The fourth edition of Frieze Art Week came stronger and better than ever. From May 14th to the 17th an endless amount of art related fairs, presentations and events inhabited New York City bringing along with them an intoxicating air of excitement and overactive energy. In the mist of working on last projects for school and market week, I made it my business to squeeze in some of the fairs into my already over-loaded schedule. This year I narrowed down my options and made the executive decision to visit Frieze and 1:54 art fairs. Frieze New York art fair returned on its fourth year to Randall’s Island. Yes, same island where all those music festivals will be happening this summer. The fair brought over 190 of the world’s top contemporary galleries, including 63 from New York City. Below is a re-cap of some of the most talked about eye-catching works at Frieze. Almine Rech Gallery had one of the most vibrant and lively booths. All the works harmoniously bonded with the same color scheme; as if the different artist collaborated together to make this a merchandising success. The gallery exhibited new paintings by Richard Phillips along with psychedelic works by Brian Calvin, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, John Giorno, and Chris Schanck.Long March Space Gallery from China presented works by renowned artist Xu Zhen and futuristic minimalist works by Zhan Wang.Wang’s stainless steel rock like sculpture represents the switching point among western technology and eastern traditions.
Before leaving the fair I made sure to sit and rest on one of Korakrit Arunanondchai’s denim massage chairs. This was part of the Frieze Projects’ series. Several high-tech massage chairs were positioned throughout the fair inviting visitors to take a break from the “dizzying pace of the fair”
Next stop was Brooklyn! I head over to the glorious hippest borough for the Inaugural New York edition preview party of London-based 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Pioneer Works. 1:54 was first introduced at London arts venue Somerset House in 2013 by founder Touria El Glaoui. The fair worked in conjunction with artists and galleries with the purpose of promoting African and Africa-related art to a worldwide broader audience.
NOMAD Gallery showcased a solo show by Bahamian artist and 56th Venice Biennale participant, Lavar Munroe. The whimsical drawings surely would attract the admiration of all age groups, despite the grotesque and dark imagery your eye met once it got past the enamored trance caused by the sweet and playful color palette. Munroe’s work draws inspiration from religion and anthropology to question the way we live and value each other as human beings and our lives. I loved Munroe’s work, and their representation, these are creations meant to start and evoke complex conversations.
Mariane Ibrahim Gallery presented stunning and fashion inspired works of photography by Fabrice Monteiro. Just like Munroe, these works grasped on anthropology as a source of inspiration.
A total of 16 exhibitors hailing from South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, the UK and the USA showcased contemporary works from over 60 artists.
I am looking forward to next year and will make sure to plan accordingly to have enough availability in my schedule and plenty of stamina to get me through the week. Till 2016 Frieze Week!
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Luiggy Gomez– Frieze
Gloria Chang– 1:54