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Frieze New York 2017 Review

Art Scene

Frieze New York 2017 Review

Once again, Frieze Art Fair offered a delightful smorgasbord of visual jewels for the senses in its 2017 New York edition. For guests to the fair, the brief ferry ride from East 34th Street or East 90th Street to Randall’s Island, home of Frieze New York for the last six years, initiates a decadent feast for the eyes with city views from far and wide. The large-scale, airy white structure that houses the fair, amidst grasslands and spring green trees, is impeccably designed and pleasurably kitted out with fine foods, beverages and outdoor features. With more than 200 galleries from 31 countries participating, it was inevitable visitors would find works of art that would peak their curiosity.

The post-event numbers for 2017 indicate record sales of individual works sold to private collectors, museums, and international institutions, ranging from $10,000 to a $1.2 million sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor by Lisson Gallery.

Photo by Anders Jones, Artwork by Anish Kapoor

International blue chip gallery, Hauser & Wirth, which recently signed American artist Lorna Simpson, sold several of the artist’s paintings and sculptures ranging from $150,000 to $300,000. Known for her photographic work over the last two decades, Simpson’s paintings, breathtaking in their beauty, offer a mixed media experience of painting, found photographs, screen printing, and perhaps a few other techniques. Images of women, presumably culled from Simpson’s archive of Ebony and Jet magazines used in another recent body of work, peer out from decadent washes of paint in a cool blue toned color palette. Mystery and allure inhabit the works and titillate the imagination with their open-ended narratives.

Photo by Anders Jones, Artwork by Lorna Simpson

Abstract photographs by New York based artist Yamini Nayar were on view with Jhaveri Contemporary, a gallery out of Mumbai, India. The photographs of spaces constructed by the artist from found and discarded materials tease viewers with recognizable geometric shapes that simultaneously disrupt logical thinking while offering a gentle nudge toward the consideration of alternative perception. With installation and architecture, both real and imagined, as inspirations and influences, Nayar’s psychologically layered interiors do not offer an easy read. Instead, they require both an active and creative engagement on the part of the viewer.

Photo by Anders Jones, Artwork by Yamini Nayar

In an interesting stretch of the fair, three women artists with work on view dating back to the 1960s and 1970s were serendipitously placed close to each other. Barbara Chase-Riboud, an African American expatriate in Paris for many years, had powerful and unusual large-scale sculptures from the ‘60s and ‘70s on view with Michael Rosenfeld Gallery. The work of Hungarian artist, Katalin Ladik, was presented jointly by acb Gallery, Budapest and espaivisor, Valencia. Little known in the United States, Ladik’s work in response to her position as a woman in Eastern Europe in the 1970s is highly regarded elsewhere, and seemed to share a kindred spirit with feminist art from America. Lastly in this trio, 84-year-old Japanese artist, Kimiyo Mishima, who was present at the fair, had ceramic sculptures on view with Japan-based, Gallery Yamaki. To the naked eye, Mishima’s ceramic sculptures could easily be mistaken for their real life objects – Japanese comic books, beer cans and a trash can filled to the rim. The sculptures, part of her most recent body of work, are extremely contemporary and filled with youthful humor. Also on view were Mishima’s collage paintings from the 1960s. Stunning in their execution and rival to highly regarded blue chip artists from 1960s American art, the works vibrate with a 21st century resonance suggestive of globalization.

Photo by Anders Jones, Artwork by Kimiyo Mishima

Photo by Anders Jones, Artwork by Rob Pruitt

Photo by Anders Jones, Interactive artwork artist unknown