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Adrian Paci, Per Speculum (detail), 2006

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London Art Fairs
October 3-16, 2007

The art world looks to London this fortnight, where a string of high-profile auctions and the Frieze Art Fair determine the newest trends in contemporary art. Competing with Frieze for the limelight, upstart fringe fairs like the Zoo Art Fair, Year_07, and PULSE expose younger, emerging galleries and artists to the throngs of collectors and curators. We discuss the highlights at each of the fairs, including Tony Swain's mysterious newspaper paintings at Frieze, and get a preview of the site-specific Frieze Projects from curator Neville Wakefield. Surveying the global scene, we review the Phaidon tome Ice Cream, whose pages encapsulate an art fair of their own, and we recommend quietly subversive exhibitions from Xiaoze Xie, Cecil Balmond, and Chitra Ganesh.

Plan for WTC Towers Revealed
(Architect's Newspaper, September 20)
Silverstein Properties unveiled the final designs for World Trade Center Towers 2, 3, and 4 — now known as 200, 175, and 150 Greenwich Street, respectively. In a plan that will reshape both Manhattan's skyline and city life on the ground, the three buildings, designed by Foster + Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and Maki and Associates, will all connect to a performing arts center and transit hub while surrounding a 9/11 memorial. The buildings will also house public art and new public walkways. Developers are hoping to break ground within the next four months.

Pope Art Raises Controversy
(Herald Sun, September 21)
It's a surefire way to start an artistic contretemps: make fun of the Pope. The Roman Catholic bishop of Ibiza has demanded that a collage by artist Ivo Hendriks, Vamos a Ibiza (Let's Go to Ibiza), be removed from an exhibition of 15 Dutch artists in a former church in the Spanish vacation hotspot. Hendriks' piece portrays late pontiff John Paul II being sodomized. In a related story, Italian artist Paolo Schmidlin's sculpture of reigning Pope Benedict XVI depicts the head of the Catholic Church seminude in pantyhose. The work, titled Miss Kitty, was to be part of an exhibition on art and homosexuality, but so offended the mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti, that the entire show was cancelled.

"Judgment Week" for London Auctions
(Wall Street Journal, September 22)
Will the bubble burst? That's the question on dealers' and buyers' minds as a large number of works go on the block during Frieze Week at the beginning of October in London. Art-market watchers see the London auctions as a global barometer and have thus also dubbed the period "Judgment Week." Jussi Pylkkanen, president of Christie's Europe, has said that the prominence of the London fall auctions — not sellers' skittish concerns about a market collapse — is what's leading to such a high number of pieces being sold at one time. In a related story, Christie's and Sotheby's expect that their forthcoming auctions will pull in $292.4 million — 90% more than they did a year ago, even as bonuses on Wall Street and in London have dipped.

Art:21 Preps New Season
(PBS, September 26)
The premier television show devoted to contemporary art, Art:21 — Art in the Twenty-First Century is launching its fourth season. Airing on PBS on October 28, November 4, 11, and 18 at 10pm, the new shows will spotlight the work of 17 artists, including Nancy Spero, Robert Adams, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Lari Pittman, and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. The show's website has a listing of current exhibits by the featured artists as well as info on previous seasons, which are available on DVD for those who missed them the first time around. The Art:21 blog lists current and upcoming activities of featured artists and nationwide previews of the upcoming season at major cultural institutions.

Debate over Martin Luther King Jr. memorial widens more »

French president opens new architecture museum in Paris more »

Richard Prince readies his Guggenheim retrospective more »

Herzog & de Meuron snag lucrative Praemium Imperiale prize more »

On eBay, the prank is on Banksy more »

Blowback on Barnes Foundation's move more »

After winning the right to show Christoph Büchel's work, MASS MoCA will dismantle it more »

Plea to save Iraq's modern art more »

Tate Modern pulls in record number of visitors more »

Fashion and money support Aaron Young performance more »

Public support for graf grows in the UK more »

Israel inaugurates the Herzliya Biennial more »

A look at Polshek Partnership's three new media buildings more »

Aleksandra Mir explains her news flash more »

British artist arrested for "insulting" Turkish Prime Minister more »

Curators flocking to the business side of the art trade more »

Michael Rakowitz on heating the homeless and importing Iraqi dates more »

Records set at New York Asian art auctions more »

Spain preps new wing of Prado more »

Navigating the fall's biggest art fairs more »

Up close with the Walker's new director, Olga Viso more »

Getty video installation transports visitors to France more »

Cal State LA shows self-portraits by 16 young female photographers and video artists more »

China readies its tallest building more »

Note: Some online publications require registration to access the articles. If you encounter a registration screen, try akreader1 as the username and password.

