19 October 2010 § Leave a comment
It seems rather superfluous to note that once again that Frieze is the event of the UK art world calendar – but, there you go, I have just done it anyway. The game that everyone plays around the time of the fair is trying to spot the trends. Which artists are up, which are down, who is hottest, who is buying, who is not buying, and so on. It is a game that not only takes place in Frieze itself, but in the, ever-increasing, multiplicity of private views, auctions, exhibitions, parties, openings and satellite fairs that clog up the middle of October.
Amongst other complications dealers and galleries will do their best to confuse the issue by talking up their own artists and increasing their perceived desirability by hanging work that is already sold (or not for sale) or keeping you holding for work that they had already planned to sell elsewhere.
It would take weeks to try to analyse all of the trends and even then, as I have suggested, it is far from clear. What is perhaps easiest to spot is which young artists seem to be on the up. I mention prices, despite a frequent feeling in the art world that it is somehow vulgar to do so. My feeling is that if you have a ‘shop’ and sell objects it is rather pretentious not to. I also note them as a kick up the arts aims to look at investing in art as well as aesthetics – to create a collection, sadly, you need to pay! Revealing my preference for painters and oil, here are my top six:
6. William Daniels. Hardly ’emerging’ but his stock is rising well with a nice selection of paintings selling out at Vilma Gold gallery. Some questions of whether he is a little ‘stuck in a rut’ with his style and subject very much the same over the last few years. Not greatly prolific however, so the market is not flooded. Prices creeping up from a few £k in to the tens.
5. David Smith. Already has had three solo shows in the last four years at the good-at-spotting-upcoming-talent Carl Freedman Gallery just round the corner from White Cube Hoxton. Mesmerising paintings that drip with feeling. All works sold quickly at about £12-14k
4. Simon Fujiwara. You could not help seeing his Frozen ‘intervention’ which you would, almost literally, trip over throughout the Fair. Based on the conceit that the fair was built over a newly-discovered Roman city, mini ‘excavations’ were exposed around the site. One ‘important’ section of the dig even had a resident ‘archaeologist’ busily working with towel, tweezers or magnifying glass on the latest discovery. Priceless.
3. Lesley Vance. Reputable LA gallery David Kordansky devoted a large section of their stand to a display of Vance’s modestly sized abstracts. Working back from photographs of still lifes she creates dense and atmospheric works. Needless to say – all sold at over £10k
2. Jessica Dickinson was exhibited in the Frieze Frame section showcasing young artists. Shown by NY gallery James Fuentes Dickinson’s airy, pastel-coloured abstractions involved layering and reworking to reveal a sense of time or even timelessness. The works reminded me of Makiko Nakimura at the small Albemarle Street Gallery – John Martin – also worth a look . Both must be seen in real life as images fail to show the depth of work. Price of Dickinson £?, Nakamura £3 to 9k.
1. Simon Fullerton. Another Carl Freedman artist who has had a recent solo exhibition at the charitable Chisenhale Gallery space. Fullerton’s enigmatic, undeniably attractive, portraits each have a hidden story. The stories are usually of loss, sadness or exploitation. Just over £12k, and no doubt rising soon, for the portraits.
- Artifacts | Fair Trade-Off: Frieze Week in London (tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com)
- How to succeed at Frieze (newstatesman.com)
- Frieze week exhibitions round-up, reviews (telegraph.co.uk)
- Art dealers encouraged by early sales at London’s Frieze (cnn.com)
6 August 2010 § Leave a comment
The agony is over, here is what you have all been waiting for. As promised yesterday this is the result of my scrupulously unscientific survey to discover which artists shown at Newspeak (part 1), were most highly – and poorly – regarded by the critics. Saatchi has chosen his top artists in the UK, and here are the critics top nine of those. So this is la creme de la creme? See what you think.
1 William Daniels (5). Paintings of his own still-lives that have been themselves created with paper and household bits and pieces. They question originality, authenticity and cultural worth. ‘Outstanding’ (Standard). ‘Heartfelt and uncanny’ (Independent). ‘Delightful and very, very collectable’ (me!).
2.Littlewhitehead (4). It Happened in the Corner. A group of life-sized hoodies gather threateningly, backs towards us, in a corner of the gallery. ‘Ominous and unsettling’ (Guardian). Personally I ignore hoodies gathered in corners and this time was no exception.
3= Ged Quinn (3.5). Allegorical landscapes in the style of Poussin/Lorrain containing strange references from recent history. ‘Thought-provoking, witty and multi-layered’ (Guardian). These works allow repeated close examination and have great appeal.
3= John Wynne (3.5). An army of loudspeakers occupy a whole gallery, building in to a monumental pile in the corner. A pianola plays its punched card at ultra-slow page and random sounds are interspersed in the soundtrack. A delicate balance between order and disorder, both visually and aurally, that is totally captivating.
5= Eugenie Scrase (3). Well who would adam and eve it? The School of Saatchi winner has slipped in with her ‘readymade’ park railings that bend under the imagined impact of a lump of tree-trunk. Brain Sewell in the Standard hits the nail on the head when he says ‘wait and see’ whilst the Guardian agrees – is she a ‘Duchampian magpie or a total chancer?’ She is definitely a very lucky girl – will it hold?
5= Hurvin Anderson (3). His large canvases flirt between abstraction and figuration. There is a sense of disorientation and displacement and they ‘evoke colour and space in a way that recalls Peter Doig’ (Independent). I can already see these on the wall at Christies in a few years time!
7= Goshka Macuga (2). Mme Blavatsky (a 19th century theosophist) floats, parlour-trick style, above two chairs. To quote the Saatchi, she ‘..emits a transendental aura, channelling the dark art of inspiration from beyond’. Macuga is a well-established artist who does not need our help, and with this waste of space she wont get it!
7= Rupert Norfolk (2). With Guillotine has ‘rendered duplictous a machine designed for cutting things in two… little short of genius’ (Independent). Also has a neat checked rug with trompe-l’oeil creasing.
Please see next post for the bottom of the chart!
The Publications were: The Times, Sunday Times, Independent, Guardian, Standard, FT and Daily Telegraph. The number of positive reviews to a maximum of 7 are shown in brackets. I will update the chart after Newspeak (part 2) opens at the end of October.
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- Charles Saatchi’s catalogue of disasters (guardian.co.uk)
- Newspeak: British Art Now, The Saatchi Gallery, London (independent.co.uk)
- The State of Young Art in Britain (online.wsj.com)
- Newspeak: British Art now at the Saatchi Gallery, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- As he unveils the next generation of young artists, has Charles Saatchi lost his edge? (independent.co.uk)