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the Frieze 2014 NYC art fair was nearly as strong as its predecessors.  Always a lot to to take away.  A few quibbles.  But still easily the best art fair in New York.

Here are my take-away paintings and sculptures…

The Breeder Gallery in Athens, Greece had two strong showings with Mariana Gioka (can’t find her on their site though) and returning favorite collage artist Antonis Donef.  Donef has moved beyond his signature doodle on top of black and white pages to some colorful variations.  This large cut-away quilt of a painting below had center stage in the booth.



and these two untitled paintings by Mariana Gioka were definitely my favorites of the show.


detail, of Untitled on right…



Nearby, at Altman Siegel (San Francisco) is a trio of beautiful, heavily distressed canvasses in muted ice cream colors.  All incredibly easy to live with.  The weathered surface is really sumptuous.  LiamEverett.Untitled.AltmanSiegel.SF


Frith Street Gallery gets it right with a great booth, pairing bold geometric backdrop to a marvelous bronze casting of a shark with a rich chocolate patina, by Dorothy Cross.


Formal, gridded “exposure painting” by Callum Innes at Frith Street Gallery.Callum.Innes.Exposed.Blue.FrithStreetGallery
San Paulo’s Mendes Wood gallery has a very strong showing with these petite, landscapes by Lucas Arruda.


And good formal painting by Paulo Monteiro.Paulo.Monteiro.atMendesWood

Galleria Continua brings a gargantuan, impossible ink wash painting by Hans Op De Beeck.  Obviously dear to my heart considering so much time in ink these days.HansOpDeBeeck.Road.GalleriaContinua Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac brought a pair of beautiful black wash watercolor momento mori that expertly done by Yan Pei-Ming.  A flair of panache not often exhibited in graven imagery.YanPei-Ming.GalerieThaddaeusRopacBYanPei-Ming.GalerieThaddaeusRopacA

Nearby, Seoul’s Gallery Hyundai brings some beautiful watercolors by Lee Ufan.  I’ve admired Ufan’s work before.  It may be time to follow that lead with greater follow-through.  Below is the one that showed prominently at Hyundai.  Smaller works were in their back space.LeeUfan.Untitled.GalleryHyundai.Seoul

New York stalwart, Luhring Augustine bring Berlin artist Johannes Kahrs painting to the show.  It is a lovely marriage of Richter to Milton Avery.  An unlikely union but an effective pairing.  It is a powerful monochrome piece.

An untitled work on canvas by Angel Otero is exquisite from viewing distance.  Some of the work in the painting isn’t seen well on a close view.  This may be from Lehmann’s booth but i have bad reference here.AngelOtero.Untitled


Boers-Li Gallery brought Kang Wanhua’s tiny, delicious oil pastel on paper landscapes in grandly over-framed excess to one of their walls.  These things were impossible not to like.  I hope they sell all of them.  And I hope i see more of Wanhua’s work next year.KangWanhua.OilPastelPaper.Boers-LiGalleryParisienne dealer Kamel Mennour brought this lovely ink on plaster abstraction called “Contamination” by Michel Francois.  It also was one of my very favorite works at the fair.  I’ve already spent a lot of time since yesterday talking about this work.  It hasn’t left me.  Soft, bold, graphic, powerful.  Lovely.
Michel.Francois.Contamination.Kamel.mennourAnd lastly, and certainly not least, is this post modern landscape by David Schnell from Galerie Eigen-Art Leipzig.  The acidic lemons burning through deep dull blue-greens with runny, daubed meter to the composition is like a fractured Hockney or maybe Alex Katz.  It is clearly an important painting for me to have seen considering the landscape abstractions i’ve been investigating.  Schnell has given me a lot of new information to bite off.

This is an incredible landscape painting…

Frieze is still at the top of the NY art fair leader boards.  It’s beginning to show some wear this year and the shine is past its prime.  It seems like the food vendors were at an A-/B+.  The planking of the tented arena was more uneven in the past and i caught myself on the seams over and over.  The talent was still great and the variety of dealers well curated.  But it seemed like some of the super galleries from last year weren’t present.  That might be a good thing.

Hope Frieze continues to go strong.  And with the Blouin infusion to the Armory show, the competition can only be better for all NY fairs.

E. Tage Larsen
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