Frieze Fair New York 2015: Images, Reports and reviews + Satellites



Frieze Art Fair in New York City
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Welcome To Frieze, The Art Fair That Drives The Rich Insane
The wealthy and well-dressed flock to Frieze, New York’s most glamorous contemporary art fair. But do they know, or care, what they are buying?

The annual Frieze New York art fair is generously stocked with women in their 50s and 60s, shouting out three figure prices and authoritatively mispronouncing artists’ names.

They mill around the tent on opening day, buzzing and squawking at the thrill of spending their husbands’ money.

Dressed in their finest, their faces nipped and stretched taut like a snare drum, they look more labored over than most of the art on display.

“I love this. How much? Around $60K?” one woman shrilly asks a gallery attendant, eyeing an aluminum sculpture by a Danish art collective. The attendant quietly and politely corrects her: $100K.

“In New York people steal everything,” the prospective buyer remarks half-heartedly, seeking reassurance about her purchase. “They’re not going to steal this,” the attendant promises, securing a sale.

It’s a Kobuki dance I’ll witness again and again at Frieze. Indeed, there’s an amusing tension between the unbearably pretentious art world natives and the Real Housewives, who don’t speak the language of art.

They point at works on display like children in a toy store, referring to artists’ methods and materials as “this” and “that.” These clueless collectors have democratized art fairs, where there are fewer snobby intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals.

But then they would never be allowed in without oversized Birkin bags.

In a clear indication that Frieze knows its audience, the fair is distributing free copies of the Financial Times. The booths themselves are prohibitively pricey: $815 per square meter.

At the Parisian gallery Mon Charpentier, installed in one of the fair’s smaller, peripheral booths, a young foreign woman is assured that she’s looking at a “very, very important piece.”

The buyer cares less about its cultural significance than she does about how it will look in her living room. “Can it be built on site?” she asks.

But she cares less about its cultural significance than she does about how it will look in her living room. “Can it be built on site?” she asks.

Meanwhile, at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise—one of the larger booths and more well-known galleries—artist Jonathan Horowitz was commissioning Frieze visitors to participate in his work, 700 Dots.

Fair attendees are asked to paint a black circle eight inches in diameter on a 12-by-12 inch white canvas, instructed on their technique and told to spend at least 30 minutes on their masterpiece. Each square is then mounted on the wall in groupings of 100, priced at $100,000.

Participants are paid a $20 profit, but their black dot is worth $10,000.

When I pressed Brown about the artist’s vision, he mumbled that Horowitz was “exploring a way to make a painting,” and that each dot is a “self-portrait.”

“High art is labor,” he adds, begrudgingly. “And here he has distilled a painting down to its elemental particles. Despite the very straightforward, reductive template, each one is unique. “Inevitably, when you ask someone to make a perfect geometric circle, it’s not going to be perfect.”

By Thursday afternoon, they had already sold three or four groupings, Brown told me.

Collectors are quite literally paying for the Frieze 2015 experience. But in contemporary art, the concept is never as impressive as the Gavin Browns of the world make it out to be.

It’s the interactive art that draws the most attention at Frieze, along with the most shocking, the largest in scale, and the most of-its-time. Gagosian reserved its entire booth for Richard Prince’s uninspiring, $90,000-a-piece New Portraits—blown-up ink on paper screenshots of other people’s Instagram posts that he has commented on.

Gallery owners like Gavin Brown, aloof and enigmatic, are sought after by both artists and collectors.

In the contemporary art world, there is no benchmark for what’s “good.” There is only a social structure, an attitude, that determines which works and names are most valuable. And, of course, all that taut skin, decoratively clothed, pointing at “this” and “that”—the women knowing not what they want, but that they want something. They’re shopping, after all.



  • GIUSEPPE PENONE, Verde del bosco, 1986

    Picture: Marian Goodman

Frieze New York 2015: old, new and some participation too

Frieze New York has come of age with some heavy-hitting, historical art; without losing its contemporary and participative roots, says Louisa Buck

By Louisa Buck

May 15, 2015 18:01
Richard Prince instagram picturesRichard Prince instagram pictures
Giuseppe Penone, Albero di 10 m, 1989 and Verde del bosco, 1986Giuseppe Penone, Albero di 10 m, 1989 and Verde del bosco, 1986
Emily Mortimer and the staff of Madrid gallery Travesia CuatroEmily Mortimer and the staff of Madrid gallery Travesia Cuatro
American artist Jonathan Horowitz asks Freize attendees to paint a freehand, eight-inch circleAmerican artist Jonathan Horowitz asks Freize attendees to paint a freehand, eight-inch circle

It is only in its fourth year but Frieze New York has already become a Big Apple fixture. Even the notoriously bridge-averse Manhattanites have stopped moaning about its rather remote (for them) location on Randalls Island between Harlem, the Bronx and Queens and everyone now agrees that the fair’s trademark long, curving, naturally lit tent is a triumph, showing off the 190 participating galleries to their best advantage. The fact that visitors are also serviced by pop-up versions of some of the city’s favourite eateries – from Dimes in Chinatown to Frankies Spuntino from Brooklyn – also helps.

And then there’s the art. Proof positive that the Frieze NY has come of age is the fact that, for the first time, New York heavy-hitters Pace Gallery, Matthew Marks and Acquavella have all deigned to take part, with the latter presenting a booth bedecked with top-notch Picassos. Overall, the fair feels lucid, elegant and considered, with more galleries putting on solo artist shows as well as an increasing tendency to enrich the mix by combining the contemporary with the historical. This can take the form of a clutch of Philip Guston paintings on the McKee Gallery stand, or Alison Jacques from London showing vintage feminist works by Lygia Clark, Hannah Wilke and the little-known Czech artist Maria Bartuszova alongside a pair of show-stopping surrealist paintings by Dorothea Tanning, the last wife of Max Ernst.

Embracing the past with the present has been actively encouraged by the fair itself. Harnessing the popularity of London’s Frieze Masters, Frieze NY has cannily inserted one of its mature sister fair’s most popular sections, Spotlight; in which galleries present a significant 20th century artist who is ripe for a new airing. Notable inclusions in this category are the octogenarian Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi – the first African artist to be given a retrospective at Tate Modern – showing his distinctive fusions of modernist abstraction and Arabic calligraphy on Vigo’s stand, and Carolee Schneemann: influential pioneer of bodily performances who has a classic New York action of 1966 documented in photos, drawings and film on the booth of Hales Gallery.

Another stand-out historical highlight is David Zwirner’s inspired pairing of recently-deceased sculptural maverick Franz West with Minimalist John McCracken. Also extraordinary is a solo show by Italian Arte Povera giant Giuseppe Penone, whose wall of fragrant dried bay leaves, along with tree-bark rubbings, tree trunk carvings and an astonishing billboard-sized graphite work based on his own wrinkled skin, all combine to transform Marian Goodman’s stand into an uncanny glade that is worth the trip to New York alone.

But Frieze New York is first and foremost a fair devoted to the contemporary, and this year finds even the most high-end galleries prepared to let their hair down and take some risks. Hauser & Wirth is hanging its costly wares on walls vividly roller-painted by Martin Creed in green, red and blue crosses and stripes; while Gagosian has an entire booth devoted to a procession of Richard Prince’s giant, vacuous prints of Instagram portraits, against which a constant stream of fair visitors are in turn busily Instagramming themselves.

