"FRIEZE FORTNIGHT" IN LONDON
The seventh edition of the Frieze Art Fair, Oct. 15-18, 2009, boasts 164 galleries from 30 countries, including Gagosian, Gladstone, Marian Goodman, Matthew Marks, Victoria Miro, Emmanuel Perrotin, Eve Presenhuber, Regina, Thaddaeus Ropac, Timothy Taylor, Waddington, White Cube and David Zwirner. Newer gallery participants include Amp (Athens), Lisa Cooley (New York), Project 88 (Mumbai), Rodeo (Istanbul) and Tulips & Roses (Vilnius).
No art fair these days is simply a collection of gallery booths, and so it is with Frieze, which is introducing a new section called "Frame," featuring solo shows from 29 younger galleries. Back as usual is the "Sculpture Park" on the grounds surrounding the 21,000-square-meter pavilion in Regent’s Park, which includes works by Louise Bourgeois, Eva Rothschild, Graham Hudson and Paul McCarthy, as well as a series of talks and an education program for children and young people.
Plenty of other projects are on tap as well, the most interesting of them customized to the fair setting. This year’s Cartier Award (underwritten for the fourth time by the British division of the famed jeweler), for instance, is a project by American artist Jordon Wolfson, who has arranged for guided tours of the fair led by a physicist who specializes in String Theory. The "Frieze Music" section consists of Martin Creed’s Work No. 1020, his first dance piece, to be performed by five classically trained dancers to music of his own devising at the London dance venue Sadler’s Wells.
The "Frieze Projects" present an additional lineup of such events, including a motivational speaker provided by artist Mike Bouchet; a photo studio taking pictures of fair visitors with artworks of their choice by British artist Ryan Gander; an ersatz book signing by Franz Kafka -- described as an "impossible event" -- arranged by Oslo-born artist Per-Oskar Leu; a sculpture described as "a kind of cultural meteorite" crashed into the roof of the fair pavilion by Polish sculptor Monika Sosnowska; and a workshop where artists produce bootleg copies of other works in the fair, courtesy San Francisco artist Stephanie Syjuco.
Hip London restaurateur Mark Hix has also signed on to bring his popular Hix Oyster Bar and Restaurant onto the Frieze grounds, a menu that is to include the "Hix Cure," smoked salmon and oysters.
Whatever one might say about the uncertain market, Frieze remains unabashedly cutting edge. Its 2009 selection committee included New York dealer Gavin Brown as well as Daniel Buchholz, Maureen Paley and Toby Webster. And Frieze founders Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp have proven themselves adept at attracting corporate sponsorship, as well. In addition to the aforementioned Cartier Prize, the fair itself is underwritten by Deutsche Bank, and a new "Frieze Art Stand Prize" of £10,000 is sponsored by Champagne Pommery. The Outset Fund, a seven-year-old collaboration that buys new art from the fair for the Tate, is sponsored by Le Méridien.
An intensive lineup of ancillary events takes place during "Frieze Fortnight," as Artnet Magazine London correspondent Laura K. Jones calls it, not least of which is the main satellite fair, the six-year-old Zoo, Oct. 16-19, 2009, which this year occupies a group of three industrial buildings in London’s East End (recently used by Guy Ritchie as a set for his new Sherlock Holmes film). A nonprofit assemblage of curated shows, project spaces, emerging galleries, artist collectives and art publishers, Zoo has become more nonprofit than ever, with fewer than 20 of its 50-plus exhibitors being commercial galleries, according to a report in Bloomberg News.
The Pavilion of Art & Design London, Oct. 14-18, 2009, formerly known as DesignArt London, brings 45 international dealers in art and design to a building on Berkeley Square, including Marc Benda (New York), Galerie Berès (Paris), Connaught Brown (London), Faggionato Fine Art (London), Barry Friedman (New York), Lefebre Fine Art (London), Van de Weghe (New York) and Galerie Vedovi (Brussels). Other satellite fairs include Art London, Oct. 8-12, 2009, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and the Affordable Art Fair London, Oct. 22-25, 2009, at Battersea Park. Scope London, which set up at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in 2008, is not returning this year.
