Top 10 |Frieze London 2017



DAVID KORDANSKY | Will BooneWill Boone Optimo, 2017, David Kordansky Photography: Lee Thompson Courtesy of Karma, New York, NY and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Generating content from an unlikely array of sources, including punk subcultures, industrial manufacturing processes, and the visual vernaculars of cattle ranches and barrooms, Boone makes works whose concision and graphic power is matched by their palpable physicality. The paintings on view at Frieze this year, for exemple, represent the culmination of a series in which Boone uses stencils to create compositions inspired in part by sigils, rune-like symbols employed in esoteric rituals. Combining all the letters of a word into a single compressed form, sigils are a kind of writing designed to circumvent the conscious mind and appeal to talent, no rational forces. In these works, however, even the original letters are often barely discernible, and in several cases they are obscured altogether. Boone has instead begun to incorporate other materials and objects into their surfaces, employing resin, for instance, as both a painterly medium and an adhesive for the cloth like flags, made from vinyl and nylon, that make an appearance in each work. Will boone, Texas-born and Los Angeles-based artist, will have his firts solo exhibition at David Kordansky in June 2018. Other recent solo exhibiotions include shows at Karma, New York (2017) and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2014).

David Kordansky

TOMMASO CORVI-MORA | Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

TOMMASO CORVI-MORA | Lynette Yiadom-BoakyeLynette Yiadom-Boakye, Complication,” 2013, Courtesy of the artist, Corvi-Mora, London, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Yiadom-Boakye was born in 1977 in London, where she is currently based. She attended Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Falmouth College of Arts and the Royal Academy Schools. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s oil paintings focus on fictional figures that exist outside of specific times and places. Her paintings are rooted in traditional formal considerations such as line, color, and scale, and can be self-reflexive about the medium itself, but the subjects and the way in which the paint is handled is decidedly contemporary. Yiadom- Boakye’s paintings are typically completed in a day to best capture a single moment or stream of consciousness. Her predominantly black cast of characters often attracts attention. In a recent interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist in Kaleidoscope, she explained, “Race is something that I can completely manipulate, or reinvent, or use as I want to. Also, they’re all black because…I’m not white.” However Yiadom-Boakye maintains, “People are tempted to politicize the fact that I paint black figures, and the complexity of this is an essential part of the work. But my starting point is always the language of painting itself and how that relates to the subject matter.” Yiadom-Boakye has had several important solo museum shows, most recently at the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (November 2016-February 2017); the Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (October 2015); and The Serpentine Gallery, London (June 2015). She was included in the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA): A Story Within a Story, at the Röda Sten Konsthall, Gothenburg, Sweden from September 12 – November 22, 2015 and The British Art Show 8, traveling to four venues between 2015 and 2017.  Yiadom-Boakye will have a solo show at The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY opening April 2017. Recent group exhibitions include the Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, and the possible (2015); The Encyclopedic Palace, at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2013); The Ungovernables: 2012 New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York (2012); the 11th Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France (2012). She is included in many institutional collections including the Tate Collection, London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Miami Art Museum, Florida,  the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, the Arts Council Collection, London, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Nasher Museum of Art, North Carolina, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.


