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’90s nostalgia is everywhere – and it’s coming for the art world next

30 June 2016

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Trainspotting 2 is on the cards, crop tops are reportedly back in fashion and a Clinton is once again running for the White House. Truly, this ’90s revival is so convincing that the Rake wonders when Francis Fukuyama is going to declare ‘the end of history’ again.

Nor has the supposedly forward-looking art world remained immune to that decade’s charms. With the likes of the New Museum’s ‘NYC 1993’ show and ‘Récit d’un temps court’ at Geneva’s MAMCO, it’s starting to feel as though we’ve accidentally strolled into Austen Powers’ time machine.

It is with great enthusiasm then that Rakewell can reveal that the Frieze Art Fair is getting on board with the fin-de-siècle nostalgia. Announcing its London edition this autumn, the fair let slip details of a new section entitled ‘The 90s’, which will transport us back to the time when Slotover, Sharp, et al. were the hip young gunslingers of yore.

But don’t get your Spiceworld tour T-shirt out just yet. The idea is for galleries to ‘revisit seminal exhibitions’ from the decade, including Massimo de Carlo gallery’s ‘Aperto ’93’ (which featured the talents of Maurizio Cattelan and Carsten Höller) and Wolfgang Tillmans’ 1993 Daniel Buchholz show. Also featured are recreations of Richard Billingham’s ‘Ray’s a Laugh’ at the Anthony Reynolds gallery in 1996 and Pierre Joseph’s ‘Characters to be reactivated’, created between 1991 and 1995.

It’s as if the Millennium never chimed. All we need now is Damien Hirst doing something unspeakable with a lit cigarette and it will be the art world’s answer to a Vengaboys tribute evening.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via@Rakewelltweets.