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The first major contemporary art fair to return in-person since the onset of the global pandemic, Frieze New York took place over the weekend for the first time at The Shed. Still open via the online viewing room through May 14, Art Advisor Sharón Zoldan is sharing a few of her favorite presentations from this tenth iteration below.
Damian Ortega, presented by Kurimanzutto
Damián Ortega’s practice emphasizes deconstruction in an effort to understand the whole. His Organón cubes function like organically shaped jigsaw puzzles that come together to create a unit (this one is made of up 15 pieces), a concept that references the organizational systems that make up our society and the natural world. Made from concrete, they are hard like stone, but somehow manage to appear fleshy at the same time.
Abraham Cruzvillegas, presented by Kurimanzutto
Abraham Cruzvillegas similarly explores the part to the whole, and his autoconstrucción works, inspired by the improvised architecture and resourcefulness of citizens in his childhood home in Colonia Ajusco, Mexico City, are created with discarded trash: cardboard, old newspapers, photos, ticket stubs, used envelopes, posters, and so on. I’ve seen autoconstrucción works painted in vibrant colors like green, red, or even gold. With the choice of this skin-like color, Cruzvillegas’s correlation between people and the ephemera that surrounds them is even more obvious and powerful.
Tal R, presented by Anton Kern
A painter’s painter, Tal R is pulling inspiration from the likes of Matisse and Fauvism here: the flattened perspective, the blatant brushwork, the luscious layers, and the saturated colors. At first glance, this vibrant piece seems like a delightfully simple, even naive, painting, but it reveals itself to be quite mysterious on further looking. The peaches appear to come alive, flying, and the keyhole at the bottom reveals a surprising surrealism. In fact, the artist often likens his drawing to dreaming. The motifs are always easily recognizable, but the meaning itself remains enigmatic.
Mingjung Kim, presented by Gallery Hyundai
Made with watercolor on Mulberry paper, a traditional Korean material that goes back centuries, I found Minjung Kim’s Mountain (2019) Red Mountain (2019) completely mesmerizing and absorbing. The fact that a simple and repetitive, but highly controlled bleed of pigment on paper could be so evocative of a vast landscape is incredible.
Kathleen Ryan, presented by Karma
Kathleen Ryan’s beaded fruit series is irresistible—even when the fruit has gone moldy and “bad.” Ryan’s decoration of the surface of the fruit—made up of beads, semi-precious gemstones, and even seashell and coral fragments—has become more complicated and masterful. The reclaimed fishing pole and lead sinker attest to her ingenious resourcefulness.
Sayre Gomez, presented by Francois Ghebaly
Walking through the fair with a client, she had quite an astute observation about Sayre Gomez’s work: is it a sunset, or a fire? Maybe both, after all, Gomez’s trompe l’oeil and photo-realistic paintings always succinctly capture the strange co-existing contradiction and charm of the beauty and the ugliness of my hometown of Los Angeles.
Mary Corse, presented by Pace Gallery
Mary Corse’s work in particular just doesn’t translate in an online viewing room. Her lifelong goal is to capture, depict and explore light, and the glass-microspheres that she innovated for use in her paintings are activated when the viewer physically walks around the work. The surface of her paintings become a prism of light that shimmers and constantly changes with each movement and glance. Mesmerizing is an understatement. They are magical.
Agnes Martin, presented by Pace Gallery
Agnes Martin at an art fair sounds like an oxymoron. Her pieces require a meditative moment. Her calming bands of subdued color, and ever so slightly quivering edges demonstrate her search for truth and beauty in a world of noise and visual distraction. The Agnes Martin paired perfectly with the Mary Corse.
Takis, presented by White Cube
The self-taught, 96-year old Greek artist Takis counts Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti among his influences. The innovations he brought to the realm of sculpture are remarkable—instead of heavy, earthbound monoliths, his “Signals” series of kinetic iron sculptures seem to float and buzz with energy. Like Mary Corse, Takis is another artist whose work should be experienced in person, preferably even outdoors, like reeds, activated by a breeze.