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May 10, 2013

Frieze for Film Buffs

By Maud Doyle | Arts + Culture

Valeska Soares
Photo © Valeska Soares, Finale 2013/Courtesy of Galeria Fortes Vilca

Last year’s debut of Frieze New York received some 45,000 visitors at 180 booths. This year’s fair (May 10–13; friezenewyork.com) is likely to draw an even bigger crowd to the white tent on Randall’s Island in the East River. Granted, art fairs—especially those to which visitors take a ferry—are more exhausting than movie nights, but the themes of great classics, art gems and contemporary blockbusters play throughout Frieze’s exhibits. Here, we recommend the booths that will transform the fair from crowd-navigation exercise to cinematic experience.

For Fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey

The Film: Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi epic famously begins with man’s first defining discovery of the tool and ends with a world devolved into floating, abstract shapes.

The Fair: An array of roughly hewn tools arranged in a constellation on the outer wall of L&M Arts (B1) is immediately visible from the fair’s north entrance. The artist, Nick van Woert, is interested in Westerns, exploration and the pioneering spirit.

Works from Robert Rauschenberg’s “Glut” series, which recasts scrap metal and signage into new forms, are offset by a meteor-like sculpture at the Gagosian Gallery booth (B59).

Just next door, at David Zwirner (C48), enormous, abstract images (space, lunar surfaces, abstraction driven by camera technology) by Thomas Ruff have a magnetic pull.

For Fans of La Jetée

The Film: This disturbing work by Chris Marker, done almost entirely in still images and set in the apocalyptic aftermath of a nuclear World War III, features a man sent back and forth through time against his will, ultimately witnessing his own death.

The Fair: At Grimm (A6), a Nick van Woert contraption made from exercise machines with strap-in seats and Paleolithic-looking stone weights—part mechanism for self-improvement, part instrument of torture—gives the sense that it’s been set in motion by history.

Just across the aisle at Murray Guy (B5), Zoe Leonard’s arresting photos of animals (dead and alive) transform the natural world into something eerie and strange. Bent, burnt sheets of metal curl on the floor.

Outside Sprüth Magers Berlin London (C6), a Barbara Kruger poster reads “Truth” in bold red letters. Inside, the distorted humanity of George Condo and the history-collapsing collages of Cyprien Gaillard and Jenny Holzer suggest a disturbance of the natural order has already taken place.

For Those Anticipating The Great Gatsby

The Film: Premiering today, Baz Luhrmann’s effort promises to be a sumptuous display of romantic excesses with a tragic end, in which Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) seeks to set-decorate his way into a new identity.

The Fair: At Galeria Fortes Vilaça (C50), Valeska Soares’s work—elegant, partially filled cocktail glasses of every shape and size sitting on a mirrored table—questions whether romantic objects can signify anything beyond the fact of themselves.

The fragility of the worlds we build ourselves is illustrated by Do-Ho Suh’s fine, life-size recreation of an 18th-century apartment, rendered in transparent green fabric at Lehmann Maupin (C11).

The subtle exhibit at Frith Street Gallery (C44) includes vent grills painted silver for a luminescent effect, silver dishes flattened and suspended like mobiles (exquisitely useless) and a condemning archival print from Dayanita Singh’s archive series, in which books lie disorganized and dusty—history ignored.