VICTORIA MIRO |Jules De Balincourt


Senza titolo.png      Jules De Balincourt, Midnight Cowboy, 2017, Victoria Miro

Evoking notions of utopia and dystopia, Jules de Balincourt’s paintings investigate public and private spaces and suggest an ever-changing landscape – both physical and psychological. In the paintings for which he first became known, de Balincourt worked from the position of an outsider (the Paris-born artist has lived in the United States since childhood), questioning structures of power and influence, laying bare injustices and hypocrisies while maintaining an amused attachment to the myths through which identity – individual and national – is constructed. From big screen legends, such as celluloid cowboy Clint Eastwood (Good, Bad, Ugly, 2008) to newsreel-like pronouncements (United We Stood, 2005), in these paintings de Balincourt employs a post-Pop painterly language to signal shifting sentiments or former glories, made all the more melancholy when they appear etched in mainstream culture.Apparent freedoms and their human cost are foregrounded in a key painting such as People Who Play and The People Who Pay, 2004, in which divisions of labour and skin colour are all too familiar. Yet, through provocative detail or disconcerting shifts of scale, often the works destabilise their own apparent narratives.In paintings such as the cityscape High and Low, the acid-bright leisure scene BBQ sur l’herbe, Firepeople and Visionquest(all 2013), where figures come together in hopes of spiritual enlightenment, de Balincourt has moved away from direct references to current social, political or popular culture, and instead depicts a world in which indications of specific place or time are absent. More recently, as in the paintings made for his 2016 Victoria Miro exhibition Stumbling Pioneers, de Balincourt explores the frontier as a charged concept in contemporary culture. Painted on return to his hometown Los Angeles after a 20-year interval, works such as Sanctuary, Truck Stop Blues  and  Night Moves (all 2016) road-trip through the mythic and geographically sprawling metropolis with an eye for man’s uncertain relationship with his environment. De Balincourt’s process involves various techniques – including stencilling, masking, abrading and spray painting – that, from a distance, create an apparently seamless vision. Up close, however, the eye is caused to snag over deliberate disjunctions. A sense of things breaking apart is a powerful imaginative motor that finds a particularly strong visual correlation in de Balincourt’s map paintings, including the US World Studies series, where familiar territories are organised according to various hidden, unknown or unspoken criteria. Dual intimations of creation and destruction pulse through works such as Burst Painting, 2012, an ‘explosion’ of radiating colour where cause and effect remain mysterious. Between explosive suns and flickering screens, de Balincourt invites us to journey across territories that might be celestial or earthbound, cartoon or cyber in origin to consider the physical and metaphysical in contemporary life. He paints a restless world both in form and content. Jules de Balincourt, born in Paris, France in 1972, lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. De Balincourt’s work has been the subject of a number of international solo exhibitions at institutions including Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel (2015); The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2014 – 2015); Rochechouart Museum of Contemporary Art, Rochechouart (2014); Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal (2013); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2010) and Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville (2008). His work has also been included in a number of significant group exhibitions, includingL’Ange de l’Histoire, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud at le Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris (2013); New York Minute, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2011) and the 10th Havana Biennial, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana (2009).



FORTES D'ALOIA & GABRIEL | Barbara Wagner.pngBarbara Wagner, Sem título VII (da série Brasília Teimosa), 2005-2007, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel

Bárbara Wagner developed until 2006, the photography project, “Brasília Teimosa”, published in 2007 and showcased in solo exhibitions in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro e Brasília. In 2008 the artist held solo exhibitions at the  Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, and at the Extraspazio, in Rome. In the same year, Wagner was invited by the Fundação Made in Mirrors, to participate in residency programmes in  Vitamin Creative Space (China) and the Museu Het Domein (Netherlands), where she published a book titled “O que é bonito é pra se ver”. In 2009, her works were acquired by the collection of  Pirelli/Masp de Fotografia, and was selected by the programme Rumos Visuais, of Instituto Itaú Cultural. In 2010, her works were acquired by the Museum of Modern Art SP and was exhibited in group shows at Luisa Strina Gallery, A Gentil Carioca, Instituto Wyspa (Polando), FotoTrier (Germany), Fesman (Senegal) e Bulegoa (Spain). In the same year Wagner was nominated for the first edition of PIPA Prize and had a solo exhibition at Marcantonio Vilaça Gallery (Real/Santander) and published a book in the city of Recife titled “Ensaio”. In 2011, the artist was nominated by the São Paulo Biennale to participate in the Art Bienniale (Switzerland), in the same year she participated in the group exhibition “Geraçao 00″ at Sesc Belenzinho in São Paulo. Bárbara Wagner has a Masters Degree in Visual Art by the Dutch Art Institute, Holland, where she published her most recent work “Era uma vez no Oeste.” Although she favours exploration of straitened or ‘peripheral’ situations in her native Brazil or in Holland and China (as in her most recent photographic series), Bárbara Wagner is not interested in a documentary type slant. Far from being essays in photojournalism her photos do not present her subjects as ‘victims’ (in accordance with a predefined perspective, as often occurs). What they put forward is a less orthodox and conventional method of approaching these subjects: through posing (as in the studio photograph) which brings the subjects onstage in an active and aware manner, representing them as they choose to be represented; and through stylistic features such as the use of the flash outdoors, saturation of colours, compositional care and attention. With these elements Wagner builds up lively frames that capture the subjects’ free and often self-ironical performance: in a natural way they take over and play with the photographic space and with the eye of the beholder.

Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel

RODEO | Shahryar Nashat

RODEO | Shahryar NashatShahryar Nashat, Model Malady, 2016, Rodeo

Shahryar Nashat is a Swiss artist based in Berlin. Born in 1975 in Geneva, Switzerland, Nashat uses a broad range of media including video, digital print and photography. His work is characterized by an emphasis on staging and rehearsal. His pieces often present a series of partial visibilities constructed through dramatic montages, interruptions and abridgements. These incomplete representations suggest fundamental desires and anxieties, at times framing the body as the locus of an unconscious conflict, or building psychological tension around the production of an object. Nashat also utilizes text and sound to complicate images’ straightforward appearances. His solo shows include: ‘Line up’, Kunstverein Nurnberg; ‘Remains to be seen’, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen and ‘Plaque’, Kunstverein Potsdam and ‘Because the Ultimate Foundation is Not Founded’, Elisabeth Kaufmann, Zurich. Group shows include: ‘Silberkuppe: Old Ideas’, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel and ‘Silberkuppe: Under One Umbrella’, Kunsthal Bergen (both 2010); ‘Shifting Identities’, Kunsthaus Zurich and ‘Scorpio’s Garden’, Kunsthalle Temporäre, Berlin; ‘H Box’, Tate Modern, London and Swiss Pavilion at Venice Biennial (2005).




Senza titolobbNilbar Güreş, Hidden Ones, 2016, Galerie Martin Janda

Nilbar Güreş is a Turkish artist who lives and works in Vienna. In her works, Güreş explores the female identity, the role of women, the relations between women and their homes and public spaces, as well as, the relation between women. She also focuses on the image of Muslim women in Europe. Her works include collages, videos, performances, photographs and objects. The places where Nilbar Güreş develops her projects, the personal interaction with the people and their multi-faceted culture are always essential to her work. Taking her own cultural background – the Kurdish-Alevi culture – as a starting point, in the last three years the artist has visited Brazil, Bolivia, New Zealand, Sweden and Norway, among other places, to meet with members of local indigenous groups such as the Aymara (Bolivia) and the Maori (New Zealand), exploring their history and their cultural practices and working with them in her projects.
The works and projects that have emerged from these encounters share common themes, also highlighting the similarities between the various cultures, which deal with cultural identity and gender identity, colonialism, and the manipulation of cultures by monotheistic religions, as well as wrestling for the survival of one’s own cultural identity, with early natural religion and shamanism, the female body, and the body as a taboo.
The La Paz series was created in 2016 for the 9th La Paz Biennale in Bolivia. Prior to her trip to Bolivia, Güreş produced the collages that combine various media such as drawings, fabrics and embroideries as fanciful imaginations of a culture unknown to her. In her collages, the references to the Aymara culture are not just coincidental; they are derived from the parallels between the Kurdish-Alevi and the Aymara culture, both of which have a distinctly matriarchal social structure. The collage scenes, ranging from fantastic to absurd, and their titles, prompt us to imagine and tell stories.
The new sculptures are also part of this series: How I met your Mom (2017) is about the love between religiously inclined persons while Hey, Hairy Fire, don’t fall asleep! (2017) conveys women power in the form of female archetypes: as creator and bearer of the future, but also as a witch, healer and scientist. Güreş produced the photographs Wildness (2014), Flower Face (2014) and Non-Sex Belt (2014) as part of her participation in the 2014 São Paulo Biennale where the artist once again worked with locals, staging them for her images and equipping them with many allusions and props from various cultural environments such as traditional Kurdish items of clothing or indigenous everyday objects. Nilbar Güreş’s photographs are well-thought-out, constructed scenarios. Similar to her collages, she consciously arranges figures, objects and backgrounds to form highly associative still lifes. The provocative use of gestures and their meaning often become accessible only by gaining knowledge of cultural backgrounds. A woman is posing for the camera. She is lying on her side, one leg up in the air, and she is giving us a self-confident look. A cactus and two stems with lush, vibrant yellow blossoms are sprouting from between her legs: a rampant exotic plant.
The person represents both genders, serving as a symbol for the open-minded understanding of gender roles within the indigenous cultures in South America before the conversion by the Catholic Church during the colonial period. The work’s title Wildness also stands for freedom of gender and sexuality.
Nilbar Güreş’s critical look at stereotypes as well as social norms and cultural constraints is a visualization of unfreedom, and at the same time offers positive, emancipatory alternative plans.

