Magazine article Sculpture

LONDON: 2013 Frieze Art Fair

Magazine article Sculpture

LONDON: 2013 Frieze Art Fair

Article excerpt

Regent's Park

The 2013 Frieze Art Fair featured three components, Frieze London, Frieze Masters, and an outdoor sculpture exhibition-all in Regent's Park. Originally a royal hunting ground, the park includes an artificial lake, tennis courts, cricket ground, children's playgrounds, and the London Zoo. The sculptures installed here, if only for a few days, drew amazed responses from joggers and other recreational users. Curator Clare Lilley, who has spent 22 years as the chief curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), encouraged participating gallerists to think seriously about their proposals for sculpture on the site.

This was the first art fair that I've attended in which sculpture was curated in such a considered manner. Lilley demonstrated how sculpture inhabits spaces in and between the worlds of reality and imagination. She approaches sculpture physically, searching for variety and rhythm, for anchors that can be intimate or loud, for works that dialogue with each other, as well as engage with the natural environment and viewers, to form a variety of statements and placements. Tactfully skirting the commodity aspect of the fair, she presented a balance between works suggested by the galleries and those that she solicited.

In a typical London rain, Lilley led me to a crumpled take on Robert Indiana's LOVE. Crafted in polished stainless steel, Gimhongsok's Love (2012) humorously reflected and distorted its surroundings. With deadpan satirical humor, this Korean artist tackles a range of subject matter, including the international art world, pop culture, and mass media. Jeppe Hein's Geometrical Mirrors (2011), also clad in reflective material, merged elegantly with its environs (disappearing or resurfacing depending on the light and the viewer's position) while offering the right balance of aesthetic and participatory joy.

In a nearby grove of trees, a bench asked if poetry can play a role in sculpture. Amar Kanwar's The Sovereign Forest is one of his many "Listening Benches" originally commissioned by Lilley for YSP. A filmmaker and photographer who works with books and archival materials, Kanwar made his first venture into sculpture with these works. At Regent's Park, visitors seeking a quiet place to relax became an unwitting audience for oral histories spoken by residents of Arissa, India, who recounted a painful saga of displacement, environmental destruction, and ruin set in motion by mining companies. …

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