Audience participation seems to be all the rage this year. In one of the fair’s bespoke art projects, Mexican artist Pia Camil persuades visitors to parade through the tent in her specially designed ponchos (which they can take home afterwards). A more restful site-specific project comes in the form of Bangkok-born artist Korakrit Arunanondchai’s massage chairs, upholstered in his trademark tie-dyed denim, which are dotted throughout the fair, doling out gentle pummellings to prone and weary visitors. On the opening night even the celebs were put to work, with actress Emily Mortimer on the stand of Madrid gallery Travesia Cuatro handing out flowers from the exuberant sculptural ceramic containers of Mexican artist Melana Muzquiz.

But Gavin Brown took visitor involvement to a new level with all the art on his booth created in situ by the visiting public. Over the first two days of Frieze an eager throng of fairgoers were given a 12-inch square canvas and some black paint to carry out the task set by the American artist Jonathan Horowitz: painting a freehand, eight-inch circle (not as easy as it sounds) in return for a $20 cheque signed by the artist. Each piece then formed part of a collective grid of 700 black circles lining the booth; but what each batch of 100 was ultimately selling for the gallery would not disclose. It was certainly more than the $2,000 labour charge; although the individual cheques are already likely to be worth more uncashed as artworks in their own right.

This participatory tendency has been given official endorsement with the best booth prize for Frieze New York 2015 being awarded to Galeria Jaqueline Martins, a young gallery from Sao Paulo for its solo project by Martha Araujo entitled “Para un corpo nas suas impossibilidates” (For a body in its impossibilities). This involves intrepid Frieze visitors donning special jumpsuits patched with Velcro and then launching themselves onto a Velcro-covered skateboard ramp and attempting (but often unsuccessfully) to adhere. And who said that the art world was stuck up?

Frieze New York runs until Sunday 17 May

Frieze New York

by Andrew Stefan Weiner

May 15, 2015

Frieze New York

FRIEZE ART FAIRNew YorkMay 14–17, 2015

Far above the North Atlantic, a plane is flying from Venice to New York. Most of the passengers in business class sleep comfortably in their lie-flat seats, but one stays awake sipping complimentary champagne. His voice barely audible above the jets’ white noise, he muses: “Is there even any difference between biennials and contemporary art fairs?” The knee-jerk answer to his question would be, Of course. Biennials are typically organized by curatorial teams who engage in protracted research to stage thematic arguments. Whereas they ask their visitors to look and think, art fairs tell them to buy, or at least window-shop. Venice notwithstanding, most biennials exist in relatively peripheral locations and often target non-art audiences, while fairs are built to serve the needs of the global 1 percent who comprise their clientele. But another, more pertinent answer might be, Less and less, or even, Was there ever? As the sociologist Olav Velthuis has shown, aesthetic and commercial modes of exhibition have been indissociable throughout the history of the Venice Biennale. For its first 70 years, the Biennale had a sales office that worked on commission. Following the protests of 1968, it adopted new practices that spawned what Velthuis has called “the Venice effect,”(1) wherein the putative independence of the Biennale comes to serve the needs of the market. The pretense of purity is often a smokescreen for covert business arrangements, even as it is belied by many artists’ dependence on dealers to finance their production costs. In a perverse but perfectly logical twist, the symbolic capital accrued by a biennial’s “autonomous” validation of an artist can readily be converted into increased exchange value.

More recently, the inverse of this dynamic has taken hold as prominent art fairs strive to resemble biennials. In what might be called “the Frieze effect,” fairs have increasingly incorporated discursive or participatory elements; they have also emphasized site-specific commissions and educational programs. The most obvious explanation for this shift is that it functions as a fig leaf, politely disguising the shameless promiscuity of the ever-tumescent contemporary art market. Yet as with biennials, the semblance of autonomy is a potent means of value production. Biennial-icity adds a veneer of intellectual sophistication, allowing work to be marketed as “critical.” It also allows a fair and its exhibitors to align their brands more strongly with the global contemporary, a now-ubiquitous category that invokes an abstract, near-empty universality. Given that this universality is in many ways indistinguishable from that of neoliberal capital, we might conceive of the global contemporary as a potent aesthetic ideology. Within this fantasmatic structure, the fair assuages its patrons’ fear of missing out even as it indulges their desire to discover (then flip) the next Oscar Murillo. The links between these imagined affinities and the conventions of pricing are at once indirect and indisputably real.

While the commercial success of Frieze New York is sometimes ascribed to the moribundity of its competition, it likely also derives from its canny application of the biennial formula. Though New York still fancies itself the center of the global art world, its connections to the biennial and fair circuit have been rather belated and indirect. Such conditions have surely increased the appeal of the Frieze brand, with its cosmopolitan, sophisticated connotations. The 2015 edition traded on this cachet by convening a team of international curators, a number of them with biennial experience. Not surprisingly, the majority of the fair’s more impressive offerings were in the stalls that had effectively been pre-curated. Shanghai’s Antenna Space exhibited a sharp suite of works by Liu Ding, “Karl Marx in 2013” (2014), one of which turned on the artist’s confrontation with Chinese tourists at Marx’s grave in London. Warsaw’s Le Guern Gallery showed compelling selections from C.T. Jasper’s photomontage series “In the Dust of the Stars” (2011). The Spotlight section, advised by Adriano Pedrosa, was a quiet revelation amidst the overweening vulgarity of the fair. Some of the artists shown there, like the marvelous Sudanese modernist Ibrahim El-Salahi, presented in London’s VIGO booth, have received major shows in Europe but remain largely unknown in the U.S. Others, like Geta Brătescu, whose drawings and collages were on view at Bucharest’s Ivan Gallery space, spoke to the formidable, largely uncharted range and depth of Eastern European conceptualisms. Such practices are still often treated as isolated curiosities despite their exposure to (and transformation of) Western models; one fascinating example of such an encounter was Natalia LL’s series of performance photos from 1977, “Natalia LL at LGBT Demonstration in New York,” shown by Warsaw’s lokal­_30.

Elsewhere, and despite its more high-minded aspirations, Frieze New York is largely a crass spectacle of predictably conspicuous consumption. Finance bros in Gucci loafers rubbed shoulders with fashionistas, fashion victims, and the occasional celebrity; walking through the fair was a numbing, enervating experience rather like speed-reading the ads in Artforum. It became clear that “the global,” at least in this context, is a site of massive structural imbalance, even if exhibitors tended to revert to a much more superficial conception of global contemporary art: oversized photos of airport runways; displays of time-zone clocks; countless map collages and globe sculptures. Prominent displays were given to veterans of the biennial circuit, like Isaac Julien and Yinka Shonibare MBE; the most affecting was Allora & Calzadilla’s Intervals (2014) at Paris’s Galerie Chantal Crousel, which refashioned transparent plastic lecterns into odd plinths for dinosaur bones. Numerous galleries seemed intent on selling NYC-themed art to international buyers; the most diligent of these was New York’s Skarstedt, with iconic works by Warhol, Sherman, Holzer, and Haring, any of them perfect for your new luxury Tribeca pied-à-terre. With a fittingly gargantuan display of Richard Prince’s obnoxious Instagram paintings, Gagosian ventured the depressing proposition that global is just a fancy word for “lowest common denominator.” In fact the overwhelming majority of exhibitors were from the North, with hardly any from the MENASA region, Africa, or the Pacific. Those from the center could choose, though few did, to showcase their cosmopolitanism, as with Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, which brought works by Slavs and Tatars, Guan Xiao, and Katja Novitskova. In contrast, it was as if the galleries from the periphery were expected to showcase their own difference in a kind of compulsory self-exoticization. Athens’s The Breeder was outfitted with carpets, columns, and Byzantine-esque icons for Andreas Angelidakis’s Crash Pad (2015). Madrid- and Guadalajara-based Travesia Cuatro set itself up as a kind of tropicalist flower shop by Milena Muzquiz, complete with gallerinas in matching floral dresses. The one exception to this tendency was Mumbai’s Project 88, with Sarnath Banerjee’s “Liquid History of Vasco da Gama,” a group of 36 drawings by that incisively satirized Western stereotypes of postcolonial provincialism.

