The highly anticipated and widely respected Frieze Art Fair held its fifth edition at Randall’s Island Park in New York City from May 5th through May 8th, 2016. With over 200 contemporary galleries from 31 countries featured in this year’s edition, Frieze remains a must-see for art enthusiasts everywhere. In case you missed it, we profile the fair’s highlights with a recap of ten extraordinary displays at this year’s exhibition.
English artist Damien Hirst emerged during the Young British Artists movement in the late 1980s and 1990s, only to become one of the world’s leading and most iconic contemporary artists. He parted ways with Gagosian Gallery in 2012, but the powerhouses rejoined forces to put on a solo show at Frieze this year, exhibiting a wide array of Hirst’s seminal works.
Olafur Eliasson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art. The artist has worked in various mediums, including film installations, paintings, and interactive projects that engage viewers. He represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and presented The New York City Waterfalls in 2008 with the Public Art Fund. As seen in his interactive sculpture at this year’s Frieze Art Fair, Eliasson continues to create captivating works that play with color and movement.
British artist Anthea Hamilton presented a performance piece specifically commissioned for Frieze Projects. This piece pays homage to Italian architect Mario Bellini, who showed photographs of Kar-A-Sutra at the Museum of Modern Art in Italy. Hamilton reinterpreted the photograph with a live performance with mimes.
Joyce Pensato is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work has been exhibited all over the world. Since the mid-1970s, Pensato’s pieces have featured almost-recognizable popular cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the Simpsons; however, her portraits transform the above into eerie versions of themselves. Pensato’s works have been exhibited in museums and exhibition spaces worldwide, including Paris’s Centre Pompidou, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and High Museum of Art.
The iconic chandelier exhibited at this year’s fair is one of five works in her new series investigating political issues in contemporary Korea through traditional embroidery. Kyungah Ham’s works for this series were created by North Korean artisans who ‘establish an alternative way of communicating with the isolated country…’ and bring awareness to the cultural and socioeconomic differences between divided countries. The piece took approximately 1,900 hours to create, with two artisans working on the embroidery.
American sculptor and painter Lynda Benglis is well known for works that embody the action of pouring and dripping, with the materials she utilizes seemingly frozen in time. The artist ‘is deeply concerned with the physicality of form…using a wide range of materials to render dynamic impressions of mass and surface: soft becomes hard, hard becomes soft and gestures are frozen.’
Roni Horn is an internationally acclaimed artist based in Brooklyn, best known for works that play with interpretation, perception, and identity. In her Frieze installation of optical glass, titled Here I feel movement without definition, without edges. The stones go by like the hours (2016), the artist challenges and plays with the viewer’s perception by creating the look of water from solid materials.
Ha Chong-Hyun is one of the leading members of Korea’s Dansaekhwa-style (meaning ‘monochrome’) of painting which emerged in the mid-1970s. Ha began his Conjunction series in 1974, through which he experimented with utilizing both sides of the canvas. Using unconventional materials such as hemp as canvas, alongside his painting technique of pushing paint from the verso of the canvas, he challenged painting traditions and paved the way for a new artistic language.
Erwin Wurm is an Austrian artist best known for his humorous depictions of everyday life. In his series titled One Minute Sculptures, his models interact and pose with common objects in unconventional ways. In the series of works exhibited at Frieze, Wurm alters the objects he works with through a performance or action; in this case, he drove over his materials, then cast them in bronze, acrylic, or polyester. Wurm has recently been selected to represent Austria at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Ron Gorchov was born in 1930 in Chicago, Illinois and is currently based in Brooklyn. His three-dimensional paintings were conceived at a time when painters began exploring new aesthetics and techniques. The artist would stretch linen to marry the surface of the canvas with a curvilinear form with vivid and pastel tones, creating an unexpected harmony. Gorchov’s works have been exhibited in major museums including the MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City.
By Christine Lee