Issue 222
October 2021

‘I don’t think we speak in one tenor or tone: we all have this sense of multiplicity.’ – Adam Pendleton 

In the October issue of frieze, Terence Trouillot profiles artist Adam Pendleton, whose installation ‘Who Is Queen?’ opened in September at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Pablo Bronstein, Lubaina Himid, Juliet JacquesHuw LemmeyBod Mellor, Rottingdean Bazaar and Julie Verhoeven examine what the future holds for London’s ailing and abandoned retail spaces. And Leslie Thornton answers our questionnaire. 

Profile: Terence Trouillot on Adam Pendleton 

‘“Who Is Queen?” is a question about who is powerful and who is powerless.’ At New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Adam Pendleton has filled the building’s expansive atrium with painting, sculpture and sound in a polyvocal composition celebrating poetry, wildness, Black multiplicity and resistance.  

Dossier: What Next for London’s High Street? 

‘Prophesied since the advent of online shopping, the death of the high street finally seemed to have been realized during the lockdowns of the past 18 months, when images of ghostly-still city centres flooded news and social media channels.’ We look at how shifting consumer patterns are shaping the urban fabric of the city, and what might come next.  

Also featuring    

Vanessa Peterson speaks with artist Ibrahim Mahama on the occasion of a major show at White Cube, London. Curator Portia Malatjie asks what cultural heritage we stand to lose due to institutional negligence. In ‘1,500 words’, Anna Della Subin, whose forthcoming book, Accidental Gods, tells the story of people inadvertently turned divine, reflects on the worship of objects. And an extract from Ben Lerner’s forthcoming Gold Custody, a book of poetry produced in collaboration with Barbara Bloom 

Columns: Faking It 

The Gentle Author berates the cynical architectural trend of façadism; Kyle Chayka delves into an alternate reality of Fortnite’s Metaverse; Lukas Brasiskis on the production of ‘counter truths’ in documentary cinema; and Thea Ballard on Ming Wong’s new boy band, C-U-T. Plus, Lincoln Michel interviews author Joshua Cohen, whose latest novel, The Netanyahus (2021), imagines a visit from Zionist historian Benzion Netanyahu to a fictional sleepy college town. 

Painting Now 

The issue closes with a collection of new essays, interviews and previews on the subject of painting. As an exhibition dedicated to the work of Bob Thompson opens at Maine’s Colby College Museum of Art, Tunji Adeniyi-JonesPeter Doig and Jessica Lynne offer personal responses to the artist’s work. Sophie RuigrokChloe SteadSkye Arundhati Thomas and Terence Troulliot profile five young painters to watch: Jenna GribbonChase Hall, Fiza Khatri, Fabian Ramírez and Joanna WośLatifa Echakhch, Michael KrebberXie NanxingShahzia SikanderLynette Yiadom Boakye reveal the books that most influence their painting. Elsewhere, Evan Moffitt profiles Julien NguyenTravis Diehl interviews Kenjiro OkazakiTavia Nyong’o attends a messy New York painting party; and Joy Labinjo speaks to Claudette Johnson. Plus, Cal Revely-Calder on painting faces post-COVID-19 and Sarah E. James on the work of Michaela Eichwald.  

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From this issue

On the occasion of the artist's solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel, Sarah E. James considers the artist's idiosyncratic abstractions

BY Sarah E. James |

With painting parties becoming the latest fad in New York, Tavia Nyong’o contemplates the role of the critic through booze and artmaking

BY Tavia Nyong’o |

The artist speaks on his latest series of small, abstract tableaux, reflecting on the history of landscape painting and why uncertainty can create a sense purpose

BY Travis Diehl AND Kenjiro Okazaki |

Huw Lemmy tracks the rise and fall of the UK’s most iconic purveyor of teenage cool, and the desires, hopes and aching failures it left its wake

BY Huw Lemmey |

Our critics drum up an international list of their favourite promising artists

Latifa Echakhch, Michael Krebber, Xie Nanxing, Tobias Pils and Shahzia Sikander share the books they frequently return to for inspiration

After a recent fire at the University of Cape Town’s library destroyed irreplaceable books and archival documents, South African artists consider how to redefine the meaning of the archive

BY Portia Malatjie |

In the age of ‘fake news’ Lukas Brasiskis analyses the moving-image artists recalibrating the optics on truth

BY Lukas Brasiskis |

As the high street institution shuts for good, five artists and writer, including Pablo Bronstein and Lubaina Himid, propose ideas for Philip Green’s fallen kingdom

The group of art students – assembled by Ming Wong – negotiates the boundary between engagement and appropriation

BY Thea Ballard |

 Anna Della Subin’s brief history of objects turned into gods, and what it means for our thing-filled world   

BY Anna Della Subin |

With a solo show at London’s White Cube, Ibrahim Mahama speaks with Vanessa Peterson about Ghana’s post-independence era, architecture and the importance of his collaborators


BY Ibrahim Mahama AND Vanessa Peterson |

As Silicon Valley’s latest buzzword picks up traction, Kyle Chayka investigates if this new ‘utopian’ space is just yet another poorly regulated economy

BY Kyle Chayka |

As society withdrew behind screens Cal Revely-Calder reflects on how the visage has become a focal point in painting during the COVID-19 crisis

BY Cal Revely-Calder |

The artist’s monumental new installation at MoMA is his most complete and ambitious project yet

BY Terence Trouillot |

With the mass displacement of communities and local businesses, Dalston’s long-standing diversity has become a much hyped-up marketing ploy, but can Ridley Road Market survive this re-brand?  

BY Juliet Jacques |

From Cynthia Daignault’s new body of work at Kasmin Gallery, New York, to Monika Baer’s first Swiss institutional show in 30 years at Kunsthalle Bern, these are must-see painting shows this season

BY frieze |

The artist’s sleek tableaux present ghoulish, lithesome male figures as both objects of desire and graven images of death

BY Evan Moffitt |

The author of ‘The Netanyahus’ speaks with Lincoln Michel about his latest work and how his definition of ‘truth’ changes with every novel

BY Lincoln Michel |

In celebration of Thompson's current retrospective, 'This House Is Mine', at the Colby Museum of Art, Mainetwo artists and a writer reflect on the short but prolific career of the legendary Black painter 

Eric Otieno Sumba on the cultural and historical significance of new collage work by the Norwegian artist

BY Eric Otieno Sumba |

The two London-based artists on why figurative painting speaks to our ‘shared humanity’ and how the personal is always political

BY Claudette Johnson AND Joy Labinjo |