failure’ and by slipping in frequent insights such as this Grovier lets us glimpse at how the defining views of the art of the past and present are ever fluid.

100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age Kelly Grovier www.cellophaneland.com

We see how the artists of today continually draw from the past and how meanings flow in two directions. Great art never finishes but instead forever participates having the power to alter the art of the past as well as to influence the future.

100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age Kelly Grovier www.cellophaneland.com

Grover actually creates a definition of ‘Our Age’ by selecting art from about 1990 to 2010 leaving a certain amount of critical weight to have already been applied. The notorious Saatchi Sensation exhibition from 1997 already seems an age ago and a handful of works like Damien Hirst’s ‘Shark’ and Marc Quinn’s Self are naturally included. Many others like Olafur Eliasson’s Weather Project for the Tate Turbine Hall, Jeff Koons’ Puppy, Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present and Tracey Emin’s ‘Bed’ seem natural choices, neatly included in sections with titles like ‘Is All Art Nostalgic’ and ‘Can Art and Life ever be in Sync?’.

100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age Kelly Grovier www.cellophaneland.com

At the same time one does wonder whether the likes of Jeff Wall, Cristina Iglesias, Walid Raad, Sean Scully and Sheela Gowda really define our age. I dont think so, and it is a stretch to think that as many as a hundred works can possibly define an age. If we look back another thirty years to Pop art how far do we see beyond a handful of names like say, Warhol and Lichtenstein? Who knows even if the period 1990 to 2010 will ever make its mark on history or fade in to a forgotten mist?

100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age Kelly Grovier www.cellophaneland.com

However, as one progressed through the book, the pleasure in looking back at some of the great works of our era and reading Grovier’s beautifully written and insightful analyses will dissolve all doubts. It reads easily and gently expands our appreciation of works that we perhaps doubted or misunderstood. It may, or may not, in the end include the works that define our age but perhaps it is best viewed simply as an exemplary record of memorable recent art.

For more information visit www.thamesandhudson.com

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