Sunday, October 19, 2008

Frieze Week 2008: A Turn in Taste, Part II

Frieze Week 2008: The Future Can Wait
written by Ashley Elridge-Ford in London

The Future Can Wait

The Truman Brewery is well worth the visit. I knew I was heading in the right direction when a Frieze VIP silver Mercedes cruised past me. How incongruous it looked surrounded by the markets of Brick Lane. The Truman Brewery is home this Frieze Week to Kounter Kulture, The Future Can Wait and the Saatchi Channel 4 New Sensations.

The Future can wait is running for the second year thanks to the hard work and dedication over the last decade of Simon Romney and Xavier Ellis. A stark wide open light space is reached upon ascending the stairs from the street below. The sound piece of Miranda Whall keeps the visitor company during the ascent. Her soundscape is a series of whispered confessions that start with the words, "Is it OK...?" and are the kind of guilty secrets that we all harbour. It is very enjoyable. 

There is a relaxed atmosphere to this fair although I would be hesitant to call it that. It was more of an exhibition of works that are being hosted parallel to Frieze that should in fairness to the visiting public be classified a little more accurately. The same goes for Kounter Kulture. What, one might ask, is it that defines a fair from an exhibition? I would argue that it is a series of galleries showing the work of their artists under one roof. These two 'fairs' merely show a selection of artists' work. There is a big difference. I think they are both worth visiting but it is a misconception to consider them as art fairs. Other artists work to note: 

Emma Bennett's The Dust Covers Everything, 2007, a beautiful still life. She is also being shown at Scope at Charlie Smith Gallery, London.


Kim Rugg's newspaper collages that are also being shown at Scope at Nettie Horn.

Kate McCgwire's Heave, 2008, comprised and composed of pigeon feathers that seem to pour out of the wall like a gushing of water.

Helen Dowling's video piece Breaker, 2008, that is moving and powerful.

Angela Bartram's rather nauseating video piece Licking Dogs, 2007.

Monica Ursina Jager's Never Talk to Strangers, 2008, and Non Grata, 2007.

Andrea Gregson's Headspace, 2006, a surprising intimate little world that reminds me of the toilets at Sketch, Mayfair.



Kounter Kulture 

Kounter Kulture, around the corner and at the back of The Future Can Wait, had a completely different feel. It is the first time the 'fair' has been hosted in London and they have an edgy funky feel that The Future Can Wait does not. As I walked in I was told that all guests had to leave by five thirty because of a "celebrity party". That gave me ten minutes.  As I completed my short trip up the stairs, I wondered what on earth a celebrity party was and why anyone would call it that? Just as well the exhibition was small but - and I emphasise this – it is totally worth the visit. There was a strength in painting throughout the show. The works are innovative, refreshing, colourful and playful. Once again, a plethora of Chinese artists whose works are of the same high calibre as those on show at Scope. There are many on my To-Watch and Wish-List. Some of the highlights are: 

Chen Qiuchi, Tank No. 2, 2008.

Piao Guangxie, entitled 2007 #18, 2007.

Liu Xin Tao's Collapse Night, 2007 No. 20 and Collapse Night 2008 No. 4.

Charlotte Latchum, Untitled 2008.

The photographic work of Rob Carter that unfortunately, due to the stark overhead lighting, I was not able to capture well on my camera. His photographs are seascapes that have been seen before in other notable artists' photographic works but there is an enhancement of colour in these that has not been seen before. 

The very Lichtenstein with a dark twist in the collage and painted works by Hush.

I then happened into the Saatchi Channel 4 New Sensations exhibition where the photographic portraits works of Matthew Robert-Hughes is well worth noting.

Back into Kounter Kulture...

The saccharine and rather frightening paintings by Laurie Hogin, most of which had sold. 
The paintings of Bai Tao.

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