With the first notes of fall drifting into the air, and August fading into September, attention turns this week to the South Korean capital of Seoul, where Frieze has opened the latest expansion of its burgeoning art fair franchise, running this weekend. The new fair, led by Frieze Seoul Director Patrick Lee, features over 110 galleries, with a strong focus on Asia alongside a range of galleries from 20 countries. The fair marks the continuation of several years of growth for Frieze, which has added expansions in LA, New York and now Seoul in several years of quick development.
This year’s edition of the fair takes over the convention centers at Coex, the massive shopping center and compound in the city’s Gangnam neighborhood, and makes the most of the space’s impressive appointments and ample space. The aisles and booths are designed with a leisurely flow, allowing a meandering pace and time to explore the many works on view. This is complemented by the scope and quality of work on hand, mixing young artists and upcoming galleries with a strong selection of blue-chip works and galleries. At David Zwirner, one could view new work by painter Oscar Murillo, while Lisson Gallery was presenting a range of works from its roster of artists, including pieces by Ai Weiwei and Hugh Hayden. At Max Hetzler, one could view work by sculptor Hans Josephsohn, while at Sprüth Magers, a range of canvases and wall-mounted works by Jenny Holzer, George Condo and more were the focal point. Also of note was a presentation of Park Seo-Bo’s work at White Cube, emphasizing the Korean artist’s impact on the language of contemporary art.
Commanding particular attention, and once again showing his penchant for sensational, booth-filling works, artist Urs Fischer was presenting a disturbing automated sculpture at Sadie Coles, depicting two figures, clad in motley attire, tugging a baby back and forth, all bearing the visage of the artist. Other highlights came from a new range of works by Anicka Yi at Gladstone Gallery, continuing the artist’s exploration of organic forms in concert with biological processes and traditional materials. Another impressive booth came from Travesia Cuatro, where artist Teresa Solar‘s cunning mixtures of bright, dynamic color and soaring forms perfectly complemented the rough-shod sculptural gestures balancing her work.
Marking a continued engagement with the ever-changing landscape of contemporary art, and a focus on growing alongside its changing boundaries and audiences, Frieze Seoul marks a powerful next step for the fair franchise. It closes September 5th.
– D. Creahan
Frieze Seoul [Exhibition Site]