My Highlights from Frieze Masters 2014

Thomas Marks
Oct 8, 2014 11:33AM

There are lots of great solo stands at Frieze Masters, and I’ve picked out items from a few of them to reflect that. I associate the fair with surprise and discovery—its creative juxtapositions push you out of your comfort zone—and other pieces here pick up on that. 

My Selection:

Mary Corse, Untitled (Black Earth Series-16 Tiles), 1978, at Almine Rech 

Just when you’d had your fill of black squares—after the vast Malevich show at Tate Modern—here is a tactile, ceramic take on them by the unsung Light and Space artist Mary Corse. 

Jo Spence, Narratives of Dis-ease: Included, 1990, at Richard Saltoun

Adriano Pedrosa has gathered together an eclectic mixture of artists for the stands in the Spotlight section—some living artists, some dead, but almost all less well known that they should be. Jo Spence’s documentary photography, much of it documenting her battle with breast cancer, is challenging but vital. 

Leon Kossoff, From Poussin ‘A Bacchanalian Revel before a Herm’, at Annely Juda Fine Art

One of the most thrilling stands this year, showing 40 works on paper by Leon Kossoff, made after Old Master paintings. This type of connection—modern masters meeting their precursors—is what Frieze Masters is all about. 

Frank Auerbach, Head of Helen Gillespie VI, 1966, at Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert

I am hoovering up Auerbach at the moment—with paintings by him from Lucian Freud’s collection currently on show at Tate Britain, and a major retrospective there last year.

Sir John Herschel, A cave in the cliff on the beach. Dawlish, Devon, 1816, at Hans P Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs 

An enigmatic camera lucida drawing. I suppose even if you were using an optical aid, you would have needed a sense of line and composition—and Herschel has here produced a kind of geological fantasy. 

Hélio Oiticica, Grupo Frente, 1956-1957, at A Gentil Carioca

Looking forward to this solo presentation of Oiticica’s work, which is part of the Spotlight section at the fair. These “Grupo Frente” works have a really beguiling sense of movement.

Gonçal Peris, Pietà, 15th century, at Richard L. Feigen & Co.

A beautiful Catalan gold-ground painting. Its architecture is amazing, with that pronounced cross-beam of the Pieta set in a kind of rocky cradle. The decorative work punched into the gold is exceptional, too.

Josef Albers, Rabbit (half to the right), 1916, at Alan Cristea Gallery 

Alan Cristea is bringing a solo stand of Josef Albers prints. I’ve picked out this early, pre-Bauhaus work: an angular, pared-down version of Dürer’s Young Hare. The lines are so efficient, and you can see where he’s going.

The October issue of Apollo is available at Frieze Masters. To take advantage of a special Frieze Masters subscription offer to Apollo, click here.

Explore Frieze Masters 2014 on Artsy.

Thomas Marks