10 Must-See Artists at Frieze New York 2018

Kapwani Kiwanga, ‘Pink-Blue,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Frieze


It’s the first week of May which, of course, means The Met Gala. But it also means the New York edition of the annual Frieze art fair. Opening tomorrow, the high-profile art schmooze will bring together work from over 1,000 established and emerging talents, on view through May 6.

And because we at BlackBook are always here to tell you what to do, we’ve put together a list of the 10 must-see artists at Frieze New York 2018.


Imran Qureshi at Nature Morte


‘This Leprous Brightness,’ 2011, photo courtesy of Nature Morte
Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi employs various mediums, including painting, installation art and video, to explore the political climate of the Middle East. Juxtaposing violent splatters with precise strokes, he invokes a sort of controlled chaos that reflects his feelings towards his country’s current state.


Isa Genzken at Hauser & Wirth


‘Untitled,’ 2012, photo courtesy of Hauser & Wirth
Sculptor and installation artist Isa Genzken has worked for over 40 years. Using a variety of materials, including wood, concrete and textiles, the Berlin-based artist explores consumerism and the relationships between high and low brow.


Ana Mazzei at Galeria Jaqueline Martins


‘Garden,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Galeria Jaqueline Martins
Brazilian artist Ana Mazzei creates minimalist sculpture installations that explore perception and the limits of reality. Often working with painted linen, the 38-year-old builds subtle yet powerful scenescapes inspired by philosophers Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal.


Jordan Nassar at Anat Ebgi


‘The sun like you is covered with flowers,’ 2017, photo courtesy of the artist
New York artist Jordan Nassar creates hand-embroidered pieces inspired by traditional Palestinian works. Using bold colors and a highly skilled technical practice, he explores the intersections of identity, technology, language and craft.


Jordan Wolfson at David Zwirner


Still from ‘Riverboat Song,’ 2017-18, photo courtesy of David Zwirner
Multimedia artist Jordan Wolfson uses photography, film, installation and sculpture to create cutting social commentary on violence and entertainment. With his own animated characters, the New York City-born Wolfson creates subversive narrative pieces that join appropriated images and found objects with his original work.


Farhad Moshiri at The Third Line


‘Top of the World,’ 2011, photo courtesy of The Third Line
Artist Farhad Moshiri uses Pop Art paintings to explore the relationship between his Iranian heritage and the customs he adopted growing up in a Western culture. Using vivid colors and unorthodox materials (like the plastic pearls in the work above), he juxtaposes traditional techniques with images of popular culture.


Artur Lescher at Nara Roesler


‘Inabsência,’ 2012, photo courtesy of Nara Roesler
Sculptor Artur Lescher creates large-scale pieces that are both artfully designed and architecturally sound. Through a wide range of materials, the Brazilian artist crafts modern masterpieces that challenge perception and form.


Judith Bernstein at Paul Kasmin


‘Money Shot – Green,’ 2016, photo courtesy of Paul Kasmin
Artist Judith Bernstein has had an extensive career drawing dicks. Mixing pop art with phalluses, the New York-based painter creates colorful canvases that are both overtly political and unapologetically feminist.


Rosemary Laing at Galerie Lelong


‘Rose of Australia,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Galerie Lelong & Co., New York
Australian photographer Rosemary Laing creates conceptual and surrealist images that capture her subjects without digital enhancement. Photographing staged scenes, the photographer often explores the political, social and cultural trends in her native Australia.


Kapwani Kiwanga curated by Adrienne Edwards for the Frieze Artist Award


‘The Sun Never Sets,’ 2017, courtesy of Frieze
The winner of this year’s Frieze Artist Award, Kapwani Kiwanga is a Canadian installation artist whose work often examines colonialism and its impact on contemporary identity. At this year’s fair, she will debut an open-air installation that “explores freedom of movement and architectures of exclusion,” titled ‘Shady.’


So, if you don’t already have your tickets, you can buy them here.


A Punk In Paris, Beyonce, And More Flying Condoms

Who could ever predict that ‘whimsical, flying condoms’ might become the art world’s sleeper meme for the spring season? I’ve already discussed Michael Mahalchick’s recently opened show, in which a poster of Keanu Reeves is decorated with brightly colored prophylactics; now, having finally made it to Jordan Wolfson’s exhibition at Zwirner, I can see that this mini-theme is officially ascendant (tumescent?).  The centerpiece is Wolfson’s Raspberry Poser, a 13:54 looped video that combines live action, animation, and various digital effects. The camera zooms in and through a number of familiar and slightly generic places–New York City streets, the unpopulated interiors of plush apartments–over which a floppingly acrobatic condom cavorts, filled with what appear to be red, heart-shaped candies that periodically spill out all over the place. This is all set to a number of pop songs, including Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You and two versions of Beyonce’s Sweet Dreams. The musical segments are intercut with animations in which a tough-looking manchild (whom a catalog essay smartly identifies as a sort of grown-up version of the kid from Calvin & Hobbes) smokes cigarettes and, several times, self-eviscerates, his liberated organs doing a shuffling dance as he bleeds out.

All pretty normal, right? Just wait until you get to the bits where Wolfson himself appears as a generic ‘punk,’ walking around Paris in a leather jacket marked up to celebrate Iggy Pop, carrying a bag of baguettes. He checks his smartphone; harasses strangers; pulls his pants down and humps the grass; and, at one point, appears in hastily-applied blackface, chatting up some guy on a park bench.


The video is paired with a number of mixed-media works that combine found and original imagery. One work includes a stock image of a woman in the guise of Rosie the Riveter, her portrait marred by bumper stickers advertising CRIPPLED SEX or claiming that “Socrates was an asshole.”

On one hand, this all reeks strongly of disjointed shock-and-awe. But there’s something deeply compelling about whatever it is Wolfson is up to. He’s intelligently obscene, not afraid to entertain, and clearly interested–as are so many younger artists these days–in mirroring the informationally overloaded mindfuck that is our digitally enabled, 21st-century existence.

It’s also nice to think of some of these impolite ‘paintings’ (which reference masturbation,  a certain 4-letter pejorative for the female anatomy, and poetic nonsense like “Choco Nose! Boom Murder! Money”) hanging on the wall of a collector who is trying, probably desperately, to not seem like a prude. Hey, maybe they’ll end up at Leo’s house! The Wolf of Wall Street star is clearly an aficionado of the next wave of flying-condom-based practice; he was chatting up gallery staff alongside Tobey Maguire when I visited.

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Raymond Pettibon’s Weird Wit

Raymond Pettibon’s exhibition, "To Wit" opened last night at David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea. The prolific artist (and semi-crazed Twitterer) tacked paintings and drawings all over the space—a sort of drunken salon-style hanging—interspersed with enigmatic phrases scrawled directly on the wall ("I’ve probably forgotten sum things, buyt s’nuff said for now. Whuytuyp.")

One of our favorite pieces: A brightly colored still life of an elegant table setting that reads, "The maid was so nervous serving dinner that her hands were trembling as she painted this."

We ran into painter Chuck Webster at the opening and asked him to expound on his own love for all things Pettibon. Check out what he had to say below.

And then go see his own exhibition, currently up at Betty Cuningham Gallery, also in Chelsea. And he’s also in a massive drawing show (with collaborator Ross Simonini) that opens tonight at Know More Games in Brooklyn.