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‘Even in the Abstract, We Are Brought Back to Politics’

Brooklyn Museum’s Catherine Morris discusses two galleries’ approaches to social issues at Frieze New York

Organizing art at a fair around social issues - particularly in our current fraught political climate — can be risky, but there is nevertheless something important about seeing work that addresses the issues that preoccupy us today. Galerie Lelong (B16) is bringing together a great group of artists — including Rosemary Laing, Samuel Levi Jones, Ana Mendieta, and Krzysztof Wodiczko — whose work engages personal conversations about migration and borders, colonialism, and the politics of identity.

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Rosemary Laing, Rose of Australia, 2017. Archival pigment print, 100 x 200cm. Courtesy: Galerie Lelong & Co., New York © Rosemary Laing

Rosemary Laing, Rose of Australia, 2017. Archival pigment print, 100 x 200cm. Courtesy: Galerie Lelong & Co., New York © Rosemary Laing

Linking the artist’s childhood home to the history of the Great Migration, the deftly constructed canvas accumulations of McArthur Binion are included in group presentation by Kavi Gupta (C15), which examines how this kind of expansive, socially engaged content manifests within the seemingly minimalist work of Clare Rojas, Beverly Fishman, Manish Nai, and Patrick Chamberlain. Even in the abstract, we are brought back to politics.

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Beverly Fishman, Untitled (Sleepiness, Antipsychotic, Pain), 2017. Urethane paint on wood, 236 x 122 x 5 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Kavi Gupta, Chicago

Beverly Fishman, Untitled (Sleepiness, Antipsychotic, Pain), 2017. Urethane paint on wood, 236 x 122 x 5 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Kavi Gupta, Chicago

Frieze New York takes place May 3—6

Catherine Morris is Sackler Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Femininst Art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York City

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