For Frieze New York 2017, Galerie Lelong will highlight six artists renowned for their socially engaged practices: McArthur Binion, Alfredo Jaar, Samuel Levi Jones, Nalini Malani, Hélio Oiticica, and Nancy Spero. These artists, whose transgressive approaches to art-making focus on marginalized voices and subjects, speak to the current political climate with profound urgency.
The booth will feature feminist artist Nancy Spero’s Sheela-Na-Gig At Home (1996), one of her first sculptural works and her only installation dedicated to the European female fertility goddess, Sheela-Na-Gig. This presentation is a powerful demonstration of the artist’s lifelong commitment to reclaiming female archetypes and historical protagonists. It coincides with Spero’s solo exhibition at the gallery, featuring the first-ever U.S. installation of her large-scale, three-dimensional sculpture Maypole: Take No Prisoners (2007), along with a selection of works on paper from The War Series.
Other highlights include Alfredo Jaar’s neon Be Afraid of the Enormity of the Possible (2015), which subverts the passive naivete of the viewer’s gaze. Disguised as an optimistic inspirational quote, the work actually draws from Emil Cioran’s nihilistic book A Short History of Decay, warning against the ever-present possibility of destruction.
Continuing with the booth’s themes of resistance, Samuel Levi Jones will unveil a new painting created from disassembled books – a process that invites viewers to interrogate the power structures that leave gaps within recorded history. Nalini Malani also examines history and its counter-narratives in her work. On view will be recent prints that draw from the artist’s experience as a refugee of the Partition of India, as well as the region’s legacy of colonialism and de-colonization.
The works of Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica are a direct reaction to the alienation he experienced upon moving to New York. Oiticica’s photographs from the Cosmococa series, created in collaboration with Neville D’Almeida, reflect his interest in New York’s counterculture and his desire to merge art and life as a rebellion against forces of social conditioning.
A new painting by McArthur Binion will also be on view. Binion focuses on autobiographical abstraction that explores his personal history as an African American as well as his individual identity through sublimely patterned works that, upon close inspection, reveal layers of depth. The artist’s practice continues the conversation on historical notions of Minimalism. His work has garnered much international attention recently and will be included in the 2017 Venice Biennale’s central exhibition, VIVA ARTE VIVA.
Art Fair Location
Randall’s Island Park
New York, NY 10035
Preview: Thursday, May 4
Friday, May 5: 11am-6pm
Saturday, May 6: 11am-7pm
Sunday, May 7: 11am-6pm