A towering wooden statue from KAWS, aluminum workwear, a psychedelic kids installation and more in our look at the globally renowned art fair
by Cajsa Carlson in Culture on 20 October 2014
The 12th edition of contemporary art fair Frieze London took place last week at the always manicured and picturesque Regent’s Park in central London. With a massive selection of galleries as well as live events and talks, visitors were treated to everything from giant emojis in the Sculpture Park to dancers acting out Adam Linder’s “Choreographic Service No. 2,” available for hire by the hour.
With a decidedly young, fun vibe, the free entry Sculpture Park was likely the most joyful part of Frieze London and a shining example of the benefits of communal art projects, as viewers interacted with one another and the installations themselves. The Gabriele de Santis installation of emojis on holiday in "Can’t Take My Eyes Off You" was overwhelmingly the most Instagrammed artwork of the show. Meanwhile the gigantic wood afrormosia sculpture “SMALL LIE" by New York City-based KAWS cut a sad, but intimidating presence against the grey London skies. The Victoria Miro Gallery showed Yayoi Kusama’s bronze "Pumpkin(s)," a motif that the artist has returned to throughout her career and one that perfectly fit the greenery of the park.
Some of the most interesting works inside Frieze London this year could be found in the Focus section, which features emerging galleries. New York City gallery Callicoon Fine Arts showed AK Burns’ beautiful aluminum work shirts. The artist uses sand molds of castoff button-down work shirts and old t-shirts, filling them with molten aluminum to create shimmering silver versions of traditional workwear. The sculptures effectively turn them from a symbol of manual labor to one of advanced capitalism.
London's Limoncello Gallery displayed Santo Tolone’s immersive “Fontana Angelica," a working fountain based on a design by early 20th century architect Piero Portaluppi. As the name hints, the original fountain would have been decorated with angels, but Tolone’s version is stripped down to just the plumbing of the fountain. What remains is a simple, structural beauty. It’s also an exhibition within the exhibition: Tolone curated a display of coins made by other artists in the pool, including works by Ryan Gander and John Baldessari.
Among the more established galleries, Gagosian’s installation by Carsten Höller was a knowing exhibition of works by the artist, whose most well-known London show “Test Site” consisted of spiraling slides in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall that brought out the inner child in many visitors. At Frieze, he created a trippy kids' wonderland dubbed “Gartenkinder." The immersive world was complete with a giant Scrabble game, a dice kids could play inside and a rocking mushroom—all conceived in bright, vivid hues that attracted the curious and cemented Höller’s reputation as a master of playful, interactive art.
Rosa Barba’s artworks at Gió Marconi of Milan and Berlin's Meyer Riegger showcased the Berlin-based artist’s fascination with cinema and sound. Minimalist installations made of film canisters, projectors and a seismograph played with ideas of time and distance as they buzzed and vibrated, adding to the sense of movement that Frieze appeared to be cultivating this year. The regular stands at the fair were interspersed with areas that featured live performances and gave Frieze a sense of urgency and discovery.
AK Burns and Santo Tolone image courtesy of Frieze, all other images by Cajsa Carlson
Transforming the iOS 8 keyboard into a set of pens and markers—when emojis just won't cut it
App extensions, Apple's newest feature on iOS 8, have opened up the floodgates for third-party keyboard apps (many of which have been available for some time on Android phones). While the recently launched Inkboard doesn't promise to save milliseconds on typing speed, this new app offers some creative expression for when emojis just won't cut it. By transforming your QWERTY board into an expansive set of pens, markers, crayons and more, Inkboard (from the founders of social drawing app Doodle.ly) lets you draw what you can't put into words. Add a little flair to mundane texting, then share your masterpiece with friends via SMS and social media platforms. Simply copy the final image then paste it into Messages (which will work even for those who don't have the app or iOS 8), or upload the image and post the link—all from within your keyboard.
Once the Doodle.ly team heard Apple's announcement this June at WWDC, about App extensions, they spent the summer developing Inkboard to prepare it for release when iOS 8 launched. They've now created the ability to, "send drawings straight from within the keyboard," as Doodle.ly co-founder Darren Paul tells CH. When text gets a little too cold and distant, warm things up with this unique way to communicate your thoughts.
The Inkboard app is available for free from the App Store for users with iOS 8.
Images by Kevin Serai via Inkboard
Enticing cyclists, refined palates and those seeking a view to consider a not-so-typical destination
Traveler's Rest near Greenville, South Carolina might not top the must-visit lists yet, but retired pro cyclist George Hincapie and his brother Richard are set to change this by sharing their best-kept secret (and also the area they call home) with others through their new boutique hotel. Those who visit Hotel Domestique, however, are seeking anything but rest. The active travelers have come to cycle—sometimes, with Hincapie himself—and hike through the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, which also provide the backdrop to their Tuscan villa-like grounds.
The hotel is named after Hincapie's critical role—the domestique, a "sacrificial lamb" who aids teammates (in Hincapie's case, his friend and team leader Lance Armstrong) to success by setting the pace, creating a draft for them to conserve energy and all around support in races such as the Tour de France. A country inn in its previous life, the 13-room Hotel Domestique—which celebrated its opening last fall—has been given a modern makeover to create the ambience of the "old grand farmhouses" Hincapie admired while living in Girona, Spain for more than a decade during the pro racing seasons.
