this issue contains
>> Press: Frieze 2006 /"All the Best" in Singapore/ "More than Meets the Eye" in Bogota
>> Interview Isa Genzken

>> archive

 
"A Power Plant of Art"
The press on the London Frieze Art Fair



After five days, this year's Frieze Art Fair, sponsored for the third time by Deutsche Bank, closed its doors in London on October 15. Whether or not there was another turnover of more than 30 million pounds will remain a secret this time, as the galleries were rather discreet when it came to sales, particularly the major ones. In any case, the number of visitors to the fair once again rose impressively - and the international press reacted enthusiastically to Frieze's fourth round.

Among the trees in Regent's Park, a winding wooden ramp led the way into the temporary center of contemporary art. For five days, international collectors, museum people, stars, and not least the general art public crowded the white tents of the Frieze Art Fair. In its fourth year London's "must-see art event" (Guardian ) "is regarded already as one of the best three fairs in the world", as Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota told the Times. With a total of 63,000 visitors, Frieze succeeded in raising the number of visitors by 35 percent over last year.

Heavyweights among the international galleries such as Gagosian and Gladstone were of course present in London, but so were young galleries like Herald St. and greengrassi, "representing emerging talent – work so new to the market that it stands on its own, unsupported by critical comment or established market value." (Financial Times). German galleries present included Bärbel Grässlin , Contemporary Fine Arts, and Johnen + Schöttle; altogether, over 150 galleries showed more than 1,000 contemporary artists at Frieze, "whose creative potential and the absolute latest art works … set the cultural agenda", as El Pais notes. A lot of important collectors were there too, of course - such as Charles Saatchi, whose recently purchased Americans were presented at the Royal Academy in time with the fair; Christie's owner Francois Pinault; and the Rubells from Miami. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung concluded: "never before have there been so many well-to-do collectors, so many high-priced works, as seen at Britain's most important fair for contemporary art."

Yet Frieze is much more than just an art fair. As the Financial Times writes: "Frieze is a phenomenon. It might call itself an art fair, but it has redefined the boundaries of the term ... it's a showcase for international dealers to present much of what is exciting and new in contemporary art ... and a place where art is created and debated, where people meet and where things happen." Thus, this year's visitors could look on as the Young British Artists Jake and Dinos Chapman painted portraits of fair visitors at the White Cube booth. Anyone interested in being captured in oil for posterity could do so the fast way, at a cost of 4,500 pounds. Or seek advice on hair from Lady Grace; the woman with floor-length curls is one of the protagonists of Mika Rottenberg's latest video work, which celebrated its premiere at Frieze. But the most controversial work at the fair was certainly a performance initiated by the Wrong Gallery: in a separate room, an actress with Down's Syndrome sat on a chair and meditated on a stone, a sphere, and a square in a repetition of a work by Gino De Dominicis that had already created a scandal at the Venice Biennale in 1972.

But it wasn't only the tents in Regent's Park that lured the art scene to the British capital. The "Frieze Week" was an "enormous art shindig" for all of London, as the Independent on Sunday writes. Along with all the obligatory alternative fairs such as scope, there were also auctions at Christie's and Co. as well as a large number of high-caliber exhibitions. David Hockney's portraits attracted masses of viewers to the National Portrait Gallery; along with Fischli & Weiss, the Tate Modern presented five of Carsten Höller's slides; and the Serpentine Gallery showed contemporary art from China in the spectacular ambience of a former power plant, a ruined industrial cathedral directly on the banks of the Thames. This, too, is why "Frieze is incredible. All the top-level people in the London art world co-ordinate what they are doing with it as they know the international art scene will be descending here that week", as Cristina Ruiz, editor of the art newspaper Evening Standard wrote. As a real "power plant of art" (Der Standard), the Frieze Art Fair "has transformed London into the capital of contemporary art." (La Stampa). AD


As Protected as in a Cocoon
The Press on "All the Best. The Deutsche Bank Collection and Zaha Hadid" in Singapore



After guest appearances at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin and the Hara Museum in Tokyo, All the Best. The Deutsche Bank Collection and Zaha Hadid, the anniversary exhibition of the Deutsche Bank Collection, can be seen through November 20, 2006 at the renowned Singapore Art Museum. The show brings together over 150 young controversial works on paper with the visionary exhibition design of the London-based star architect to form an extraordinary presentation. Concurrent with the Singapore Biennale, the exhibition met with considerable response in the international press.