The few exhibitors who tried to resist this pervasive tendency did so by combining historically and geographically specific work with analogous contemporary practices. Paris’s Galerie Frank Elbaz assembled a stellar showcase of art from the former Yugoslavia, with memorable contributions from Josip Vanista, Mladen Stilinović, and Julije Knifer. Bogota-based Casas Riegner showed subtle, thoughtful contributions by Carlos Rojas, Bernardo Ortiz, and Johanna Calle. Berlin’s Galerija Gregor Podnar paired terrific, seldom-seen 1970s work from Ion Grigorescu, Irma Blank, and Goran Petercol, with strong recent pieces by Tobias Putrih and Anne Neukamp.

I left the fair with the impression of a massive embarrassment of riches, in both senses. On the one hand, it was possible to see more good art in a few hours than in a typical season in Chelsea. On the other, it was impossible to ignore the glaring contradictions of its very existence. These were perfectly encapsulated in the fair’s site: a multimillion-dollar bespoke tent with multiple VIP sanctums, located next to Icahn Stadium (named after the 1980s pioneer of corporate raiding, leveraged buyouts, and “asset stripping”) and just across the river from the South Bronx, home to the poorest congressional district in the U.S., where over 250,000 live in poverty. Inside this stylish white bubble, members of the global elite could be entertained by Amalia Pica, John Bock, and Geoffrey Hendricks’s reconstruction of George Maciunas’s Flux-Labyrinth (1976/2015), originally an attempt to develop an anti-capitalist aesthetics. Many eagerly lined up to participate in Wearing-watching (2015), a commissioned project by Pia Camil, in which they could don smocks modeled after Hélio Oiticica’s Parangolés from the 1960s (first designed in conjunction with residents of Rio de Janeiro’s Mangueira favela). Upon leaving the bubble, visitors were whisked back to lower Manhattan by a private water taxi. With the South Bronx quietly receding from view, they were free to ask themselves whether they had just been to a fair or a biennial, when and where the next big event might be, and whether such questions were even worth worrying about.

(1) Olav Velthuis, “The Venice Effect,” The Art Newspaper Magazine (June 2011): 21-24.

Andrew Weiner is Assistant Professor of Art Theory and Criticism in the Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU-Steinhardt.

View of Frieze New York, 2015.

1View of Frieze New York, 2015.

View of Antenna, Shanghai, at Frieze New York, 2015, with Liu Ding's “Karl Marx in 2013,” 2014.

2View of Antenna, Shanghai, at Frieze New York, 2015, with Liu Ding’s “Karl Marx in 2013,” 2014.

View of Galeria Le Guern, Warsaw at Frieze New York, 2015, with C.T. Jasper's "In the Dust of the Stars," 2011.

3View of Galeria Le Guern, Warsaw at Frieze New York, 2015, with C.T. Jasper’s “In the Dust of the Stars,” 2011.

View of Vigo Gallery, London at Frieze New York, 2015, with work by Ibrahim el-Salahi.

4View of Vigo Gallery, London at Frieze New York, 2015, with work by Ibrahim el-Salahi.

View Ivan Gallery, Bucharest at Frieze New York, 2015, with work by Geta Brătescu.

5View Ivan Gallery, Bucharest at Frieze New York, 2015, with work by Geta Brătescu.

Natalia LL, "Consumer Art" series, 1974.

6Natalia LL, “Consumer Art” series, 1974.

View Gagosian Gallery at Frieze New York, 2015, with work by Richard Prince.

7View Gagosian Gallery at Frieze New York, 2015, with work by Richard Prince.

View of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin at Frieze New York, 2015.

8View of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin at Frieze New York, 2015.

Andreas Angelidakis,  Crash Pad, 2015.

9Andreas Angelidakis, Crash Pad, 2015.

View of Travesía Cuatro at Frieze New York, 2015 with Milena Muzquiz's, Untitled, 2015.

10View of Travesía Cuatro at Frieze New York, 2015 with Milena Muzquiz’s, Untitled, 2015.

Sarnath Banerjee, “Liquid History of Vasco da Gama,” 2014.

11Sarnath Banerjee, “Liquid History of Vasco da Gama,” 2014.

Josip Vanista, "Déposition," 1986.

12Josip Vanista, “Déposition,” 1986.

Anne Neukamp, Untitled (Transfer #3), 2015.

13Anne Neukamp, Untitled (Transfer #3), 2015.

Geoffrey Hendricks, Upside Down Forest, 1975/2015.

14Geoffrey Hendricks, Upside Down Forest, 1975/2015.

Pia Camil, Wearing-watching, 2015.

15Pia Camil, Wearing-watching, 2015.

  • 1View of Frieze New York, 2015. Photo by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.
  • 2View of Antenna, Shanghai, at Frieze New York, 2015, with Liu Ding’s “Karl Marx in 2013,” 2014. Photo by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.
  • 3View of Galeria Le Guern, Warsaw at Frieze New York, 2015, with C.T. Jasper’s “In the Dust of the Stars,” 2011. 26 pairs of framed magazines, 80 x 56 cm each. Courtesy Galeria Le Guern, Warsaw.
  • 4View of Vigo Gallery, London at Frieze New York, 2015, with work by Ibrahim el-Salahi. Courtesy of Vigo Gallery, London.
  • 5View Ivan Gallery, Bucharest at Frieze New York, 2015, with work by Geta Brătescu. Courtesy of Ivan Gallery, Bucharest and the artist. Photo by Matt Grubb.
  • 6Natalia LL, “Consumer Art” series, 1974. Original color print, unique piece, 51 cm x 61.5 cm each. Courtesy of lokal_30, Warsaw.
  • 7View Gagosian Gallery at Frieze New York, 2015, with work by Richard Prince. © Richard Prince. Photography by Robert McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.
  • 8View of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin at Frieze New York, 2015. Left to right: Slavs and Tatars, Guan Xiao, and Katja Novitskova. Image courtesy of the artists and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo by Matthew Boot.
  • 9Andreas Angelidakis, Crash Pad, 2015. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Courtesy of The Breeder, Athens.
  • 10View of Travesía Cuatro at Frieze New York, 2015, with Milena Muzquiz’s, Untitled, 2015. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Courtesy of Travesia Cuatro, Madrid and Guadalajara.
  • 11Sarnath Banerjee, “Liquid History of Vasco da Gama,” 2014. Series of 36 drawings. Charcoal and pastel on A4 sheets, 8 x 11 inches each. Courtesy of Project 88, Mumbai.
  • 12Josip Vanista, “Déposition,” 1986. 12 black and white photographs on archival paper, 24 x 24 cm each. Edition of 3. Courtesy of galerie frank elbaz, Paris. Photo by Zarko Vijatovic.
  • 13Anne Neukamp, Untitled (Transfer #3), 2015. Acetone transfer on paper, 100 x 70 cm. Courtesy of Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin.
  • 14Geoffrey Hendricks, Upside Down Forest, 1975/2015. Tribute to George Maciunas’s Flux-Labyrinth (1976/2015), Frieze Projects, Frieze New York 2015. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.
  • 15Pia Camil, Wearing-watching, 2015. 800 pieces assembled and sown by hand, made from leftover fabrics or discards from local factories in Mexico City and distributed freely to fair visitors. Frieze Projects, Frieze New York 2015. Photo by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.