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[ Fringe of the Frieze ]


Olivier Richon / Grete Jalk / Bradley Castellanos / Julianne Rose

Since its debut in 2003, the Frieze Art Fair has grown to be one of the world's biggest contemporary art events and has bolstered London's rising status as an art destination. Rivaling the main fair, a number of satellite events spring up during Frieze Week, hoping to draw on the same massive audiences to promote more alternative artists, galleries, and projects.

The Zoo Art Fair began in 2004 as a forum for young London galleries and has since expanded into a full-blown international mixer — this year with 61 exhibitors hailing from cities from Birmingham to Tokyo. This elder statesman of the alternative fairs is sponsored in part by the Saatchi Gallery (named one of the "Honorary Zoo Keepers") and takes over the Royal Academy of Arts this year to showcase galleries like London's own Blow de la Barra, Rio de Janeiro's artist-run A Gentil Carioca, and Los Angeles' Chinatown spaces Chung King Project and the Happy Lion. Zoo also presents special exhibitions featuring the dark, comic paintings of American Jason Fox and unsettling watercolors by British artist David Lock.

The New York- and Miami-based PULSE Art Fair arrives in London for the first time this year and, true to its roots, displays American and international galleries in the Mary Ward House. Look out for LA's Shoshana Wayne, home of Shirley Tse — known for her obsessive Styrofoam installations — and New York new-media stalwart bitforms, repping Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Alexander Ochs Gallery's new outpost White Space Beijing hosts highly collectible photographer Rong Rong and his partner Inri.

Year_06, the "project-based art fair," heads to Southbank's historic County Hall for its second edition, Year_07. Organized by Keith Talent gallery, Year_07 features up-and-coming galleries like London's Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, showing an epic, surreal animation by Heather & Ivan Morison; g-module, a Parisian outpost for edgy Americans like doodler Scott Teplin; and London's Carter Presents, displaying graf-painter Will Tuck and conceptualist Katie Paterson, who once invited gallery viewers to hear a melting Icelandic glacier by phone.

Also promoting overlooked galleries, the Bridge Art Fair takes over the rooms of the Trafalgar Hotel with more than 60 exhibitors. Many deal in established names like Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring, but others, like Miami's Hardcore Art Contemporary, go farther afield with Latin American artists such as Juan-Si González and Andres Michelena.

DesignArt London provides the first form-and-function supplement to art for art's sake. At Hanover Square, 20 leading design galleries present a timeline of postwar design, leading from Le Corbusier and Jean Prouvé to Marc Newson and Zaha Hadid. Hidden treats include Pearl Lam's Contrasts Gallery, with witty twists on Orientalist furniture courtesy of designers Peter Ting and André Dubreuil.

With all the price tags and "sold" stickers fluttering through the air, it's refreshing to see one fair where nothing can be bought: the Free Art Fair. Conceived by artist Jasper Joffe and held at the Portman Village, the fair displays works by artists like Bob & Roberta Smith — who offer a bottle of urine, apparently — and critic Matthew Collings, only to give them away on the last day (queuing required). As all these "alternative" events grow more established with every passing year, it's interesting to see which subversive happenings will rise to the surface next. (SC)

The Frieze Art Fair, Year_07, DesignArt London, Bridge Art Fair, and PULSE are on view October 11-14. The Zoo Art Fair runs from October 12-15, and getting an early start, the Free Art Fair is on from October 8-14. For more information on cultural events in London, check out our sister publication Flavorpill London.

