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Pictures of the End of the American Dream - Philip-Lorca diCorcia in the Schirn Kunsthalle
It's Only a Step from a Miracle to a Disaster - Visiting the 55th Biennale di Venezia
Theaster Gates: Inner City Blues
Music as an Art Form - A Conversation between Anri Sala and Ari Benjamin Meyers
Deutsche Bank Opening New KunstHalle in Berlin
Violence and Creation: Imran Qureshi in the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle
Why drawing? Three questions for Victoria Noorthoorn
Question of Faith: Is There a Return of the Religious in Contemporary Art?
Searching for Pakistan - How Imran Qureshi is being celebrated as "Artist of the Year" in Lahore
City in Sight - The Deutsche Bank Collection at the Dortmunder U
"These are not Sunday painters" - Sophie von Olfers on MACHT KUNST
Make Art - The KunstHalle invites all Berlin artists to take part in a 24-hour exhibition
Barometer of the Art Scene - Preview of Frieze New York and Art Basel Hong Kong


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Barometer of the Art Scene
Preview of Frieze New York and Art Basel Hong Kong

With more than 180 galleries taking part, this year's Frieze New York will have more participants than any other Frieze since the art show was founded in London in 2003. Art Basel Hong Kong is also booming: 250 international galleries have said they will attend. Deutsche Bank is a partner of these two important contemporary air fairs. A preview by Achim Drucks

The premiere was a smashing success. “The Freeze Art Fair is electrifying New York,” wrote the Wall Street Journal, concisely summing up the mood. The prerequisites for this year’s Frieze New York give reason for optimism. There will be a record number of participants, and the show will again be very international, with galleries from 32 countries showing art on Randall’s Island. Newcomers such as the Goodman Gallery from Johannesburg and Project 88 from Mumbai attest to the expansion of the art map in the last few years. “Frame,” the section for young galleries presenting selected individual artists, is also showing interesting newcomers: Hopkinson Cundy from Auckland, New Zealand, is represented, as is Leo Xu Projects from Shanghai and Mendes Wood from São Paulo. And in the “Focus” section, Ivan Gallery from Bucharest proves that exciting artists can be discovered off the beaten track. It is presenting three “modern classics” of contemporary Romanian art: the concept artist Geta Brătescu, the painter Horia Bernea, and the sculptor Paul Neagu, who studied with Anish Kapoor.

Fifty-four galleries from the host city will be present. Two of New York’s most important galleries, Marian Goodman and Luhring Augustine, are taking part in the art show for the first time. Goodman again completely lives up to her reputation as “the gallery owner among curators.” She is showing a solo project by Tino Seghal, whose performative works are virtually the opposite of what is normally presented to visitors at art fairs.

But the Frieze, whether in New York or in London, is not an ordinary art show. From the very beginning, it provided an ambitious supporting program consisting of talks, music, film, and above all Frieze Projects. This curated series of commissioned works of such diverse artists as Thomas Bayrle, Richard Prince, Tue Greenfort, and Simon Fujiwara always manages to challenge the conventions of art shows in a surprising way. In addition, the Frieze focuses on current artistic perspectives, which convinced Deutsche Bank. Since the second Frieze in London, Deutsche Bank is a partner of the art fair. So it was only natural that the bank decided to cooperate with the new show in New York as well.

This year’s project, again curated by Cecilia Alemani. She is also the director of the High Line Art Program, where Alemani 's ensured that the landscaped former elevated rail line on the west side of Manhattan has not only become an incredibly beautiful park, but also, thanks to its numerous commissioned works, one of the city's new cultural highlights. The Frieze Projects once again takes a poke at the art show industry. The starting point for Andra Ursuta’s work is the notion that art shows today are temporary places of pilgrimage for the international art crowd. The young Romanian artist imagines the Frieze as an art village, but without a cemetery. Ursuta marks the places where artworks can be laid to rest with marble plates that she installs in the idyllic countryside of Randall’s Island. Mateo Tannatt’s sculptures are situated in the tent. His colored objects serve as seating for visitors. But when they sit down, they become players in a performance taking place around them based on a fixed script. Liz Glynn’s speakeasy harks back to the period of Prohibition in 1920s New York. Her bar, which is designed like an old vault, can only be entered through a back door. Cocktails are served there, and the bartenders entertain guests by performing magic tricks.

