Issue 203
May 2019

frieze editor Andrew Durbin delves into cover artist Janiva Ellis’s ruptured figurative paintings; Sarah Manguso contemplates the work of Vija Celmins and the art of reckoning with silence; Ben Mauk unpacks the work of Natascha Süder Happelmann and the problem of representation in large-scale exhibitions; queer cyberfeminist Shu Lea Cheang speaks to artist Zach Blas about surveillance, control and the pleasures of the panopticon; and Tony Cokes recodes Kodwo Eshun’s memorial lecture for Mark Fisher for the issue’s visual essay.

Plus, 29 reviews from around the world, including reports from four non-profit spaces in London and Gretchen Bender’s first posthumous retrospective at Red Bull Arts New York.

Cover image: Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

From this issue

Renato Leotta employs moonlight, waves, dry-stone walls and ‘southern thought’ in order to ‘slow down time’

BY Barbara Casavecchia | 02 MAY 19
Venice 2019

The queer cyberfeminist pioneer’s Taiwan Pavilion in Venice explores surveillance, pleasure and control

BY Zach Blas | 02 MAY 19
Venice 2019

Can Natascha Süder Happelmann succeed in doing away with national ‘representation’ altogether?

BY Ben Mauk | 02 MAY 19
Venice 2019

Ahead of representing Canada at the 58th Venice Biennale, the director discusses his 30-year career making films about Inuit life

BY Zacharias Kunuk | 02 MAY 19
Venice 2019

To address the ‘interesting times’ alluded to in the title of the 58th Venice Biennale, we must challenge the language we use to describe them

BY Andrew Durbin | 02 MAY 19
Reviews

An exhibition at Seventeen, London, reflects upon the precarious world that the arts professional must negotiate

BY Paul Rekret | 02 MAY 19
Reviews

A retrospective of the late Iranian-American director at Berlin’s KW Institute for Contemporary Art shows society in ruin

BY Stanton Taylor | 30 APR 19

Artists Barby Asante, Libita Clayton and Ashley Holmes are reimagining what it means to go back home

BY Kadish Morris | 26 APR 19

This specially-commissioned visual essay by Tony Cokes draws from theorist Kodwo Eshun’s moving epitaph for his friend, the critic Mark Fisher

BY Tony Cokes | 25 APR 19

From Mx Justin Vivian Bond to Andy Warhol: fan artists in New York

BY Olivia Laing | 25 APR 19
Reviews

An exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, examines Johns’s recent paintings and how the artist’s intentions remain steadfastly encrypted

BY Jack McGrath | 25 APR 19
Reviews

From viral slime to medieval botany, these artists are probing the margins of mainstream knowledge 

BY Mimi Chu | 25 APR 19

How archival collections are being re-animated via new technologies

BY Ellen Mara De Wachter | 24 APR 19

After years in the critical wilderness, Pattern and Decoration, the first postmodern art movement, is being reassessed by a number of exhibitions in Europe and the US 

BY Amy Sherlock | 24 APR 19

The boom in cinema magazines dedicated to print

BY Erika Balsom | 24 APR 19

The artist takes us through her multi-faceted practice, now on view in her retrospective at Museum Ludwig, Cologne 

BY Övül Ö. Durmuşoğlu | 23 APR 19

Online feuds, real lives and artistic licence

BY Jörg Heiser | 23 APR 19
Venice 2019

Q: What do you like the look of? A: A clear bright sky in the morning

BY Ralph Rugoff | 23 APR 19
Reviews

In a solo exhibition at kurimanzutto, Mexico City, the artist’s hanging sculptures are, like human beings, contingent, needy and ever-changing

BY Kit Schluter | 18 APR 19
Reviews

Concurrent exhibitions at mother’s tankstation in Dublin and London are the product of more than 40 years of patiently observing the surrounding world

BY Gemma Tipton | 18 APR 19

On the emergence of transgender literature

BY Juliet Jacques | 18 APR 19
Reviews

At Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, the Karachi-born artist’s first solo exhibition in Russia sees Western modernisms turned against themselves

BY Figgy Guyver | 18 APR 19
Reviews

The artist depicts the archetypal women of the golden age of film – or reveals them through their absence

BY Moritz Scheper | 18 APR 19
Reviews

At Berlin’s Galerie Neu, a small triumph for nightlife anti-hero Daniel Pflumm, his first show at the gallery in 15 years

BY Pablo Larios | 18 APR 19
Reviews

Combining baroque design with folk tradition, the late artist’s work asks: is pattern not the motor of creation?

