Spanning Generations (II)

Exploring the work of Nancy Holt and David Ireland from this year's Spotlight section

pfn_holt_western.graveyards_05.jpg

Nancy Holt, Western Graveyards, (all, details), 1968. Courtesy Parafin, London

Nancy Holt, Western Graveyards, (all, details), 1968Courtesy Parafin, London

For the first New York edition of Frieze Week, critic and curator Jonathan Griffin pairs a selection of established and emerging artists being presented at this year's fair. 

 

pfn_holt_western.graveyards_06.jpg

Nancy Holt, Western Graveyards, (all, details), 1968. Courtesy Parafin, London

Nancy Holt, Western Graveyards, (all, details), 1968Courtesy Parafin, London

Nancy Holt
Spotlight

In 2014, on the summer solstice after Nancy Holt died, a crowd of friends and admirers gathered in commemoration of her most famous work, Sun Tunnels (1976), in the Great Basin Desert in northwestern Utah. The piece—now an icon of Land Art—consists of four concrete cylinders, each about nine feet in diameter, arranged in an open “X” formation. These tunnels, which are unfenced and physically navigable by viewers, are pierced by holes that correspond with constellations of stars. During the day, the apertures throw discs of sunlight onto the interior walls.

Throughout her career, Holt made outdoor installations using concrete, steel, and landscaped elements, many of which related to the progress of the sun, moon, and stars. She also made installations for galleries (“nonsites,” as her late husband Robert Smithson termed such works), as
well as films and photographs, including the series Western Graveyards (1968), shot while on a trip with Smithson and Michael Heizer. “I became fascinated by the graves in the West because they were contained spaces, often with fences surrounding them,” she wrote. “They reflect how people thought about the space out West; their last desire was to delineate a little plot of their own because there was so much vastness.” 

David Ireland
Spotlight

Ireland_Red Thanka.jpg

David Ireland, from \"Thanka\" series (A-red), c.1974. Courtesy Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco

David Ireland, from "Thanka" series (A-red), c.1974. Courtesy Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco

“You can’t make art by making art,” David Ireland liked to say. Instead, the San Francisco-based artist, who died in 2009 at the age of 78, did performances, took photographs, built furniture, and cooked dinners at 500 Capp Street, a home he almost inadvertently turned into an immersive work of art.

Ireland came to art relatively late in life, after working as an insurance agent and organizer of safaris on the African continent, among other jobs. He graduated from art school in 1974. San Francisco’s art scene was in the sway of the irreverent Funk movement, but also Fluxus, Zen philosophy, Conceptualism, and political activism, as well as a uniquely Californian circle of artist-craftspeople. In 1975, Ireland purchased an 1886 row house in the city’s Mission district, intending to use it partly as a studio. He stripped it back to its bones, removing wall coverings and prising off wooden trim around windows. He stabilized the cracked plaster with polyurethane, and installed his own lighting fixtures and sculptures in the space, some of which were made with objects he found when he moved in, like a collection of brooms. After an intensive two-year restoration, 500 Capp Street will reopen to the public this year.

Nancy Holt and David Ireland will be presented at Frieze New York 2016 by Parafin (Stand C51) and Anglim Gilbert Gallery (Stand D32) respectively. 

Spanning Generations: Spotlight, Frame and Focus

With three specially curated feature sections advised by renowned curators Clara M Kim, Jacob Proctor and Fabien Schöneich, Frieze New York is uniquely well configured for visitors to discover the diversity of the global contemporary gallery community and a geographic and generational range of artists. 

A platform for galleries opened since 2003, Focus offers a perspective on the artists of tomorrow: galleries and artists from Brooklyn to Bogotá who are setting the international agenda, and, in many cases already gaining institutional recognition. Frame assembles solo presentations by 18 emerging artists, demonstrating both a diversity of positions and a number of common concerns and approaches, whether Gina Beavers’s and Patricia L Boyd’s departure from online photography into, respectively, sculpture and painting, or the complementary explorations of fiber installations by Liu Shiyuan and Phillip Zach.

