in Frieze London | 15 OCT 21

Lena Dunham's Favourite Artworks on Frieze Viewing Room

The actress, filmmaker, and writer shares her top five works including paintings by Honor Titus and Lucy Bull from Frieze London

in Frieze London | 15 OCT 21

LUCY BULL (David Kordansky Gallery)
18:39, 2021
Oil on linen
96.14" x 54.02" x 1.5"

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Courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery
Courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery

I love this piece by Lucy Bull, which reminds me of Monet if he was twisted through a lens of feminine madness... The colors make me feel like I have a to-do list to tackle and all the energy to tackle it. I am normally slightly allergic to abstraction, which is not a fact I'm proud of, but sometimes I see a piece like this one that reminds me to stay open to things I don't normally go in for (like abstraction, or seafood, or male narrators.)

HONOR TITUS (Timothy Taylor)
3 of Hearts, 2021
Oil on canvas
60" x 47.99"

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Courtesy of the artist and Timothy Taylor
Courtesy of the artist and Timothy Taylor

I have a very soft, soft spot in my heart for Honor Titus –he's a dear friend and actually introduced me to my husband–but even if I didn't know and loved him, this piece would have me totally rapt. It feels both nostalgic and unsettled, a reminder that classics don't always feel safe. I love how the careful lines actually leave the faces looking vaguely hollow, giving a new meaning to the cheer "we got spirit!" (They don't, and that's what makes this work so beautiful). Honor's brush work- so clean and bold- and his subjects –among them, American leisure– both remind me of another favorite painter of mine, Emma Amos, whose work I find divinely narrative.

EMMA STERN (Almine Rech)
Amber (National Anthem) 1, 2021
Charcoal, graphite, and acrylic on paper
30.04" x 22.17

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Courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech
Courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech

Emma Stern's dead-eyed saxophonist takes a cue from Lisa Yuskavage and also from Sailor Moon and that's a cross reference right at the center of the Venn diagram of my heart.

GINA BEAVERS (Marianne Boesky Gallery)
Chou Chou Matte Lip, 2021
Acrylic and foam on linen on panel
72.24" x 72.24" x 12.01"

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Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery
Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery

I am a long time Gina Beavers fan: I collect works by queer/femme painters and I love when they settle into the space between traditional painterly technique and the kind of pop content that shapes women's brains.

DEBORAH ROBERTS (Stephen Friedman Gallery)
Delilah, 2021
Mixed media collage on canvas
65" x 45" x 3.94" 

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Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery
Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery

I love that Deborah Roberts' work can be enjoyed simply for the textural elements it offers, but a further investigation reveals important questions about identity, growing up and the sense of self that comes with burgeoning style. Much like in my industry, it's also essential to see people who have not historically been on display in a gallery setting and the very presence of this character feels like a moving reclamation, though I recognize there are many nuanced reads available depending on who is looking at this layered piece.


Don't miss Lena Dunham's podcast miniseries about friendship, love, work, bodies and more. Co-hosted with Alissa Bennett

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