In an article titled Fresh Art for German Bankers, Gabi Czöppan pays tribute to the spectacular exhibition architecture in her report for Focus Online: "Is that an alien that just landed there in front of the white colonnades of the British-style

estate? Or was it just a local sculptor who created something for posterity? No, that squarish something, half monster-origami, half inflatable flying object, was made by London-based Zaha Hadid. The star architect placed her sculpture in front of the Singapore Art Museum – freed of purpose, it's a handsome appetizer for the exhibition All the Best, which celebrates Deutsche Bank's 25th year of collecting passion." Along with the "extravagant spatial landscape of swinging curves and pointed tubes" in the exhibition rooms, Czöppan was most impressed by the hidden subversive content of some of the works: "These are only beautiful images at first glance. Here, in War Games, James Rielly's cute blond boy aims his hand at the viewer like a gun. And there, Kara Walker's black shapes are brutally attacking each other, while Gregor Schneider lures the viewer into claustrophobic cellars and the Japanese artist Miwa Yanagi places Red Riding Hood in bloody animal bodies for her creepy black and white photographs. Even Jürgen Teller's Saved Bambi lies lifeless in the hands of a shocked-looking forest ranger."

Singapore's press was also convinced by the interplay between art and architecture in All the Best . In The Straits Time: Life!, Clara Chow raves: "The styrofoam platform, a piece of sculptural art in its own right, is part of the exhibition which features more than 150 works of contemporary art set in a futuristic environment designed by Hadid." In the daily paper Today , David Chew was also fascinated by the show's sci-fi ambience: "works by artists like Britain's Tracy Emin and Germany's Joseph Beuys – all cocooned in a large-scale installation of white pod-like structures by Hadid."

On the other hand, Parvathi Nayar from The Business Times examined the show in depth, opening his article with a quote by Dr. Ariane Grigoteit, director of the Deutsche Bank Collection: "The essence of this collection is that it was not put together for a museum but for workplaces, and the way we have exhibited it shows something of that." As a result, Nayar analyzes the exhibition architecture more closely: "Via e-mail from London, Ms Hadid tells BT that the 'form of the All the Best design is derived from juxtaposing and distorting the museum's base grid to create a fluid space which joins the displayed artwork in a cohesive whole, and expresses the circulation of visitors through the exhibition environment.'" As Nayar writes, the choice of works by around 60 artists for the Singapore show "spans the range from the collection's earliest works – stunning black-and-white photographs of New York (about 1936) by Berenice Abbott – to the latest acquisition, a 2006 drawing by Richard Artschwager. There are some lovely discoveries as you follow Ms Hadid's sculptural flow from the Hanna Handkerchief forms outside to the artworks inside, whether it is Günther Förg's photograph by the stairs that recalls Marcel Duchamp's famous Nude Descending A Staircase, or the emotive drawing of Patti Boyd by Karen Kilimnik," which also adorns the cover of the exhibition catalogue. MM


Colombian Press Reactions to "More than Meets the Eye"


Since the beginning of this year, More than Meets the Eye has been touring through Latin America. Following guest appearances in Monterrey and Mexico City, the Deutsche Bank Collection is currently presenting the selection of photographic works in the Casa Republicana de la Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango in Bogota. The opening of the show, which will run through December 31, was celebrated by the Library's director Angela Perez Mejia as well as the director of Deutsche Bank Art and curator Friedhelm Hütte – together with more than 250 guests, including the Colombian Minister of Culture Elvira Cuervo de Jaramillo and numerous artists.

The exhibition, which concentrates on German photography after 1945 and its links to other art forms and movements, for the first time presents "the Colombian public with a broad panorama of German photography" that looks back over a "unique development", according to Juan Guzman in the Revista Fotografica Dominicana e Internacional. Referring to Deutsche Bank's pioneering achievements in supporting art and integrating it into the office life of its staff for over 25 years, Guzman recalls the first presentation of works from the corporate collection in Colombia: "In 1991, Deutsche Bank for the first time presented a selection of works on paper by German artists such as Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter in a show titled Contemporary German Art."

Short but concise was the comment by an anonymous author of the web magazine for music and culture, Estereofonica, citing seven reasons why no one should miss the show: "1. To see 130 works by more than 54 artists, including Wim Wenders; 2. To discover the links between photography and painting in the works of Delia Keller, Katharina Mayer, Tamara Grcic, Gerald Domenig, and Claus Goedicke; 3. To get to know the influence the Dusseldorf School of Bernd and Hilla Becher exerted on an entire generation of photographers such as Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky, or Candida Höfer; 4. To see how Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke use photography as a means for artistic reflection; 5. To ponder the relationship between photography and speed using the example of Ottmar Hörl's Swabian Dream; 6. To comprehend the photographic strategies of the German post-war generation; and finally 7. To think about this immeasurable space in which neither the camera nor the eye are able to capture what only reality can bring about." MM