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Highlights from Frieze London


Highlights from Frieze London
Frieze London 2017, Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze.

The 15th edition of Frieze London closed on Sunday 8th October: offering its visitors a diverse and dynamic selection of international emerging and established artists, alongside a curated non-profit programme of artist commissions, films and talks, established itself as one of the of the most exciting destination in the contemporary art world. The fair brought together more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries, attracting over 68,000 visitors.

The Artling share its highlights from the fair:


Cici Wu, Foreign Object #1 Fluffy Light (terrence), 2017. Photo by Joerg Lohse. Image courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York.

The Focus section, including 32 galleries aged twelve years or younger and curated by Fabian Schöneich (Portikus, Frankfurt) and Ruba Katrib (SculptureCenter, New York), offered interesting presentation which attracted significant institutional attention and resulted in acquisitions from international institutions and private foundations. This section has appeared as the most exciting one, remaining the definitive destination to discover emerging talents.

The New-York gallery, 47 Canal (booth H13) presented a well-balanced group of artists, in which Cici Wu’s sculptures sat on the plinths at the center of the booth. Wu (b. 1989), who grew up in Beijing and studied in Hong Kong, has moved to United States in 2012. Even if her work could looks like soap bubble, as, for instance, Foreign Object #1 Fluffy Light (2017), they have a sort of functional aspect: these objects are meant to be taken with you to the movies, where you can use it to record up to two hours of ambient light on an SD card.  A device that seemingly ‘absorb’ the atmosphere and recreates a magical and minimal aura in the space where is displayed. Wu, mixing electronics and machinery, is truly able to surround us with an intimate, special joy.


Naotaka Hiro, Blue Shield (0f CA), 2017. Image courtesy of the artist and Misako & Rosen, Tokyo

Next to 47 Canal, we found Misako & Rosen at H14, showcasing the work of three artists who are among the earliest members of the gallery programme: Maya Hewitt, Naotaka Hiro and Fergus Feehily. In Naotaka Hiro’s artworks (b.1972) the dilemma of the unknowability of the artists’ body serves as a creative point of departure -  a place from which his imagination creates. In the booth Blue Shield (2017) a life-size bronze sculpture, representing Hiro’s chest, stands next to his drawings, direct outputs of raw imagery and meditations on the Unknown. Fragmented and dreamlike imagery depict rib cages, hair, legs, arms, eyes and genitals - twisted and distorted, elegant and attenuated - questioning the wholeness and knowability of the self.

Cheng Xinyi, Coiffeur, 2017. Image courtesy of the artist and Antenna Space, Shanghai

Always in the Focus section, Antenna Space at the booth H17 featured a solo presentation with Chinese Amsterdam-based artist Cheng Xinyi (b.1989). Five curious works completed in 2016 and 2017, all white male-portraits based, painted with intimate colours and twisted shapes. The hair of the human body, as an important symbol of sexuality, is a recurring motif appearing Xinyi’s works. The way she paints is expressive - giving off emotions and feelings that are enticing, fragile, peaceful, intimate and mysterious. 

By painting these characters she naturally projects herself on their them. The time and space composed in her works create pleasure and friction, which increases the sense of mystery and strengthens the impression that the scenes defy rational definition. These five paintings shown a co-responsive relationships in the space, they echo and rhythm from one to another. 


Haegue Yang, Jahnstrasse 5 (2017). Image courtesy of the artist and Kukje Gallery, Seoul

In Galleries, the core section of Frieze London, established modern and contemporary galleries presenting outstanding artworks across a range of media. The 2017 edition saw strong sales across this section, placing artworks across all levels of the market. 

One of The Artling highlights was a brand new work by Haegue Yang (Korea, b. 1971) titled Jahnstrasse 5 (2017) at Kukje Gallery (booth B14). Yang, using utilitarian household items, from space heaters to extension cords, and placing them out of context, explains her displacement and alienation in both geographical and personal terms. She also reflects the transitory nature of the her own experience of living and working in multiple locations.

ShanghART  booth view. Image courtesy of ShanghART, Shanghai

At ShanghART (booth A13), we’ve enjoyed a solo presentation by the artist Liang Shaoji (b.1945): a floor piece and a number of hanging sculptures covered in silk filament elegantly give life to the booth space - The artist has been employing the unexpected medium of silkworms in his unique sculptural and video work for nearly three decades, observing how this have respond to different surfaces such as metal and glass.


ShanghART  booth view. Image courtesy of ShanghART, Shanghai

Lastly, Gallery Taro Nasu (booth A16) presented a selection of works by Mika Tajima’s (b. 1975): the series is entitled Negative Entropy and it consists of abstract jacquard woven portraits of industrial and information production. After recording the sounds of several Pennsylvania factories, Tajima transferred those files into image files, and then weave and stretching those images onto the fabric. as though silencing the industry portrayed in the pieces. “For me, this is a process of translations—immaterial information into a material object,” affirmed Tajima.


Mika Tajima, Negative Entropy (Argraf Drukarnia, Perfecta, Double), 2017

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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