Frieze Viewing Room, May 2020
In collaboration with Collective Design
The drive to discover, exploit and transform materials into colours has been central to artistic practice since pigment was applied to cave walls. Unlike our prehistoric ancestors, however, so many of the colours we experience today are not driven by nature, but by industry, technology and commerce. New materials and processes - from the petrochemical industries, through electronics - continue to expand the available colour range and the traditional resources of design and art practice.
For this, the first-ever design exhibition for Frieze New York in collaboration with Collective Design, Libby Sellers curates a selection of works that celebrate colour as origin, as prime material. Through advances in pigments, plastics, inert gasses and inks it gives agency back to colour and reveals information about the various forces of production that influence creative practice at any given time. Consequently, the selection also looks to contemporary practitioners who are making commentary on our petrochemical reliance or the politics of colour production and are instead turning to alternative, natural and pre-industrial sources for their work.
All the works were consigned from leading galleries internationally and presented as part of Frieze Viewing Rooms, the online platform that grew from the fair's rapid response to COVID-19.