At NADA, a Fresh Crop of Young Talent

  • The Los Angeles-based M+B Gallery is among the spaces exhibiting at this year’s NADA fair, featuring photographic works by Mariah Robertson (left wall) and Phil Chang. Courtesy of M+B
  • “Salton Sea,” 2015, is one of several new photographic works by the artist Matthew Porter at the Invisible-Exports booth. Courtesy of Invisible-Exports
  • In conjunction with NADA’s opening, Daata Editions launched its web-based platform dedicated to the promotion of artists who work specifically with sound, video and the Internet. In addition, limited-edition works, such as Ilit Azoulay’s photographic still “Object #1,” pictured here, will be for sale. Courtesy of Daata Editions
  • For his space, the Cologne-based gallerist Berthold Pott chose to exhibit works by two artists, including Max Frintrop’s “Untitled (‘Seeworld’),” 2015. Courtesy of Berthold Pott
  • The triptych of paintings that make up Josh Reames’s installation at the Johannes Vogt Gallery booth.
  • The Berlin-based gallery Duve is exhibiting works by Maximilian Arnold, Vera Kox and Roman Liska.

With all the commotion of Frieze New York playing out uptown on Randall’s Island, it might be easy to overlook the action unfolding at the decidedly downtown New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) fair. Now in its fifth year, the New York arm of NADA (the other fair takes place in Miami) once again returns to Pier 36, exhibiting 100 galleries in a cavernous warehouse space bordered by the Lower East Side and the East River. Billed as a nonprofit arts organization with the aim of promoting new and emerging artists, NADA has gained a reputation as a go-to destination for art world insiders and collectors looking to take the pulse of the next generation of artists.

Fair highlights include the exhibition mounted by the New York-based Johannes Vogt Gallery, a series of three paintings by Josh Reames. With images of cigarettes, an erotically tinged neon light and a grinning skeleton, Reames’s choice of imagery channels the über-cool aesthetic of the fair’s attendees. “Introducing new artists is what the spirit of NADA stands for,” Vogt, a longtime veteran of the fair, says. A similar sentiment was expressed by his fellow NADA alum Risa Needleman, the co-founder, along with Benjamin Tischer, of the Lower East Side gallery Invisible-Exports, which is exhibiting works including vibrant photomontages by Matthew Porter — sure to please NADA visitors who, as Needleman is keenly aware, “expect young and exciting work.”

For first-timers, the fair is a unique opportunity to gain exposure — and importantly, access — to an often-exclusive segment of the art world. “The best way for young European galleries to enter into the U.S. market is through NADA,” Berthold Pott, owner of his namesake Cologne-based gallery, says. Among Pott’s exhibited pieces, large-scale ink-based gestural works by Max Frintrop call to mind the likes of the Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler and her watery fields of color. Meanwhile, another first-time gallery, the New York-based Queer Thoughts, looked to be in for the ultimate NADA experience. Having just arrived at the fair, the megawatt curator and writer Hans Ulrich Obrist and the Stedelijk Museum director Beatrix Ruf were overheard declaring the gallery’s exhibition of Darja Bajagic’s “Ex Axes – Larissa Riquelme (2015),” an ax bearing the photograph of a despairing young woman, to be the highlight of NADA. Talk about making the cut.

NADA New York is on view through May 17 at Basketball City, 299 South Street,


Opening day of Frieze New York 2015 – in pictures

Now in its third year, the art fair has arrived at Randall’s Island in New York City, with the world’s most eminent artists showing their wares in a giant tent

Frieze New York review – navigating the maze of art fair’s eccentric fun
Just how well dressed are New York’s art lovers?





Painting According to Frieze New York

Wilhelm Sasnal, “Untitled (car)” (2015), oil on canvas, 40x40 cm at Foksal Gallery Foundation

It’s been about a hundred years since Kazimir Malevich supplanted all imagery in painting with iconic shapes that point not to this world but to one he thought would come. It was around the same time Marcel Duchamp put a handlebar mustache on the Mona Lisa and titled the work “L.H.O.O.Q.” — or “She is hot in the arse.” It was a time of agitation that proved critical to painting’s history as methods of filling up the canvas split, for the most part, in two directions: one of abstraction or non-objectivity; and another that held ground representing “things of the world,” however absurd or beautiful. This year’s Frieze New York art fair on Randall’s Island shows artists using both methods in collision or collusion in a struggle to find firmer artistic footing.

The need for footing comes from a growing restlessness with riffing on 20th century abstraction and the inability to sustain irony, a once-dominant theme in recent representational painting, since it is more of a pretense of not caring rather than a risk of vulnerability. These methods may be losing their effectiveness, and, since painting never dies, new ways of pushing forward emerge.

Patricia Treib, “As-of-yet-untitled” (2015), oil on canvas, 66 x 50 inches at Wallspace Gallery

Patricia Treib’s “As-of-yet-untitled” (2015) in Wallspace Gallery‘s booth either is abstractly figurative or figuratively abstract — complete and without tension. The relaxed, abled gestures and colors of Matisse suggest a sense of place and life of leisure, without giving us the goods or robbing us of their pleasure. Paul Heyer’s “Burnout,” an acrylic and oil on silk painting tucked around the corner of Night Gallery‘s booth, presses ordered black splotches against a facile rendering of flowers painted in watery pastel colors. The bold and abstract interruptions provide both a tension between types of picture-making and compositional stability, a structure holding all elements into place.

The multiple ways in which artists at Frieze mine the languages of both the abstract and representational traditions, in their multiple iterations however broadly conceived, remind us that every mode of working has a time, place, and specific motivation. From sublime geometries and Freudian dreams to fits of anxiety seeking universal expression and commercially-produced homogenous batches, all artistic fabrications have a context. So when today’s artists seek stability, erasure, or obfuscation by combining image-based content with abstract impulses, these visual inheritances and borrowings are transparent enough to put in high relief the strengths — and weaknesses — of artists’ imaginations.

Johannes Kahrs, “OT (green fingernails)” (2015), oil on canvas, 44.4 x 48.2 cm at Zeno X Gallery

Johannes Kahrs’s “OT (green fingernails)” (2015), in the booth of Antwerp’s Zeno X Gallery, is sexy without substance. The reproduced image, sourced from a photograph or video, uses seediness in the lives of others to convey a sense of raw experience, like a short-cut search for authenticity. Figuration or “the real” is here depleted through cropping and blurring, a splicing effect that flirts with obliteration. George Shaw’s painting “She Had an Horror of Rooms” (2014–15) in the Wilkinson Gallery booth, of wood scraps resting in leaves, could be the remains of a discarded project or hobby, or a realist painter’s examination of failed Bauhaus ideals.

George Shaw, “She Had an Horror of Rooms” (2014–15), Humbrol enamel on board, 56 x 74.5 cm at Wilkinson Gallery

In the Taro Nasu booth, Simon Fujiwara’s “Fabulous Beasts” brings “the real” into abstraction, sewing and stretching together swaths of shaved fur coats for a result that’s close enough to painting for me. Possible associations include Dadaist sculpture and linear abstract painting. Jens Fänge’s assemblage on panel in Galleri Magnus Karlsson‘s booth recalls early Cubism and mid-century photomontage.

