In lieu of an in-person event, this year Frieze hosted their Frieze New York art fair online, and “attendees” were able to browse the offerings of scores of different galleries from the comfort of their own homes. However, it’s undoubtable that everyone in New York has been longing to see art in person again. Fortunately, on Tuesday, Frieze announced that its postponed Frieze Sculpture exhibition at Rockefeller Center will debut on September 1 after undergoing extensive reorganization in the midst of the pandemic. In an instance of serendipity given how important the outdoors have become for social activities this year, Frieze Sculpture 2020 was inspired by the city’s naturally occurring materials, and by Earth Day.
The artists being featured in the exhibition are universally bringing forth work that promises to be challenging and thought-provoking. Andy Goldsworthy’s Red Flags (2020) will replace Rockefeller Center’s conventional flags with his own creations, which are flags dyed with earth and soil collected from each of the 50 states. Beatriz Cortez will present a new commission entitled Glacial Erratic, which is made of steel frame and sheet metal and which will gradually erode as it is exposed to different weather patterns in order to evoke the process of ancient migration. The exhibition was curated by Brett Littman, who’s also the director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum.
“The projects for this year’s Frieze Sculpture deal with a range of issues including women’s suffrage, migration, urban planning, and ecology,” Littman said in a statement. “Given our world’s current urgent concerns with ecological sustainability, climate change and racial inequality—and the impact these issues have had in spreading COVID-19—the idea of creating an outdoor sculpture installation within this discourse, could not be more relevant.”
Additionally, Loring Randolph, the director of Frieze New York, drew attention in his statement to Women’s Qualities by Ghada Amer, which will also be on display in the exhibition. Amer’s garden installation was conceived two decades ago, when the artist asked members of the public to name characteristics they valued most in women. The result is a flowery creation that will illustrate the impossibility of being the “perfect woman;” an important message to remember even in the midst of a pandemic.