***An incredibly sporadic and entirely unscientific count of the handbags being carried at social events of the world***
+++Usually Frieze Art Fairs+++
***THE FRIEZE ART FAIR!***
—AT VIP O’CLOCK—
You join us yesterday at the Frieze Art Fair.
The last hour of the VIP viewing, when the big collectors make their rounds.
i.e. women who can afford a handbag.
Or twelve million.
LET’S COUNT THE HANDBAGS.
OMG I wonder if we’ll see any NICOLAS GHESQUIRE FOR LOUIS VUITTON HANDBAGS!!!
Let’s start the count…NOW.
[Fast forward thirty four minutes]
It’s been a brutal round.
BECAUSE THERE’S HARDLY ANYONE HERE.
It’s still VIP only.
So few bags!
Just the cream that has risen.
The results are BRUTAL.
Some brands don’t even get 1…
WHAT ARE THE SCORES?
1st PLACE: CÉLINE – 11 bags.
Mostly that one where the sides pull out and its handle and zip look like a mouth.
A mouth that’s not smiling.
2nd PLACE: A DRAW!!!
Chanel and Hermès – 9 each.
BUT… to be honest there’s not that much variety with the Hermès offering.
Or that one punctured with an H.
One with a Lego clasp.
One covered in charms.
One of those big padded ones that had Lily Allen in the campaign for a billion years ago.
As well as twelve million 2.55s.
(OK not twelve million – there were six).
So… Chanel win second place on a tie-breaker!
4TH PLACE: Prada – 7 bags.
But… No new season bags.
No last season bags.
None with the street art on.
None of that new double bag style.
Just, like, Prada bags.
Can’t remember what they even looked like.
They were just… Prada.
5th PLACE: BALENCIAGA – four bags.
6th PLACE: CHRISTIAN DIOR – three bags.
All are Raf Simons era!
One plaid quilted.
One a mix of patent and plaid.
The other had something going on with it. Can’t remember.
7TH EQUAL: LOUIS VUITTON and BOTTEGA VENETA – two each.
Bottega are just regular Bottega’s.
Louis Vuitton… Two regular styles.
Special mention to Alice Rawsthorn wearing an actual head-to-toe Ghesquière look.
Is there a Ghequière bag though?
SOMEONE RICH GO BUY ONE OF THOSE MINI TRUNKS.
But for Alice Rawsthorn’s outfit, Louis Vuitton wins on points.
They’re 7th, BV 8th.
9th EQUAL: MICHAEL KORS AND KATE SPADE – 1 bag each.
I did just write those words.
I will write no more.
Let’s just draw a veil.
THAT CONCLUDES THE SCORING.
So that means, under the highly scientific controlled experiment conditions of HANDBAG WATCH, there were no bags by:
But that’s the VIPS for you.
****HERE ENDETH THE CURRENT EDITION OF HANDBAG WATCH!!!****
^^^JOIN US AGAIN FOR MORE HANDBAG WATCHING^^^
—PROBABLY AT THE NEXT FRIEZE TO BE HONEST—
First look at Frieze: Jordan Wolfson, George Henry Longly, Ed Fornieles, Korakrit Arunanondchai etcetc
Hey so I’m at Frieze, it’s super super good – new tent, new sense of purpose.
I’ve got approximately 5.6 seconds to type this so I won’t go on.
Here’s some of the good stuff.
New works by Jordan Wolfson on Sadie Coles HQ.
SO SO GOOD.
Justified And Ancient by Jeremy Deller on Modern Institute.
Close-up of an immense new Wolfgang Tillmans work of static.
The insanely amazing George Henry Longly, on Kendall Koppe.
Galerie Buchholz has some Isa Genzken.
I just met the person who’s got this on reserve.
Among them is a portrait of Isa by his friend Wolfgang Tillmans.
Ella Kruglyanskaya on Gavin Brown Enterprises.
He also has a super jolly Bjarne Melgaard.
OMG though the stand by Carlos/Ishikawa.
A collaboration between their artists Oscar Murillo, Ed Fornieles and Korakrit Arunanondchai.
