Here is our special recap of Frieze Art Fair in NYC -through the digital prism. Last month on the first (rainy) day of Frieze I was on board of a Water Taxi to get to this major art event located on Randall’s Island. I couldn’t help but getting a beforehand glimpse; after working on a client’s assignment I finally had the time to do so while crossing the East River. Checking Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and SnapChat at the same time is kind of a second nature for any Social Media Strategist…
On May 5 the #frieze hashtag -and the related #FriezeNY #FriezeArtFair #Frieze2016- showed already so many prints and colors, along with a crowd visiting the fair that it was mind boggling. Red-blue-purple colors kept showing on my screen as I was scrolling down & down & down, creating a pattern. In spite of the repetition each new image was entirely different from the previous one. I was intrigued and so I found myself entering the huge white tent in search for this pattern among the booths. Here it was! Hervé Bize Galerie had designed an art installation with a selection of works by artist François Morellet completed by a wallpaper covering all the walls and floor (see picture above featuring the Gallery Director Agathe Marie Louise).
Art works by François Morellet including:
- 2 trames de tirets 0º 90º (1971)
- Tous les 4, tous les 11 (1974)
- 4 rythmes interférents formant un carré, néons (1972)
- Kinetic sculpture: Sphère-trames (1962)
- Wallpaper: Random distribution of squares using the π number decimals, 50% odd digit blue, 50% odd digit red (produced with Wallpaper Projects, Brooklyn, NY).
It’s surprising that these works which seem so contemporary are in fact from the 1970s. I also had a connection to some of these dates -the years I and my sister were born… and to the number π. As a matter of fact my husband is fascinated by the magical meaning of this number, its purity and complexity, to the point that he named his company after π: Pi Executive.
Hervé Bize, the Gallery Owner, has been working with French artist François Morellet since the 1980s and he speaks passionately about this collaboration. While we discussed, dozens of visitors entered the booth and took pictures and videos, like the ones I had seen on social media. It created a very lively and vibrant atmosphere and a direct connection with the artist’s playfulness. François Morellet just turned 90 as the fair opened. Sadly he passed away shortly after the closing, on May 11. This unique art installation and the connection with visitors of all age is the best hommage he could receive.
There is an appeal in Morellet’s art as it unveils the beauty of maths, a systematic and minimal order disrupted by movement, creating in turn an unstoppable order, like the lights’ pulses or the sphere spinning and never looking the same. Or like the mysterious number π… Are its decimals random or not so random? This is a familiar chaos that we can see surrounding us, the energy of life that we’re able to visualize in red and blue.
There were thousands of reactions in the digital sphere and each photo tagged #FrancoisMorellet constitutes a deep dive into the spectator’s feelings (there are over 2,000 photos of the artist’s works on Instagram).
trippin’ on Frieze @sidewalkhustle
walking through a #Céline daydream @citiphile
#happy #room @peacheeblue
i felt so much #nostalgia #fengshui #harmony @brandikinard
striking booth @artegrams
when your booth becomes a photo studio @evartology
The coverage of François Morellet at Frieze has also been tremendous in the traditional media, from the New York Times to Wallpaper. This excellent presentation by Hervé Bize has been noticed by many, see notably Architectural Digest mentioning it as one of the Buzziest Works at the fair.
Other art works encourage the spectator to interact, aligned with the experiential trend happening in marketing. I liked entering the Canada booth designed by Katherine Bernhard with vibrant carpets and selected art works from her artist friends. Photos taken there were also buzzing on social media.
In this humongous fair with top galleries from around the globe I appreciated so many art works. From the top left to the bottom right within collage:
- Huge nails echoing paintings in brown at Galeria Fortes Vilaça from Sao Paulo Brazil
- Various Anish Kapoor sculptures
- Tiny “paintings” on a shelf that are in fact stamps when taking a closer look
- God Is Man Made and other catch phrases painted on a rainbow background
- Vintage Thai object transformed with burnt wood
- Black monochrome that is all about texture
- Piece of “wall” painted in silver by Gianni Politi at the Galleria Lorcan O’Neill that is in fact a sculpture
- Armchair, chess game and lamp all in wood
- Mobile sculpture -ever-changing
- An emotional description of beauty by blind people, for one man beauty is a white cane as it reminds him of his wedding, his friends created an arch with white canes and the man heard passer-bys saying it was the most beautiful thing they have ever seen, for another man, beauty is an empty shelf because he cannot see beauty
- Curious tent made of wood that has no entrance by Liam Gillick, When do we need more tractors