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Xiaoze Xie

Gaain Gallery
Now through October 7

  Chinese-born painter Xiaoze Xie has been painting stacks, piles, and library shelves of newspapers and books since the '90s. At Seoul's Gaain Gallery, dramatically lit digital prints of burning Chinese volumes — evoking Mao Zedong's book-burning campaign — hang side-by-side with paintings from Xie's ongoing projects The Silent Flow of Daily Life and Chinese Library. Xie's grey-hued still lifes, based on the artist's photographs, depict inert bundles of Chinese newspapers, their accumulating pages representing the transition of news into history. The shredded and frayed pages in Chinese Library No. 36 are a historical record of another kind; the books are housed in a Beijing university library, where they were damaged in a move during the Japanese invasion of the '30s and '40s. (HGM)

Allison Miller
Los Angeles

Now through October 20

  UCLA grad Allison Miller employs a mature sense of space in the eight abstract paintings in her second solo exhibition at LA's ACME. gallery. Simultaneously simple and complex, funny and serious, the works admit earnest deliberation, with hints of personal narrative, as colorful loops meet rigid shapes and intricate details fade into blank canvas. The textured, black-and-grey painting Dinneratthepalms is interrupted by large rainbow-striped triangles. In Gold Band, a field of white makes way for a pile of oblong, cartoonish swatches of murky hues, held in place by a crowd of crosshatches and a bright blue rectangle in the canvas' upper-left corner. Like the work of her contemporaries Amy Sillman and Matt Connors, Miller's loopy brushstrokes and quirky titles exude spontaneity and youth. (LK)

10° 00 S / 76° 00 W
São Paolo

Galeria Leme
Now through October 13

  10° 00 S / 76° 00 W (Lima's geographical coordinates) unites ten artists born or based in Peru. Exploring the influence of this specific locale on cultural production in the unbounded cyberspace age, Galeria Leme's group show presents both disparate and overlapping works. Philippe Gruenberg's reverent but subdued color photographs of empty soccer stadiums and training quarters contemplate the beloved Peruvian pastime; in contrast, fellow Lima resident Miguel Aguirre's JonBenét Ramsey-themed canvas demonstrates the language of globalization. The black-and-white drawings in Colombian Raimond Chaves' Untitled/Lima Series mimic modernist architectural iconography, and LA-born Gilda Mantilla's drawings betray a similar fascination with emblems, but take their cues from representations of femininity and contemporary Peruvian history. (SK)

Cecil Balmond: The Frontiers of Architecture

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Now through October 21

  Applying chaos theory to structural engineering, Cecil Balmond has been steadily reshaping contemporary architecture from within. In his position at engineering firm Arup, Balmond pushes starchitects like Rem Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron, and Daniel Libeskind to apply a new structural approach based on knots, twists, and curves rather than straight lines. This exhibition, which launches the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art's series on experimental architecture, traces the origins and expressions of Balmond's vision. The viewer moves from the mathematics of chaos and mesmerizing projections of fractals to the real-world manifestations of Balmond's ideas, including the much-anticipated CCTV tower and the National Stadium, both in Beijing. Across a diverse range of architectural projects, Balmond's engineering exerts not only continuity, but also generates a tantalizing new direction for contemporary architecture. (BR)

Chitra Ganesh

Haas & Fischer
Now through October 20

  With the female figure at center stage in her first European solo show, New York-based painter Chitra Ganesh displays an incredible versatility in a range of mediums. The figure of the junglee, an Indian term for women who transgress social norms, plays an important role in Ganesh's drawings, where cursive text melds into fragmented and often bloodied body parts. All 21 parts of her comic-book saga Tales of Amnesia are presented alongside the mixed-media wall mural Her Accident. Ganesh's sprawling purple mural bursts off the wall, as swirling braids from two female heads — adorned with bejeweled eyeballs — drop out of the painting. The photographic triptych Hidden Trails, meanwhile, shows a nude figure in the jungle sporting a gruesome mask and red lace underwear. (MS)

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[ Tony Swain ]

Tony Swain

Tony Swain explodes the familiar cut-and-paste procedure of collage into an expansive practice of over-painting, montaging, and repeating images. Constructing alien landscapes from snippets of the familiar, this Northern Ireland-born painter works almost exclusively with acrylic on newsprint paper. This newsprint ground is essential to Swain's practice; the material is both cheap and fragile, and the instantly aging detritus is pregnant with the histories of industrialization and avant-garde modernism. Following Pablo Picasso and George Braque's synthetic cubism and Dada collage, Swain's use of newsprint not only encapsulates the lineage of the material, but also often works within the natural dimensions of its outspread pages. Unlocked from newspaper banality, words, images, and advertisements are reconfigured to reveal imagistic drama.

