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Frieze Art Fair 2009 in London: Is Life Good Again? 2/2

Farhad Moshiri: 'Fluffy Friends' of 2009, Acrylic glitter powder colors and glaze on canvas mounted on board, 200 x 170 cm each, courtesy of The Third Line Gallery, Dubai (c)

At  Frieze Art Fair 2009 were also numerous followers of the current hype about art from India / Pakistan / Iran / Middle East or some other Islamic background.


I am still astonished to see applied globalization function that simple - however, it obviously does.


Detail of Farhad Moshiri: 'Fluffy Friends' of 2009, Acrylic glitter powder colors and glaze on canvas mounted on board, 200 x 170 cm each, courtesy of The Third Line Gallery, Dubai (c) photo by Premier Art Scene

Dubai based The Third Line Gallery offered four large works by Iran's new superstar artist Farhad Moshiri. He does kid's toy images in a pop art style: His works are made of acrylic glitter powder colors and glaze which he pushes through cake icing dispensers. Then he  glues these 'color bisquits' on the canvas. They were priced US $ 180,000 each.


Christoph Büchel: 'Socks', a pair of socks of the artist, 2009, installation view courtesy of Hauser & Wirth (c) photo by Premier Art Scene

As many buyers lost substantial amounts of money by buying hip art in recent boom years, there is an increasing amount of uncertainty about what 'good' - or at least 'valuable' art actually is. In these times of uncertainty many art dealers have been presenting fewer photos, less school of Leipzig, less pornography and less neon than the years before. Instead, there were more blue-chip-artists and some more contemplative painting.


The Swiss artist Christoph Büchel makes his own fun(?) about this: He took off his sweaty socks and put them on the gallery floor of Hauser & Wirth for sale at a price of € 20,000. At the day of the opening, the work was left unsold.


Mike Bouchet: 'Black Tie', 2009, sculpture of galvanized steel chain and anchor; courtesy of Galerie Parisa Kind; (c)

Experiments were mostly limited to the newcomer gallery space of the fair 'Frame': I saw the spectacular sculpture 'Black Tie' by Californian artist Mike Bouchet. It is a massive 4.5 km long steel chain with anchor that is intended to moor a floating suburban home in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Venice Biennale artist thus manifests his dream of starting a floating suburb in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.


Elmgreen & Dragset: 'L' homme qui ne marche pas', mixed media, 2009 courtesy of Galeria Helga de Alvear (c) photo by Premier Art Scene

As on Art Basel 2009, there were a number of Venice Biennale artists: The Spanish art dealer Helga de Alvear offered the sculpture 'L' homme qui ne marche pas' by the Scandinavian artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset for € 55,000. Their installation 'The Collectors' at the Biennale's Scandinavian pavillion was quite spectacular.



U.G. and Ugo Rondinone's: 'A day like this made of nothing and nothing else' 2009, Ed. 3 + 1 AP, 510 x 600 x 500 cm / 200 x 236 x 197'', cast aluminum and white enamel (c) photo by Premier Art Scene

Helga de Alvear bought for her own collection the piece 'A day like this made of nothing and nothing else' by Ugo Rondinone. Pesenhuber gallery had originally a price tag of € 270,000 on the artificial tree made of cast aluminum and white enamel. The piece will be shown in Ms. de Alvear’s own museum in the Spanish town of Cáceres, which is due to open next summer. I think also in this case there was room for some negotiation.


by U.G.


Lisa Yuskavage: 'Piggyback Ride', 2009, oil on canvas, 152 x 127 cm / 60 x 50'', on hold for US $ 330,000 courtesy of Greengrassi Gallery, London (c) photo by Premier Art Scene
(C) Liz Craft courtesy Patrick Painter Gallery (c) photo by Premier Art Scene
'The Collectors' curated by Elmgreen and Dragset / Nordic pavilion (c) photo by Premier Art Scene


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