The 90s are back at Frieze London, with an entire section dedicated to revamps of past shows from the golden (should that be purple hologram?) era. It’s an interesting cycle, considering the 90s pop aesthetic filters through so strongly to a younger generation of new media artists.
The new section has been curated by Nicolas Trembley, asking galleries to select shows from the 90s which played a role in influencing the wider art of the decade, and beyond. Collaborations between artists and dealers that would go on to impact have been a focus, taking into account galleries across London, Paris, Cologne and New York. There are a total of 11 galleries participating.
The section isn’t overrun by YBAs, and it’s an altogether more pared-down selection than one might expect. Wolfgang Tillmans’s 1992 prints — from his first solo show in 1993 — represent the grungy underside of the decade, his iconic images revisiting his first exhibition with Daniel Buchholz. Massimo De Carlo take us back to Aperto, the 1993 Venice Biennale exhibition which brought together artists including Maurizio Cattelan, Carsten Höller and Rikrit Tiravanija.
In all, the pieces are both expected and a big surprise. While glimpses of the cliches of the decade do pop up here and there, this is by no means a walk through its biggest names, and there are new connections to be made. To the nostalgic, the 90s offers a place of innocence, from which an altogether more baffling decade, and century, sprang.
Around the fair, expect plenty of 90s babies tipping their hats to the last moments of the 20th century.
In our autumn 2020 issue, we speak with numerous artists about their experiences of optimism, utopia and euphoria, and delve into the mindset that is required simply to create in the first place. We meet four artists and one collective who explore optimism and pessimism directly within their practices, often blurring the line between the two.