BY Greg Nissan | 18 APR 19
Reviews

From food delivery apps to public transport, the Berlin-based artists reflect on the changing face of urban life

BY Kito Nedo | 18 APR 19
Reviews

Body and landscape converge in the groundbreaking painter’s first US retrospective at the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

BY Ian Bourland | 18 APR 19

Her retrospective at the Met is a five-decade meditation on the vastness of the cosmos and the insignificance of human life

BY Sarah Manguso | 18 APR 19
Reviews

Linder’s ‘Full Service’ at MUDAM, Luxembourg, enacts a clever service economy between performer, viewer and museum

BY Fabian Schöneich | 18 APR 19
Reviews

In a solo show at the McCord Museum, Montreal, the Cree artist’s alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, confronts the horrors of Canadian history

BY Georgia Phillips-Amos | 17 APR 19

Ellis’s paintings are spring-loaded with overlapping references to film and television, current events, art and cartoons.

BY Andrew Durbin | 16 APR 19
Reviews

A retrospective at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, showcases the forms and themes that underpin the artist’s singular career

BY Skye Arundhati Thomas | 16 APR 19

The symbolism of a failed property development in Turkey 

BY Jennifer Higgie | 11 APR 19

Varda (1928-2019) provided a blueprint for an experimental, politically-radical, idiosyncratically personal and wide-eyed humanist cinema

BY Sierra Pettengill | 02 APR 19
Reviews

‘Musicality and Humour’ shows the artist at his spontaneous best

BY Cal Revely-Calder | 01 APR 19
Reviews

In two New York gallery shows, the artist’s domestic sets and portraits of celebrities drive home questions of representation in the culture industry

29 MAR 19
Reviews

For 40 years, the Italian artist’s work has ‘shocked us into new realities’

BY Aaron Peck | 28 MAR 19

Once labelled a ‘TV terrorist’, the video artist returns with her first posthumous retrospective at Red Bull Arts New York

BY Masha Tupitsyn | 26 MAR 19
Reviews

The Barcelona-based artist’s survey at Lisbon’s MAAT shows the breadth of his experiments in urban architectures and rudimentary materials

BY Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva | 26 MAR 19

‘Wherever he is now, I know he is waiting for me. There is so much we did not have the time to address’

BY Simon Njami | 25 MAR 19

In style as well as substance, the late curator embodied a politics of inclusivity

BY Naomi Beckwith | 25 MAR 19
Reviews

The late artist Knud Viktor painted a sonic portrait of the non-human world

BY Steven Zultanski | 25 MAR 19
Reviews

A show at London’s Cabinet Gallery gives insight into the great writer’s most troubled period

BY Patrick Langley | 25 MAR 19
Reviews

For his first solo show at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, the artist’s five rapturous landscapes channel the cries of condemned and enslaved bodies under empire

BY Shiv Kotecha | 20 MAR 19

A tribute to the late curator and his belief in the primacy of documentation

BY Osei Bonsu | 19 MAR 19
Reviews

The London-based sculptor’s new show at Kunstverein München delves into the queasy malleability of bodies

BY Louisa Elderton | 19 MAR 19
Reviews

A Wunderkammer-like exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield shows objects from all times and places alongside the artist’s own ceramic vessels

BY Isabella Smith | 18 MAR 19

A tribute to the late curator’s support of artists in South Africa and how his writing on them ‘revealed something of his acute sense for history’

BY Sean O'Toole | 18 MAR 19

A tribute to the Nigeria-born poet, critic and ‘most important curator of his generation’, who persistently bid us to open our eyes

BY Jörg Heiser | 15 MAR 19
Reviews

Gaby Sahhar’s solo show explores London city life via pen-and-ink drawings and a video

BY Gabriella Pounds | 14 MAR 19
Reviews

Two parallel exhibitions in LA, at Blum & Poe and Nonaka-Hill gallery, show how Japanese artists of the 1980s and ‘90s confronted Postmodernism

BY Olivian Cha | 13 MAR 19
Reviews

At Nottingham Contemporary, the artist reflects on intertwined histories of data and digging

BY Hettie Judah | 12 MAR 19
Reviews

A new show at Collective, Edinburgh, makes poetry of physical actions

BY Chris Sharratt | 06 MAR 19