An exhaustive review of Frieze Art Fair would be, well, exhausting. The fair is a glorious, awful spectacle and should be treated as such; largely random and nonsensical. Here, though, are just three reasons to join the throng.
A definite standout was the London-based Korean artist Do Ho Suh, recently taken on by Victoria Miro in London (though New York’s Lehmann Maupin also shipped in some pieces). He creates neon-bright mesh sculptures and installations of domestic space, fixtures and fittings, mostly his own and built to scale with all their inner workings on view: they are both ghostly presences and pop objects, and striking to look at (iPhones came out in abundance).
Sprüth Magers went big with new works from young American photographer and filmmaker Ryan Trecartin – giving most of their stand’s exterior walls over to his latest digital prints. Trecartin has built a reputation on his psychedelic, cut-up, collaged and darkly comic video art. And it is quite a reputation. The New Yorker’s Peter Schjeldahl has called Trecartin 'the most consequential artist to have emerged since the 1980s'. The stills somehow contain much of the dark energy of the video work.
The art fair open-stand model doesn’t easily allow for showing much in the way of video art but the Simon Preston gallery, based in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, darkened its stand to show work by the artist American artist Amie Siegel. In The Architects, Siegel has elegantly tracked her way through the offices of various New York practitioners; in The Modernists, she pulled together archive vintage Super-8 film of a couple of dedicated modern art tourists, dedicatedly touring through the 1960s to the 1980s.
Provenance, meanwhile, is a 40-minute film about the trade in furniture produced for Chandigarh, the Northern Indian city master-planned by Le Corbusier, tracking the trafficking back from wealthy European collectors to the sad, dusty metropolis itself. Her latest film is Double Negative, an elegant study of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in Poissy, France (and its exact copy, entirely in black, constructed in Canberra, Australia). Siegel has filmed both in 16mm black-and-white but here shows the reverse, so the Canberra copy is reborn in white and vice versa. Stuck away in a small box in a lonely corner, as far away from the chaotic stands of the mega-galleries, this was the highlight of the show.