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*

thomas struth: photographs 1978 – 2010 – the whitechapel gallery

20 July 2011 § Leave a comment

Thomas Struth seems to photograph structures – cultural, natural, artificial, historical and probably lots more I’ve not even noticed. Except he does not always. You could also say his work is about relationships. And its also about the nature of looking. And… well, the thing is, just when you think you have put your finger on exactly what you believe Struth is doing it slips away from you. There is always just a litttle bit more than meets the eye.

This retrotrospective at the Whitechapel looks at his work from 1978 to the present day – effectively his whole working career. Given the 30 years or so covered and the vast scale of many of his works the show barely skims over the surface but despite this you do not feel short-changed – this is a well curated and wide-ranging overview of his work.

Learning his trade under the influential tutelage of Berndt and Hilla Becher Struth began taking small scale city shots, absent of people in places like Dusseldorf and New York and by photographing similar scenes he emphasies their differences. Soon the images become monumental and large scale. In one series he captures both museum visitors and artworks examining not just one but both of them as well as their relationships to each other. The curve-ball he throws in is our position as observers – what are we doing, what are we looking at and why?

Back to the structures. There are cathedrals and places or worship, tangles of wires and industrial scenes, jungles and forests. All in immaculate detail, verticals miraculously straight (how does he do it?). They are often beautiful, impressive and aesthetically pleasing, but there are always more questions being asked – what are we being asked about the nature of religion or the role of technology?

Even when Struth takes what appear to be straight-forward family snapshots they are not quite what they seem.  It turns out that the subjects arrange themselves in a location also chosen by themselves. These shots are more then about family structures and personal relationships than a simple photographic record.

An impressively curated show about a very important artist. Do not miss. Another recommendation? The little curry house on the corner does a great lunch….

Until 16 September 2011 at the Whitechapel Gallery

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