FOOD 1971/2013 pays homage to the mood of departure and communal spirit of the early 1970s. The legendary restaurant FOOD, founded by Gordon Matta-Clark and other artists in October 1971, will be resurrected at the Frieze – as a communicative meeting point where each day a different artist will cook. Last year, projects such as Tim Rollins’ and Kids of Survival’s (KOS) drawing action and John Ahearn’s reconstruction of his exhibition South Bronx Hall of Fame from 1979 had already demonstrated the importance of alternative perspectives for the vitality of New York’s art scene.  

For a long time, New York’s position as perhaps the most important place of production for contemporary art was attested to only in museums, galleries, and studios. New York’s art shows did not really reflect the city’s significance for the international art scene. That has changed. The significantly streamlined Armory Show, the Art Show of the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), the Independent established in 2010, and of course the Frieze ensure that New York’s art shows are in keeping with the city’s role as a cultural capital of the world.

While New York is indisputably a major art center, Hong Kong is primarily anchored in the collective consciousness as a booming economic zone. But the city on the Pearl River has developed into one of Asia’s most important art hubs at an astonishing speed. Today, based on auction proceeds, Hong Kong is the world’s third-largest art market. Important galleries such as Gagosian, White Cube, and Perrotin have opened branches here in the last few years. And Pearl Lam, who has championed Chinese art outside of the political pop cliché for around 20 years, has returned with her gallery to her home city. In addition to her spaces in Shanghai and her foundation in New York, she has resided in the Pedder Building since last year. The neoclassical building, one of the few historic edifices remaining in the center of the city, also houses Gagosian, Ben Brown, and, since March of this year, Lehmann Maupin. The gallery opened its new premises with an exhibition devoted to the Korean artist Lee Bul.

Aside from the flourishing economy, there are two main reasons why the contemporary art scene is booming in Hong Kong. The museum project M+ which will open in the West Kowloon Cultural District in 2017 is arousing residents’ interest in contemporary art thanks to is founding director Lars Nittve. With Nittve, who directed the Louisiana Museum and the Tate Modern, among others, the M+ has one of Europe’s most important museum people on board. Furthermore, ART HK, founded in 2008, has become the region’s most important art show. Deutsche Bank was convinced of the potential of ART HK at a very early stage. The mood at the first two shows was so positive that the bank opted to support the event. Since 2010, Deutsche Bank has been the main sponsor of the show, which this year is under the aegis of Art Basel.

Although ART HK has become Art Basel Hong Kong, the name of the director has remained the same: Magnus Renfrew directed the show from the very beginning and has made a considerable contribution to its profile and success with a clever selection of galleries and sections such “Encounter,” in which expansive sculptures and installations are shown. For the debut of Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Basel director Marc Spiegler confidently promises “the strongest combination of galleries from the East and the West that the world has ever seen.”  
The offer is indeed impressive. Around 250 galleries from 35 countries are presenting works by more than 3,000 artists. Names such as Gladstone, Hauser & Wirth, Lisson, Nature Morte, Vitamin Creative Space, and White Cube speak for themselves. The Asia-Pacific region as well as the USA and Europe are both strongly represented in the centrally located Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Forty-eight galleries will be present for the first time – for example, Tina Keng from Taiwan, presenting modern classics from Asia, and the Delhi Art Gallery with classic Indian modern artworks. Other newcomers in the section galleries include Peter Blum from New York and Johnen from Berlin.

The “Insights” section gives visitors the opportunity to become acquainted with the entire spectrum of art in the Asia-Pacific region. Forty-seven galleries are showing curated presentations focusing entirely on one artist or one theme. For instance, the Blindspot Gallery, which specializes in photography, is presenting Stanley Wong, aka anothermountainman – an artist who is also represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection in Hong Kong. “Discoveries” is devoted to the young international art scene. Either an individual artist or two artists in dialogue are presented in this section.

The “Encounters” section is definitely one of the highlights of the show. Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and curator of this year’s Sharjah Biennial, chose 17 large works, which are being placed in the halls. They range from bronzes to installations that invite visitors to participate. Haegue Yang will realize one of her venetian blind sculptures, with which she was also represented at the last documenta, while Liam Gillick’s brightly colored tower constructions exude the elegance of a luxury car showroom. But be careful – Laurent Grasso’s seven-meter-long neon sign says that “Visibility is a Trap.” Perhaps one should always have this quote from Foucault in mind at an art show with so much surface attraction.   

May 10–13, 2013 / Frieze New York
May 23–26, 2013 / Art Basel Hong Kong

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