On view will be Krzysztof Wodiczko’s historical work Homeless Vehicle, Variant 5 (c. 1988), created to provoke discussion on the struggles of those marginalized in public space as a result of speculative real estate development and gentrification. Critical thinking within the contested field of public speech is also evident in Alfredo Jaar’s new neon I Can’t Go On. I’ll Go On. (2016), which quotes Samuel Beckett’s novel, The Unnamable. Similarly engaged with the sociopolitical issues of our time is Etel Adnan, whose accordion-fold books, or leporellós, synthesize her interdisciplinary practice as a politically active poet, painter, and writer with a focus on the Lebanese civil war and Arabic- speaking diaspora.
The artists included also showcase Galerie Lelong’s longstanding commitment to representing important women artists spanning several generations: Ana Mendieta, Zilia Sánchez, Carolee Schneemann and Nancy Spero. Their works explore the representation of the female body, or as Schneemann called it, “being the image and the image-maker.” Mendieta disects her own identity in Untitled (Cosmetic Facial Variations) (1972), distorting her appearance with shampooed hair as if she were a sculpture. Sánchez’s Troyanas, políptico (Trojans, polyptych) (1999), features multiple canvases stretched taut over wooden armatures in organic, repetitious shapes that have been acclaimed as alternative, gendered interpretations of Minimalism.
The use of his own body has been an essential part of Andy Goldsworthy’s practice; he continues to explore in depth his relationship with nature through physical actions, tapping into an energy that is met with resistance or a new set of problems. Meanwhile, McArthur Binion explores notions of identity and self-titled “black abstraction” in his DNA series. Binion splices his birth certificate, address book, and IDs as layers of meaning under a geometric grid, emphasizing the persistence of the body through time. Los Angeles-based Sarah Cain offers a perspective from the newer generation using unconventional mediums in abstraction.
The selection of international and multi-generational artists on view at Galerie Lelong’s booth at Frieze New York presents work that is uniquely realized while investigating tensions and conflicts on both a personal and societal level.