You can get your nails done on Oscar’s table by some nice people wearing clothes made by Ed and Korakrit.
Obviously I got my nails done.
Ed’s big nail.
BEST STAND EVER.
Richard Tuttle has an exhibition opening across two institutions in London this week.
A show at the Whitechapel, and a major new work in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern.
It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a show of his work.
Tuttle is an American artist, now 73.
He was at the Tate this morning, where he’s been for the past while, making his installation there.
It’s his biggest ever work.
Crucially, it’s an installation in the Turbine Hall, rather than part of the Turbine Hall series, which has paused during the construction of the new wing.
And a change of sponsor.
Despite its scale, the work is quieter than the Turbine Hall commissions.
More of the hand, less bombastic.
Super interesting that both the Tate Modern and Tate Britain both have works in their central halls from artists using wood and cloth.
There’s less fabric used by Phyllida Barlow at Tate Britain, but it’s there.
Both works powerful, in different ways.
That red middle section.
The other side, looking up.
The red cloth is scored by a repeat of diamonds.
All of the cloth woven in India for Tuttle.
Tuttle is interested in fabric, its construction and heritage, and its place in society.
How different cultures have their own textiles.
The sections that are like wings of a plane.
Tuttle was once in the US Air Force, and purposefully failed his psychology test to avoid the draft to Vietnam.
I love that you can see the hand in the work.
If you zoom in, you see rudimentary nailing.
I always love to see the filled in remains of Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth – the cracked floor – with whatever new work is in the space.
Over at the Whitechapel is an exhibition of Tuttle’s fabric works from across his career.
The first works you see are super, super small.
They’re tiny things.
On the opposite wall, the wire sculptures from 71-72.
I adored this work, titled The Present, from 2004 (though the titles don’t seem to hugely matter much to Tuttle – they’re present on wall texts, but underneath some words from him explaining the work in poem form).
The coloured lights are part of the piece.
This piece is called Walking On Air.
I loved this one, titled The Right Side Of Summer.
Ladder Piece from 1967.
This tiny one is, I think, In 14.
His is work that takes time.
It’s not an immediate fun palace.
Which in Frieze Week, is super amazing to see.
Because there’ll be much fun-palacing in the next few days.
It’s five or so hours since I left the gallery.
I can’t stop thinking about the work.
Maybe on your own.
Sigmar Polke: Alibis opens at Tate Modern this week.
It’s the show that’s travelled from MoMA.
It opened there in time for Frieze NY.
It opens here for Frieze London.
Such is the art world calendar.
There’s one big difference between the two hangings.
In New York, there was absolutely no wall text.
At the entrance was a map, which gave you all the titles, and any relevant information.
And then, you were on your own.
It was such a liberating experience.
Without wall text to fit into the overall design of the show, Polke’s work was allowed to crowd the walls, and overwhelm.
At Tate Modern, the pictures are labelled.
It’s more discreet than usual, with the labelling at the side of the wall rather than with each work, but it’s still labelling.
And each room has a overall wall text.
Inevitably, the show feels more didactic.
At MoMA you walked through the show looking at the info when needs be.
Here, where information is presented, it feels like it should be read.
Of course, all this is much of a muchness to anyone who didn’t get to see the show in New York.
Which will probably be 99.9998% of those seeing it in London.
But still, it’s interesting to be given a stark example of the impact of wall texts.
And why the experience is better without them.
The work is still the work.
In accordance with the MoMA stance, I barely took notice of any of the titles.
Here’s some early work, from the 1960s, a West German response to US pop.
Love these plastic tubs.
He soon began working with Raster images.
As in, those made up from dots.
This work is called Family 1.
The incredible incredible Doughnuts/Berliner.
Sometimes in his work, he played with the swastika, as in Constructivist.
With Yellow Squares.
At MoMA, the Potato House was sat in the public atrium space before you entered the exhibition.
It gave the sense of the show spilling out of its prescribed rooms.
As if there was too much stuff to fit in.
Here it’s in a side room.
It feels slightly confined.
But again, is this reviewing the work, or reviewing the show?
