Buying art (or anything else for that matter) has now become the new normal, amid the current health crisis. If maybe they were that some two months ago, the online viewing rooms are not a novelty anymore. Spearheaded by Art Basel, who introduced them in support of the Hong Kong edition exhibitors, it is now being offered by another world-class fair, Frieze.
Officially opened to the public on May 8 after the VIP previews of May 6, 7, and running through May 15, the Frieze Viewing Room New York 2020 is virtually offering works by more than 200 top-tier galleries. After the cancellation of the physical fair, Frieze refunded 100% of the fees to the participants and offered them a free access to the viewing room, with the opening days being fairly successful.
The Frieze Viewing Room, which you can now access after registration, offers filtering by galleries and artworks, and features their traditional sectors such as Main, Focus, Frame and Spotlight. You can also filter by artist gender, for instance, as well as price range and medium.
While it would seem that most of the artworks sold during the Frieze New York VIP Previews fall into the $100,000-$500,000 range, we were curious to see the more pricey ones; upon some inspection, the museum-quality pieces over $1 million that are already sold are those by artists such as George Condo, (Hauser & Wirth) and Leon Kossoff (Piano Nobile).
This example of a steel artwork from the 2012 Curvae series was made by Beverly Pepper, who died earlier this year at the age of 97. Each over a meter in height, it stands as a fine example of Pepper’s pioneering work with cortex steel, which she perfected in Italy, allowing her to develop the concept of “earthbound sculpture”, abstract structures that rise from the ground as if a part of them, yet in a sort of a juxtaposition with them.
Curvae In Curvae is offered at Marlborough, $650,000.
Featured image: Beverly Pepper - Curvae In Curvae, 2013. Cor-Ten Steel, 106.73'' X 118.11'' x 90.75'' (271.1 cm x 300 cm x 230.5 cm). Ed. 3/3. Courtesy Marlborough.
Gertrude Goldschmidt, better known under her adopted name of Gego, created works that investigated the relationship between form and space; these often resulted in geometric abstractions based on mathematical formulas and forms found in nature. In Drawings Without Paper, created between 1976 and 1987, Gego gives life to lines made of wire or other materials that are arranged on a plane, hung at a short distance from a wall. As such, these pieces function as three-dimensional drawings, kinetic sculptures, wall paintings, all at once.
Dibujo Sin Papel 14/79 is offered at Henrique Faria Fine Art's viewing room, $500k-1m.
Featured image: Gego - Dibujo Sin Papel 14/79, 1979. Metal and Wire, 17.24'' x 17.72'' (43.8 cm x 45 cm). Courtesy Henrique Faria Fine Art.
Portraits made by Alice Neel are some of my all-time favorite artworks; the way she conveys intimacy and the emotions of her sitters while masterfully evoking brushwork and color palette never fails to amaze. Neel portrayed family, friends, neighbors, fellow artists, writers, activists. Veronica depicts the granddaughter of one of José Santiago Negron's wives. The painter lived with Negron between 1935 and 1939, and she stayed connected with Negron's family in New York following their separation.
Veronica is offered at David Zwirner's viewing room, $550,000.
Featured image: Alice Neel - Veronica, 1980. Oil on Canvas, 20.98'' x 15'' (53.3 cm x 38.1 cm). Courtesy David Zwirner.
The four bilaterally symmetrical panels titled Myriads, Only By Dark (Unfolded Body Map, Mathematics Of Droves, Indigine, Origin) belong to Julie Mehretu, an artist known for her dense paintings often built on maps, diagrams, and graphs. Originally conceived as four separate artworks, these prints offer a visual representation of something the artist herself calls ”self-ethnography”, showing effects of history, heritage and geography on the formation of personal identity.
Julie Mehretu - Myriads, Only By Dark (Unfolded Body Map, Mathematics Of Droves, Indigine, Origin) is offered at White Cube's viewing room, $550,000
Featured image: Julie Mehretu - Myriads, Only By Dark (Unfolded Body Map, Mathematics Of Droves, Indigine, Origin), 2014. Multi-Colored Aquatint and Spit Bite on Hahnemühle Museum Etching 450 Gsm, 81.26'' x 180.71'' (206.4 cm x 459 cm). Edition 8 of 30. Courtesy White Cube.
This quote by Karen Kilimnik herself might best describe the work we see above:
I like to make up characters myself as if I'm a playwright and these are characters and scenes I invented or observed...
Indeed, Kilimnik’s art blends a myriad of romantic tradition and pop culture influences together, from pop music and film, to fashion, time-travel, witchcraft. In this work, we see the artist with a dog which she apparently stole, hanging out at London’s Regent’s Park.
Karen Kilimnik - Me - Stole Martha - Paul’s Dog - Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park, London is offered at 303 Gallery's viewing room, $600,000.
Featured image: Karen Kilimnik - Me - Stole Martha - Paul’s Dog - Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park, London, 1965, 2004. Water Soluble Oil Color on Canvas, 24.02'' x 20'' (61 cm x 50.8 cm). Courtesy 303 Gallery.
A famous Turkish artist, Fahrelnissa Zeid was also a teacher at the Fahrelnissa Zeid Institute in Jordan. In this painting, we see one of her favorite students, Janset Berkok Shami, wearing traditional clothing of her culture. For this portrait, Zeid focused on color and form, juxtaposing the purple cloths against a stark green background. Janset Berkok Shami even wrote an entire book about 16 years of their close friendship.
Janset Berkok Shami is offered at Dirimart's viewing room, $500k-1m.
Featured image: Fahrelnissa Zeid - Janset Berkok Shami, 1980-1990. Oil on Canvas, 62.87'' x 40.35'' (159.7 cm x 102.5 cm). Courtesy Dirimart