Spotlight, meanwhile, dedicates space to underrepresented twentieth-century work, whether lesser-known moments in the careers of recognized artists (such as Mary Kelly’s mid-1980s installations, or Jo Baer’s early gouaches); artists coming into or returning to critical attention (such as Robert Filliou and Alan Shields); or artists working from a non-Western perspective (such as Zahoor ul Akhlaq, Abraham Palatnik, and SH Raza.)

This is the second in a 4-part series. The full article appears in the first New York edition of Frieze Week magazine published in April.

Read part I: Frank Bowling and Josh Brand

Frieze Week magazine is the insiders' guide to our art fairs with a preview of the best works on view, news of curated projects and talks, and tips on the most important exhibitions and events taking place around town. Frieze Week is published in anticipation of Frieze New York in May and Frieze London & Masters in October. 

Find out more about galleries at Frieze New York 2016

Purchase Frieze Week with your ticket to Frieze New York

Jonathan Griffin is a contributing editor of frieze and a freelance writer living in Los Angeles.

Most Read

Ahead of ARCOMadrid this week, a guide to the best institutional shows in the city
A report commissioned by the museum claims Raicovich ‘misled’ the board; she disputes the investigation’s claims
In further news: Jef Geys (1934–2018); and Hirshhorn postpones Krzysztof Wodiczko projection after Florida shooting
If the city’s pivot to contemporary art was first realized by landmark construction, then what comes after might not...
Ignoring its faux-dissident title, this year's edition at the New Museum displays a repertoire that is folky, angry,...
An insight into royal aesthetics's double nature: Charles I’s tastes and habits emerge as never before at London’s...
In other news: Artforum responds to #NotSurprised call for boycott of the magazine; Maria Balshaw apologizes for...
At transmediale in Berlin, contesting exclusionary language from the alt-right to offshore finance
From Shanghai to Dubai, a new history charts the frontiers where underground scenes battle big business for electronic...
Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, UK
Zihan Karim, Various Way of Departure, 2017, video still. Courtesy: Samdani Art Foundation
Can an alternative arts network, unmediated by the West's commercial capitals and burgeoning arts economies of China...
‘That moment, that smile’: collaborators of the filmmaker pay tribute to a force in California's film and music scenes...
In further news: We Are Not Surprised collective calls for boycott of Artforum, accuses it of 'empty politics'; Frida...
We Are Not Surprised group calls for the magazine to remove Knight Landesman as co-owner and withdraw move to dismiss...
Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film is both gorgeous and troubling in equal measure
With Zona Maco opening in the city today, a guide to the best exhibitions across the Mexican capital
The question at the heart of Manchester Art Gallery’s artwork removal: what are the risks when cultural programming...
In further news: Sonia Boyce explains removal of Manchester Art Gallery’s nude nymphs; Creative Scotland responds to...
Ahead of the India Art Fair running this weekend in the capital, a guide to the best shows to see around town
The gallery argues that the funding body is no longer supportive of institutions that maintain a principled refusal of...
The Dutch museum’s decision to remove a bust of its namesake is part of a wider reconsideration of colonial histories,...
At New York’s Metrograph, a diverse film programme addresses a ‘central problem’ of feminist filmmaking
Ronald Jones pays tribute to a rare critic, art historian, teacher and friend who coined the term Post-Minimalism
In further news: curators rally behind Laura Raicovich; Glasgow's Transmission Gallery responds to loss of Creative...
Nottingham Contemporary, UK
‘An artist in a proud and profound sense, whether he liked it or not’ – a tribute by Michael Bracewell
Ahead of a show at Amsterdam’s EYE Filmmuseum, how the documentarian’s wandering gaze takes in China’s landscapes of...
In further news: Stedelijk explains why it cancelled Ettore Sottsass retrospective; US National Gallery of Art cancels...
With 11 of her works on show at the Musée d'Orsay, one of the most underrated artists in modern European history is...
Reopening after a two-year hiatus, London’s brutalist landmark is more than a match for the photographer’s blockbuster...
What the Google Arts & Culture app tells us about our selfie obsession
At a time of #metoo fearlessness, a collection of female critics interrogate their own fandom for music’s most...
A rare, in-depth interview with fashion designer Jil Sander

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

November - December 2017

frieze magazine

January - February 2018

frieze magazine

March 2018