Highlights from Frieze London 2017
By Cleo Roberts
Large-scale fabric installations were a discernible theme this year at Frieze London. Do Ho Suh’s Main Entrance, 388 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903, USA (2016), a turquoise domestic front door was thrown wide open to welcome throngs of viewers into Victoria Miro’s booth, while ShanghART dedicated their snug presentation space to Liang Shaoji’s silk cocoons spun around rusted chain links and suspended from the ceiling. Beneath them, a delicate terrain stretched out, leading to a floor-based video work and shelf of miniature charred copper bedframes enveloped, again, in silk.
At The Third Line gallery, a brilliant white sculpture, Abbas Akhavan’s If the First Metaphor was Animal (2017), complemented his untitled abstracted botanical works on paper created this year. Made during an artist residency at Atelier Calder in Saché, France, the black ink markings were derived from specimens housed in the atelier’s greenhouse. Nearby, Khalil Rabah’s two paintings on metal, Dead Sea and Sea Level (both 2017), installed like road signs on the outer wall of Sferir-Semler’s space, represented the desolate landscape that one must traverse to reach the Dead Sea. Known for fusing fact and artifice, the imagined setting continues his exploration of ownership of land, history and heritage.