My Highlights from Frieze New York 2014

Derek Wilson
Apr 30, 2014 9:12PM

Many of the artists I am enthused about express a sense of playfulness, have an interest in language, and want to create a visual impact for the viewer. 

To create this selection, I looked for works that could change the viewer. I'm interested in the idea that, through one’s interaction of living domestically with them, the art would subtly and perhaps subconsciously help the collector to view the work in new and different ways as time goes on. The more time you give these works, the more they give back to you. 

Also, as a sub-theme of sorts, one of the most interesting things I see in younger artists working today is the fact that they take their use of technology as a given, not an end in-and-of itself.

My Selection: 

Ed Atkins, Hair by Ed, 2013, at Artists Space 

Ed’s works are a really smart take on where we are as a culture, technologically; he often uses computer modeling as well as high definition effects in his videos to create aesthetic experiences that are at once beautiful and, at the same time, deeply unsettling.  

Daniel Buren, Photo-Souvenir: One Piece in Two for one wall, 1981, at Bortolami

Buren is an artist who has found a way to be endlessly inventive while sticking to a self-imposed, highly limited vocabulary. I like this work’s ability to be grounded in Minimalism while also rebellious in its use of color and form. 


Through the use of a simple phrase, Holzer manages to, really poetically, call into question preconceived notions of who we are as individuals and as a culture. What a great phrase this is. 

Hank Willis Thomas, Amandla, 2014, at Goodman Gallery

Working with many mediums, Hank Willis Thomas examines how culture and history are framed and who has the power to do that framing. These larger works are always impactful and emotional. 

Ryan Gander, The Investment - A student scholarship based on the care of a Norwegian Forest Cat for Koros, 2013, at Lisson Gallery

Ryan’s work uses humor to ask all sorts of questions about the world around us. Often using the structure and trappings of childlike games and puzzles, his work has a sense of play that allows the viewer to open up to really unusual answers.

Elad Lassry, Cutting Board, 2013, at Galerie Francesca Pia

While mostly thought of as a photographer, Elad is really more of a sculptor. He has an amazing ability to tap into the uncanny in his work and often you could swear his beautifully framed photographs were photoshopped or altered in some way, even though they are “straight” photography. 

Sanya Kantarovsky, More, 2013, at Casey Kaplan 

Sanya is a painter and sculptor whose works seem to channel a semi neo-constructivist vibe well salted with elements of humor and narrative. In addition to the intuitive, tactile feeling in the work, there is always a really sophisticated, elegant formal presentation that grounds the work and gives it weight.

Eddie Peake, Ancient Pots N Shit, 2014, at Galleria Lorcan O’Neill 

Eddie utilizes painting, performance, photography, and video to make really enthralling works with a heavy sexual tension. These sharply colored steel paintings are visually arresting in their use of words and self-reflection to point out the limits of language while placing the viewer in an awkward situation. 

Frances Stark, From therealstarkiller #543, 2014, at Gavin Brown’s enterprise 

Like many of the artists I find myself drawn to, Frances uses words in unusual ways to investigate language and form. She has recently engaged in text messages and, in this body of work, Instagram flirtations, which I find fascinating. This piece features Barkley Hendricks, another favorite artist of mine. Follow Frances on Instagram: @therealstarkiller.

Shannon Ebner, Electric Comma Four, 2013, at Wallspace

Shannon has an almost magical ability to find happenstance in the everyday.  Like the best artists, her work always opens my eyes to seeing the world in a new, more nuanced way.

Christopher WoolUntitled, 2007, at Luhring Augustine

Wool is one of the most inventive and incisive painters working today. His works are constantly rethinking what painting can be and, in that process, making a definitive argument for the continued vitality of that medium in a post-digital world.

Explore Frieze NY 2014 on Artsy.

Derek Wilson