Frieze London 2016 takes a nostalgic turn, as galleries look back to the Nineties

Frieze Art Fair in London
With a £3.5 million price tag, Anish Kapoor’s sculpture Red Stave, 2015, at Lisson Gallery, was the priciest artwork on offer at this year’s Frieze Art Fair in London.
(Image credit: Jack Hem)

‘Contemporary art is struggling to address real events in the art world right now,’ claimed Gregor Muir, executive director of the ICA, two weeks before Frieze opened. As co-curator of the fair’s talks programme, he chose the theme ‘Borderlands’ in a bid to galvanise this year’s speakers into exploring mental, physical and political boundaries.

Witnessing oversized mens’ trousers, pink plastic, Barbie-style detritus and sculptures made of scaffolding tubes, Muir’s words resonate. There are always lots of gimmicks at Frieze, but there’s good stuff too and Universal Design Studio – the fair’s architects – and the galleries, have gone to great lengths to make this year’s fair navigable and exciting. At the Modern Institute, recycled corrugated panels from Glasgow’s Tramshed are used by artist Martin Boyce as effective backdrops, while Hauser & Wirth tapped into the vogue for recreating the artist’s studio with a chaotic, fictional space filled with works by 46 practitioners.

Installation view of Hauser & Wirth’s ‘L’atelier d’artistes’ stand at Frieze.

Installation view of Hauser & Wirth’s ‘L’atelier d’artistes’ stand at Frieze. Courtesy of the artists, estates and Hauser & Wirth

(Image credit: Ken Adlard)

Applied arts headlined at Gagosian in the form of black and white ceramics by Edmund De Waal and at the Viennese Galerie Meyer Kainer artist Lucy McKenzie created furniture wrapped in oil canvases inspired by Ettore Sottsass and Memphis, and Adolf Loos. At Mother’s Tankstation, this year’s Frieze Artist Award winner, Yuri Pattison, evoked 1970s California with an installation that explores the workspace and communal campuses.

For the first time, Frieze looks back this year, to the 1990s. Fourteen galleries revisit seminal shows from what was an impactful decade. Galerie Buchholz has recreated the bookshop in Cologne where Wolfgang Tillmans first showed photographs pinned to the walls, while Thomas Dane’s focus is on Michael Landy’s exhibitions in warehouse spaces

Berlin galleries Esther Schipper and Johnen Galerie’s booth

Berlin galleries Esther Schipper and Johnen Galerie’s booth hosted works by Ryan Gander, Liam Gillick and AA Bronson. 

(Image credit: Andrea Rossetti)

German gallery Rüdiger Schöttle also looks back, to 1926 and the International Institute on Intellectual Cooperation, an advisory body that acted to unite a fragmented Europe (and of which Albert Einstein and Marie Curie were members). Visitors are encouraged to take a seat at a concrete table and discuss the pressing issues of the day. The first session was full – Muir might just be proved wrong.

Installation view of Blank Invitations, by Neha Choksi

Installation view of Blank Invitations, by Neha Choksi, 2016 at Mumbai gallery Project 88. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Project 88 and the artist)

Applied arts headlined at Gagosian in the form of black and white ceramics

Applied arts headlined at Gagosian in the form of black and white ceramics by Edmund De Waal. Courtesy of Frieze

(Image credit: Linda Nylind)

Frieze Art Fair London

Hauser & Wirth have gone for the more is more approach with its ‘L’atelier d’artistes’ stand, a tongue-in-cheek examination of the museological practice of reconstructing artist studios. The presentation, with its clumsily translated French title, is an exercise in cliché. Courtesy of the artists, estates and Hauser & Wirth. 

(Image credit: Ken Adlard)

Frieze Art Fair London

It brings together the work of numerous artists under the guise of a single artist’s atelier, including Louise Bourgeois, Richard Jackson, Martin Creed and Paul McCarthy. Courtesy of the artists, estates and Hauser & Wirth.

(Image credit: Ken Adlard)

Frieze Art Fair London

Berlin galleries Esther Schipper and Johnen Galerie draped their booth in Ryan Gander’s grey-curtain work General Studies, 2016. Other artists at the stand include Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Angela Bulloch, David Claerbout and Roman Ondak.

(Image credit: Andrea Rossetti)

General Studies, by Ryan Gander, 2016

General Studies, by Ryan Gander, 2016, holds court with Can Open Sapphire, by Angela Bulloch, 2016, at the Esther Schipper and Johnen Galerie stand.

(Image credit: Andrea Rossetti)

Frieze Art Fair London

From left: General Studies, by Ryan Gander, 2016; Reciprocal Platform, by Liam Gillick, 2003; White Flag #5, by AA Bronson, 2015; and Charted Temperature 1, 2016 at the Esther Schipper and Johnen Galerie stand.

