@ FRIEZE LONDON
Spotlight section solo booth
13-17 October 2021
The Regent´s Park
"I cannot conceive that a single person produced all these diverse works" commented Mark Rothko during Pedro Friedeberg´s exhibition in NYC in 1964. The anecdote serves to understand Friedeberg´s versatility. He created his very own syncretism between drawing, painting and illustration, and his artistic objects that can be read from sculpture, ready-made, assembly and design according to the viewer's optics.
The topics explored by Friedeberg are broad, erudite, satirical, playful and mathematical. The fusion of dissimilar elements that come from different traditions and historical-aesthetic evolutions is fundamental to understand his work as a result of an open multicultural life, without rigid boundaries of separation by categories or schools. While he is a direct heir to the Surrealism, and also dialogues with the main artistic movements of the 2nd half of the 20th century such as Op Art, Pop Art and Conceptualism, he does not belong to any of these and fuses them in a unique specificity that makes him a sui generis artist.
He focuses and retakes ornament as the main element by constantly revisiting the history of the image from the Renaissance to the present day. Pedro Friedeberg is the least known Mexican artistic genius of the 20th century; master of many disciplines created by himself. A radial artist that deserves to be known by the rest of the world. At Frieze London 2021 we will be showcasing a Pedro Friedeberg´s solo booth in the Spotlight section with iconic work from the past century including painting, drawing, sculpture and object.
Sueñan las Flores que Desaparecen
Abierto al público
Colima 159, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Ataviadas con el recuerdo de estar vivas, la belleza de las flores desafía su inminencia. Pero ¿saben ellas que no están vivas? ¿lo sabríamos nosotros? ¿sabemos que ya no estamos?
La pandemia, más allá de enfrentarnos con nuestra propia mortalidad, nos está obligando a ver que la nueva normalidad es igual a todas las anteriores: una serie de mentiras y verdades simultáneas que apreciamos porque frente la nada nos proponen continuidad. Y es que en la fantasía siempre hemos encontramos resguardo de la cruda realidad. Tan efectiva ha sido dicha estrategia, que la realidad ha desaparecido por completo de nuestras vidas.
La paradoja es que, entre las infinitas posibilidades, nos hemos enfocado en reinventar lo real como ficción. Hemos recreado la existencia, imitado la vida y revivido lo inanimado: desde césped plástico, pasando por deepfakes, y hasta la impresión de órganos o la fabricación de carne. Inclusive, el arte mismo ya no como una representación de la realidad, si no como su reciclaje: una copia perpetua sin origen ni fin, más real que lo real. La hyperrealidad como la base de la simulación (Baudrillard, 1981).
Sueñan las flores que desaparecen recorre este mismo trayecto borrando a su paso los limites entre lo virtual y lo palpable, lo ausente y lo presente, lo original y la replica. Es así como a partir de imágenes de naturaleza muerta, esta serie gira en torno a la poética de la desaparición. Protagonizada por las flores que transmutan frente a la promesa de cambio, las piezas ya no solo evidencian la falla y el error tan característicos del artista, si no que se deforman hasta llegar a la abstracción, desapareciendo entre sus formas infinitas.
Dressed in the memory of being alive, the beauty of flowers defies their impermanence. But do they know they are not alive? would we know? Do we know we are no more?
Beyond confronting us with our own mortality, the pandemic forces us to see that the new normality is identical to all the previous ones: a series of simultaneous lies and truths that we hold dear because they propose continuity in the face of nothingness. And the fact is that in fantasy, we have always found refuge from the harsh reality. Such a strategy has been so effective that reality has completely disappeared from our lives.
In its place, we have reinvented the real as fiction. We have recreated existence, imitated life, and revived the inanimate: from plastic grass to deepfakes, to the printing of organs or the fabrication of flesh. Thus, art itself went from representing reality to recycling it: a perpetual copy without an origin or an end, more real than the real; the hyperreal as the basis of simulacra (Baudrillard, 1981).
Sueñan las Flores que desaparecen follows the path above, erasing the limits between the virtual and the palpable, absence and presence, the original and the replica. From still life images, this series revolves around the poetics of disappearance. Featuring the transmutation of flowers facing the promise of change, the pieces no longer only expose flaws and errors so distinctive of the artist’s work but also become deformed to the point of abstraction, disappearing amidst their infinite forms.
Simón Vega + Theo Michael
THE ARMORY SHOW BOOTH F17
SEPTEMBER 9-14, 2021
Theo Michael, I Love La Marihuana, 2021 Mixed media 70 × 50 cm, 2021
Cataclismos Light is an autobiographical series of collage works by Theo Michael in which he attempts to recreate his thought process visually.
Each work has a naturalistic painting at its center—an insect, a flower, a snake, etc. The image is buried under a cataclysm of labels, stickers, markers, and personal handwritten notes, representing memories spanning a whole life. This seemingly chaotic way of viewing the world, full of clashing images and incoherent narratives, reflects the reality of Michael’s life, which is fragmented between irreconcilable cultures. Thus Michael questions the point of logical and straight thinking, arguing that this has brought all the fire and dust.
Through these works, Michael proposes an intuitive way of looking that goes beyond interpretations or even opinions, something that he calls “Conceptual Abstraction” within an art context.
Third World Mini Space Modules, 2021 Acrylic on recycled wood, pvc pipes, steel sheet, surfboard foam, varnish 30 × 36 × 16 cm
Space Tourism and Space Colonization are the themes of this series. Whereas during the Space Race the objective was scientific, military, and political, current initiatives for space exploration focus more than ever on the possibility of creating colonies on other planets, and one of the strategies to revitalize the space programs has been to offer the possibility (for billionaires only) to visit space. Some of today’s more prominent programs are no longer state but rather privately funded.
In the artist’s view, the current ways of approaching unknown regions in outer space are similar to those on earth: it’s more about what preconceived ideas and fears we have and about what we bring from our own living space than about exploring what’s out there.
The archetypical tourist, with his ‘Hawaiian’ shirts, camera, and comfort demands as well as the way he imposes his views and exploits the resources of these new lands is the same on earth as in space. The artist humorously asks us to consider the pretentious and hermetic ways we approach the new and the unknown.
These sculptural objects have been created using materials found in construction areas and in surfboard repair shops in La Libertad, the coastal area where the artist resides: leftover pieces of PVC drain pipes, galvanized steel sheets, wood, used broken surfboard foam, fiberglass, and resin. With these, the artist has created miniature prototypes for modules for a Third World Space Station. The works are a mixture of local ingenuity and science fiction dreams as well as the conditions that limit and harness the region to earth and to its everyday political and economical limitations.
CLAVO art fair
Casa Versalles 113, Juárez, Mexico City
SEPTEMBER 10-12, 2021