Polke As Drug.
The Seventies saw things go screwy.
You know, experimental drugs, cross-dressing.
The amazing amazing Alice In Wonderland, the canvas made of kids duvet covers.
Possibly my favourite work I’ve seen this year.
I’m obsessed with it.
It’s lovely to see it again.
Into the 80s.
One of the Watchtower series.
An extraordinary work made of soot on four panes of glass.
An extraordinary feat to have it transported and installed.
As I was going round this morning, the alarms kept beeping.
Like someone was just stealing the whole show.
It was because they were still hanging one of the works.
One of my absolute favourites.
I love seeing works being installed.
Here it is, off the wall.
A few minutes later.
Britta’s Pigs, from 1990.
The amazing Season’s Hottest Trends from 2003, which again I think was in the public space at MoMA.
This photo doesn’t quite give you the sense of its scale.
Close up where those cloths join.
Does it sound like I’m down on this show?
It took a while to acclimatise to the new hang, and the labelling.
I saw the MoMA show twice, so it’s stuck hard in the mind.
But walking back through it to the beginning again, the worth of the work took over from any quibbles about the hang.
A hang which is dictated by the restrictive space of Tate Modern’s current rooms.
A situation which will hopefully be improved when the new extension opens.
As I was walking back through, I saw a man with a temporary pass round his neck.
I’m nosy, and so peered to read his name.
Suddenly the show turned human.
About the bravery, inquisitiveness and liberation of his father’s work.
Here’s Georg, being interviewed for German radio, in front of a picture of his father as a young man.
Go go go go see.
Cannot cope with there being a new Twin Peaks series in 2016.
All directed by Lynch.
Not just the odd episode, as with the original.
Obviously going to need to find a way of coping.
Probably will cope by watching it over and over.
I was thinking last night – didn’t Veronique Branquinho once do a fashion show based on Twin Peaks?
It took me ages to find anything on it.
And then I found it.
It was her menswear presentation for Autumn/Winter 2004.
Held at Pitti.
I was at The Guardian at the time, and I think had only just started doing the menswear shows.
Or was about to start.
Either way, we never went to Pitti.
And so I’d have never seen it.
I remember hearing about it.
It sounded incredible.
She recreated The Red Room.
The show was a presentation.
A female model there to create tension – a stand-in for Laura Palmer.
And then her men came out.
So few images exist of it online, and the ones that do are put as copyright Alasdair McLellan.
Who must have been there, taking images.
I so remember that long, long double breasted coat.
The final line-up.
Back then, Veronique Branquinho’s menswear was SO GOOD.
She had such control of the garments.
The slightest slight flare in the trousers.
Those jackets that are just a little bit off.
Such important work.
Video footage of the show exists Pitti’s own pages – I can’t find the code to nick it.
I’ve just posted some of it over on Instagram…
But you can see the whole thing by clicking here etcetcetc
The things you find by clicking around.
An interview with the cast on Donahue.
Look at Mike’s jacket.
James, Donna and Maddy singing Just You And I.
This song used to do me in.
I think Bob turned up pretty soon after.
I could go on.
And probably will.
Hey so The Turner Prize is previewing today at Tate Britain.
And opens to the public tomorrow.
Either Ciara Phillips to win.
Or James Richards.
You come to James’s work first.
His film Rosebud includes censored images he found in a Tokyo library.
Apparently the institution has a law banning any image that could cause arousal.
At one point is an image of a man lying on the ground, a boot on his head, him fully clothed except for his dick out, which has been censored.
The notes say this is a censored image by Wolfgang Tillmans.
It’s super considered and involved.
Next door are his blankets depicting those around Keith Haring.
The work is called Untitled Merchandise (Lovers and Dealers).
There are six blankets.
The facile fashion side of my brain wants to say I love blankets.
Am I allowed to say it?
I LOVE BLANKETS.
He’s also showing slides from a theatrical make-up manual, titled The Slides.
OMG Ciara Phillips!!!
Her room is so amazing.
A screen titled “Springtime will never be the same again”.
The letters O and K from the Justice For Domestic Workers alphabet.
