Looking Forward: Sam Bardaouil & Till Felrath

The curators, whose 'Ways of Seeing' exhibition is on view at Villa Empain, discuss the stories they'll be exploring at Frieze Masters 2017

BY Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath in Frieze | 21 SEP 17

Through our curatorial practice, we seek to advance alternative readings of established art-historical narratives; we’re eager to further explore the work and respective impacts of three distinct artists. Firstly: a micro-survey spanning six decades of Betty Parsons’ distinct language, which she termed ‘The New Spirit’ [Alexander Gray Associates, Frieze Masters stand H8]. An early champion of Abstract Expressionism, her own paintings demonstrate how Parsons evaded the rigid theoretical frameworks that underpinned the practice of some of her contemporaries.

Betty Parsons, Midtown, 1965. Gouache on paper, 51 x 39 cm. Courtesy: Alexander Gray Associates, New York © 2017 Betty Parsons Foundation

Then a selection of key works by Bernd Lohaus [at Tommy Simoens, Frieze Masters Stand H15], which promises to reveal the artist’s distinct connection to movements like Arte Povera, Fluxus and the practice of Joseph Beuys, inviting the viewer to consider the relationship between objects and their surroundings.

Bernd Lohaus, mit Dir im freien/erzählen, 1991. Wood, canvas and chalk, 110 x 191 cm. Courtesy: Tommy Simoens, Antwerp 

Lastly, Shusaku Arakawa’s unique amalgamation of words (always nouns), lines, dots and arrows in mental diagrams that describe physical settings, cities and places of encounter [at Massimo Minimi, Frieze Masters Stand H12].

Shusaka Arakawa, Card into Feather, 1963-1964, mixed media, 122 × 183 cm Courtesy: Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia

Each have a prolific multi-decade artistic career deserving of further scholarship, but a palpable coincidence further connects these three gures: Betty Parsons was the founder of the eponymous gallery which launched the careers of the likes of Pollock, Rothko and Newman; Arakawa and his wife co-founded the Reversible Destiny Foundation, seeking a new model for architectural practices by borrowing from disciplines including experimental biology, quantum physics, and medicine; Lohaus co-founded the Wide White Space gallery (WWS) in Antwerp in 1966, which exhibited artists such as Beuys, Broodthaers, Christo and many others. Three great stories, much to discover! 

Tickets for Frieze London and Frieze Masters are available here

'Ways of Seeing', curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Felrath, is on view at Boghossian Foundation - Villa Empain, Brussels, until 22nd Februrary, 2018

Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath are Co-Chairmen, Montblanc Cultural Foundation, Hamburg and Co-founders, Art Reoriented, Munich and New York