Satoshi Ohno, Dating in Ocean of Trees, 2015, at Tomio Koyama Gallery.

Satoshi Ohno, Dating in Ocean of Trees, 2015, at Tomio Koyama Gallery.

Best in Show: Frieze Fair

My Favorite Paintings

 

For this year’s Frieze Art Fair at Randall’s Island in New York City, I tried to avoid the usual fair fatigue one can experience at a show of this magnitude and went on a scavenger hunt for the best painting I could find. Location was sometimes important, as Blum & Poe’s booth near the entrance with a large Carrol Dunham of a yellow sun called Solar Eruption (2000-2001) had the first canvas to catch my attention over a visual overload of competing booths in the spacious, brightly-lit environment of the fair.

 

CarollDunham BlumandPoe Best in Show: Frieze Fair

Carrol Dunham, Solar Eruption, 2000-2001, at Blum & Poe.

 

In contrast, The Breeder’s space in the middle of the fair had Jannis Varelas’ Der Krieger (2013), a large black-and-white, charcoal-and-oil on canvas with a folk art vibe that packed a graphic punch.

 

JannisVarelas TheBreeder Best in Show: Frieze Fair

Jannis Varelas, Der Krieger, 2013, at The Breeder.

 

For solo presentations, Fredericks & Freiser’s booth with several colorful Gary Panter works was a standout. Hung on black walls covered with countless original white chalk drawings, this punk pioneer’s cartoony paintings, like Seven Dead, 21 Missing (1988) shined.

 

GaryPanter FredericksFreiser Best in Show: Frieze Fair

Gary Panter, Seven Dead, 21 Missing, 1988, at Fredericks & Freiser.

 

The slightly off-center composition of Pablo Picasso’s Homme et femme I (1971) at Acquavella shows what the master could do with just a few loose lines and squiggles over a brushy background, turning a man and woman into a tangled, contorted soul.

 

PabloPicasso Acquavella Best in Show: Frieze Fair

Pablo Picasso, Homme et femme I, 1971, at Acquavella.

 

For sheer razzle-dazzle, Satoshi Ohno’s Dating in Ocean of Trees (2015) at Tomio Koyama Gallery couldn’t be beat, with its rainbow palette landscape of geometric and natural forms. Coming in a close second was Kyungah Ham’s Abstract Weave – Morris Louis Untitled A (2014) at Kukje Gallery, an explosion of colorful forms made all the more intriguing by its medium of machine embroidery.

 

KyungahHam KukjeGallery Best in Show: Frieze Fair

Kyungah Ham, Abstract Weave – Morris Louis Untitled A, 2014, at Kukje Gallery.