A wooden construction called O.
Inside is a list of New Things To Discuss.
OMG the screen printed wallpaper!
Out of the four artists, Ciara is the only one not to use video.
It meant that this morning, her room was refuge for all the film crews.
When I was in there, a woman from ITV kept fluffing her lines as she tried to explain screen printing.
And kept making sure she was pronouncing Ciara correctly.
(Everyone presumed it was pronounced “Cara”)
Here’s a wooden work titled K, with some of the film crews around it.
Some of the work in the K.
CIARA PHILLIPS OR JAMES RICHARDS TO WIN.
You’ll notice I’ve not even mentioned the other two.
Sat here having a cuppa, I’ve just read in the catalogue that Duncan Campbell’s film in the show includes new choreography by Michael Clark.
I didn’t watch it!!!
Shall I go back in?
I remember a couple of years ago almost ignoring Elizabeth Price’s film, that extraordinary work about the Woolworths fire in Manchester, which went on to win.
I’d been too giddy already in the Spartacus Chetwynd room (as Marvin Gaye was known then).
I need to go back and watch the Duncan Campbell, don’t I?
Hey am sure it’s a Turner Prize that’s going to be right slagged off ie it’s AMAZING.
The amazing new show at Rob Tufnell’s gallery is a study of contemporary sculpture.
Arranged on a snooker table.
Said snooker table.
It’s inspired by the collection of 19th century archeologist Lieutenant General Augustus Henry Pitt-Rivers, who arranged his finds on a snooker table.
As one does.
Said snooker table.
The stuff that Rob’s put together is AMAZING.
Tortoise Candleholder Variations by Aaron Angell.
Radical Facial Jewellery by Laura Aldridge.
That’s a gum shield it’s attached to.
Hence the facial jewellery.
Two of Richard Healy’s AMAZING Albert Goldman’s Martini Pitchers.
A coin from the future by Ryan Gander.
It’s from 2032.
Official title is We Never Had A Lot Of $ Around Here.
Some bronze M&Ms by David Adamo.
Pessimism Of The Intellect by Andy Holden.
(It’s a bowl made from a melted old 78).
An untitled massive steel belt by Jim Lambie.
Such a good show.
Rob’s on Page Street, round the back and then a bit of a wiggle from Tate Britain.
I mean, Googlemaps.
I spent the weekend in Berlin.
So today I am a man of few words.
Luckily I am a man of pictures.
Here’s some stuff from a few of the shows I saw there.
First up, the extraordinary Pictures, Before and After – An Exhibition for Douglas Crimp, at Galerie Buchholz.
It honours the life of Douglas Crimp, an American art historian, curator and activist who is celebrating his 70th birthday.
The show brings together art and artefacts of those he has touched.
A lithograph by Agnes Martin.
Crimp curated a show my Martin in the 1970s.
In the same room, TII-338 by Daniel Buren.
Crimp was working at the Guggenheim in NYC when Buren’s monumental Peinture-Sculpture was removed from the central atrium, before the opening of a show titled Guggenheim International Exhibition, in which it was meant to be included.
Some installation views of Peinture-Sculpture.
Crimp worked with Charles James.
The show includes two of the sketches by Antonio Lopez of Charles James’s work.
They are called Ribbon Cape Drawing 1 and 2 from 1974 – I can’t remember which is which.
In the next room, a monitor is playing Trisha’s Wedding by The Cockettes.
The opening titles.
It’s a 30-odd minute long reenactment of the wedding of Tricia Nixon from 1971.
Among the guests are HRH Queen Elizabeth.
Prince Charles copping off with Mick Jagger.
Eartha Kitt was a special guest.
The Kennedy Sisters performed a special number.
That’s Jackie in the white in the middle.
The service is a joy.
Then Eartha Kitt goes and puts something in the punch before the party.
I watched it all the way through.
Before me, some other guy had done the same.
Half an hour in headphones stood by a screen.
Here’s a trailer.
On a screen nearby, film of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty.
In a vitrine nearby, bound Ellsworth Kelly lithographs.
And so it continues.
