Frieze returns for 2021 with three concurrent fairs: Frieze London, Frieze Masters and Frieze Sculpture. Aesthetica selects five artists to watch. Spanning performance, film and public art, these works offer new perspectives on myriad topics: from conflict and desire to pollution and how to reshape the canon.
Gisela Colón (b. 1966) is best known for creating monoliths. The American contemporary artist “deconstructs and expands on a predominantly male-dominated Minimalist canon”, offering a fresh twist on time-honoured sculptural ideas. In Quantum Shift, a smooth, pristine form glitters in the sunlight, creating mesmerising holographic patterns. The piece looks otherworldly; like it has fallen to earth or pierced through the ground. Across her practice, Colón works with innovative 21st century materials, using optical acrylics and high-technology aerospace carbon fibre in new ways. The results are luminous.
Berlin-based artist Sung Tieu is the winner of this year’s Frieze Artist Award. Tieu’s film presents a detailed reconstruction of the interior of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana. It’s the site of the first-known instance of sonic warfare; an incident to which a mysterious set of medical disorders – collectively termed ‘Havana Syndrome’ – owes its name. First reported in 2016, Havana Syndrome includes a range of unexplained symptoms – from nausea, fatigue and memory loss to brain injuries resembling concussions. Rendered as nano-drone footage, these images speculate on how the attacks could have taken place.
“Art and life cannot be separated because they are one and the same thing.” – Carlos Cruz-Diez (1923-2019). Frieze Sculpture 2021 presents Environnement de Transchromie Circulaire (1965-2017), a bold installation created by the Venezuelan artist. Rays of light stream through translucent panels, casting rainbow coloured strips into the surrounding space. As the sun moves across the sky, shadows and lines shift in tandem – changing throughout the day. Cruz-Diez broke new ground in color-optics during the Kinetic movement of the 1960s – creating immersive paintings and installations that envelop the audience.
Frieze London’s LIVE 2021 programme will feature performances by Rebecca Bellantoni, Ebun Sodipo and Ashley Holmes. Sodipo, pictured above, is a London-based artist “making work for those who will come after: Black trans people of the future.” Their interdisciplinary practice narrates the construction of a Black trans-feminine self after slavery and colonialism. Through a process of fragmentation and collage, she devises new ways of imagining and speaking about the body. In this performance, Sodipo will use the ghostly, hypnotic and meditative capacities of reflective surfaces to speculate on Black trans desire.
This year, Frieze Sculpture addresses timely themes including architecture, geopolitical power structures and environmental concern. Tatiana Wolska (b. 1977) works exclusively with recycled materials; she hardly ever buys things. Plastic water bottles, pieces of wood and worn-out mattresses are amongst her arsenal. Through Wolska’s creative vision, rubbish is transformed into organic-looking sculptures – from a wasp’s nest of nails to bright red plastic monuments. At a time when we are all assessing our consumption and waste, Wolska finds new approaches to presenting objects which others throw away.
Frieze London and Masters run 13-17 October 2021. Find out more here.
Frieze Sculpture runs until 31 October. Find out more here.
1. Technical rendering: Quantum Shift(Parabolic Monolith Sirius Titanium),2021, Engineered Aerospace CarbonFiber, 300 x 96 x 120 inches, 25 x 8 x 10 feet, 762 x 243 x 305 cm, 7.62 x 2.43 x 3.05 meters. Courtesy of the artist and GAVLAK Los Angeles | Palm Beach.
2. Ebun Sodipo, Illustrations for Libations, Attestations, Affirmations, Performance still, 2020. Camera Operators: Christopher J. Orr and Chris Steel. Performed at South London Gallery.
3. © Stefan Tuchila.
4. Sung Tieu. Installation view, Sung Tieu, Remote Viewing, Nha San Collective, Hanoi, 09-23 September 2017 © Sung Tieu. Courtesy of the artist and Emalin, London. Photography: Sung Tieu. Courtesy the artist and Emalin.
5. Tatiana Wolska,“Untitled-Module 1”, 2019, Cut and thermo-welded plastic bottles, 400x 175 x 105 cm (Courtesy the artist, Irène Laub Gallery and L’Etrangère).