I first came across Luca Frei and his work in 2009 at Wysing Arts Centre. He was invited by the curator Lotte Juul-Petersen to create some new work there and it was his approach to the process of making work that really captivated me. When he arrived at Wysing he entered into an environment of unknowns and his response was both vulnerable and strong. It was the first time I’d seen his work – clean, sparse, rational. You could sense the interrogation and editing he had been through to get to the final work quietly presented.
Fast track to Berlin 2012 and a visit to see his solo show at Wien Lukatsch. A perfect space for his work. Cool white rooms with high ceilings and a white light that almost projected the works into the room. Frei became known for creating spatial experiences where the viewer is invited to observe the distinct features of a space that otherwise they might miss. In this show there was no danger you might miss something. Most of the works held their space with a powerful clarity and precision which contrasted with the playful nature of the compositions. I liked this counter balance. It drew me in.
I thought several new works using found and discarded materials were particularly interesting. Frei describes these new works as the result of the negotiation he experiences when working with the found materials to arrive at new compositions. He sees them being “about process, meditative and playful” and it is those qualities that I find so involving.
And now Frei will be showing in London in March and April in the Keywords exhibition at Iniva – Institute of International Visual Arts, curated by Grant Watson and Gavin Delahunty. I hear Frei is creating a new work for the main window of the gallery. I’m looking forward to it.
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also coming up in May, a new solo show at Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland www.kunsthausglarus.ch/en/frontend/exhibition_detail/470
I blog on collecting contemporary art and the art market. I’ve started Radar as a collector, sharing my views on artists whose works I see and like. The majority of artists are new or emerging and in the £100-£20,000 range. £ £10-£5,000; ££ up to £10,000 £££ up to £15,000; ££££ up to £20,000