BY Angel Lambo in Opinion | 01 DEC 23

Editor’s Picks: Marton Perlaki’s Art as Process

Other highlights include a US-wide book club championing writers of colour and an annual print magazine dedicated to art and literature from Somesuch

BY Angel Lambo in Opinion | 01 DEC 23

Frieze Editor’s Picks is a fortnightly column in which a frieze editor shares their recommendations for what to watch, read and listen to.

Marton Perlaki, The Third Hand, 2023

London-based, Hungarian artist Marton Perlaki has a practice that is in a constant state of reconfiguration, revealing new discoveries with each creative cycle. The title of his inaugural monograph, The Third Hand, derives from a Philip Guston quote referring to the pseudo-spiritual ‘third hand’ that he believed guided all creative endeavours. Perlaki’s work, in harmony with this concept, exudes a transcendent quality. As readers navigate the pages of his book, they encounter a diverse array of images, either veiled in shadow or illuminated by gossamer light.

For Perlaki, the process is the art. Each of the book’s six chapters explores a different facet of his investigative artmaking – from charcoal drawings of sculptural studies to luminograms of utility items and spontaneous photographs of everyday objects in his studio – meticulously documenting the artist’s journey from figuration to abstraction between 2018 and 2023.

The Third Hand, 2023
Marton Perlaki, The Third Hand, 2023, page spread. Courtesy: the artist and InOtherWords

Those who attended Frieze London in 2022 may remember seeing Perlaki’s ethereal Self-portrait, (blue) (2022) on the cover of Frieze Week magazine. This artwork features translucent bubbles, within which a bowed reflection of a window frame holds a sliver of the outside world – a Matryoshka doll of photography, if you will. In such captivating images, it becomes apparent that Perlaki’s background in photojournalism and cinematography breathes a narrative lilt even into his most abstract creations.

Noname Book Club

Started by Chicagoan rapper Noname in 2019, the highly engaged, highly active Noname book club takes place in at least a dozen cities across the US as well as in London, UK. The premise is simple: championing writers of colour whose work generally skews towards political fiction and community activism.

noname book club
Courtesy: Noname Book Club

This weekend, there are planned online and in-person meetings to delve into the November picks, centring on themes of colonial oppression and state violence: Freedom Is a Constant Struggle (2015) by Angela Davis and The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine (2020) by Rashid Khalidi. For those in cities without current meetups, the Noname Book Club team encourages new members to reach out and potentially start their own ‘chapter’. Anyone up for Berlin?

Somesuch Stories, Issue #7, 2023

Somesuch is a commercial production company with a human touch – a rarity in the industry. Its roster of directors has been behind some of the most captivating music videos and experiential visuals of the past decade, with Riz Ahmeds Oscar-winning short The Long Goodbye (2022) bringing a heart-breaking family story about Islamaphobia in the UK to the small screen.

Somesuch stories, Bone, 2023
Somesuch Stories, Bone, 2023, front cover. Courtesy: Somesuch

What some people are only just discovering – myself included – is that Somesuch also releases an annual print magazine, which offers original insights into culture, nature, sex, spirituality and society. The latest issue, titled Bone, released last month, features some of my favourite artists and writers – including Rosalind Jana, K Patrick and Jenkin van Zylmany of whom have already been championed by frieze this year.

Main image: Marton Perlaki, Fading Connection Nr. 1, 2020; Swift Move Nr. 5, 2020;​​​​​ Ice cube (blue), 2018, Easy Target (Pink) Nr. 24, 2020. Courtesy: the artist 

Angel Lambo is associate editor of frieze. She lives in Berlin.