FRIEZE.STOP.LOOK

Kanika Pruthi of Saffronart talks of her favorites from the recently held Frieze Art Fair in NYC

The past weekend witnessed the culmination of the much anticipated and copiously attended Frieze Art Fair in New York City. The city hosted eleven art fairs and related events in the month of may-turning it into a connoisseur’s delight. The Frieze Art Fair was held at the scenic Randall’s Island. The pristine white tents and spacious booths meandered between the green habitats of the water facing landscape, presenting the attendees with art from all over the world. Much has been said and written about Frieze-a sure sign of the fair’s standing in the international art calendar. Here are just a few of the highlights that not only caught my eye but also received attention from critics and art aficionados alike.

Frieze Projects features artist commissioned works that are conceptualized and realized for Frieze and is curated by Cecilia Alemani. This year Allen Rupersberg’s ‘Al’s Grand Hotel’ received noted acclaim. This project took off from a prior venture from 1971 where the artist turned a two storey house into a hotel and performance space. This year he recreated the legendary project inside Frieze in collaboration with Los Angeles project space Public Fiction. The entrance to the extended booth features a swanky lobby and one is greeted at the bar and welcome desk where reservations can be made for a room starting at $350. Rupersberg has designed a set of rooms that include one designed as a bridal suite featuring the typical frills- flowers scattered on the bed and a welcome present to greet you.

Another interesting project that received much fanfare this year is artist Marie Lorenz’s Tide and Current Taxi. Since 2005 the artist has ‘performed’ this project every summer.  She has herself built a compact rowboat which is powered by the artist and other participants’ efforts, as the group rows together while they explore the waters around Randall’s Island. Working out of a wooden shed that acts like a dispatch’s spot, visitors can reserve a spot to be part of this project. There is also live streaming which allows people to watch the rides in progress.

Frieze’s Frame section allows galleries that were established fewer than eight years ago to display artists at the Fair. Based on a solo –presentation format, there were some noteworthy entrants this year. Ariel Reichman’s work pleasantly caught my attention. The artist has constructed personal garden inside the white interiors that serve as PSM gallery’s booth. Placed in this oasis are found objects like a stuffed soft toy and a bird sculpture.

Finally, Frieze Talks featured interesting conversations. My favorite was the talk between David Remnick, a writer and editor at The New Yorker and Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina of the Pussy Riot. They talked about their art collective Pussy Riot, their feminist leanings and the recently launched venture- Zona Prava, an NGO advocating for prison reform. For those who missed it, don’t despair.

Until next year!

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