Portia Zvavahera, “I Can Feel It in My Eyes [16]” (2015), oil-based print ink and oil bar on canvas, 209.5 x 163.5 cm at Stevenson

The most accomplished paintings at this year’s Frieze are by Zimbabwean artist Portia Zvavahera. Her “I Can Feel It in My Eyes [16]” (2015) is one of several beatific visions of corporeal entanglement nearly lifting themselves off Stevenson gallery’s booth walls. With the strength of Marc Chagall’s spiritual interiority, she envisions a world of romantic longing hardly seen since Gustav Klimt.Anna Bjerger, “Halo” (2015), oil on aluminum, 50 x 40 cm at Galleri Magnus Karlsson

Anna Bjerger’s “Halo,” also hanging in Galleri Magnus Karlsson’s booth, features luscious, buttery paint that in its own right commands attention. But in the painting’s facile slips and turns, a remarkable articulation of a woman, lit from the back, appears with the same sense of seduction. More cold in feeling, but likewise straddling the abstract-representational divide, is Wilhelm Sasnal’s “Untitled (car)” in the Foksal Gallery Foundation booth.

Kon Trubkovich, “A heart with an iron lining” (2015), oil on canvas, 72 x 60 in at Marianne Boesky Gallery

The most prominent example of strategic collision is Kon Trubkovich’s “A heart with an iron lining” (2015) at Marianne Boesky‘s booth. Rather like video and paint in conflict, the work, all in oil, is more cerebral than enticing. Zhang Hui’s “Pearl 2” (2015) at Long March Space is more tactile, inviting touch and wondrous questions. Like the modernist method of “all-over painting,” whereby the entire canvas is covered and never lets the viewers’ eyes rest, Mircea Suciu‘s “Iron Curtain” (2015) at Zeno X Gallery covers the “subject,” all over, in suffocating plastic.

Peter Davies, “Come Hither” (2015), acrylic on canvas, 59 13/16 x 48 in at The Approach

Peter Davies’s “Come Hither” (2015) at The Approach‘s booth is geometric abstraction waving its hand or growing from the ground and reaching into the air. The black masses, all joined, fill the canvas plane to create a sense of activity within the flattened space. In the Modern Institute‘s booth, Urs Fischer channels Willem de Kooning to confront an aged photograph of a stool and magazine rack, setting a replica of mass produced images and articles — light fare — against the self-serious ethos of Abstract Expressionism. A comparatively older work at the fair, yet one that is resolutely contemporary, is Larry Bell’s “Big Mirage Painting #53” from 1991. By introducing to a reductive abstract composition various reflected lights, kaleidoscopic and variant in intensities, Bell gives represented “materials” a sense of non-objectivity, a kind of constructed non-space. That White Cube chose to show the piece here highlights the singularity of Bell’s work.

Exceptions prove the rule at Frieze, even though there are no rules in what artists here are doing. That openness to potential, space, and means ready for invention — or possible lapses into pastiched mimicking — makes the fair exciting and gives reason to believe that painting around the world is turning a corner.

Larry Bell, “Big Mirage Painting #53” (1991), mixed media on canvas 89 9/16 x 70 3/8 in at White Cube

Urs Fischer, “Free advice is usually worth what you paid for it” (2015), aluminum panel, aramid honeycomb, two-component polyurethane adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, galvanized steel rivet nuts, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint, 96x72 inches at The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd

Mircea Suciu, “Iron Curtain” (2015), oil, acrylic, and mono print on linen, 156 x 121.8 cm at Zeno X Gallery

Zhang Hui, “Pearl 2” (2015), acrylic on canvas, 180 x 116 cm at Long March Space

Jens Fänge, “The Inner Wedding” (2015), assemblage on panel, 112 x 75 cm at Galleri Magnus Karlsson

Simon Fujiwara, “Fabulous Beasts” (2015), shaved fur coat, 115 x 65 cm at Taro Nasu

Frieze New York continues in Randall’s Island Park (Randall’s Island) through May 17.



Photo Essays

Close Readings from a Cozy Art Fair


As part of the frenzy of Frieze Week, Zürcher Gallery is hosting Salon Zürcher, a more intimate fair featuring both emerging and established artists. In its tenth edition, the Salon once again positions itself in opposition to the other large–scale, superstore–style fairs and offers a two–room gallery filled with unique and thoughtfully curated pieces. Six galleries are present: Galerie L’Inlassable, Galerie Mathias Coullaud, and Galerie Isabelle Gounod from Paris; Cathouse FUNeral from Brooklyn; Amsterdam outfit The Merchant House; and hosts Zürcher Gallery. Below, I’ve collected some of the highlights.


French artist Éric Rondepierre has been using movies as his medium of choice for many years, and recently made the transition from working with traditional celluloid film to digital film. These four images are video screenshots from classic movies that Rondepierre streams on his computer; he stops and captures moments where the file is buffering due to poor connections, freezing the image as it struggles to resolve, sometimes caught between two different frames. In Rondepierre’s screenshots, the pixels and eerie colors become reminiscent of painterly strokes, recalling the gas–lit figures of Degas’s interior scenes.


Marcella Barcèlo, a 22–year–old artist, creates “embedded collages” by layering Japanese paper; she covers up her drawings with successive sheets, sometimes sandwiching other elements like printed paper, until the pieces become thick and sculptural. Ghostly drawings of mythological characters, like the devil, a drowning woman, and religious icons, are trapped under paper. Behind swathes of watery colors, the barely perceptible lines of her underdrawings add dimension and depth, and, on the outermost layer of paper, disembodied arms grasp and gesticulate as if tenderly and anxiously holding the paper sheets together.


Farideh Sakhaeifar who had a solo show at Cathouse FUNeral earlier this year had two series on display in the gallery. In “ISIS/NASA” she culls images from ISIS bombings and NASA spaceship launches, using Photoshop to conflate the two, and thus explores the dual themes of spectatorship and nationalism (and of course the similar formal appearance) present in the two types of images. The postcard–sized images are seemingly arrayed as tourist souvenirs.

In her other series, “Workers are taking photographs,” Sakhaeifar had 200 Iranian, male, working class laborers take their own photos. She stood directly behind them, holding up white backgrounds that framed their heads and upper bodies. The white background decontextualizes their bodies, catapulting them into the space of the sterile, white gallery.


For each of her pieces in “The Folds Series,” André De Jong spends years building the thickness of the paper through successive applications of ink, gesso, and charcoal. When the paper is ready, he shapes it, folding it to produce cracks and reveal the white paper underneath the color. The folds read as expressive, white chalky lines, producing sculptural drawings, and as De Jong told The Parool, “The destructive act [of the fold] is necessary to infuse life into these works. A remarkable thing about this type of object is that it retains the traces of this act, and that they are in fact decisive in determining its beauty.”

Form, as articulated through the handling of paper, is essential to De Jong’s cracked paper just as it is to Barcelo’s translucent drawings, while Rondepierre and Sakhaeifar grapple with the production and dissemination of the digital image. With these pieces, the ones that stood out to me at Salon Zürcher, the viewer can leave an art fair having contemplated the act of artistic creation.




Salon Zürcher continues at Zürcher Gallery (33 Bleecker Street, SoHo, Manhattan) through May 17.



New York City is Frieze-ing! What’s Happening at This Year’s Fair

While half the art world is still coming down from the magnificent high of the Venice Biennale, the other half is reveling in the first billion-dollar week of sales at Christie’s. And right on the heels of both high points comes Frieze New York, which has better food, better lighting, and better ponchos (more on that later) than any other annual fair in this city. Here, a rundown of the interesting things happening out on Randall’s Island this weekend.

