Art Room

A new campaign for Frieze New York by Amy Preston and Joe Cole Porter explores the objects found in the archives of some of the city's most significant 20th-century artists.

Large 073dc8cf b50b 4466 ae15 b5e9a84645ff

Materials from Robert Rauschenberg’s home and studio. Courtesy Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York

Opening on 5 May, Frieze New York returns to the city, housed in a bespoke structure overlooking the East River. Featuring over 200 galleries from around the world, the fair mixes the biggest names from the contemporary art world, alongside a selection of the hottest hand-picked new talent.

Designed by Amy Preston and Joe Cole Porter, the campaign to promote this year's fair celebrates some of the most influential 20th Century artists who lived and worked in New York. These include Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd and Keith Haring, all of whom had studios in the middle of Soho (and which now house their respective foundations). The campaign was shot by photographer Nicholas Calcott, and each piece in the series represents the artists using a carefully curated collection of objects from their studio archive. The series was produced in collaboration with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Calder Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Keith Haring Foundation, Judd Foundation, the Noguchi Museum, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

It's a fascinating collection of images, displaying objects which the artists have collected as well as various possessions and tools, all of which give a glimpse into their lives and working practices. Each piece has a background colour which relates to the individual artist eg turquoise for Donald Judd, and green for Alexander Calder.

Large 2fedc3d4 f329 400f 85d0 2c2814020b14

Artifacts from Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner's home and studio, East Hampton, NY. Courtesy Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center

Large 7711af98 1d6e 40be 939e cc11a8263e45

Artifacts from Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner's home and studio, East Hampton, NY. Courtesy Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center

Large 63664e78 7845 4a8b 9864 e5ed3760fff3

Objects from Keith Haring's studio, New York, NY. Courtesy Keith Haring Foundation Archive

Large 1fafca51 f9da 4469 b09b 4612bde6ea98

Helen Frankenthaler's studio and archival materials. Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Archives, New York. © 2016 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

Large 6cb7e3e9 366b 411a 8db6 8d5db4a639c0

Helen Frankenthaler's studio and archival materials. Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Archives, New York. © 2016 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

We caught up with Amy Preston and Joe Cole Porter to find out more about the campaign…

How did the project first come about?
For each Frieze art fair (London & New York) we create an image-based advertising campaign to celebrate the city in some way. New York is rich with artistic legacy. Walking around Soho today you can find the studios of Haring, Rauschenberg and Judd. Our first idea was to photograph these spaces and capture their working environments, whether that was paint splashes on the floor or the view from their windows.

After initial research, we also discovered that these foundations not only maintain the work of the artists but also look after their personal archives of items including tools, art materials, souvenirs from travels, personal belongings and ephemera. Working with photographer Nicholas Calcott, we decided to create a portrait of the artist through these emblematic objects. The arrangements of the objects were composed into still lifes on coloured backdrops to reflect the artists involved.

Were all the archives you approached keen to take part? Were there any which had reservations?
The foundations all have different missions to maintain and preserve their artist's work and whilst a few are open to the public the rest have private archives. It was essential that we worked very closely with the archivists to ensure that the objects curated were a balanced representation of the artist. This process was very collaborative with us all gathered around the materials trying out different compositions until we had the perfect representational 'still life'.

Were there any objects which you weren’t allowed to show for any reason?
We chose not to show actual works of art within the images. We thought it would be a fun 'guessing game' for the art-educated audience the images are promoted to. For the same reason, we tried to avoid anything that might include the artist’s name or signature.

What was the most surprising object which came to light?
One of our favourite objects is Lee Krasner’s spider plant that is still thriving. Visitors to the house of Pollock and Krasner (which is open to the public) can take away an offshoot of the very same plant as a souvenir, in the same way that Lee Krasner used to give out as a gift to guests.

What’s been the reaction to the campaign?
The reaction has been very positive. We think an art-loving audience appreciate the insight these images give into the working practice of these well-known artists. There is something quite personal about seeing Judd’s glasses or Haring's paint-splattered Nike trainers.

What’s next for you?

Amy: I am now focusing on the campaigns for the London fairs in October. For Frieze Masters, we are featuring beautifully patterned floors from paintings within the National Gallery’s collection. For Frieze London, we are producing a series of architectural photographs including floors at the Tate Britain (designed by Caruso St John) and John Hoyland’s studio which is covered in layers of coloured paint. Alongside the art direction I do for Frieze, I’m working on a branding and signage project for Studio Toogood and graphics for an exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall curated by Antony Gormley.

Joe: After nearly four years at Frieze I've moved on and just set up my independent studio. I'm currently working on a design project with the director Bruno Wollheim for the David Hockney documentary, A Bigger Picture, that will tie in with Hockney's birthday on 9 July.


amypreston.co.uk
joecoleporter.co.uk
nicholascalcott.com

Large fed2a128 0a91 4251 aec1 ba6369a6b9d5

Artifacts from Isamu Noguchi's studio, Long Island City, NY. Courtesy The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York

Large 2a8acec8 def2 4cf1 aaec 11b21f08bf49

Artifacts from Donald Judd's home and studio, 101 Spring Street, New York, NY. Courtesy Judd Foundation

Large 950d40fb 7856 445e 8d31 552d126917b2

Artifacts from Donald Judd's home and studio, 101 Spring Street, New York, NY. Courtesy Judd Foundation

Large 01912651 2c32 4147 8da0 c8b118bb287b

Artifacts from The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, CT. © 2016 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London