frieze new york 2014
In December 1993, a young artist opened a solo show at the year-old David Zwirner Gallery in Soho. There were offset prints, sculptures of books, a piece involving a mirror and, in the back room, a photograph of the artist’s apartment on 97th Street.
“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.
“Just once, I’d like to go to a gala that goes completely wrong, where things catch on fire,” said Massimiliano Gioni, associate director of the New Museum. He was chatting with curator Cecilia Alemani, his wife, and Tom Eccles, the executive director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, about the New Museum’s Read More
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.
Frieze New York 2013
“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
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.)
Look at This!
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.
In a summer of sprawling group shows that range from the gutsy to the foreboding, it’s a fine change of pace to come across “Painting in Space” at Luhring Augustine, which contains a relatively succinct collection of (predominantly strong) works in a variety of mediums by 25 firmly established artist.
Frieze New York
ArtPrize, the annual art competition in Grand Rapids, Mich., which awards artists sizable financial awards based on public voting and the verdicts of experts, will have a star-studded cast of jurors in its 2012 edition, which is the fourth iteration of the project.
Today, the organizers of the first ever Frieze New York fair announced the selections for the art fair’s sculpture park, located just two minutes from the tent where the fair will be held.