Where the Real Runs Out: Digital Realms at Frieze Los Angeles 2024

The fifth edition of Frieze Los Angeles is a space to explore the interstices of natural, urban and digital worlds, in work by Sam McKinniss, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Kim Sung Yoon and Lee Bul

in Frieze Los Angeles , News | 02 FEB 24

Artists at Frieze Los Angeles 2024 are redrawing the parameters of reality in a landscape of art-making that is adapting to—and creating—new digital possibilities. This interrogation extends to all corners of consumer society, from image circulation to digital land ownership. Galleries platforming these innovative practices in Santa Monica, February 29–March 3, include Altman Siegel, Bank, Gallery Hyundai, Lehmann Maupin and David Kordansky Gallery.

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Synthia Stock Ticker, 2000, network-based mulitmedia art work, programming: Lior Saar & Colin Klingman, 38 × 29 × 29 cm. Courtesy the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco 
Lynn Hershman Leeson, Synthia Stock Ticker, 2000. Network-based mulitmedia artwork, programming: Lior Saar & Colin Klingman, 38 × 29 × 29 cm. Courtesy the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco 

A small monitor dangles off a hook inside the polished dome of a bell jar in Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Synthia Stock Ticker (2000). Synthia, the character on screen, is one of several female personae Hershman Leeson has developed to navigate an evolving technological context. Here, Synthia’s behavior and mood shift in accordance with real-time changes in the stock market: she shops and dances on an upturn, smokes on a downturn, and slams the table in frustration when the market is immobile. 

Trevor Paglen, CLOUD #113, Watershed; Scale Invariant Feature Transform; Region Adjacency Graph, 2023, dye sublimation on aluminum print, 1.2 × 1.5m. Courtesy the artist, Altman Siegel, San Francisco and Pace Gallery 
Trevor Paglen, CLOUD #113, Watershed; Scale Invariant Feature Transform; Region Adjacency Graph, 2023. Dye sublimation on aluminum print, 1.2 × 1.5m. Courtesy the artist, Altman Siegel, San Francisco and Pace Gallery 

This exploration of algorithmic workings is also pursued by Trevor Paglen in his latest “machine vision” works. Paglen has devoted the last decade to developing tools that key into machine-learning algorithms to expose the ways in which computers abstract the visions they analyze and absorb. Paglen’s works lay bare moments when malleable human perception encounters the formalizing logic of machines. 

Simon Denny, Metaverse Landscape 26: The Sandbox Land (-179, 37), 2023, oil on canvas, UV print, Ethereum paper wallet, dynamic ERC-721 NFT. 200 × 200 × 4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco
Simon Denny, Metaverse Landscape 26: The Sandbox Land (-179, 37), 2023. Oil on canvas, UV print, Ethereum paper wallet, dynamic ERC-721 NFT. 200 × 200 × 4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco

Simon Denny considers digital land ownership in his ongoing series “Metaverse Landscapes.” Denny’s paintings map metaverse property and its digital ownership tracking tokens. He incorporates the grid layout of the colonial cartographic tradition to demonstrate how metaverse property is “as abstracted as any terrestrial land plot.” 

Presented by Altman Siegel.

Kim Sung Yoon, Flowers in the Neo-White Porcelain Jar with Cloud & Dragon Design in Underglaze Iron Brown, 2023, oil on linen, 1.9 × 1.1m. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai
Kim Sung Yoon, Flowers in the Neo-White Porcelain Jar with Cloud & Dragon Design in Underglaze Iron Brown, 2023. Oil on linen, 1.9 × 1.1m. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Hyundai 

Kim Sung Yoon is crafting a new form of still life. Painting in oil, Kim borrows techniques from Edouard Manet and his final floral still lives. Yet unlike Manet, who painted fresh flowers cut from the garden and brought to him in bed, Kim creates impossible floral arrangements in each vase, using internet images from different regions and seasons. Kim’s latest works embody a state of transience: we catch them unfurling, with petals shedding, paint dripping and buds blinking into focus. 

Presented by Gallery Hyundai.

Bai Yiyi, Drifting but Dazzling Brightness (detail), 2024. Acrylic on canvas, 1.2 × 1.5 m. Courtesy of the artist and BANK/MABSOCIETY.
Bai Yiyi, Drifting but Dazzling Brightness (detail), 2024. Acrylic on canvas, 1.2 × 1.5 m. Courtesy of the artist and BANK/MABSOCIETY.

Hollywood imagery, advertisements and news items converge in Bai Yiyi’s largescale canvases. Images swell and bend beyond their dimensions, morphing into pools of texture, glitter and color that evoke the accumulation of visual data and its incessant online circulation.

Tianzhuo Chen, Exo-Performance/Beio, 2019, video, 5:43. Courtesy the artist and BANK/MABSOCIETY
Tianzhuo Chen in collaboration with Andrew Thomas Huang, Exo-Performance/Beio, 2019. Video, 5:43. Courtesy the artist and BANK/MABSOCIETY

Chen Tianzhuo’s three-channel installation Exo-Performance/Baby Chinayu and Exo-Perfomance/Beio (2019) intersects sculpture, digital technology and the human body. Working in an animation studio in Los Angeles, Chen builds digital sculptures inspired by the Chinese philosophical tradition of the two-part allegory, and influences that range from religious symbols to contemporary subcultures, which he layers onto the bodies of his two performers. Baby Chinayu and Bei-O move through computer-generated wastelands that represent heaven and hell.

Presented by Bank.

Lee Bul, Perdu CLXXXVI, 2023, mother-of-pearl, acrylic paint on wooden base panel, stainless steel frame, diptych: 227 × 163 × 7 cm (framed). Courtesy Studio Lee Bul and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London
Lee Bul, Perdu CLXXXVI, 2023. Mother-of-pearl, acrylic paint on wooden base panel, stainless steel frame, diptych: 227 × 163 × 7 cm (framed). Courtesy Studio Lee Bul and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London

Lee Bul’s practice centers on a meeting point of organic and synthetic forms, with a particular focus on the figure of the cyborg. In her series “Perdu,” Bul creates amorphous shapes that veer towards a suggestion of corporeality but remain cellular, unsettled and otherworldly. It takes Bul two months to complete each piece, working with mother of pearl and acrylic paint, rooting the juncture of the natural and the artificial within the very substance of her works.

Presented by Lehmann Maupin.

Sam McKinniss, Jinx Johnson, 2023, oil on linen, 127 x 84 x 3 cm. Photo: Dario Lasagni; courtesy David Kordansky Gallery
Sam McKinniss, Jinx Johnson, 2023. Oil on linen, 127 × 84 × 3 cm. Photo: Dario Lasagni; courtesy David Kordansky Gallery

Sam McKinniss’s paintings emerge from a media-saturated world. He works from images he sources from the internet, selecting recognizable scenes and people as his subjects. The flatness of a reality distilled to pixels regains life and depth in McKinniss’s paintings, a new series of which will be unveiled at Frieze Los Angeles. McKinniss’s piercing palette imbues his work with a sense of immediacy, promising intimacy and psychological sincerity.

Presented by David Kordansky Gallery.

Read More

Themes of Material and Memory at Frieze Los Angeles 2024.

Further Information

Frieze Los Angeles is at Santa Monica Airport, February 29–March 3, 2024.

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Main Image: Sam McKinniss, Spring Break, 2023. Oil on linen, 107 × 191 × 3 cm. Photo: Dario Lasagnil; courtesy David Kordansky Gallery

 

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