The London 2017 edition included two awards confirming exceptional gallery presentations: Frieze Art Fair Stand Prize and Frieze Focus Prize.
In the main of Sex Work section, the Frieze Art Fair Stand Prize was awarded to Galeria Luisa Strina (São Paulo, Brazil). A jury of international curators and directors noted that ‘history is so important to curatorial practice, and the range of galleries revisiting important artists was striking, both across the fair and in the Sex Work section Alison M. Gingeras curated on radical feminist artists. Luisa Strina stood out because of their brief presentation of their gallery artists, which brought together a range of impressive works, including two important installations by Alexandre da Cunha and by Renata Lucas.’
The jury panel included Eungie Joo (Curator of Contemporary Art, SFMoMA), Nicolaus Schafhausen (Artistic Director, Kunsthalle Vienna) and Dirk Snauwaert (Artistic Director, WIELS Centrum Voor Hedendaagse Kunst). Special commendations also went to Mendes Wood DM (São Paulo), Galeria Gregor Podnar (Berlin), Galerie Hubert Winter (Vienna), and Air de Paris (Paris).
Frieze also awarded the Focus Stand Prize to the most commendable presentation in the Focus section, which is for galleries aged 12 years or under. The prize was awarded to Various Small Fires (Los Angeles) for their ‘timely and conceptual’ presentation of The Harrisons. Emalin (London) received a special commendation from the jury for its solo presentation by Russian artist Evgeny Antufiev.
The Focus Prize jury included Richard Parry (Director, Glasgow International), Christopher Lew (Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York) and Hanne Mugaas (Director and Curator, Kunsthalle Stavanger).
New for 2017, ‘Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics’ was curated by independent curator and scholar Alison M. Gingeras. The section featured nine solo presentations of women artists working at the extreme edges of feminist practice during the 1970s and ‘80s, all sharing a focus on explicit sexual iconography combined with radical political agency. Presentations included Galerie Andrea Caratsch (St. Moritz) with Betty Tompkins; Blum and Poe (Los Angeles) with Penny Slinger; Richard Saltoun (London) with Renate Bertlmann; Hubert Winter (Vienna) with Birgit Jürgenssen; Salon 94 (New York), Regen Projects (Los Angeles) and Baldwin Gallery (Aspen) with Marilyn Minter; Karma International (Zurich) and The Box (Los Angeles) with Judith Bernstein; David Lewis (New York) showing Mary Beth Edelson; Air de Paris (Paris) with work by the Dorothy Iannone; and Lokal_30 (Warsaw) with Natalia LL.
Alison M. Gingeras said: ‘This special section of Frieze pays homage to artists who transgressed sexual mores, gender norms and the tyranny of political correctness and were frequently the object of censorship in their day. Sex Work also underlined the seminal role galleries have played in exhibiting the radical women artists who were not easily assimilated into mainstream narratives of feminist art. These galleries often blazed a trail for museum exhibitions. Many figures in this section such as Renate Bertlmann, Birgit Jürgenssen, Marilyn Minter, Penny Slinger and Betty Tompkins, were too transgressive to be included in anthologizing museum shows which arguably forged a consensual canon for important feminist art. The belated reception of these pioneering women has had a profound impact on many artists working today and resonate more than ever with the new feminisms that are taking shape in response to contemporary political realities.’
Bringing together 34 galleries from Cairo to Berlin, Focus section: Emerging Talents featured galleries aged 12 years or younger and is advised for the first time by Ruba Katrib (Sculpture Center, New York) in collaboration with returning curator Fabian Schoeneich (Portikus, Frankfurt). Presentation highlights included: Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler (Berlin) with a new installation by Anna Uddenberg; Than Hussein Clark’s (VI, VII, Oslo) collaboration with the Couture Dressmakers Studio GAN (Rome); a new sculptural installation by Lloyd Corporation at Carlos/Ishikawa (London); Emma Hart winner of the MaxMara Prize and the subject of major show at the Whitechapel Gallery, (Sunday Painter, London); and Various Small Fires (Los Angeles) recreating a site-specific variation of the seminal eco-artists The Harrisons.
Joining Focus for to the first time, Gypsum (Cairo) curated a booth exploring ‘time reconfigured’ through three mediums: photographs by Basim Magdy, paintings by Tamara Al Samerraei (Kuwait) and sculptures by Taha Belal. Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala City), winner of the Focus Stand Prize 2016, brought new video and photography work by Regina José Galindo, among the most acknowledged international performance artists.
Live is the fair’s section for performance and participation. Also advised by Ruba Katrib (Sculpture Center, New York) and Fabian Schoeneich (Portikus, Frankfurt) it featured four ambitious artworks by international artists, including three new commissions: Neha Choksi (Project88, Mumbai) performed Frame our ears open (2017); Mark Fell (Southfirst, New York), a Sheffield-based artist grounded in the sub-cultures of electronic music, brought together computer technology and Tala – the classical music of South India; Agatha Gothe-Snape (The Commercial, Sydney) presented Every Artist Remembered (2017); and Candida Powell-Williams (Bosse & Baum, London) debuts Boredom and its Acid Touch (2017).