Frieze Preview: Laura McLean-Ferris

What the New York-based writer and curator is looking forward to 

Recently, Megan Rooney has been making murals and large-scale paintings of soft faces and bodies floating in pink and violet space, which I'm looking forward to seeing at Seventeen Gallery in this year’s Focus section. Eyelashes claggy with black mascara and pillowy breasts suggest over-determined femininity, but these sugary blancmange scenes swim with disquiet. Facial expressions range from saccharine-manic lipstick grins to blank stares, and there are dirty smears everywhere. With shades of Philip Guston, Rooney’s paintings convey a spirit world of lunacy, rooted in bodily confusion.

nick_bastis_when_you_dont_find_what_youre_looking_for_sleep_gemini_bauce_2015_vinyl_padding_helix_aspersa_snails._courtesy_the_artist_and_regards_chicago

Nick Bastis, When you don’t find what you’re looking for, sleep (Gemini Bauce), 2015, vinyl padding, Helix aspersa snails. Courtesy: the artist and Regards, Chicago

Nick Bastis, When you don’t find what you’re looking for, sleep (Gemini Bauce), 2015, vinyl padding, Helix aspersa snails. Courtesy: the artist and Regards, Chicago

In Frame, the young Chicago gallery Regards will be showing Nick Bastis's recent sculptures that draw upon sleep, storage and suspended animation. Bastis’s inanimate works often feature live, hibernating snails, suggestive of the way that issues of care and tending ghost our every transaction. These dormant molluscs will be housed in empty refrigerator boxes, gathered together with glass casts of rucksacks and grocery store divider columns that play the sound of rain. I’m also looking forward to seeing Patricia L Boyd’s work at Jan Kaps, Cologne, which includes sculptures made from kitchen grease and large prints of bruises caused by ‘cupping treatment’. Similar connections are drawn in the sculptures of Cooper Jacoby, whose recent fibreglass casts of gutters and sewer drains at Berlin’s Mathew Gallery also encompassed diagnostic acupuncture charts. I’m also looking forward to seeing the first solo fair presentation of Phillip Zach by LA’s Freedman Fitzpatrick

john_divola_from_the_san_fernando_valley_series._courtesy_the_artist_and_gallery_luisotti_santa_monica

John Divola, from the 'San Fernando Valley' series. Courtesy: the artist and Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica

John Divola, from the 'San Fernando Valley' series. Courtesy: the artist and Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica

I read some very interesting coverage of a retrospective of Lea Lublin (1929-1999) that was held at Lenbachhaus in Munich last year. The Argentine-French artist’s installations featured participatory sculptures informed by psychoanalytic theories about parenting, play and power relations: for her most notorious work, Mon Fils (My Son, 1968), she took care of her young son at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris during the museum's opening hours. I’m intrigued to see this work in person at espaivisor, Valencia, in the Spotlight section. Lastly, John Divola’s photographs are always a pleasure, and this year Gallery Luisotti will be showing some beautiful prints of his ‘Vandalism’ series from the early 1970s, as well as early portraits that he made in the San Fernando Valley, riding around on his bicycle, photographing, amongst other things, his neighbours watering their lawns.

Laura McLean-Ferris is a writer and curator based in New York.

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