This article is a selection of images and writing from a larger album on Todd Levin’s Facebook page, which we reprinted. Todd Levin is not associated with Arte Fuse.
I went first to main Frieze fair first, intending to document and shoot pics of that as well. But I must say – I found the fair this year in general terms to be the worst incarnation I have seen in all my time attending. I first walked the entire fair to get an overall feel for it, and when I finished, I thought to myself “what a massive load of completely forgettable Art.” It’s not that any particular booths were bad (apologies if any galleries participating feel that I’m singling them out – I’m not). It’s just that the overall feeling I got was simply more stuff banged out for yet another Art fair.
Now – maybe I am suffering from a kind of malaise or ennui or ‘art fair fatigue.’ But I only attend about half a dozen fairs a year. I felt that I could have been anywhere, looking at the same Art, with the same galleries, and very little was lively or engaging. I might add that this is not the fair organizer’s fault, either. They have a nice venue with nice bathrooms and nice food and plenty of peripheral things to do and see, if one is so inclined. But in the end, I suppose I must ask myself “WHY am I here, specifically? WHAT does this particular experience offer me that I can’t find elsewhere?” And the answers are “I don’t really know anymore” and “Not much.”
I think that the real problem is that there are simply too many Art fairs, and not enough quality galleries and Art to fill them. The fair this year could have also been chopped down to half the size, and I do not feel that I would have missed anything probative. (*sigh*) I really feel as if I am reaching a saturation point.
On the other hand, I was not expecting much out of this first year at Frieze Masters, and found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The venue was lovely. They could still stand to do some significant amount of serious editing here (almost the entire “S” aisle could disappear with no loss whatsoever). But they have the right idea, as long as they keep tight reins on the size of the venue and the quality of work displayed.
Article and Photos by: Todd Levin (reprinted of his Facebook page)
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Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Leila Heller Gallery, September 2014
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