What we Like
At Sluice_ (OXO Tower Wharf)
There are five floors to Sluice’s artfully distressed Bargehouse venue on Southbank. On the second one, don’t miss Look & Listen’s Black and White Project, an attractive group of small monochrome works by different artists – you can also buy the book or a limited edition from the series. Up in the attic in the new Sluice_screens section is an intriguing piece by Laura Pawela (with IMT Gallery), who has cut together mutilated frames from archive material she worked with as a film editor. Glimpses of footage, from people making pratfalls to scenes of war and unspecified landscapes, flash rapidly and mysteriously across the screen leaving you guessing as to where they came from.
Among the works shown at GalleryEll are paintings and works on paper by the New York-based artist Kirsten Nash. Nash draws on American minimalism and conceptual painting, with a reduced palette and attention to grids, lines, and simple geometries; but her small-scale paintings also have a crafted care, with a clear attention to material and space for happy accident.
Alex Meurice of Slate Projects has curated ‘There’s No Place Like Homebase’, a neatly constructed exhibition of works by Lewis Betts, Oliver Hickmet and Rae Hicks. There’s a smart interplay here between the build of the stand and the places that these artists show or evoke: a wall drawing by Betts is still drying on site, like a recently graffitied wall – but with an alluringly provisional quality. Rae Hicks paints images of buildings and houses that have a childlike simplicity – but on a large scale, and with a bold palette that endows them with a compelling surrealism.
At Sunday (Ambika P3)
This fair for young, emerging and ‘exciting’ artists is studiedly cool, taking over the industrial Ambika P3 space opposite Baker Street station – a stone’s throw from Frieze – with installations, time-based media works, photographs, sculptures and the occasional painting. Head to the mezzanine for the Editions section, where UK public galleries are showing prints (Bristol’s Spike Island is particularly strong), and seek out Catherine Biocca’s work at Jeanine Hofland for a witty take on sculpture past and present. Her life-sized reproductions of stone blocks complain loudly as a virtual sculptor chisels away at their shoulders.
At Frieze Masters
The stunning illuminated manuscripts at Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books’ stall. The most striking of these is the Liber Chronicarum, compiled in 1493 by Nuremburg physician Hartmann Schedel. It’s full of mesmerising colour, and uses innovative graphic shorthand to tell the Creation Story as Schedel saw it. Two of the plates here representing the origins of the Earth could be mistaken for pop art if you plonked them in a white cube space.
What we saw
Punk band Casual Sect and techno DJs competing to destroy our hearing at Zhang Ding’s weird and wonderful Enter the Dragon project at the ICA on Thursday night. Strobes flashed and feedback groaned while giant mirrored panels whirred round as the cacophony got louder, louder and louder still. Not one for the quieter art scholars, we suspect, but quite an experience nonetheless.
One gallerist, fresh out of the Frieze tent and very concerned about the wellbeing of Tunga’s Siamese Hair Twins, who have been wandering around the stands this week. ‘Where was their responsible adult?’
Hannah Perry’s projection at the Diesel Black Gold shop on Conduit Street, which was rather upstaged by the high-end clothing brand’s own… creative efforts. Taking pride of place in the shop’s basement was a pair of jeans that had been run over by a lorry. Quite what the point was is beyond us, but it seemed to impress the oh-so hip gathering that turned up for cocktails.