Sunday, June 20, 2021

Frieze New York art fair: seeing Black lives differently

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(Corrects fifth paragraph to say “participants” instead of “co-sponsors”)

By Aleksandra Michalska

NEW YORK (Reuters) -At the Frieze art fair in New York, over 60 leading galleries are paying tribute to social justice, showing works by the world’s most influential artists.

The goal is to change how we see the world by examining art’s role in portraying race and citizenship. It expands on The Vision & Justice Project, a landmark 2016 issue by Aperture magazine on photography in the African American experience.

“For the past year, so many of us have not only seen the pandemic, but also the incredibly important Black Lives Matter movement,” said Rebecca Ann Siegel, director of content at Frieze. “This really felt like a moment to pay tribute to some work that is so resonant with today’s issues.”

    Works by renowned artists such as Stan Douglas, Hank Willis Thomas, Lorraine O’Grady and Ming Smith are on display.

    “Open your eyes and accept that art and artists are not just coming from one corner of the world, that it can come from anywhere,” said Mayoung Lee of the Korean American Community Foundation. The group and Tina Kim Gallery are participants in the fair, assembling works from artists such as Suki Seokyeong Kang, Park Seo-Bo and Davide Balliano.

“Artists like this really make it possible we can just walk down a floor and see artists of all colors and nationalities in one place and be moved by them. So, that’s what I hope people take away from it,” she said.

    The annual Frieze art fair, held in London, New York and Los Angeles, usually features about 190 contemporary art galleries.

With social distancing rules the fair, which opened at The Shed on Wednesday, is already sold out. But works from around 160 galleries, including those at The Shed, can be seen online in the Frieze Viewing Room.

(Reporting by Aleksandra Michalska; Editing by Richard Chang)

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