Frieze New York Art Fair
Solo booths are looking good
Bringing one artist’s work to a fair usually makes for a more compelling booth than a random assortment. Showings from David Kordansky and Pace Gallery are evidence enough, but Gladstone Gallery’s T. J. Wilcox takeover is the best example. In addition to a reworking of “In the Air,” Wilcox’s 2013 Whitney show, Gladstone is showing his specially commissioned video for the Metropolitan Opera’s The Tales of Hoffmann. A combination of stop-motion animation and more traditional cartoons—think an operatic version of Space Jam—it is a total delight.
Photo: Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery



A Contemporary African Art Fair Arrives in New York

The entrance to 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

It may at first thought seem odd that the newest addition to Frieze Week in New York is a fair devoted to contemporary African art. How could one expect to cover the ground of a whole continent in a single art fair, and an exceptionally small one at that? Is “African art” a useful category?

But the bigger problem may be that it doesn’t seem all that strange, accustomed as we are, in the US, to seeing the many countries of Africa stereotyped and lumped together as one big, general place. That contradiction is in fact built into the name of the art fair: 1:54, whose numbers stand, respectively, for the one continent of Africa and the 54 countries it contains. “To share and give visibility to the diversity of the African art scene,” is how 1:54 founder Touria El Glaoui described the goal of the fair to Hyperallergic — “to be a player in the international scene.”

The fair seen from above (click to enlarge)

El Glaoui, the daughter of Moroccan artist Hassan El Glaoui, founded 1:54 two years ago in London, timing the first edition to Frieze Week there. She is now testing the waters of New York, though it sounds like it was something of a last-minute decision: El Glaoui told me she had six months to plan the fair’s trans-Atlantic voyage. 1:54 landed on the shores of Red Hook and is moored for the weekend at the multipurpose arts center Pioneer Works.

The fair features only 16 galleries, half of them from Africa and half from other countries but showing work that falls under the admittedly vague rubric of “African.” The layout is standard, as far as fairs go: big, tall white walls carve up the cavernous industrial space into pristine booths. These mini-showrooms are quite big, a decision that gives the art plenty of room to breathe but also has the unfortunate effect of eating up any potential free space on the building’s ground floor — so that you may end up feeling (as I did, at times) like you are little more than a murine aesthete lost in an art market maze.

Happily, the art you’re trapped with is largely very good and largely by people whose names are not yet well worn in the art world. “It’s also about where the artists are in their career,” El Glaoui told me. El Anatsui, for instance, isn’t at 1:54 because he “doesn’t need to be here.” William Kentridge is, his work greeting you immediately upon arrival (at the booth of David Krut Projects), but along with Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keïta (two of the most famous photographers in African history, both at Magnin-A gallery), Kentridge is an exception. 1:54 is mostly focused on bringing new artists to the attention of New York audiences.

Peter Clarke, "Black Cowboy" (1982), gouache collage on paper, 50.5 x 65 cm

New doesn’t necessarily mean young, though, and one of my favorite discoveries of the fair was the work of Peter Clarke, a towering South African artist who died last year at the age of 85. Clarke, who was forcibly uprooted from his home when he was young because of apartheid, made art his whole life but only received recognition “later, due to the political situation,” explained Marelize van Zyle, associate director of SMAC Gallery. “He depicted Cape Colored life, life in that community.” Zyle brought two pieces of Clarke’s work that she thought would resonate with American audiences: one, a gentle gouache showing a branch of KFC in a poor Cape Town neighborhood in the 1980s (the company was one of the only international chains that did not pull out of the country during the economic boycott), the other a brighter imaginary scene inspired by Spaghetti Westerns. Featuring a stylish black cowboy painted in gouache, the work also contains a collaged Jack Daniels label at the center, on which Clarke hand-wrote a text that ends: “Only, the westerns never show that in real life the cowboy hero was sometimes a Black Man … ”

Wall of photos from Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall's studio at Axis Gallery's booth (click to enlarge)

Perhaps predictably, questions about identity ripple through the fair, connecting much of the work on view and coloring many of the conversations I had when I visited. Axis Gallery‘s wall of dazzling photographic portraits by Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall — who established what Axis curator Gary van Wyk called “the first color photography studio in Africa” in 1961 in Durban, South Africa — resonates with a number of more contemporary works at the booth of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, among them Fabrice Monteiro‘s sumptuous photograph of a woman dressed as a signare, as the lawful wives of colonizers in the 18th and 19th centuries were called. These little-remembered women were “covered with fashion and jewelry” and “extremely emancipated,” said Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt, the gallery’s director. Hanging catty-corner in her booth is an arresting black-and-white, composite self-portrait by Ayana V. Jackson that features six versions of the artist dressed in different Victorian outfits and posed together as in a family photo. “If, at the time of slavery, it were egalitarian and equal — if there were no slavery, what sorts of costumes would the black body be wearing?” Ibrahim-Lenhardt asked, by way of explaining the impetus for the work.

Work by Fabrice Monteiro at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery's booth, showing a signore

Work by Ayana V. Jackson at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

Billie Zangewa, "Ma vie en rose" and "Homecoming" (both 2015), silk tapestries, at Afronova's booth (click to enlarge)

Both of these pieces, in turn, seem to be distant cousins of a couple of beautifully assured silk self-portrait tapestries by Billie Zangewa, at Afronova’s booth, and more closely related to a series of costumed self-portraits by Omar Victor Diop at Magnin-A. For the project, Diop researched “Africans sent to various parts of the world, either as slaves or as representatives of their kingdoms,” many of them since “left out of the history books.” He then found images of them and photographed himself modeled after them, adding the occasional contemporary touch like a soccer ball or a whistle. The series is indebted in equal parts to Kehinde Wiley and to Keïta, but the results possess a potent agency that the works of Diop’s predecessors lack.

Omar Victor Diop's series at Magnin-A's booth (click to enlarge)

“As African artists, of course we don’t want to be locked in an African ghetto,” Diop said when I asked him about the idea of an African art fair. “But if you don’t speak, you let others define what an African artist is. You’ll always be from somewhere. You can’t change your Africanness, but you can change the perception.”

Those remarks contrasted sharply with the words of Lavar Munroe, an artist showing disturbing and surreal collaged renderings of animal and human figures with NOMAD Gallery. “I’ve always resisted the label” of African artist, he said, explaining that he initially refused to participate in the fair but was persuaded by his dealer. “Why the fascination [with African art]?” Munroe asked. “I think it has to do with the notion of the other, exhibiting the other.”

Work by Lavar Munroe at NOMAD Gallery

Most of the gallerists I spoke with (who were almost exclusively white) seemed far more at ease with the label, probably because they know that successful selling generally requires successful branding. But perhaps one of benefits of using such a broad term as “African” to describe a category of art is that it can be widely applied, so that Voice Gallery founder Rocco Orlacchio — who told me, “I don’t like very much labels” — could show work made in Kenya by a Japanese artist living in Morocco (a country that itself raises more questions of identity because of its location in the north of the continent and its uniquely hybrid identity).

“In the most ideal world, you would have no 1:54,” El Glaoui acknowledged, “but the truth is 0.05% of African artists are represented anywhere at any given moment.

“The best death of 1:54 will be that you don’t need it anymore.”

A sculpture by Nidhal Chamekh at Primo Marella Gallery

Lawrence Lemaoana, "I didn't join the struggle to be poor" (2015), fabric and embroidery, 155 x 110 cm, at Afronova's booth

Conrad Botes drawing his installation at Bennett Contemporary

Olu Amoda, "Medium Sunflower iii" (2014), blind revert, steel belt, mild still pipe, 52 x 52 in, at the booth of Art Twenty One

Work by Eric van Hove and Younes Baba-Ali at VOICE Gallery

Work by Edson Chagas at A Palazzo Gallery's booth

Looking down on one of the booths

Sammy Baloji, "Raccord #5," at Axis Gallery's booth (click to enlarge)

The entrance to 1:54 art fair

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair continues at Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn) through May 17.



