Thursday, October 13, 2011

Frieze 2011

Elmgreen & Dragset
The Fruit of Knowledge, 2011
Books, metal stand, bronze, silicon, buffalo hair
Courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery, © The Artist

London 2011

It is London's ART week of the year and it has been packed with events from Philips de Pury's, The Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4's "The Future can wait". To the rather rock concert looking opening of the largest European commercial art space, The White Cube in Bermondsey. 

Yesterday was the private view opening of the Frieze in Regents Park, followed by the happening Vanity Fair party at Christie's.

The word is out that what is being shown at Frieze this year is carefully selected, the quality is high and quite many unfamiliar names are being shown together with the usual money hit makers.
Barnaby Hosking
Thoughts (Butterflies) 10, 2011
brass butterfly sculpture installation; 12 pieces
various dimensions
Max Wigram Gallery

The simple effects of these brass butterfly wings and their shadows, made me once again stop at a Barnaby Hosking piece (another piece by the same artist is being auctioned by Phillips de Pury this week) . A young artist that is quickly turning into a familiar name.

Nothing Disappears Only Our Amnesia Arises, 2004
Mixed media: wood, aluminium and birds
Max Wigram Gallery

Perhaps not the best image of the lively birdcage sculpture, but fascinating it is. Anything caged often has a cringing effect, but at the same time being caged these days could actually mean survival. 

Franz West

Late last night when I was on my way home from the Vanity Fair Party, I was reading a post by Artinfo saying that the sale at the Frieze was sparse... That post might have been written too soon. Yes, there was perhaps no buying frenzy but a lot of the good pieces was taken quite quickly. 
What I did see related to recession was perhaps the use of phallic symbols, and that could possibly be seen as a reaction to men's vulnerability when jobs are sparse? Funny enough bananas was a repeat object as well. This large sculpture by Franz West was sold quite early... 

Paul McCarthy (b.1945)
Steven and the Big Leg, 2008
oil clay, fiberglass, polyurethane foam, resin, wood, steel, bucket.
Hauser & Wirth

Martha Friedman
Cucumber, 2003, 2011
Plexiglass, polyurethane, paint, steel
Wallspace (N.Y.)

The rather long... cucumber piece is quite amusing. Here with the Wallspace gallerists and Art consultant Pier Vegner Tosta. 

A piece that was creating quite a buzz at the fair was the sale of a luxury yacht by the artist Christian Jankowski. It is offered for £60m as a yacht and £75m as an art piece authenticated by the artist. Is this a prank? A gut hitting over the top stunt to show the world how some can throw their money where their appetite lays? I am going to believe that, until I see if it will be sold or not.

Henrik Olesen
Gallery Daniel Bucholz (Berlin, Cologne)

Tacita Dean
Blackboard paint, fibre-based print mounted on paper
Frith Street Gallery

The world is watching Tacita Dean these days, especially with her film addition to the Unilever series at the Tate Modern. She won the Hugo Boss prize in 2006 which is one of my favorite prizes. How I miss the exhibits that the Guggenheim was throwing for the nominated years ago in Soho. Now the space has turned into the infamous Prada store and the Hugo Boss prize is only presenting the winner.

Elmgreen & Dragset
Steel, wood, dummy in latex, shoes, blackboard, jewels
Untitled (unique), 2011

I am turning into a great fan of the Elmgreen & Dragset duo (Norwegian and Danish). They continue to amuse and surprise and at the same time bringing serious issues to the forefront.

Ken Okiishi
Alex Zachary (New York)

Alex Zachary's booth was filled with these swinging Zebra umbrellas.

Grayson Perry
Map of Truths and Beliefs, 2011
Wool and cotton tapestry woven by Flanders Tapestries from files prepared at Factum Arte
Courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery, © The Artist

Grayson Perry's tapestry was were my heart went at this fair, I could look at this for hours. It is exquisite and thought provoking. The piece made me look forward to viewing his exhibit "The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman" that is currently at the British Museum (it opened the 6th of October and runs until 19th of February (2012).

With Love


  1. WOW there is so much goodness in this post. I adore the butterfly piece and the fun umbrellas:) Glad you are enjoying London's art week, sweetie. Happy Thursday. Muah

  2. Fab post!
    Love the umbrellas!


  3. Wow! Great blog and photos! I love it :)

  4. Wow, had never heard of the Elmgren & Dragset duo, thanks for putting me on to them! Great post as always, it's amazing to see how much of the London art scene you have encompassed already in such a short time!
    Love xx

  5. Thank you all:) Have a great weekend!

  6. wow! amazing. i think my fav is the monkey :) xx

  7. The butterfly effect is amazing - and, like you, the tapestry begs for one to see more.

    'The body is a machine
    machines are slaves'

    This made me want to add ... but the mind is a free spirit that nothng can quell.

  8. Nature captured... or of life and death ;) Beautiful visit. Thanks.

  9. thanks Kristin for that awesome trip!
    my favorite.... those buterflies!


  10. That tapestry is stunning!! Thanks for sharing Kristin!

  11. I love that Barnaby HOsky piece - what great decor inspiration!

  12. The tomb of te unknown craftsman..