Alvin Baltrop’s photo of Pier 52 – Gordon Matta Clark’s Days End building, with a naked man just visible in the doorway.
Another work by Alvin Baltrop.
Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Whitney Museum’s performance series Articulate Muscle: The Male Body in Art, from 1976.
So much more stuff.
The show is incredible.
It’s on until 31 October – go go go if you happen to be in Berlin, click here for more etcetc.
Douglas Crimp has a memoir out next year too – super exciting.
Let’s move on.
A new show by Mike Bouchet has just opened at Peres Projects.
It’s titled Power Lunch.
This one’s Uptown 2.
World Legend 2.
Teachers and Students.
Kim K. Jacuzzi.
Then over at KW, there’s an insanely unbelievable new work by Ryan Trecartin made with his longterm collaborator Lizzie Fitch.
IT’S SO GOOD.
There’s a main film over a few different screens in a cinema room with the seats taken out.
In their place are camper beds and the like.
My camper bed was really comfy.
The film seems to be about them not believing they’re able to roam in this building at night, that they should get in the elevator, where the snacks are, and then whether you call shit “poop”.
As well as three million other things.
Some pics from during the film.
At one point they were in a room of tents.
OMG only a week or so till Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin open at the Zabludowicz collection in London.
One more show.
Colourbox: Music of the group (1982-1987).
It’s at Wolfgang Tillmans gallery Between Bridges.
The first in a series of exhibitions giving a dedicated space to the playback of recorded music.
As in, you go into a room, sit in a chair, and listen to music on super high spec equipment.
In this instance, the work of Colourbox.
It was so amazing.
I never listened to Colourbox as a kid.
I only went as far as Pixies on 4AD.
But it’s the sort of music that probably sounds better as an adult anyway.
Posting YouTube clips of the songs played would kind of defeat the object.
There are three songs on a loop.
looks like we’re shy one horse/shoot out; sleepwalker; just give ‘em whisky.
The show is on until 25 October – go if you can.
Wolfgang has also put together and designed a CD of sixteen tracks only available at the show.
I saw him later that night.
He said he chose three tracks for the show rather than play the whole 16 to make the experience easier.
Or at least I think that’s what he said.
It was very late at night.
Here’s the CD.
I’m listening to it now.
Thank you, Berlin.
After last night’s extraordinary Prada show, I went backstage to say hello to Mrs Prada.
I was sat far from backstage, so was near the back of the queue.
There was already a throng waiting for her impromptu press conference, where she says a few words about the collection that had just been seen.
I said hello, then went to explore.
Here’s the throng, just as Mrs Prada was starting to talk.
I left them to it.
Through a couple of doors, round the corner, was the room where many of the models get dressed.
It was almost empty, the detritus of a show all around.
The first dress I saw.
It pretty much sums up the collection for me.
The indulgence of the fabrics.
Indulgence here a very good thing.
The richness of the raw edges.
Backstage, the clothes are arranged ready for models on rails.
And so if the clothes are together here, they were worn together on the catwalk.
On a rail nearby, a dirndl skirt with diagonal trim, worn with the topstitch jacket behind it.
I loved this leather coat.
And can you just see the green of that sweater behind it?
Another leather coat, with raw-edged trim.
The platform clogs, bagged up.
By this point, I was pretty much alone in this room.
Here’s a rail with two looks.
Look at the breadth of ideas.
Let’s separate out that look at the back.
That dress is so eloquent.
On the front of each rail, a card detailing the look for the dressers who help the models.
The richness of this look.
I need to check about this stitching – I remember at menswear being told there was a difference between the men’s and women’s.
Basically, the women’s is more serious.
Maybe it’s the the stitching is more decorative, more thick?
Those cloths, those clogs.
A top-stitched coat.
Close-up with that stitching.
More clogs, this time a boot.
I loved the perversity of these heels in this season of supposed flatness.
Another amazing raw-trimmed dress, with cloth of colours that vibrate.
A cute top.
A little leather jacket, the show playing on a loop on a screen behind.
Backstage, alone with Prada.
It was time for me to go.
I had a plane to catch.
To go home.