Issue 236
June/July/August 2023

‘What we call breathing, what we call tender, what we call life.’ – Torkwase Dyson

In the summer issue of frieze, Travis Diehl profiles artist Gary Simmons to coincide with major shows in London and Chicago. Plus, ahead of biennial appearances in Liverpool and São Paulo, artist Torkwase Dyson is in discussion with writer Christina Sharpe

Profile: Gary Simmons

The work has gone from a bone-rattling explosion to a slow, ruthless burn.’ An artist of grand gestures and living histories reassesses his past – and future – with a mid-career survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and a solo show at Hauser & Wirth, London.

Conversation: Torkwase Dyson and Christina Sharpe
‘It means something not to be lost in the face of terror but to move through it. Because how else did we move?’ Torkwase Dyson speaks with writer and collaborator Christina Sharpe about how they both engage with the legacies of slavery and Blackness in their work. 

Also featuring  

In anticipation of Senga Nengudi’s forthcoming book, we share a selection of notes, scribbles, statements and poems from the artist and her alter ego. In ‘1,500 Words’, poet Simone White considers Carrie Mae Weems’s Mirror, Mirror (1987–88). Plus, we profile four galleries and project spaces across Ghana, from Tamale in the north to the capital of Accra, that support artists producing and exhibiting innovative work: Gallery 1957, Nubuke Foundation, Nuku Studio and Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art.

Columns: After Dark

Zahra Bundakji on the all-women dance parties rising in the Arab world; Edna Bonhomme examines how DJ and writer Paul Purgas amplifies the many musical histories of nightlife; CAConrad pens a poem for your dreams; Cassie Packard on how Joey Terrill’s collages celebrate queer Chicano culture; Chloe Aridjis on the inspiration that comes when you cannot go to sleep.  

Finally, on the heels of the centenary of Richard Avedon’s birth and a celebratory exhibition at Gagosian, New York, Brian Dillon looks closely at the photographer’s outtake of his portrait of William Casby. Plus, Going Up, Going Down charts what’s hot and what’s not in the global art world, and we bring you the latest iteration of our Lonely Arts column.

From this issue

Founded by Ibrahim Mahama, Red Clay, Savannah Centre For Contemporary Art and Nkrumah Volini offer space for interrogation and artistic change by repurposing Ghana’s history

BY Gameli Hamelo | 22 AUG 23

One of the longest running art institutions in Ghana, founded in 2006, thrives by building networks between artists and the local community

BY Amah-Rose Abrams | 15 AUG 23

The gallery, based in Accra and London, aims to connect local and international artists amidst a critical and commercial surge of interest in Ghana

BY Osman Can Yerebakan | 08 AUG 23

By basing themselves outside of Accra, Nuku Studio provides space and time for Ghanaian and international photographers to develop their craft

BY Vanessa Peterson | 01 AUG 23

All-female parties, discos for listening and the Saudi histories of the dancefloor

BY Nadine Khalil AND Zahra Bundakji | 25 JUL 23

Works from the poet’s forthcoming book Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return take on a life of their own

BY CAConrad | 21 JUL 23

Using gay print magazines, the artist makes collages that imagine intersectional queer communities

BY Cassie Packard | 11 JUL 23

The artworks of Remedios Varo, Louise Bourgeois, Mat Collishaw and Rut Blees Luxemburg offer a portrait of the artists' sleepless nights

BY Chloe Aridjis | 03 JUL 23

The DJ and writer experiments with electronic music and rethinks the meaning of a ‘sonic archive’ upon discovering tapes at the National Institute of Design

BY Edna Bonhomme | 27 JUN 23

The artist and theorist share their thoughts on their intellectual work of interrogating legacies of slavery and anti-Black violence

BY Torkwase Dyson AND Christina Sharpe | 23 JUN 23

The poet and critic Simone White considers the artist’s formative work Mirror Mirror (1987–88)

BY Simone White | 20 JUN 23

In anticipation of the artist’s forthcoming book to be published in 2024 with Dia Art Foundation, frieze presents an extract of Nengudi’s exuberant prose

BY Senga Nengudi | 13 JUN 23

On the centenary of the photographer’s birth, an outtake of his iconic portrait of William Casby, a self-conscious image captured alongside five generations of his family

BY Brian Dillon | 09 JUN 23

With major shows at MCA, Chicago and Hauser & Wirth London, the artist assesses his past, present and future

BY Travis Diehl | 07 JUN 23

Despite good intentions, a polyvocal exhibition at MACAAL, Marrakesh, reaffirms the Malagasy artist as the star of the show

BY Chloe Stead | 11 MAY 23

Featuring a quintet of Italian artists, a group show at Mai 36, Zurich, makes the case for more unsettled and uncomfortable aesthetic forms

BY Paolo Baggi | 10 MAY 23

For her first solo show dedicated to ceramics, the artist creates a mosaic of free-wheeling motifs from rudimentary forms

BY Louise Long | 10 MAY 23

At Arario Gallery, Seoul, new and reformulated installations and photographs by the artist track the non-meaning generated by financial markets


BY Park Jaeyong | 09 MAY 23

A major retrospective of the artist’s hard-to-define work evidences her shapeshifting nature

BY Mitch Speed | 28 APR 23

At PHD Group, Hong Kong, the artist mourns her mother through sensorial installations that incorporate personal detritus

BY Ophelia Lai | 25 APR 23

A mid-career survey at S.M.A.K., Ghent, posits a new spiritual museology in which we connect to art beyond just representation

BY Ella Slater | 24 APR 23

At White Cube, Bermondsey, the artist’s landscapes of objects reckon with ideas of existence and extinction

BY Reuben Esien | 24 APR 23

A group show at Honor Fraser, Los Angeles, explores how queer strategies have undergirded art and technology in the past five decades

BY Alice Bucknell | 20 APR 23

Imbued with cultural history, the artist’s ceramic sculptures embody near-magical properties that hint at a dystopic future

BY Kathrin Heinrich | 19 APR 23

The artist’s new installation at Green-Wood Cemetery in New York explores loss, death and rebirth through motherhood

BY Mariana Fernández | 18 APR 23

At the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, the artist’s readymade sculptures prompt a strange empathy between viewer and object

BY Lisette May Monroe | 17 APR 23

A group show at Castello di Rivoli explores the cultural impact of conflict via the works of artists who have witnessed it

BY Eva Scharrer | 12 APR 23

At von ammon co, Washington, DC, the artist presents multi-media sculptures and photographs that appropriate the visual language of the international financial system

BY Ian Bourland | 11 APR 23

At Johnson Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, a group show centres how Black visual culture is transmuted into wide-ranging practices

BY Lisa Yin Zhang | 04 APR 23

At Campoli Presti, Paris, the artist’s delicate installations respond to texts by two of the 20th-century's most celebrated authors 

BY Vincent Simon | 04 APR 23

The artist's retrospective at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf sees him retreat into childhood pastimes in the face of a changing world

BY Ben Livne Weitzman | 03 APR 23

At Josh Lilley, London, the artist’s depictions of a not-so-blissful domesticity evoke Lee Lozano and Pablo Picasso

BY Tom Morton | 30 MAR 23

An exhibition at Thomas Dane Gallery, London, encapsulates the artist’s ability to create hard sculptures that mimic soft or fluid materials 

BY Daniel Culpan | 27 MAR 23

At Tanya Bonakdar, Los Angeles, the artist presents sculptures and installations that revel in the magic past the limits of language

BY Evan Moffitt | 14 MAR 23