WORKS BY BLACK ARTISTS are showcased in many of the gallery presentations at the London edition of the Frieze art fair this year. Several galleries mounted solo shows focused on artists such as Theaster Gates, Faith Ringgold, Lauren Halsey, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, and Ben Enwonwu (1917-1994). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, artworks were presented online in Frieze Viewing Rooms (free email registration required).

Frieze London 2020 was a largely virtual fair, a hybrid event with limited in-person programming and collector attention focused on exhibitor “booths” presented online. Although Frieze London 2020 was officially on view through Sunday, the art fair viewing rooms are open through Oct. 16, and many galleries have parallel viewing rooms on their own websites, most of which remain accessible for browsing beyond their “closing” dates.

The Frieze Viewing Rooms provide an opportunity to see a spectrum artworks for sale, by a range of artists, offered by an international slate of galleries. The online platform features enhanced viewing with detail images and installations views, as well as background information about the artists and their work. Most galleries also state asking prices. Others give price ranges or require potential buyers to “inquire” or access pricing information “on application’ (POA). A selection of 10 solo presentations follows:

 


Installation view of THEASTER GATES: Sweet Square of Dark Abyss. | Courtesy White Cube gallery, London

 
THEASTER GATES: Sweet Square of Dark Abyss | White Cube, London

Frieze Viewing Room / White Cube Website

In the main section of Frieze, the presentation of Chicago-based Theaster Gates features new works from a series of “book paintings” and “spine works” composed of custom-bound volumes of books and magazines, as well as sculptural assemblages. The works are inspired by the Johnson Publishing Company Collection. A couple are an homage to Josef Albers’s layered square paintings. The Frieze works are available to view at White Cube’s location. ($175,000-$425,000)

Meanwhile, “Black Vessel,” the first ever solo exhibition of Gates is on view at Gagosian gallery in New York, through Dec. 19.

 


£250,000-£500,000 | DENZIL FORRESTER, “Blue Tent,” 1984 (oil on canvas, 122.05 x 159.33 inches / 310 cm x 404.7 cm). | © Denzil Forrester, Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery

 
DENZIL FORRESTER: Denzil Forrester in Rome | Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

Frieze Viewing Room / Stephen Friedman Gallery Website

Participating in Frieze Masters, the gallery is showcasing paintings and works on paper Grenada-born, UK-based Denzil Forrester made between 1983 and 1985 during a two-year fellowship at the British School in Rome. (Paintings £100,000-£500,000, Works on Paper £10,000-£20,000)

 


POA | LAUREN HALSEY, “Slo But We Sho (Dedicated to the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association) II,” 2020 (synthetic hair on wood, 72 x 101 x 8 inches / 182.88 cm x 256.54 cm x 20.32 cm). | © Lauren Halsey, Courtesy the artist and David Kordansky Gallery

 
Lauren Halsey | David Kordansky, Los Angeles

Frieze Viewing Room / David Kordansky Website

Lauren Halsey’s work is inspired by her South Central Los Angeles neighborhood: “Combining found, fabricated, and handmade objects, her work maintains a sense of civic urgency and free-flowing imagination, reflecting the lives of the people and places around her and addressing the crucial issues confronting people of color, queer populations, and the working class.” In the main section of Frieze, a new selection of her hair-extension paintings, gypsum engravings, and silver-insulation collages are on view.

 


$45,000 | DEWEY CRUMPLER, “Time Codes,” 1998 (acrylic on canvas, 78 x 96 inches / 198.12 cm x 243.84 cm). | © Dewey Crumpler, Courtesy the artist and Jenkins Johnson Gallery

 
DEWEY CRUMPLER | Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco/Brooklyn, N.Y.

Frieze Viewing Room / Jenkins Johnson Gallery Website

In the Possessions section curated by Zoé Whitley, Dewey Crumpler, who is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, presented a survey of 1998 paintings exploring “the energetic power of the tulip, its interior and spiritual space,” which the artist has likened to African bodies in motion. ($40,000-$45,000)

Jenkins Johnson Gallery is also presenting works in the main section of Frieze by a selection of artists—Kwame Brathwaite, Lisa Corinne Davis, Jae and Wadsworth Jarrell, Rashaad Newsome, Blessing Ngobeni, Enrico Riley, Ming Smith and Aubrey Williams.

 


$8,500 | CURTIS TALWST SANTIAGO, “Gu Nu Gu,” 2020 (mixed media diorama in reclaimed jewelry box, 1.97 x 1.38 x 1.57 inches / 5 cm x 3.5 cm x 4 cm). | © Curtis Talwst Santiago, Courtesy the artist and Rachel Uffner Gallery

 
CURTIS TALWST SANTIAGO | Rachel Uffner Gallery

Frieze Viewing Room / Rachel Uffner Gallery Website

Canadian-Trinidadian artist Curtis Talwst Santiago makes miniature dioramas staged within vintage jewelry boxes. Part of Frieze Focus, new and recent works from his ongoing Infinity series dating from 2018-20 are featured. (Dioramas $7,500-$8,500, Paintings and Mixed Media $25,000-$65,000)

 


$22,000 | RASHID JOHNSON, “Jonathan (Seeing in the Dark Series),” 1999 (gelatin silver print, Image: 10 1/2 x 13 1/4 inches / 26.7 x 33.7 cm; Framed: 18 1/2 × 21 1/4 × 1 5/8 inches / 47 × 54 × 4.1 cm), Unique. | © Rashid Johnson, Courtesy the artist and Gray Gallery

 
RASHID JOHNSON: Seeing in the Dark | Gray Gallery, Chicago/New York, N.Y.

