The highly influential collectors and philanthropists Susan and Michael Hort have once again graced us with their choices from the two main May 2015 art fairs, NADA and Frieze. Read up on Michael’s thoughts on each artist, accompanied by photographs of purchased works by the collectors themselves.
NADA NY 2015 Picks
ALEXANDER NOLAN at Galerie Bernard Ceysson
The Nolans are small drawings, shown by Galerie Bernard Ceysson along with Lauren Luloff. They’re well executed, and they’re a lot of fun. They’re just weird. It reminds me a little bit of Nicole Eisenman. They’ve got a nice line too.
LAUREN LULOFF at Galerie Bernard Ceysson
We originally discovered Lauren Luloff in the same gallery in a couple of weeks ago. She uses all kinds of materials—she collages, she cuts, she paints, and the results are quite beautiful. They’re interesting, for sure. It's funny, but she’s actually married to Alexander Nolan too.
MAX FRINTROP at Berthold Pott
First of all, we love Max Frintrop. He’s at the house right now. When we first bought his art about a year ago, his work was much more geometric, much cleaner. This is kind of exuberant—the lines break out. He uses a big brush that he designed himself. It’s three brushes put together with wires. I think he’s really talented, and his art is changing. He’s always pushing—he’s not just sitting, he’s pushing. If you look at his work from one or two years ago, you’ll see that it’s constantly changing. It’s getting looser, more confident.
GREG GONG at Luce Gallery
We met Greg Gong through Jon Pestoni, another artist from L.A. Jon said to me “Do me a favor—look at his work, tell me what you think.” This was before anyone had ever seen his work. He’d gone to school with Jon, and when Jon went into art, Greg went into technology and made money. But he always said “I gotta paint, I gotta paint,” so now he’s at Luce Gallery. He really has his own style, and that’s also changing. The early work that we had of his is also not as exuberant. This work is a little looser, a little bigger, even.
CHRIS HOOD at Lyles & King
Chis Hood is a young guy, and I discovered him for the first time yesterday at NADA at the terrific gallery Lyles & King, which is officially opening at the end of this month. Chris Hood paints on the other side of the canvas, but the images come through to the side we look at.
FREIZE NEW YORK PICKS
RON GORCHOV at Vito Schnabel
I met Ron Gorchov about 30 years ago, when he showed with Jack Tilton. He has a lot of talent, but he’s a crazy guy. He kind of disappeared, and then a couple years ago Vito Schnabel decided to resurrect him. Ron’s making great paintings, really great paintings. They’re on bold, three dimensional canvases, usually in weird shapes. In my house, one of my favorite paintings by him is actually in one of the powder rooms because my wife loves it. It’s never changed.
DESPINA STOKOU at Derek Eller & Galerie EIGEN+ART
We met Despina originally in Berlin when we got some of her work from EIGEN, and then she moved to California and we became really good friends. She’s an adorable woman besides being a talented artist. In her work, she uses some kind of a script, a song or story or something, and then makes images to explain that story. She’s out in California now, and she’s Miss California. She got herself a convertible, got herself a dog, got herself a hat.
The first time we bough work by Ellen Berkenblit was probably 20 or 25 years ago. Her work is kind of fanciful, with a lot of big noses and things like that. This particular painting that we got is a little abstract, and its very different from any of the others from her that we’ve seen because it’s less figurative than it usually might be.
JEPPE HEIN at Johann Koenig
We first found out about Jeppe Hein when Johann Koenig opened his first gallery in Berlin. He had a ball by this guy Jeppe Hein that would crash into the gallery walls. At the end of the show, after a month of whatever it was, the gallery was a mess because that ball would roll calmly to the center of the room and then go crashing into the walls. We bought that piece, but we said to Jeppe, “You’ve got to calm down a little bit.” He was young, and he was less of an art star. The work he does now has gotten much better, and we’ve bought a lot of his work. He makes these weird benches as outdoor sculptures—you can use them as a bench, but it’s strange to sit on.