The Art Market: big spenders in the Big Apple

  •   New York ‘Auction-tigue’; Frieze looks to the past; Giacometti show for Shanghai
‘Swamped’ (1990) by Peter Doig©Christie’s

‘Swamped’ (1990) by Peter Doig

“Fair-tigue” gave way to “auction-tigue” this week in New York, with a logjam of evening sales triggered by the changes in Venice Biennale dates this year. Crammed into the week were four evening sales plus a swathe of day sales: as we went to press, nearly $2bn had been splurged on the art of the 20th and 21st century in a seemingly unstoppable paroxysm of spending. Records tumbled across the categories: Peter Doig’s Swamped (1990) sold for $25.9m at Christie’s; Polke ($27.1m at Sotheby’s); Christopher Wool ($29.9m at Sotheby’s) or Soutine ($28.2m at Christie’s).

Christie’s emerged the clear winner, having clocked up an eye-popping $1.36bn by Wednesday night in two evening sessions alone. In a knockout blow to the opposition, its curtain-raising Monday sale scored $705.9m for “Looking Forward to the Past”, a “curated” sale of 34 lots which mixed categories, from early 20th century to contemporary art. Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger (Version O)” (1955) sold for an estimate-pulverising $179.4m (presale expectations were $140m; estimates don’t include fees: results do), while Giacometti’s “L’homme au doigt” (1947) made $141.3m — setting auction records for a painting and a sculpture.


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However, the sale was heavily guaranteed with half of the lots backed by Christie’s or third parties — which was the case for the Picasso but not for the Giacometti. As a result, the auction was curiously unexciting, with most bidding on the telephone and little action from the room — except to applaud the prices. “It was like watching a piece of theatre because ultimately so much was presold,” said one dealer. Guarantees also littered the catalogue at Sotheby’s the following night, but to a lesser extent, with 19 of the 65 lots so covered. Six of them were irrevocable bids announced during the sale, presumably because guarantors were encouraged by Christie’s results. That Sotheby’s sale made $379.7m with a Rothko taking the top spot at $46.4m; one disappointing result was for Lichtenstein’s “The Ring” (1962), which made just $41.7m, going to a private Asian buyer. It was estimated at about $50m and guaranteed, meaning a possible loss for the auction house. Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale had been held the previous week, raising $368.3m.

Then Christie’s blasted back on Wednesday night with a sale of contemporary art that racked up another total of $658.5m, led by a Rothko which made a stunning $81.9m. And a record was set for Lucian Freud, when his fleshy “Benefits Supervisor Resting” (1994) just topped its high target at $56.2m.

. . .

‘L’homme au doigt’ (1947) by Alberto Giacometti©Christie’s/Alberto Giacometti Estate

‘L’homme au doigt’ (1947) by Alberto Giacometti

The interest in mixing modern with contemporary art, as exemplified by Christie’s Monday night sale, was also evident at the Frieze New York fair, which opened this week on Randall’s Island. The organisers had sought out “blue-chip” dealers and encouraged them to bring more traditional art — “contextualising”, as this is called. So among the newcomers this year are a clutch of blue-chip galleries. They include Skarstedt, McKee, Pace, Matthew Marks and Acquavella — with some showing more established names alongside their contemporary artists. Pace is holding a solo show of Richard Tuttle, while Acquavella has a couple of million-dollar Picassos along with Brice Marden and Ed Ruscha. “I have clients who started with contemporary art, and now their attention is being taken by earlier works,” says Michael Findlay of Acquavella, “and the prices are so high for contemporary now.”

Among the successes of the fair was Vigo gallery, with Sudanese artist Ibrahim el-Salahi: New York museums bought a number of his works (priced between £250,000 and £650,000) and the collector Beth DeWoody another two. Frieze finishes on Sunday.

. . .

The $141.3m paid for Giacometti’s “L’homme au doigt” is a just reflection of the significance of the Swiss sculptor. And now that peace has broken out between the previously warring Giacometti foundation and association, the foundation’s new director Catherine Grenier is pressing ahead with a number of projects.

This week she and the Chinese/Indonesian collector and museum owner Budi Tek announced that they will stage the biggest exhibition yet of Giacometti’s work, from March next year in Tek’s Yuz Museum in Shanghai. It will comprise 240 works, including drawings, original plasters, sculptures and paintings, all from the foundation and displayed in a 2,000-sq metre gallery. “Giacometti has influenced Chinese artists for a long time,” says Tek. “And yet this is the first exhibition of his work in China.” Grenier says she has known Tek for some years, and that the project “was born very quickly after my nomination”. Tek is supporting the Institut Giacometti, an outpost of the foundation to be used for research and exhibitions, due to open next year. This Friday, “Beyond East and West”, a talk between Tek and Alexandre Colliex, development director of the Giacometti Foundation, will be held at Art15; the fair opens on Thursday in London’s Olympia.

. . .

‘Untitled’ (1982) by Jean-Michel Basquiat©Christie’s

‘Untitled’ (1982) by Jean-Michel Basquiat, which realised $13.6m at Christie’s on Monday

“Filthy Lucre” is the title of an immersive new work by contemporary artist Darren Waterston which goes on show in Washington’s Freer Gallery of Art from Saturday. The installation is a reinterpretation of Whistler’s Peacock Room, originally designed in 1876 for the London home of the shipping magnate Frederick Leyland.

The commission proved poisonous: Whistler and his patron had a bitter falling out, both because the artist gave full rein to his creativity while Leyland was away and because he demanded the vast sum of 2,000 guineas for the work. Leyland paid just half that, and Whistler finished the room by painting battling peacocks on one wall — with a poor artist/bird being attacked by the patron/bird. Whistler exacted further revenge by painting vindictive portraits of Leyland — one entitled “The Gold Scab — Eruption in Filthy Lucre”.

Waterson’s work recreates the room in a state of disrepair, its porcelains cracked and broken, shelves sagging, its central female portrait decaying and disfigured.

Georgina Adam is art market editor-at-large of The Art Newspaper

Photographs: Christie’s; Christie’s/©2015 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Vaga and ARS, New York




Josh Faught, Issues, 2015. Photo courtesy of the artist and Lisa Cooley Gallery.

Faught’s large-scale quilt is not the kind you’d receive from your grandmother. Although it might seem haphazard in construction, there is a method to his madness: Faught references themes that touch upon domesticity and sexuality, resulting in charged works that are, ironically, very much home-spun.


Jonathan Horowitz, 700 Dots, 2015. Photo: Marco Scozzaro, courtesy of the artist, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and Frieze.

Audience participation is one prevalent theme throughout this year’s fair. For his installation, Horowitz paid visitors 20 dollars each to paint black circles on white canvases. A clever inversion of the fair business model or a fantastic advertisement to draw in new collectors? Your choice.

Dashiell Manley, It and Another Other, 2015. Photo courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery.

Manley’s minimalist works first caught my eye at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. The young Los Angeles-based artist engages with the environments in which his works are staged, referencing the movement of the viewer while also playing with light and reflection.


Tom Sachs, Big Tits, 2014. Photo courtesy of the artist and Salon 94.

Ever since Sachs took over the Park Avenue Armory in 2012 for his mega-installation Space Program: Mission to Mars, a staged DIY NASA-inspired expedition to the titular planet, we’ve been a huge fan. A common characteristic of Sachs’ creations, as with this boom box, is his use of bricolage- the incorporation of found objects and everyday materials in the construction of works. Fully functioning, it also happens to play the intro sample from Dre and Snoop’s hit “The Next Episode.”