Galerie Martin Janda

303 GALLERY | Doug Aitken


Doug Aitken, Hollywood Industrial Complex: Aperture series, 2016, 303 Gallery

Defying definitions of genre to reimagine the nature of what a work of art can be – and of what an art experience can achieve – Doug Aitken leads us into an arena where time, space and memory are bountifully fluid concepts. His is a unique immersive aesthetic, characterised by a fascination with motion and velocity, that demonstrates the nature and structure of our media-saturated cultural condition. To this end, Aitken edits together frenetic and unique models of contemporary experience to create a new landscape, one in which he hopes we find points of anchor and experience a sense of connection. He employs a number of post studio artistic mediums – photography, sculpture, architecture, sound installation, and multichannel video installation. In each of his artworks, he chooses the medium or combination that amplifies and visually articulates the subject’s qualities. The scale of his work can vary from a simple photograph to a complex moving sculpture of infinitely reflective automated mirrors. Quasi-narrative films create intricate mazes of open-ended stories told across reinterpreted physical architecture.  Aitken’s Sleepwalkers exhibition at MoMA in 2007 transformed an entire block of Manhattan as he covered the museum’s exterior walls with projections. In 2009, his Sonic Pavilion opened to the public in the hills of Brazil at the new cultural foundation INHOTIM. Aitken presented his large-scale film and architecture installation, Frontier, on Rome’s Isola Tiberina in 2009 and in Basel in 2010.

KURIMANZUTTO| Abrham Cruzvillegas


14__cruzvillegas_Objeto_util_pero_bonito_19921 copiaAbraham Cruzvillegas, objeto útil pero bonito, 1992, Kurimanzutto

