Rearrangeable Rainbow Blocks Judy Chicago. Copyright Frieze London.
LONDON - Having already set a high precedent last year, Clare Lilley’s second year as curator of the Sculpture Park for Frieze Art Fair left little room for disappointment. Combining works from both Frieze London and Frieze Masters for the first time, Regent’s Park played host to an inspiring amalgamation of sculptures, where work by acclaimed modern and contemporary sculptors sat alongside historical pieces. As one of the largest presentations of sculpture to date at Frieze, I was honoured to gain an insight into Lilley’s curatorial vision on a guided tour of the park itself.
During recent years Elmgreen and Dragset, the dynamic Scandinavian duo, have gained critical acclaim for their subversive artworks and installations. Having been awarded a fourth plinth commission, an exhibition at the V&A and their very own space in the Galerie Perrotin section of Frieze London, it was only natural that Lilley chose one of their works to grace the park. But I’m on the Guest List Too! examines the hierarchy of values and meritocracy established by today’s elitist culture. Elmgreen and Dragset’s piece blurs the line between welcome and exclusion, an intriguing contradiction in point when placed in the free Regent’s Park within a ticketed event.
Wind Sculpture 1 Yinka Shonibare. Copyright Frieze London.
Having followed Judy Chicago’s work closely throughout my studies and career, it was to my utmost surprise that she accompanied us on the tour led by Lilley. Rearrangeable Rainbow Blocks yet again rings true within her feminist rhetoric, by which each freshly-painted aluminium block is designed to be ‘re-arranged’ however and whenever one pleases in order to accommodate the needs of a male counterpart.
But I’m on the Guest List Too! Elmgreen and Dragset. Copyright Frieze London.
Another surprise visit during the tour was Yinka Shonibare who came to share some of his thoughts on his Wind Sculpture 1. A beautiful and majestic sculpture meant to mimic the wind, this monumental work is covered in paint to resemble the Dutch-produced batik cloth that became popular within African markets. Inspired by these fabrics, Shonibare has incorporated these designs into much of his work.
With this being the second year of Frieze Masters, which aims to present a unique perspective on the dialogue between ancient and modern art, Lilley has certainly achieved an intergenerational standpoint of artists working with sculpture today.