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Trending at Frieze London Right Now. 2. Utilities.
Elephant Magazine

By Ellie Howard

All hail the household appliance. Forever abused, always unappreciated, the bog-standard utility reminds us of boring Sunday afternoons spent wandering around Argos with spouse in tow. Well not any longer, in fact the utility is making a strong statement this week as Elephant spotted quite a few housewares loitering in galleries’ booths.

Do Ho Suh was in-demand this year, as work by the Korean artist was to be found at two high-profile galleries, both Victoria Miro & Lehmann Maupin. The artist’s transparent, gauzy installations made from polyester are spun from memories of Suh’s past homes. Peering into Boiler Room: London Studio, 2015 we contemplate both personal and public space; our pivotal role within and our identity throughout. The work feels like a private discovery, the inner child finding a hiding space.

Further afield, winners of this year’s Frieze Stand Prize, Stuart Shave/Modern Art presented Yngve Holen’s work Original Spare Part neo (2014-15). Components of washing machines provide domestic plinths on which model aeroplanes sit, stiltedly flying underneath thermal imaging sheets, Holen’s way of asking – where is the human in this altered landscape?

Also noted, was the spate of clay-based artworks seen at Frieze. It seems Ceramics had cemented their place in the art-world mainstream, as Anne Agee’s Lake Michigan Bathroom (II), 2014 provided the frontispiece for the P.P.O.W Gallery. Fanciful ornate blue & white patterning revealed both traditional influence and elicit scenes, much to the thong of many instagrammers’ amusement.

And finally, we had to mention the streamlined graphite sculpture sat erect in the central quarter of The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd’s booth. Intimidating in its fastidiousness – the impenetrable minimalist block was later understood to be posing as Adam McEwen’s Trash Can 2015 and Elephant happened to find a discarded bottle of wine inside.

A little out of our budget perhaps, back to Argos we go.