Abraham Cruzvillegas lives and works in Mexico City. His specific artistic process is deeply influenced by his surroundings. Rather than being defined by a particular medium, many of his projects are linked by the platform of autoconstrucción – a concept that draws from the ingenious, precarious and collaborative building tactics implemented by the people living in Colonia Ajusco, his childhood neighborhood in Mexico City. He appropriated this term in relation to his practice to describe an approach of inventive improvisation and instability, which presents change as a permanent state arising from the chaotic and fragmentary nature of life. The evolving notion of autoconstrucción has in turn yielded different approaches such as autodestrucción and autoconfusión. These inquiries have led him to explore his own origins and to collaborate with family and friends in a very personal form of research, one that results in a constant process of learning: about materials, landscape, people and himself. Through his oeuvre –which includes sculpture, painting, drawing, installation and video– Cruzvillegas reveals a close and constant engagement with the material world, immersing himself in the ongoing construction and transformation of personal and collective identities. Using a wide range of collected objects, his sculptures challenge the traditional conceptions of art-making, while his paintings and drawings are marked by a keen depiction of the subject and a strong sense of humor, instilled in him from his early training as a political cartoonist. Parallel to his artistic production, Cruzvillegas has cultivated writing as an investigative tool of self-analysis that merges history, criticism and fiction. His song lyrics and texts about art, politics and culture are a layer to be added to his aesthetic practice. Abraham Cruzvillegas studied pedagogy at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México from 1986 to 1990 in Mexico City while simultaneously attending Gabriel Orozco’s Taller de lo viernes. He has been the recipient of many awards, including the 5th Yanghyun Prize (2012), as well as the Prix Altadis d’ arts Plastiques (2006). His most important projects and exhibitions include: Empty Lot, Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (2015);MALI in situ: Abraham Cruzvillegas, Museo de arte de Lima, Lima, Peru (2015); Autoconstrucción, Museo Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico, and Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2014); Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2014) and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, United States (2013); Self Builder’s Groove, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Diens, Berlin, Germany (2011); Autoconstrucción, the Film, The New Museum, New York, United States (2011);  The Magnificent Seven: Abraham Cruzvillegas, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, United States (2009); Autoconstrucción: The Soundtrack, Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, United Kingdom (2008), among others. Additionally, his work has been included in group exhibitions at various institutions, including: The Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Guadalajara, Mexico (2014); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, United States (2013); The Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo MUAC, Mexico City, Mexico (2011); Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (2011); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca MACO, Mexico (2009); The New Museum, New York, United States (2007), among others.Kurimanzutto



JULIA-PHILLIPS7-copie-820x550Julia Phillips, Impenetrable Entry, 2016, Campoli Presti 

Impenetrable Entry presents works from Phillips’ latest series of ceramic objects. The works on view pose as ‘tools’ that the artist creates incorporating partial body casts using her own body as a matrix. The works allude to the language of functionality while at the same time negating their use as tools, working with the fragility of ceramics.Objectifier I–IV (2014) is the artist’s first series of ‘body tools’ that relate directly to the body and the interaction of two bodies, exploring Phillips’ interest in mechanical connections. Connecter (2015), Archer (2016) and Positioner (2016) expand into apparatuses that include fluid traces and imprints of the positioned body.The suggestive frame of bodily traces solicits the viewer to make assumptions about a body’s position in relation to functional objects and to other bodies, becoming a screen of projection. Intentionally leaving space for ambiguity, Phillips’ sculptural objects combine shapes simultaneously suggesting aggression and stimulation. The relief ink prints on paper similarly explore relations of force, tension and embodiment. Raising questions about the coexistence of control and desire, the exhibition continues Phillips’ interest in the relation between feminist, post-colonial, psycho-analytical thought andthe body as a primary ground for experience. The video on view further probes questions of hierarchy and agency. Clay and dance are used as demonstrational materials exploring the interaction between the body, sculpture and text.Julia Phillips is a German-American artist who lives and works in New York. Phillips recently completed her participation in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program after receiving her MFA from Columbia University and her BFA from the Academy of Fine Arts Hamburg (HFBK). Phillips will be an Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2016-2017. Phillips’ work was recently featured in the Whitney ISP show at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York (2016) and in A Constellation (2015) at the Studio Museum Harlem, New York.



thilo .pngThilo Heinzmann, O. T., 2015, Carl Freedman


Thilo Heinzmann is a German painter who lives and works in Berlin. He’s primary media is painting, using a wide variety of materials, including styrofoam, aluminum, hessian, cotton wool, unbound pigment, minerals, fur, wood and porcelain. He also works with sculpture and drawing. Heinzmann’s genuine contribution to contemporary art is that he has used a great variety of media to achieve painterly qualities such as composition, color, and texture within the continuity of the history of the medium while at the same time opening new doors. Over the past 20 years Thilo Heinzmann’s work has been exhibited internationally, with e.g. solo exhibitions in Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, New York, and Paris. His first solo exhibition in Berlin was held in 1997 at Galerie NEU. His first solo show in the U.S. was mounted by Bortolami Gallery, New York, in 2008.

Carl Freedman Gallery