Issue 244
June/July/August 2024

‘An artist’s book can be the work itself – simply current’  Dan Fox

In the summer issue of frieze, writer Dan Fox profiles Primary Information, a New York-based publisher of artists’ books and writing. Plus, a dossier highlighting four emerging galleries to watch in Tokyo, Japan.

Profile: Dan Fox on Primary Information

‘As younger creative people, as artists, we wanted to have access to this material.’ Dan Fox delves into the history and development of a storied artists’ book publisher that brought 1970s conceptual art into the hands of a new generation.

Dossier: 4 Galleries to Watch in Tokyo

‘Exhibitions don’t always have to be so exclusive, I want everyone to see [them].’ A roundtable by Andrew Maerkle, Azby Brown, Andrew Durbin and Taro Nettleton examines whether the new generation of galleries, non-profits and artist-run spaces in Tokyo can embrace the city’s famous pop sensibility – and change one of Asia’s oldest contemporary art scenes.

Also featuring

Ahead of her show at London’s Cubitt Gallery, Marlene Smith speaks to friend Lubaina Himid about intimacy and experimentation. In ‘1,500 Words,’ Paul Chan revisits filmmaker Chris Marker’s Dialector, an unrealised chat programme developed from 1985–89. Plus, Rianna Jade Parker offers an extensive survey on Jamaica’s intuitive artists, a self-taught group who ushered in a national form of artmaking by mythologizing African traditions.

Columns: Built Environment

Giovanna Silva writes on photographing history through unexpected architectural interventions, Juliet Jacques asks why we obsess over unpeopled buildings, Lennart Wolff looks at the work of Koffi & Diabaté Architects, and Carson Chan revisits John Cage’s ‘Organ²/ASLSP’ in Halberstadt, an organ piece designed to play continuously for 639 years. Plus, on the occasion of the ‘Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence’ exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Derin Fadina examines the architectural movement’s exclusionary narratives.

Finally, as Jana Euler’s solo exhibition opens at WIELS, Brussels, assistant editor Chloe Stead revisits her 2019 ‘Great White Fear’ series. Plus, Hanayo contributes to our series of artists’ ‘to-do’ lists, and the latest iteration of Walter Scott’s new cartoon series.

From this issue

How a storied artists’ book publisher placed 1970s conceptual art into the hands of a new generation

BY Dan Fox |

Koffi & Diabaté Architectes have developed a new project as an alternative to unchecked and market-oriented urbanization

BY Lennart Wolff |

The celebrated artist is interested in the role of modernism in statecraft and conflict

BY Giovanna Silva AND Laura McLean-Ferris |

The renowned composer created a rousing piece of music with changing dynamics by manipulating the speed of sound

BY Carson Chan |

The computer programme created by the artist in 1988 functioned as a chatbot long before the development of ChatGPT

BY Paul Chan |

How a group of self-taught practitioners pioneered a national art form by mythologizing African traditions through religious divination

BY Rianna Jade Parker |

We revisit the artist’s ‘Great White Fear’ series, featuring phallic shark paintings, to evaluate its enduring message

BY Chloe Stead |

Ahead of Smith’s show in London, the two artists discuss their histories and the fear and excitement of creating new works

BY Lubaina Himid AND Marlene Smith |

Minoru Nomatas paintings of fictional structures lament the buildings that embodied political movements striving for greater equality

BY Juliet Jacques |

How architects in post-independence Ghana and India wrested building from their western forbears

BY Derin Fadina |

A new wave of spaces has emerged to embrace the city’s pop sensibility and challenge the status quo

Her first solo exhibition in Europe since 1975 at Xavier Hufkens demonstrates that her paintings continue to challenge contemporary perceptions of sexuality and agency 

BY Hettie Judah |

A series of monochrome photos at Soft Opening, London, allows viewers to peek into Berlin porn cinemas, offering only slight hints of the people inside

BY Emily Steer |

‘In Real Time’ at NYUAD Art Gallery, Abu Dhabi, presents art works that evolve over the course of the exhibition

BY Nadine Khalil |

At Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, the artists sumptuous portraits of Afro-Italian life probe questions of personal history, identity and nationality

BY Reuben Esien |

At ICA Los Angeles, a group exhibition centres relationships and community as cornerstones of what it might mean to be Asian American

BY Vanessa Holyoak |

At CAC Passerelle, Brest, the artist showcases an archive that maps Arab and South Asian migration to Latin America and the Caribbean

BY Fernanda Brenner |

Despite its range and sincerity, a group exhibition focusing on First Nations artists relies on outdated curatorial methodologies

In his survey at Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, the artist explores the nationalistic archetypes of authoritarian regimes and the individuals expected to conform to their schemas

BY Euridice Arratia |

At Company Gallery, New York, the artist uses subversion and humour to upend the ideological landscape of contemporary sex/work and our moral attitudes towards it

BY Jeppe Ugelvig |

At [tart vienna], the self-taught artist privileges free and direct expression over conservation and legibility

BY Ramona Heinlein |

The artist has turned Punta della Dogana in Venice into a world of autonomous AI installations and isolated marine creatures

BY Sean Burns |

The eighth edition makes novel use of cacophony, disorientation and deferred gratification

BY Andrew Maerkle |

At MOCA Toronto, a triennial explores the cultural milieu of a city increasingly troubled by gentrification and real-estate development

BY Xenia Benivolski |

Project Native Informant in London showcases feature-length films that illustrate the artist’s successful transition from a pornographic to dystopian cyberpunk aesthetic

BY Juliet Jacques |

The artist’s exhibition at Blum, Los Angeles, traces four decades of gestural painting that’s neither purely abstract nor figurative

BY Jonathan Griffin |

The artist transforms The Modern Institute in Glasgow into a studio and living room decorated with references to his peers and heroes 

BY Lisette May Monroe |

Two videos at Gladstone Gallery, Seoul displace their viewers into the role of aides to the algorithm

BY Jaeyong Park |

A Cape Town retrospective showcases the diverse accomplishments of an artist whose Ndebele-inspired graphical style led to collaborations with BMW and Comme Des Garçons

BY Allie Biswas |

At Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, the artist offers a bitter comment on the way that the ongoing violence in Ukraine has been normalized over time

BY Noemi Smolik |

At Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, the artist’s sculptures using his own hair highlight the intricate dance between roots and routes

BY Wilson Tarbox |

Inspired by Virginia Woolf, the artist’s prints at Herald Street in London explore themes of life, death and the allure of possessions throughout history

BY Tom Morton |

At Print Center New York, the artist weaves histories, mythologies, politics and ecologies into intricate, interconnected cosmologies

BY Rebecca Rose Cuomo |

At Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, a sprawling group exhibition explores relationships between the German Democratic Republic and socialist states in the Global South

BY Harry Stopes |

At The Common Guild in Glasgow, the artist’s sculptures combine traditional female reclining nudes with tools of service labor

BY Phin Jennings |

A mood of tranquillity permeates the young artist’s rich and uncanny exhibition at Tate Britain 

BY Ellen Mara De Wachter |