Proper art is all well and good, but it's Adrian Villar Rojas keeping our faith alive
Coming down from the consumer high of Frieze Art Fair (and very late night of drinking) if felt right to look at some ‘proper’ art at Frieze Masters. The fair didn't have quite the same knockout selection of works as last year but there were still some gems. Rare paintings by Francis Bacon, Philip Guston, Keith Haring, a bunch of great (surprise surprise abstract) Gerhard Richter, the usual pillaging of European church architecture, and a good dose of Man Ray. The booth placing early Jackson Pollock drawing alongside American Indian Hopi masks was hard to forget. Museum of Everything's stand with incredible miniature worlds was unforgettable.
After passing through the Frieze sculpture park – largely dull silver and shiny things this year apart from a google-eyed Miro bronze – Sunday Art Fair on Marylebone Road was the true mecca for contemporary art fans. Despite low hype this year, the fair was incredible. The work was lively, engaging, the galleries better than ever – including Studio Voltaire, Croy Neilsen, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler and Arcade.
The whole room seemed to germinate and should only get more pungent as the exhibition continues
Highlights included Aaron Angell’s submerged ceramics in a weird fish tank, Lucie Stahl's scanner photographic works dipped in latex at hot LA space Freedman Fitzpatrick. Upstairs was a little ICA video show including Fatima al Qadiri’s incredible collaborative film How Can I Resist U? In all Sunday was a fair that restored your faith in art.
Friday AM was spent catching up on more art. The COS breakfast at The Serpentine Gallery's new Sackler building was exceptionally tasty and equally as brilliant was Adrian Villar Rojas' installation. He had pushed things to another level with a huge concrete installation slash temple appearing to be held up by a concrete elephant. Inside the structure were two rooms. One was filled with shelves containing small concrete sculptural parts, fused with organise materials like aubergines or incredible sprouting potatoes. The whole room seemed to germinate and should only get more pungent as the exhibition continues. The second room was empty, with a high ceiling and rickety brick floor. At each end was a glowing stained glass window, so the space felt like a simplified cathedral. So peaceful that it was easy to forget the Friday and Saturday night openings on the horizon.