I’m mad about Brazilian art – the neo-concrete and its contemporary legacy – and among my favorites are Alexandre da Cunha and Iran do Espirito Santo. There’s an amazing sensual austerity to their work and it’s really well exemplified in both these pieces.
Another Brazilian pick is by Sonia Gomes, who works a lot with found materials. Her art has a rasquachismo feel to it that really attracts me, plus it’s delightful how her work looks like little creatures converging on the wall! Also working in fabric is Sarah Crowner, who has a great eye for the balance and movement of color and line: “Legs” is a wonderful example of how she sometimes steps out of her pure geometric abstraction and touches on the figurative.
Gagosian brought to Frieze Masters a group of beautiful little paintings on paper by color field prodigy Helen Frankenthaler. Each one of these gems has its own allure, but “Blue Square Plus Two” achieves this incredible tension within what’s really a relatively static, two-dimensional picture. Her work continues to influence plenty of contemporary artists: Eddie Martinez’s “Island I”, with its fretwork of black scribbles and expanses of ultramarine, definitely echoes Frankenthaler circa 1951, but still manages to feel super fresh.
Also in the realm of the painterly is my pick by Cecily Brown, who makes mesmerizing, highly expressive paintings – always carefully constructed and very historically aware. Like no one else, Cecily masterfully oscillates between foreground and background, abstract plasticity and hints of figuration.
I picked Paolo Scheggi because he is undeservedly the forgotten child of the 1960s Italian Spatialist movement: he made these great effervescent, multi-layered and very physical canvases, obviously evoking Fontana but definitely holding up in their own right.
The Grotjahn and the Kippenberger are included here partly because they’re hilarious, but mostly because both these works are really aesthetically appealing to me – the lamp post with its hard curves and lewd red light, and the bronze mask with its perfectly googly eyes and shamanic air. Again, there’s this biomorphic thing going on that I’m really drawn to.