Frieze New York is an incredible annual art fair that is accessed by a scenic ferry up the East River. Rather than cancel this month, organizers converted the entire experience to a fully digital format. With over 200 virtual viewing rooms and thousands of boundary-pushing artworks, we clicked through every page to find our favorite material-pushing objects.
Japanese artist Kohei Nawa purchases unique objects through the internet. When they arrive, he covers each item in a variety of clear spheres. It’s an effort to “re-pixelate” the object to relate to it’s internet origin. Named “PixCell” (a combination of pixel and cell), these new works were presented by Pace Gallery New York.
Anish Kapoor’s “Untitled” is a 3-foot-wide section of pink Alabaster that contains a perfectly spherical void, playing with light, shadow, and translucency. Kapoor is famous for his mirrored tourist-magnet “Cloud Gate” in Chicago, that, like this carved work, considers the balance between a “perfect” form and the atmosphere around it. Presented at Frieze New York by Sean Kelly Gallery.
Alicja Kwade’s “Ein Tisch Ist Eim Bild” (translation: “A Table Is an Image”) is a small table that has been cut and “mirrored” into four off-center quarters. The mirrors cause surprising and unique forms from every vantage point. Also note there is a small gap between the mirrors, allowing an infinite reflection at every “slice”. Presented by 303 Gallery in New York.
Evan Holloway’s “Sap Rising” is a single tree that has been geometrically reconfigured at right-angles. The wood is cast in bronze, allowing a permanence of the object itself AND the ability to maintain those perfect gravity-defying 90-degree lines. Presented by Xavier Hufkens Gallery, Brussels.
Brian Rochefort’s vessels were featured in Design Milk last year (check out Overglazed: The Sculpture of Brian Rochefort). They’re created by a process that pushes ceramic glazing to its limit – receptively breaking & reglazing a vessel to an outrageous extreme. Every square inch of these colorful blobs is a universe of texture, color, and surprises. Presented by Massimo de Carlo Gallery.
Olafur Eliasson’s ethereal “Blue Hour Flare” is a highly reflective wall sculpture using laminated color glass mirrors that reaches over 9 feet across. The pattern of circles and ellipses was inspired by camera lens flares – the ghostly circles that a camera produces when pointed at the sun. Presented by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.
Liza Lou’s “Security Fence” is a razor wire fence covered in HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of hand-sewn glass beads that sparkle like diamond frost. The jewel-like detail of the beads will temp you to approach, while the threat of confinement will hold you back with caution. Its description reminds viewers that there is “no way to enter or leave”, to question our definition and beliefs about “security”. Presented by Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.
Artist Agustina Woodgate formed “The ARC” (Animal Rug Company) to fabricate functional rugs out of repurposed stuffed animal pelts. Though technically “functional”, these are so beautiful that they seem destined only for the wall. For Frieze New York, Agustina and The ARC produced these smaller works, titled “Shelter”. The ARC never uses NEW stuffed animals – Woodgate and assistants search thrift shops for toys with “a previous life” to lovingly clean and transform. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Lotus House Shelter for homeless women and battered wives. Presented by Barro Gallery from Buenos Aires.
Two teacups are permanently linked by a taut gold chain. The small work with a powerful punch is by the incredible Valeska Soares. Though inescapably held together, they remain as far away as possible (about 1 inches). Labeled “You” and “I”, the 2011 sculpture can be read with layers of different meanings based on the viewer’s own personal experience with love and loss. The piece is 9 years old, but it may be the most relevant and relatable work this month. Presented by Alexander Gray Associates, New York.
Frieze New York returns next year in “real life”. We’re already looking forward.