ART FAIR REVIEW
TOP BOOTHS TO HAVE SEEN AT FRIEZE NEW YORK 2015
Gavin Brown's booth was devoted to Jonathan Horowitz's "700 Dots" project. For this work, the artist paid 700 participants $20 each to paint a neat black circle on a small white canvas (they were given very precise instructions). When it was complete, the entire collection of dot paintings was sold as a work of the artist. It offered fairgoers a quiet, highly focused moment in the bustle of the art fair and a fun atmosphere that was the talk of the preview. It also seemed to embody that high level of engagement that felt like the essence of Frieze this year.
Herald St., London
, a comment on consumerist culture and the fusion of art and design. Ida Ekblad's canvases A Day of Toil 8 (2014) and A Day of Toil 4 (2014) hung nearby. Ekblad used shopping carts in a Situationist-inspired series she calls "drift," for which she would wander through the city with a shopping cart collecting detritus. For the canvases in the booth, Ekblad carved poetry into the wheels of a shopping cart, covered them in paint, and then ran the carts over the canvases.
For its first outing at the fair, Pace brought a solo presentation of the work of Richard Tuttle, 12 drawings in a series called "Aspects" created in Maine in 2014-from materials including cardboard, maple wood, and furniture grade lacquer. But perhaps most intriguing about the presentation was the booth itself, which was also designed by Tuttle extending his exploration of form and texture from the sketchbook to the entire room. Masonite floors, turned right-side-up with black shiny Masonite dots exposed at the edges are true Tuttle and united the work with the room in an enveloping poetic experience.
At Clearing, a gallery based in Brooklyn and Brussels, roughly 40 small colorful works on paper by Calvin Marcus were hung in a single line at eye level. Each work in the series, which collectively was called "Military Man With Tongue Out" (2014-2015), portrayed a soldier in a grotesque and somewhat comedic manner at some stage of death or distress. The works, partly because of their materials-they're made with crayon and sharpie-evoke both childrens' drawings and ancient prints of Japanese samurai.
The booth of Overduin & Co. was filled with paintings (from her "News!" series) and recent sculpture of LA-based artist Math Bass. Bass takes cues from early sign painting to create paintings with tense interplay of positive and negative space that can verge on optical illusions. There's playful formal repetition of shapes and symbols found across her work-what looks like a cigarette in one painting appears in another painting to be a match, and in yet a third painting looks more like a smokestack. Perhaps attesting to Bass's up-and-coming-ness, surveying the booth was none-other than collector Mera Rubell.