(Image credit: Andrea Rossetti)

Frieze Art Fair London

Installation view at 303 Gallery. Pictured, from left: Hypothetisches Gebilde, by Alicja Kwade, 2016; Hot Mess: Aperture series, by Doug Aitken, 2016; The Bricks (A.), by Collier Schorr, 2013; and Your Head In My Eyes, by Eva Rothschild, 2015. Courtesy of Frieze

(Image credit: Linda Nylind)

Back of Snowman (pictured in foreground), by Gary Hume 2016

Back of Snowman (pictured in foreground), by Gary Hume 2016 on view at the Sprüth Magers booth. Courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers. Courtesy of Frieze

(Image credit: Linda Nylind)

Frieze Art Fair London

Pace’s booth at Frieze included works by Robert Rauschenberg, Lee Ufan, Nige Cooke, teamLab, Leo Villareal, Michal Rovner, Brent Wadden, Francis Gray, Adam Pendleton, Kevin Francis Grray and Prabahavathi Meppayil.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Pace Gallery)

Cave Girl (left), by Kevin Francis Gray, 2016 at the Pace booth

Cave Girl (left), by Kevin Francis Gray, 2016 at the Pace booth. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Pace Gallery)

Installation view of the Pace booth.

Installation view of the Pace booth

(Image credit: Courtesy of Pace Gallery)

An ending and a beginning A-2, by Neha Choksi, at Project 88.

An ending and a beginning A-2, by Neha Choksi, at Project 88. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist and Project 88)

Kleine Welle, by Wolfgang Tillmans, 2015, on view at Maureen Paley.

Kleine Welle, by Wolfgang Tillmans, 2015, on view at Maureen Paley.

(Image credit: © the artist. Courtesy of Maureen Paley, London)

Elevator To Culturefield, by Ryan Gander, 2016, on view at Esther Schipper.

Elevator To Culturefield, by Ryan Gander, 2016, on view at Esther Schipper.

(Image credit: . Courtesy of the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin)

Equilibrium (umph, ohwh, ah, clk clk), by Anne Hardy, 2016, at Maureen Paley.

Equilibrium (umph, ohwh, ah, clk clk), by Anne Hardy, 2016, at Maureen Paley. 

(Image credit: © the artist. Courtesy of Maureen Paley, London)

Abstract Expressionist Still Life, by Peter Saul, 2016.

Abstract Expressionist Still Life, by Peter Saul, 2016. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London)

Self Portrait as The Opium Smoker

Self Portrait as The Opium Smoker (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), by Raqib Shaw, 2016, at the White Cube booth. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of White Cube)

Untitled #581 (left), and Untitled #579, by Cindy Sherman, 2016 at Sprüth Magers

Untitled #581 (left), and Untitled #579, by Cindy Sherman, 2016 at Sprüth Magers. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist, Sprüth Magers and Metro Pictures)

Frieze Art Fair London

Better Lives: Richard Belalufu, by Sue Williamson, 2003, at Goodman Gallery

(Image credit: press)

Pavillon For International Institute Of Intellectual 2016

German gallery Rüdiger Schöttle looks back to 1926 and the International Institute on Intellectual Cooperation, an advisory body that acted to unite a fragmented Europe. Visitors are encouraged to take a seat at a concrete table and discuss the pressing issues of the day. 

(Image credit: Copyright Sebastiano Pellion di Persano. Courtesy of Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle)

Frieze Art Fair London

Galerie Chantal Crousel featured works by Melik Ohanian, Zheng Guogu, Reena Spaulings, and Wade Guyton.

(Image credit: Courtesy Linda Nylind/Frieze)

Frieze Art Fair London

Installed in the 1990s section of Frieze, Sylvie Fleury’s pioneering work A Journey to Fitness or How to Lose 30 Pounds In Under Three Weeks is being presented collaboratively by Mehdi Chouakri, Salon 94, and Sprüth Magers. The installation was first shown in Aperto 1993 at the Venice Biennale. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Sprüth Magers)

Installation view of an immersive, interactive environment conceived by new media collective teamLab, at Pace.

Installation view of an immersive, interactive environment conceived by new media collective teamLab, at Pace

(Image credit: Courtesy of Pace Gallery)

Frieze Art Fair London

Installation view of Galerie Meyer Kainer’s booth, which brought together works by Kaya, Laurent Dupont and Lucy McKenzie. 

(Image credit: Courtesy Linda Nylind/Frieze)

Frieze London White Cube

White Cube displayed works by Michael Armitage, Georg Baselitz, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Theaster Gates, Andreas Gursky, Mona Hatoum, Magnus Plessen and Liu Wei at its booth. 

(Image credit: George Darrell)

Frieze London White Cube

Pictured centre, Electrified (variable II), by Mona Hatoum, 2014, at the White Cube booth. Courtesy of White Cube.

(Image credit: George Darrell)

Installation view of the White Cube stand.

Installation view of the White Cube stand. Courtesy of White Cube

(Image credit: George Darrell)

INFORMATION

Frieze London runs from 6 until 9 October. For more information, visit the Frieze website (opens in new tab)

ADDRESS

Regent's Park
London NW1 4NR

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Emma O'Kelly is a contributing editor at Wallpaper*. She joined the magazine on issue 4 as news editor and since since then has worked in full and part time roles across many editorial departments. She is a freelance journalist based in London and works for a range of titles from Condé Nast Traveller to The Telegraph. She is currently working on a book about Scandinavian sauna culture and is renovating a mid century house in the Italian Lakes.