Frieze Art Fair 2010

Issue no4
augustus/september 2016
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20 Oktober 2010
CHARLIE

It's quite funny that at the Frieze this year out of all the thousands of exhibits our four favorites were all in your relatively short "low point' list of about 20 pieces. Of these we would have bought the David Harrison at Victoria Miro but it had already sold but we did buy what you described as 'pets and porn' by Philip-Lorca di Corcia at David Zwirner. This photograph was an edition of 8 at $25,000 each and by Saturday 5 had already sold. We bought the sixth.
With regard to the Mark Ryder it had sold for $950,000. Way out of our range but we did briefly fantasize about selling our apartment had it been available.
The fourth was the Ryan Mc Ginley also sold by the time we saw it on Saturday.
I am not sure what all this says about your taste or ours apart from the observation that if (God forbid) we all had to share a home together decisions on decor might be a little tricky.

20 Oktober 2010
Petra

Off course, you should have been there to experience the real impact of the art on display. So, whether your selection of low points and highlights is fair or not is hard to judge from the computer screen.
Personally, I rather like the knitted art made by Maria Nepomuceno. Your remark about 'art or craft' is something that can be discussed. I think the idea is no longer valid that craft can not be art. All through history, craft has been associated with feminity, and regarded as something inferior to art with a capital A.
I think it is about time to abandon these ideas, and be open-minded about art with crafts elements. It is too easy to associate it with knitting house-wifes. Knitting can be art and craft at the same time!

20 Oktober 2010
Alexander Mayhew

Charlie and Petra, thank you very much for your reactions. Charlie, as I mentioned in my article there was something to be had for everyone at Frieze and you appear to be living proof of that. I congratulate anyone who buys art and keeps the artworld on its feet in these rocky times. De gustibus non est disputandum, but in my opinion Philip Lorca DiCorcia has made more poignant works than the one shown at David Zwirner. The picture I call pets and porn comes across as slightly one-dimensional. At first glance it is extremely funny, but the joke wears off quickly. What we are then left with is a picture of complete loneliness and abandonment. That in itself is not a bad thing, and can be quite forceful. But for me at Frieze the work missed out on a significant context, being the other works from the series it belongs to. On it's own it felt uncomplete, lost and in my opinion superficial. Just an image among so many others to choose from (this goes for Ryan McGinley's work at Frieze as well).
Concerning Mark Ryder's work. Thank you for mentioning the price it was sold for, but unfortunately price does not equal quality. I do admit it would make things easier if it did. The thing I don't like about this work is that it only seems to reference itself. It is art for art's sake. Technically perfect, conceptually vacant. Many people will deem it pretty to look at. For them it will score high on decorative value. Personally I am not that interested in whether something will match the colour scheme of my house. I am interested in artists that critically look at the environments and societies they live in and in their work try to bring across insights that have not yet occurred to the viewer.
In that sense I have to agree with Petra when she mentions that my remark about art or craft is something that can be discussed. That is exactly why I added the words 'you decide'. Why I am not very enthousiastic about Nepomuceno's work is that in my opinion it also heavily depends on its decorative value. It is more charming than critical. A female artist that is more interesting in this respect is Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, who definitely walks the line between craft and art, masculinity and femininity and who does not shy away from decoration, but does not make it paramount.

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