Smack dab in the middle of the madness of Frieze Week, last Saturday saw the return of what has become an annual tradition in New York during during fairs: A cool pop-up show sponsored by the Alexander Calder Foundation. The events typically combine a program of freewheeling experimental performance and film with a disorientingly amazing selection of art, all in some kind of offbeat environment (the art this year was curated by Katherine Cohn; the film by Victoria Brooks). We branded last year’s show, held in the McKittrick Hotel (aka the “Sleep No More” space), “our favorite Frieze Week event” — and this year did not disappoint either.
Taking place over the course of a single day at the ballroom of the High Line Hotel, the show centered on an installation of artworks displayed on a thicket of temporary walls assembled of scrap cardboard. From one of these lovably funky dividers, a wonderful David Hammons construction of African masks stared out at you as you entered; around a corner, a Noble & Webster sculpture that uses beer cans to cast the silhouette of a skyline could be glimpsed by crouching down and looking into a floor-level cubby. Perhaps the most memorable flourish was the inclusion of a small Kurt Schwitters collage — from Alexander Calder’s own collection — right when you entered the space, viewable when you raised up a cardboard flap, like the world’s most blue-chip advent calendar.
As for the live entertainment, the day's program was well worth hanging around for — and many did — featuring the likes of Neptune, the Vertical Foliage Orchestra, and Diagram A. The Anti-Pop Consortium's ultra-cool hip-hop formed a kind of a climax of the evening. Don’t miss the Calder show next year — in the meantime, here are the highlights, from a performance of Christine Sun Kim's “Face Opera” to some delicate Eva Hesse works you will probably never see again and a plate of chicken by Darren Bader.