FAIR—Frieze—Zoo—Regent’s Park, London

Tree Pants

Peter Coffin Untitled (Tree Pants) 2006 Andrew Kreps Gallery
Frieze Art Fair Sculpture Park

Why do I do it? Why did I try and “do” both the Frieze and Zoo art fairs in one day? And while I had a bad cold too.

And what did I get out of it? The best I can say is that I saw some friends and some good pieces of work and I came to the conclusion that contemporary art is a bit of a mess at the moment (as a whole, individually and, apparently, conceptually).

Stupidly I left my camera at home, so I noted those pieces and galleries that interested me, with short descriptions to remind me of what they were, I tried to be careful when writing down the names of artists and their galleries, but some of my notes are unreadable now so I apologize for any mistakes. Here are those from Frieze, in the order that I saw them in:-

  • greengrassi
  • Heimo Zobernig at Meyer Kainer (Swarovsky round stones) (I was very interested in him while I was on my BA, so it was nice to reacquaint myself with his work)
  • Henrik Olesen at Meyer Kainer (Warburgian panels)
  • José Maria Siciliana at Chantal Crousel Eclipse, 2006 (Oil on beeswax)
  • Marcel Broodthaers also at Chantal Crousel (One of my favorite artists)
  • Richard Prince at Gladstone (very tall black frames with the photos near the top)
  • Galleria Massimo de Carlo (I found their hand-written signs quite cute, but later realised that many people were doing) (nice website though)
  • Amikam Toren at Anthony Reynolds Last Drawings (the unpicked wire from spiral bound books as a drawing material)
  • Kai Kaiji The more I work the poorer I am
  • Atelier van Lieshout Minimal steel with rod …
  • Jacco Oliver at Victoria Miro (projection of animated paintings)
  • Charles Sandison at Yvon Lambert (projection of rearranging words)
  • Tomas Baumann (loop of rope)
  • Jiri Kolanda (little boxes on wall)
  • Jennifer and Kevin McColl Scary Things 1 (landscape model and small cameras picking words in the landscape to make (random?) sentences)
  • Jean-Marc Bustamente Trophée II (metal panels with cut holes to reveal coloured plastic) (again someone I paid attention to on my BA)
  • Nathaniel Rackone (corrugated panels opening and closing)
  • Tobias Rehberger at Bärbel Grässlin Orlando
  • Herbert Hinteregger Untitled 2006 (coloured sponges)
  • Wade Guyton (reminded me of the large glass)
  • Silke Schatz at Wilkinson St Gertrud, Köln 2006 (architectural/CAD line drawings)
  • Martina Steckholzer 2pm, Gloria
  • Geletin Hau (aerial photo of bunny made out of fabric (?) in landscape)
  • Tomas Ruff JPEG G101 (heavily compressed photos) (an idea I had wanted to develop myself, see my early attempt on youtube, but it has more meaning when he does it)
  • James Welling IPGI, IXTD, IVGB, IRDI (photos)
  • Luisa Lamburi Untitled. Melnikov House 2005 (photos of the windows of the house)
  • Gregor Schneider 4538km 2006 (architectural photo)
  • Gregor Schneider Cube Berlin 2006 (photo)
  • Yuko Shiraishi at Annely Juda Fine Art (glass boxes, why are you so fascinating?)
  • Christina Iglesias (iron and cement sculpture leaning against wall)
  • Eric Baudelaire Marée, Foundations (photos of half-finished constructions)
  • Rosemarie Trockel at Sprüth Magers Lee (I wrote down Monika Sprüth, but that must be a mistake) (another favourite)
  • Galerie Micheline Szwajcer

And from Zoo:

  • Jan Bünnig at Nice & Fit Mirror Ball (a big ball of tree bark, with a chunky chain) (crazy!)

Now that might be read as a value judgement, i.e. Frieze = more of interest = better show, but it’s more about the ratio of galleries in Frieze versus Zoo.

Thoughts about Frieze

Generalizing massively, there seemed to be a concentration of works incorporating precious materials to the left as you went in (Zobernig for one) and cigarette smoke to the right (not works incorporating smoke, just the smoke). It was also busier to the right, but that may have been due to the comparative density of the stands – and there seemed to be a slope down from right to left? The air conditioning was pretty useless, thank goodness it wasn’t a sunny day otherwise it would have been even more of a sauna in there (my cold may have had some effect on my impression of the heat though – possibly it was also affecting my balance and hence the impression of the slope).

Thoughts on Zoo

Much smaller and more manageable, and more intimate as well, less pressurized. Zoo restricts itself to galleries that are under 5 years old, so neatly differentiates itself from Frieze. Plus it’s in the zoo, how cool is that? With your ticket you get access to wander round the animal enclosures. It would be too easy to make parallels between a zoo and the fair—although they would probably apply better to Frieze—so I won’t.

Zoo seems to have more of a concern with the actual art developments taking place that their galleries are showing. The fact that they have produced the book the new art for the event shows some sort of commitment to analyzing their content.

As a bonus, this year The Hut Project were commissioned to create a series of “guided art-tours” to take place during the fair, which they promptly subverted by presenting each tour as an artwork created collaboratively between The Hut Project and the artist taking the tour. Each tour costs the visitor £250 and you receive a certificate at the end as authentication. I was fortunate enough to be able to go for free as Ian Evans of The Hut Project is also on my course at Goldsmiths. I had the choice of a tour round the fair looking at the art or the zoo looking at the architecture taken by Rob Tufnell of Ancient and Modern.

It was late in the day and the zoo had just shut, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. With the lack of people and dusk falling the animals all seemed to get much more active. We visited the Lubetkin Penguin Pool, which now holds the porcupines (?!), the tunnel under the road which used to have murals by someone I forget (although they have recently been painted over), the aquarium with with it’s water tanks built above it in the shape of a mountain for the goats, the Cedric Price Aviary, and the Lubetkin gorilla house, now housing the lemurs.

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FAIR—Frieze—Zoo—Regent’s Park, London by escdotdot is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International