frieze new york 2014

‘Pussy Pouches’ for Pussy Riot Founders at Frieze Talks

Maria "Masha" Tolokonnikova and Nadezhda "Nadya" Alyokhina. (Courtesy Frieze New York)

“It’s so dreary at art fairs talking about art fairs and collections. You know what I mean?” said Tom Eccles, the executive director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, who co-organized this year’s program of Frieze Talks. “It’s normally sort of very self-congratulatory, it’s the usual subjects.”

He was standing outside the Randall’s Island tent on Friday, stealing a quick cigarette, after the most-talked-about talk on his roster wrapped up: Pussy Riot cofounders in conversation with New Yorker editor David Remnick. Read More


The Paradox of Martin Creed: The Artist on His Biggest Gallery Exhibition Ever

Martin Creed at Tate Britain in Nov. 2011.

Lanky Martin Creed was standing on the first floor of Hauser & Wirth gallery on the Upper East Side, dressed in lightly paint-splattered, black pants that rose up just above the ankles and an ever-so-slightly mismatched navy shirt, his frizzy gray hair pulled into a ponytail and his face covered by glasses so large they looked like protective eyewear. He was laughing enormously about—something. With apologies to our brothers and sisters across the pond, his giggles were punctuated with bursts of indecipherable Scottish twang, made all the more difficult to discern by the presence of his parents, making use of their own heavy slurs. This was somehow appropriate, though, because “what is he trying to say” is a frequent starting point for the uninitiated in conversations about Mr. Creed.

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Going Up the Country: The Weekend at Bard, the Glass House, Storm King

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Henry Urbach, director of the Glass House, and Eric Jones

“At Bard,” Tom Eccles announced to his dinner guests on Friday night, “you can think.” The executive director of the college’s Center for Curatorial Studies had preceded this by referring to the college’s Annandale-on-Hudson campus being far–around two hours by car—from the “hothouse” of New York, but the folks who’d come up for the opening Read More

Frieze New York 2013

Balloon Beasts, Rubber Tongues, Metal Men Abound on Tom Eccles’s VIP Sculpture Park Tour

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A detail of Tom Friedman, Circle Dance (2010), which is made out of baking sheets cast in stainless steel.

Any lingering storm clouds hanging over yesterday’s VIP preview of Frieze New York were thoroughly blasted away by 4 p.m., when bright sunlight glinted off Paul McCarthy’s Balloon Dog (2013), an 80-foot, cherry-colored sculpture created especially for the fair. “Paul has sexualized the dog,” said the rakish Tom Eccles, former Public Art Fund director and this year’s Sculpture Park curator, as he led a few card-carrying VIPs up to the gigantic piece. Mr. Eccles pointed to the anatomically suggestive shapes of the Koons-esque animal, though they didn’t need much identification. Now executive director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard, Mr. Eccles briefly discussed his curatorial work on Mr. McCarthy’s upcoming installation at the Park Avenue Armory. He described “WS,” which stands for “White Snow” and opens June 19, as a “gory, horrifying tale of Paul McCarthy as Disney, as Hitler, in love with Snow White.” (Spoiler alert: Mr. McCarthy is eventually destroyed by the seven dwarves, but not before he engages in “a sexual frenzy” with them and Snow White.) Read More


Franz West on Greek Temples, Shit

Franz West's 2004 Public Art Fund exhibition at Lincoln Center before its unveiling.  (Courtesy Stan Honda/AFP/Getty)

The next time you have 10 minutes to spare, read this 2007 conversation between Tom Eccles, the former director of the Public Art Fund, and the late Franz West, who died today at the age of 65. It’s a beauty.

West discusses growing up in Austria immediately after World War II, his dentist mother (“There was always a lot of screaming and blood”) and various series he’s produced over the years. Read More