What singles out the best from the rest of contemporary art fairs is the space given over to thematic subsections that offer revisionist, sometimes even revelatory, curating. Frieze abounds with generically titled zones like “Focus,” “Frame,” and “Spotlight” that aspire to this condition.
To some fanfare, another was added this year: “FYI” honored the vision of still much lamented dealer Hudson with solo booths of artists he had championed. (“For Your Infotainment” was a catch phrase of his.) In vindication of Hudson’s eye, many of these artists are now with blue chip galleries, as demonstrated by curator Matthew Higgs’s invitations, landing us with Raymond Pettibon courtesy of David Zwirner, Takashi Murakami (Gagosian), Andrew Masullo (Nicelle Beauchene ), Tom of Finland (David Kordansky), and another 15 artists at a booth of the Hudson Foundation.
Inspiring for some as this tribute may have been, I must say that there were as many gains to be had in the less vaunted “Spotlight” quadrant in the southern end of the marquee, especially in the way it chalked up strong historic presentations of women artists: Merrill Wagner from the 1970s, for instance, at Zürcher; breakthrough works by Mira Schor (surely the most epic representations of limp penises in art history) at Lyles & King; plucky, vibrant Emma Amos at Ryan Lee; riveting vintage assemblages by Betye Saar at Roberts Projects; and, from another fearless Angelino, in a joint presentation by Nicole Klagsbrun and Marc Selwyn, the spookily mesmerizing Cameron, known equally as a painter, actress and witch.
Besides a spellbinding intersection of collaborators (Wallace Berman, pre-Scientology L. Ron Hubbard, Kenneth Anger and Dennis Hopper, to name a few) she was the creator of exquisitely weird visionary images, some resulting from acid trips taken with her nine-year-old daughter. The image here, on a torn off book cover, redolent of trecento Sienese primitives via Leonora Carrington and painted with the impetus of a dark faith, is delectably creepy.