Conceptual Sculpture Highlights at Frieze New York 2019

Seven multi-dimensional works that provoke imagination

After a monumental Los Angeles debut earlier this year, Frieze Art Fair returns to New York. Set within pop-up pavilions of epic proportion—accessible by ferry on Randall’s Island—the acclaimed assembly of global art galleries presents their best. And it may be the most fetching iteration of Frieze (in this location) to date. From the grand mixed-media introduction to the fair by Victoria Miro to row upon row of works from more than 1,000 artists. Highlights are aplenty, but this year conceptual sculptures dominate. Jenny Holzer‘s dangling ticker draw eyes to one booth. Mariela Scafati’s multi-sculpture, multi-canvas work Familia capture the gaze of many passersby. And the seven selections below will continue to offer us inspiration long after the fair ends.

Olivia Erlanger’s Untitled Mermaid Tails

Olivia Erlanger had three mermaid tail sculptures exhibited at the And Now booth. These large-scale works extend from washing machines. In fact, Erlanger has previously exhibited her tails in real laundromats. The imaginative visual statement is open to many interpretations—perhaps cleanliness and water quality at the top of the list.

Max Hooper Schneider’s “Shiatsu”

With a neon sign and model habitat situated in a custom acrylic vitrine, Max Hooper Schneider‘s 2019 work “Shiatsu” weaves together several disparate themes. Found inside the booth of London’s Maureen Paley, the sculpture alludes to one of Schneider’s frequent preoccupations: a post-human world.

Tony Tasset’s “Snowman in Two Parts”

Hosted by Chicago’s Kavi Gupta Gallery, Tony Tasset’s appropriately named “Snowman in Two Parts” (2017) feels much like a childhood dream come to a bitter conclusion. Glass and resin, along with enamel and oil paint, compose both the body and detached head of a dirty snowman—that appears to be be on the verge of toppling.

Gabriele Beveridge’s “True Bone”

From Gabriele Beveridge, “True Bone” (2019) combines hand-blown glass and chromed steel shop fittings to create a wall-hung sculpture with skeletal impact. Seen on the walls of London’s Seventeen Gallery‘s booth, the work’s material may be appear cold, but the effect is something oddly human.

Tony Matelli’s “Lion (Fruit)”

Made for the Marlborough Contemporary booth this year, Tony Matelli‘s “Lion (Fruit)” (2019) replicates and exaggerates a large Assyrian lion sculpture. Matelli has then accented the piece with several colorful fruit works. The color plays so well off the imitation limestone to create an image defiant of time and place.

Paola Pivi’s “Untitled (Pearls)”

Innumerable transparent pearls cascade out from a wood back, in Paola Pivi‘s “Untitled (Pearls)” sculpture from 2017. Like a crystalline, wall-hung carpet, the curious creation was found at Perrotin. It posses a playful visual balance—wherein one wants to touch but also appreciate the way it interacts with light when standing afar.

Seung-Taek Lee’s Numerous “Untitled” Sculptures

Together, Seung-Taek Lee‘s yellow and black sculptures—at the booth of Seoul‘s Gallery Hyundai—appear to sprout from the floor like flowers. Composed of stainless steel, steel and urethan vinyl, each whimsical piece reaches a different height. Further, two drawings of the pieces—also by Lee—were hung in the booth for additional context.

All images by David Graver, including hero of Yayoi Kusama sculptures paired with a Chris Ofili painting at the Victoria Miro booth