Swain's characteristic style is the result of a complete change in his practice. An alum of the Glasgow School of Art, Swain originally painted figurative works and still lifes in oils. He soon succumbed to the feeling that he had exhausted this subject matter and took a radical turn towards hallucinatory landscapes and surreal interiority. With the inventiveness of a lyricist (Swain also plays in a band, Hassle Hound), the artist developed abstract titles like Gunfight of the Mind, and Still Travels in Stormtime that provide entry points for his mysterious images. (ILY)

Tony Swain's work is on view in the Scottish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale through November 21. London’s Herald St is exhibiting his work at the Frieze Art Fair from October 11 to 14 and in an upcoming solo show at the gallery, which opens on November 17.

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[ Neville Wakefield ]


Richard Wathen / Raymond Pettibon / Larry Clark / Takashi Murakami

The Frieze Art Fair has helped transform London from a city of significant artists and successful galleries to a thriving art capital that rivals New York. In the past five years, the fair has become a major international art event — not just because of the quality of participating galleries, but also due to intelligent, engaging programs. Artkrush editor Paul Laster talks to Neville Wakefield, curator of Frieze Projects and Frieze Film, about the special fair activities taking place this year.
AK: Why do you think the directors of the Frieze Art Fair tapped you to curate Frieze Projects and Frieze Film?

NW: Apart from my suspicion that they were suffering temporary delusions, I think it was because my interests tend to take me to places where boundaries blur and distinctions between art and commerce, pop and rarified culture, and so on start to disintegrate. In many ways, the fair represents exactly that kind of space.

AK: Every year Frieze commissions artists to create site-specific works in and around the fair. This year Richard Prince, Elín Hansdóttir, Kris Martin, Gianni Motti, Lara Favaretto, and Janice Kerbel have been chosen. I'm a fan of several of the selected artists, but especially Gianni Motti. What will he be doing?

NW: Motti's project for Frieze can be seen as a continuation of his interest in institutions of power and authority. He wanted to do something that reflected the politics of the times and explored how our notions of security and fear are intertwined, both at a micro level within the fair and within the greater climate of terrorism and threat. To this end, he's going to show policemen practicing yoga. The idea is that they will be suspending their duties in order to maintain inner peace.

AK: You've also commissioned Oliver Payne & Nick Relph, Wilhelm Sasnal, David Shrigley, and Kara Walker to create films for the fair. Sasnal, known mainly as a painter, seems the odd man out; what kind of films does he make?

keep reading the interview »

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  Ice Cream: Contemporary Art in Culture
Sergio Edelsztein, Jens Hoffmann, Lisette Lagnado, et al.
Phaidon Press

Surveying some of the most innovative art being made today, Ice Cream presents the work of 100 emerging artists and ten influential source artists, such as John Baldessari and Cildo Meireles, chosen by ten international curators. Whitney Museum of American Art curator Shamim Momin's picks include Sue de Beer, who creates psychological video installations, and ragtag sculptor Gedi Sibony. Russian critic and curator Olesya Turkina chose fellow countrymen Vladimir Dubosarsky and Alexander Vinogradov, a duo making pop paintings, and photographer/filmmaker Yevgeniy Yufit, founder of the Leningrad necrorealism art movement. Meanwhile, the Wrong Gallery curatorial team — Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni, and Ali Subotnick — selected sexagenarian-and-older artists who recently re-emerged, including photorealist painter Robert Bechtle and urban photographer Michael Schmidt. Beautifully illustrated, this exhibition-in-a-book provides four pages of text and reproductions for each artist, while the transcript of an online chat between the curators introduces their wide range of philosophical approaches to the selection process. (PL)

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Cover Art
Adrian Paci
Per Speculum, 2006
31 1/2 x 47 1/4 in./ 80 x 120 cm
Featured in Frieze Art Fair, London
Courtesy francesca kaufmann, Milan
All Rights Reserved

Paul Laster

Deputy Editor
Bryony Roberts

News Editor
Greg Zinman

Reviews Editor
H.G. Masters

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Shana Nys Dambrot
Allison Kave
Sarah Kessler
Doug Levy
Andrew Maerkle
Mark Mangan
Marlyne Sahakian
Peter Stepek

Samantha Culp
Leila Khastoo
Isla Leaver-Yap
Lauren Mckee

Mailer Design
Jessica Bauer-Greene
Mark Barry

Anna S. Altman
Anjuli Ayer
Morgan Croney
Teel Lassiter
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Artkrush is a twice-monthly email magazine, featuring current news, people, and events in the international art community. All stories and links are pure editorial, never paid advertisements.

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