This year Frieze New York brings together more than 190 galleries from 30 countries on Randall’s Island Park. Of note is a large-scale outdoor work by Kapwani Kiwanga, the winner of the first-ever Frieze Artist Award; a new “Live” platform of performances and interactive installations; and a specially curated section by Matthew Higgs that focuses on the contributions of the gallerist Hudson.
Whitewaller spoke with the fair’s artistic director, Loring Randolph, about what to expect from the 2018 edition.
WHITEWALLER: Kapwani Kiwanga is the recipient of the inaugural Frieze Artist Award. Can you tell us about what to expect from her installation at the fair, Shady?
LORING RANDOLPH: Shady will be a large-scale outdoor screen constructed on the grounds of Frieze New York. Kiwanga uses shade cloth, a thin, porous, and transparent material, with similar traits to the properties of skin, as the basis of the structure. The screen will obstruct movement and may flatten the appearance of those who move around it into simply their silhouettes. These traits address notions of social barriers like the building of border walls, issues of race, land use, and other societal structures of exclusion. I am hopeful that Kiwanga’s work will suggest its own subtle and beautiful dissolution.
WW: This year also features a new “Live” platform of performances and installations. Why was the fair interested in incorporating this more engaging kind of programming?
LR: “Live” adds an important dimension to the fair by enabling the appreciation and support of contemporary art in all its forms— expanding the range of artists and content able to be represented in the fair context and creating dynamic experiences for fairgoers.
WW: Matthew Higgs is curating the fair’s first-ever themed section. What will we see there, and what do you think this kind of focus adds to the overall fair?
LR: “For Your Infotainment” will be dedicated to the legacy of the late dealer Hudson and his seminal New York gallery, Feature Inc. Fiercely independent, Hudson was revered for following his own vision, independent of wider art-world trends. This section will feature artists who received their gallery debuts with Hudson, or who had a long history with Feature Inc. in the 1980s and ’90s, like Tom of Finland at David Kordansky, Takashi Murakami at Gagosian, and Raymond Pettibon at David Zwirner. It brings a New York story and history to the fair and reinforces a sense of collectiveness that the fair can uniquely provide among dealers and the greater art world.
WW: How will Spotlight, curated by Toby Kamps, be expanding this year?
LR: This year’s Spotlight section will feature 35 presentations—more than twice the number of galleries we started with in 2015.
Highlights include rare bodies of work by established figures, such as Roberts Projects’ group of feminist, Afro-centric works by American assemblage and collage artist Bettye Saar. Created for the Festac 77 international festival of black art in Lagos, Nigeria, the works will be on view for the first time since 1977. Other highlights include Paul Kos’s and William Leavitt’s playful and irreverent forms of Conceptual art; diverse interpretations of Pop art by American painter Allan D’Arcangelo, British filmmaker and collage artist Jeff Keen, the Spanish photographer and object maker Darío Villalba; and new and iconoclastic forms of expression in the postwar period by Japanese artists Kazuyo Kinoshita, Atsuko Tanaka, Keiji Uematsu, and Eiji Uematsu.
WW: Outside the fair, what are you looking forward to seeing in New York this spring?
LR: Zoe Leonard’s survey exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art is a must-see on my list. Her work will also be on view at Frieze New York, presented by Galleria Raffaella Cortese from Milan. In addition, the multimedia exhibition “Radical Women: Latin American Art” at the Brooklyn Museum is both timely and significant in its revaluation of the contributions to Latin American history of women artists from the 1960s to 1980s.