As for the auction houses, they all have something in the works. Sotheby’s London holds an auction of 20th-century Italian art, and a separate sale of contemporary art including Arab and Iranian art, both on Oct. 16, while Christie’s London puts on its Italian sale on Oct. 16 along with a post-war & contemporary art sale that evening, and a day sale to follow on Oct. 17. Phillips de Pury & Company plans both a London contemporary art day and evening sale for Oct. 17.
GALLERY NIGHT ON 57TH STREET
New York’s midtown art dealers have combined forces to present "Gallery Night on 57th Street," a coordinated set of receptions at no less than 64 galleries on Oct. 15, 2009, 5-8 pm. The rather amazing lineup runs from Susan Aberbach, Alexandre, Amador and Antiquorum Auctioneers to Washburn, D. Wigmore, Zabriskie and Zone. The smorgasbord of exhibitions on view includes "Alan Gussow: A Painter’s Nature" at Babcock Galleries, "Tiger Rugs from Inner Mongolia" at Danon, Herman Cherry at David Findlay Jr., Jeff Wall at Marian Goodman, and "Eve Sonneman: La Côte d’Azur" at Nohra Haime. For more info, contact email@example.com
CALLING ALL ARTISTS’ PARENTS
Vilnius-based artist Darius Miksys is seeking artists’ parents for a performance work he is mounting in conjunction with Performa09. The event -- a group meeting -- is scheduled for 2 pm on Nov. 21, 2009, at the e-flux space at 41 Essex Street on the Lower East Side. "Where do artists come from?" asks Miksys. "Is it a matter of choice to become an artist, or do some predefined qualities make it inescapable?" Interested artists and their parents can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SKI LIFT TICKET ART
Sometimes it seems like America’s second city for the art world must be Aspen, Colo., so enthusiastic are the art projects mounted in the ski resort, especially those associated with the indefatigable Aspen Art Museum. Last month, that very museum joined with the Aspen Skiing Company to celebrate the new design for the company’s 2009-2010 ski lift ticket, which is the work of Dutch artist Carla Klein, a maker of impressively scaled and dramatically laconic landscapes, seen in New York City at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. The untitled painting Klein did for the lift ticket shows what looks to be a view from a high peak, and carries the curious caption "snowmass + aspen mountain + aspen highlands + buttermilk."
This year’s ticket is the fifth such collaboration (previous artist-participants have included Jim Hodges, Karen Kilimnik, Peter Doig and Yutaka Sone). The inspiration for the interesting partnership, according to Aspen Art Museum director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, came in 2005, when she arrived in Aspen and envisioned the lift tickets attached to skiers’ jackets as virtual "blank canvases."
HUNT SLONEM SELLS HIS (VICTORIAN) STUFF
New York painter Hunt Slonem, who is celebrated for his extravagant sense of interior design as well as for paintings of birds and other wildlife, is selling the entire contents of his home in the Hudson Valley at Stair Galleries in Hudson, N.Y., on Oct. 24, 2009. Slonem purchased the 28-room Cordts Mansion, also known as Edgewood Terrace, a Victorian brick mansion overlooking the town of Kingston, in 2001, and subsequently renovated and furnished the building.
Now Slonem has consigned more than 500 lots to Stair, including an extensive selection of 19th-century furniture, decorative and fine arts, spanning all the major styles of the 19th-century, with an emphasis on Gothic Revival, plus a group of 20th-century lots, including a few works by Francesco Clemente, Rainer Fetting, Adam Fuss, Alex Katz, David LaChapelle and Christopher Makos. The sale is prompted by Slonem’s plan to focus his attentions on two plantation houses in Louisiana. An online catalogue can be viewed at www.stairgalleries.com
CHARLES SELIGER, 1926-2009
Charles Seliger, 83, New York Abstract Expressionist painter whose lush, biomorphic works had an element of Surrealist automatism, died on Oct. 1 at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York after suffering a stroke. Born in New Jersey, he became part of avant-garde New York City art circles in the 1940s, and had his first solo show at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of this Century gallery in 1945, when he was 19. A year later, the Museum of Modern Art acquired his painting, Natural History: Form within Rock (1946), for its permanent collection. He was given a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in 1986, and in 2003, at age 77, received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s Lee Krasner Award in recognition of his long career. In 2005 the Morgan Library acquired his journals, 148 hand-written volumes that date back to 1952. He has shown in New York at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery since 1990, which plans a memorial exhibition in January 2010.