In fact, when guests walk into Hotel Domestique, there's barely any hint that it's a cycling haven. In the lobby, stone walls and oak beams, well-designed furniture and light fixtures, a courtyard fountain and outdoor swimming pool, along with artwork by artists Matt Baumgardner and Paul Yanko suggest a cozy, contemporary getaway to the countryside. The cycling connection is made clear as you see cyclists slowly pedaling uphill toward the hotel and some Hincapie Sportswear apparel hung to the side of the front desk.
The pared down room feels more like spending the night at a friend's luxurious estate than a hotel (traditional amenities like extra towels, iron, hairdryer are hidden in the standalone wardrobe). This ambience is heightened with the guest pantries on each floor, offering complimentary espresso from a DeLonghi Magnifica, red or white wine, chilled beverages, healthy snacks and Skratch Labs mixes. A complimentary three-course breakfast each morning provides guests with the stamina for a day of pushing the pedals.
Our room (Colombière) had his-and-her-sinks stocked with Hermès bath products, with a European-style separated toilet and spacious shower, though knowing how activity-focused the hotel is, a bathtub to soak tired muscles would have been a welcome addition.
Guests who haven't brought their own bikes can be set up with one of the high-end full carbon fiber BMC (road or mountain) bike. The only question for each day then is, "where should I go?" Hincapie has been cycling in the area for many years, and his choice routes, ranging from 8 to 80 miles, have been saved onto touchscreen Garmin bike computers—meaning cyclists could stay a week at the hotel and explore a new area each day. And amateurs need not be intimidated; routes like the River Loop (about 17 miles) offer equally stunning views with less intensity. There's also the Swamp Rabbit Trail, Greenville's historic rail line-turned-bikepath, taking you to the center of the city.
The only downside would be bad weather coinciding with your visit, since Hotel Domestique keeps the focus on the great outdoors and doesn't have indoor activities to keep guests occupied. But the joy comes, as we experienced during a rainstorm, when the sun sets and dinner is served.
Due to the hotel's relatively remote location (it's about a 30-minute drive from either Greenville or Asheville, NC), dining options are limited to just one—luckily, it's of impressive quality. Adam Cooke heads up the adjacent Restaurant 17 (named after the number of times Hincapie has finished the Tour de France) with a matter-of-factness about cooking local and fresh; it's taken for granted, not lauded as a selling point. The menu is tweaked daily for whatever ingredients come in from the farms in South Carolina. Surprisingly, the area between here and Asheville hosts a large temperate rain forest (not to mention notable local craft breweries like Highland, Westbrook and Thomas Creek), allowing for some unusual additions to the menu.
The pasta, charcuterie, fresh cheeses and sourdough bread (served with skordalia, a flavorful hummus-like dip) are all made in-house. The must-tries are the lamb heart bruschetta, cooked carefully at a low temperature to tenderness, the sweet potato risotto and the scallops with Asian pear and wild chicken of the woods mushrooms—whose meaty bite could fool most about its true nature.
Cycling has experienced a boom in the US in recent years, but the sport has been marred by the inevitable use of performance-enhancing drugs by pros, and the very public takedown of Lance Armstrong and other famed cyclists. After Hincapie, too, admitted to doping during part of his career, retiring that same year in 2012, he's put his focus onto family, his sportswear line (manufactured in Medellin, Colombia, where his family is from) and being hands-on with running the hotel. For example, he leads specialized camps with friends like fellow retired pro Christian Vande Velde to help cycling enthusiasts improve skills, but also show off what the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. Perhaps this is his way of giving back: developing the love of a sport here in America which still pales in comparison to countries in Europe.
He's been able to do this on a large scale through Gran Fondo Hincapie, a ride now in its third year that attracts more than 1,500 riders to the Blue Ridge Mountains and experiences his "favorite trail." Hincapie describes to CH, "The ride we do is very difficult. It's only 80 miles, but it's tough. The first 20 miles are pretty rolling, then we do a five-mile climb that's at 9% average—and the top is beautiful, you see the whole valley, it's stunning views up there. Then it's a very steep, technical descent, etc. It's deceivingly hard—if you look at it on paper, for even a pro rider, they'd say, 'Oh, that's not a big deal.' But once you ride it, it's a tough ride. But people love that time of year, the foliage is perfect, and the roads are really quiet."
If you're not an avid cyclist—you've been warned; Hotel Domestique is the place where you'll fall in love. There's nothing in the way of you and your bike but the natural beauty of the mountains, the bluest of Carolina-blue skies and the occasional beep from the Garmin nudging you in the right direction.
To book your next stay, visit Hotel Domestique online; room rates start at $295 per night. On-site registration is still available for this weekend's Gran Fondo Hincapie which takes place 25 October 2014.
Image of George Hincapie courtesy of Hotel Domestique, Gran Fondo Hincapie 2013 images courtesy of Gran Fondo Hincapie, all other images by Nara Shin