Frieze Viewing Room / Gray Gallery Website

A Frieze Masters presentation, the gallery is showing photographic portraits of the homeless people Rashid Johnson came to know in downtown Chicago at the start of his career working from a South Michigan Avenue studio in 1998-99. ($22,000-$28,000)

 


From left, $24,000 | ARTIST UNKNOWN, Tall, horned Bobo funerary mask, circa 1930s (carved wood with earth pigments and indigenous fiber, 63 x 13 x 12 inches / 160.02 x 33.02 x 30.48 cm); and RESERVED | FAITH RINGGOLD, “Black Light Series #2: Man,” 1967 (oil on canvas, 30 inches x 24.02 inches / 76.2 cm x 61 cm). | Photo courtesy ACA Galleries

 
FAITH RINGGOLD: Ancestors & Antecedents | ACA Galleries, New York, N.Y.

Frieze Viewing Room / ACA Galleries Website

The Frieze Masters presentation includes seminal works by Faith Ringgold alongside Western and non-Western sources that have been an inspiration for six decades. The New Jersey-based artist’s paintings, prints, African masks, and painted tapestries, dating back to the mid-1960s, are in conversation with works by Jacob Lawrence, Ad Reinhardt, and Robert Gwathmey, as well as 20th century African sculpture. (Paintings POA, Tapestry Paintings $125,000-$325,000, African Masks $125,000, Various Prints $8,000-$40,000)

 


BEN ENWONWU, “Negritude,” 1980 (Gouache on paper, 29.53 x 20.67 inches / 75 cm x 52.5 cm). |

 
BEN ENWONWU | kó Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria

Frieze Viewing Room / kó Gallery Website

A pioneer of African modernism, Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu (1917-1994) is regarded as the first artist from the continent to achieve global recognition and, in the past few years, has gained renewed attention. In the Spotlight section of Frieze Masters, the gallery is presenting 12 works dating from 1940-1980. The paintings and sculpture focus on “several recurring themes in the artist’s work: dances, performances and masquerades, reflective of the movements of Negritude and Pan-Africanism.” (£30,000-£50,000+, many works POA)

 


SOLD ($34,000) | Installation view of MIKE CLOUD, “Beheading James Slemp,” 2020 (oil on linen with mixed media, 68 x 132 x 4 inchens), Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Courtesy Thomas Erben Gallery

 
MIKE CLOUD: New Paintings | Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, N.Y.

Frieze Viewing Room / Thomas Erben Gallery Website

Featured in the Possessions section curated by Zoé Whitley, Mike Cloud’s new paintings serve as memorials and speak to death, belief, and mourning. The Chicago-based artist describes them as shattered constructions with bold color and painterly surfaces. Cloud’s work is concurrently on view at the gallery’s New York City space. (Large Mixed-Media Works $18,000-$34,000, Small Paintings $7,000-$7,500)

 


SOLD | NATHANIEL MARY QUINN, “Big Hair,” 2020 (black charcoal, gouache, and soft pastel on Arches paper, 12 × 18 inches / 30.5 × 45.7 cm). | © Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Courtesy the artist and Gagosian Gallery

NATHANIEL MARY QUINN | Gagosian, New York, N.Y./London

Frieze Viewing Room / Gagosian Website

In the main section of Frieze, new works on paper by Nathaniel Mary Quinn are on view. The charcoal-on-paper “enhanced performance drawings” were made by the artist using both hands simultaneously (Quinn is ambidextrous) with added enhancements of gouache and soft pastel. Quinn’s first solo exhibition with Gagosian is concurrently on view in its Davis Street gallery space. CT

 

BOOKSHELF
“Ben Enwonwu: The Making of an African Modernist” is described as an intellectual biography. “Denzil Forrester: A Survey” was published to accompany an exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery in London. A number of volumes explore the practice of Theaster Gates, including “Theaster Gates: Black Archive.” “Theaster Gates: Black Madonna” and “Theaster Gates: Every Square Needs a Circle” were both published this year. “Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks” is a comprehensive survey of the artist’s work through 2012. “Rashid Johnson: Anxious Men” offers an early exploration of his latest ongoing series. Also consider, “American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s,” and the recently published volumes “Faith Ringgold: Die,” part of the Museum of Modern Art’s One on One series, and “Faith Ringgold,” which accompanied her exhibition at Serpentine Galleries in London.

 

SUPPORT CULTURE TYPE
Do you enjoy and value Culture Type? Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. Culture Type is a solo editorial project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. It only takes a minute. Many Thanks for Your Support.