Frieze London 2018 showcased the best of international contemporary art, with a discerning selection of around 160 galleries presenting their most forward-thinking artists and imaginative presentations. This year’s themed gallery section, Social Work featured women artists who challenged the status quo and explored the possibilities of political activism in their art making during the 1980s and ‘90s, from Nancy Spero in the US to Berni Searle in South Africa to Ipek Duben in Turkey and Helen Chadwick in the UK. Solo, group and curated presentations across the fair’s sections featured John Baldessari, Michaël Borremans, Zadie Xa, Lubaina Himid, Mary Kelly, Moshekwa Langa, Calvin Marcus, Jim Shaw, David Shrigley, Josh Sperling, Tatiana Trouvé, Hardeep Pandhal, Athena Papadopoulos, Faith Ringgold, Wong Ping and Cathy Wilkes, among many others. photographs by Flo Khol
David Zwirner gallery in New York presents an exhibition of new works by Michaël Borremans, The Devil’s Dress. Borremans’ drawings, paintings, and films present an evocative combination of solemn-looking characters, unusual close-ups, and unsettling still lifes. There is a theatrical dimension to his works, which are at once highly staged and ambiguous, just as his complex and open-ended scenes lend themselves to conflicting moods—simultaneously nostalgic, darkly comical, disturbing, and grotesque. His paintings display a concentrated dialogue with previous art historical epochs, however their unconventional compositions and curious narratives defy expectations and lend them an indefinable yet universal character. On view until December 17, 2011 - 525 West 19th Street.
Francisco de Goya - Saturn Devours His Son - 1819-1923
Goya's famous image of Saturn devouring his son epitomizes the lust the cannibal has for human flesh. The painting depicts the myth of the greek god Saturn - fearing that his sons would overthrow him he would eat each one after birth. Male lions eat their cubs after birth in order to bring the females into heat. Goya's image of the savage cannibal with its wide eyes and devious abandon, satiating itself on a child is also representative of Goya's fear of madness. Saturn Devouring His Son was part of a series called the Black Paintings painted on the walls of his Spanish villa toward the end of Goya's life. The series was never commissioned and exhibited only posthumously. The painting, haunting and dark in nature, are indicative of a man alone, deaf - confronting the harrowing possibilities of eternal nothingness.
Jérôme Zonder - Jeu-denfants n°1 2010
The myth of cannibalism seemed to have a very Jungian catharsis for Goya - it is as if through Saturn's consuming of a child brought Goya a transmutative feeling of youth. Cannibalism though, the mere notion of a man eating another man brings back primitive visions. Artists in one medium or another have confronted cannibalism in society for centuries. Claude Lévi-Strauss, the French anthropologist, is quoted as saying, "“We are all cannibals. The simplest way to identify with others is still to eat them.” Really now? An exhibition at the Me Collector's room in Berlin begs a question in return - all cannibals?
The exhibition All Cannibals? at me Collectors Room explores the topic of cannibalism (anthropophagy) in art. "Anthropophagy can be found in the myths of all cultures and ages—with examples ranging from antiquity, the Bible, or folk tales to classicist authors and modern horror movies. The recurring motifs of desire and brutality can likewise be found in modern and contemporary art. The concept for the exhibition emerged from the observation that the theme of consumable flesh seems to be gaining in significance within many current art works."
The exhibition is being held in cooperation with the Paris exhibition venue “la maison rouge.” Presented in parallel in the art magazine ART PRESS is a special issue on cannibalism, including interviews with collectors Antoine de Galbert and Thomas Olbricht in French and English. On view May 29 to August 21, 2011. www.me-berlin.com
Will Cotton - Consuming Folly - 2009