Jordan Wolfson, Untitled, 2015. Photo courtesy of the artist and Sadie Coles HQ.

Wolfson’s masked dancing anamatronic stripper that was exhibited last year at David Zwirner freaked us out, but in the best way possible. Living up to his reputation as an artist who shocks his audience, Wolfson’s work this year somehow reminds us of the once ubiquitous tabloid fixture, Bat Boy.

Giuseppe Penone, Albero di 8 m, 2000 and Albero di 10 m, 1989. Photo: Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of the artist, Marian Goodman Gallery, and Frieze.

If we’re going for sheer size, nothing seems to rival Italian artist Giuseppe Penone’s installation. Works include a wall of mesh-encased panels containing laurel leaves, as well as denuded tree trunks. The monumentality of Penone’s works beg the viewer to pause and marvel amidst the madness of the fair.

Richard Prince, New Portraits, 2014. Photo: Robert McKeever, courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery.

One of the biggest names from one of the biggest galleries, Prince’s appropriation of Instagram posts belonging to other users is representative of several high-profile artists at the fair this year. Many works on view engage with issues surrounding social media and the Internet. Make sure that selfie looks its best; your feed may be next.






Frieze New York review – navigating the maze of art fair’s eccentric fun

There are massage chairs and the opportunity to stick to the wall in a Velcro suit – but the real thrill is discovering great artists beyond the blue-chip names

An artwork at Frieze New York made with hundreds of crushed beer cans.
Kader Attia’s Halam Tawaaf, an artwork at Frieze New York made with hundreds of crushed beer cans. Photograph: ddp USA/REX Shutterstock/ddp USA/REX Shutterstock

There was a new ingredient on the first day of this year’s Frieze New York: the sun came out. Three years in a row it rained at the opening of the American cousin of Britain’s most important art fair, and I’d grown used to the very English grey sky over the art fair’s custom tent, a cunningly sinuous thing designed by the Brooklyn firm SO-IL. It looked better than ever this year with light streaming through, and still affords better sightlines than any fair this side of Paris’s FIAC, which has the unfair advantage of being housed in an Art Nouveau masterpiece.

Frieze New York is ticking along – the fair that once seemed a British invasion is now a major Big Apple event, as much a pleasure palace as an art fair. The ferry up the East River to Randall’s Island, the fair’s unlikely home, is an indulgence for locals and foreigners alike. The aisles are clogged as ever with dealers, curators, hangers-on. The food is still a major draw – chia pudding from a popup version of Chinatown hangout Dimes seems to be the big ticket, to be washed down with a $7 latte with a Brooklyn pedigree. Real art fair pros, though, bring their own granola bars.

In its first edition, in May 2012, galleries went out of their way to establish Frieze New York’s commercial bona fides. It’s not that blue-chip trophies are not in short supply this year: multiple Anish Kapoor discs are yours for the taking. But even the largest galleries are playing a little faster and looser than before. Hauser and Wirth has mounted a winningly anarchic booth whose walls have been painted by Martin Creed in various patterns of blue and black stripes – against which paintings by Rita Ackermann, sculptures by the late Juan Muñoz, and photographs by Roni Horn look positively groovy.

Art therapy at the Gavin Brown stall.

Art therapy at the Gavin Brown stall. Photograph: Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze

Over on Gavin Brown’s booth has the look of an art therapy class: long folding tables, which fairgoers are hunched over in uncommon silence. Have a seat and someone will offer you a canvas, some brushes, and black paint. Your task, as set by the American artist Jonathan Horowitz: paint an eight-inch circle at the centre of your canvas. For your effort you’ll be paid $20 (a handsome price, if your technical skill is as pathetic as mine), and your black dot will take pride of place in a collaborative grid whose irregularities surpass any coloured circles from the Hirst factory.

Then there is the stand of uber-gallery Gagosian, given over, I’m afraid, to Richard Prince’s ho-hum prints of Instagram screenshots. Prince is a great artist when he wants to be, but lately he’s been leaving comments on cute girls’ selfies, then reproducing the image and the comment at wall-holding scale. (When they first appeared last year, the New Yorker critic Peter Schjeldahl heroically described his response as “something like a wish to be dead”.) How dull are they? So dull that they are outshone by the floor that Team Gagosian has custom installed: a plywood deck that proves even the cheapest materials can turn luxe with the right framing.

Martin Creed’s wall paintings at the Hauser & Wirth

Martin Creed’s wall paintings at the Hauser & Wirth. Photograph: Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze

As always, the best reason to come to the fair is to see art from galleries outside New York, and ideally from outside the big-ticket western consensus. The Zimbabwean painter Portia Zvavahera has been given a solo presentation by Cape Town gallery Stevenson, and her churning, disquieting paintings of couples embracing or asleep seem haunted by public history as much as private nightmares. Galerie Frank Elbaz, from Paris, has put together the most impressive group presentation under the big top: a showcase of Croatian avant-garde artists pushing the boundaries of fine arts in the midst of the cold war. The painter Julije Knifer embraced stark abstraction in the form of meandering fat lines; the trickster Mladen Stilinović took white out to a dictionary page, then added in, over and over, the word “pain”.

Galeria Jaqueline Martins, a young gallery from São Paulo, deservedly netted the fair’s best booth prize for a solo presentation of Martha Araújo, whose 1985 project Para um corpo nas suas impossibilidades (For a body in its impossibilities) consists of a quarter-pipe, the sort of thing you see in skateboarding parks, covered in black Velcro. The gallery proves jumpsuits covered in Velcro straps, allowing participants to clamber to the top or hang upside down. For you, reader, I suited up. I bounced to the top of the quarter-pipe, smushing the front of my body against the wall. Naturally I came crashing down. Someone took a photo. I jumped up again, this time in the other direction, but instead of sticking all I did was hurt my back. More photos. The dealers were laughing at me, but I got the hang of it on my third go, and clung to the wall like a not very ambulatory spider.

The funhouse atmosphere continues in the noncommercial section of Frieze New York, for which half a dozen invited artists have created new works. Korakrit Arunanondchai, best known for belting out Thai rap music while sucking on light-up e-cigarettes, has installed a bunch of massage chairs upholstered in bleached denim and speckled with paint; an easy gesture, and a forgettable one. Rather better is a choose-your-own-adventure maze created by the young Japanese artist Aki Sasamoto, an absurdist personality test in three dimensions. Hanging from two white doors are baskets full of coffee or tea – pick your preference. I’m American; it was coffee for me, and walked through that door to a chamber with another pairing, and then another, until at last I had to choose between two toilet rolls, one unspooled from above, the other from below. I picked the first one, and a kind young man was waiting for me behind the door, proffering a pin with my personality type on it: “Into Big”. And this before they asked any questions about my sex life.


Our Mega Guide to all the Fun at Frieze New York
We hope you’re well rested, because this is one incredible week for art fans in New York City.  The FRIEZE art fairhas been building momentum for the past three years, and this year’s edition on Randall’s Island won’t disappoint.  Plus there are tons of satellite fairs — including an “invasion” of our turf by the folks from Art Miami — and gallery openings, auctions, pop-ups and much more.10168c4eddbc0ae503e4dc07366af2ee4c92e650.jpgFRIEZE New York opens for “invite only” VIPs and collectors on Wednesday, May 13th, and then it’s open to the public for four days starting on the 14th.  Over 190 galleries are exhibiting in 2015 and, as usual, there are cool side-projects including a “Tribute to Flux-Labyrinth 1976/2015” where contemporary artists will construct a maze of narrow corridors and obstructed spaces for you to explore.  Elsewhere, look for several “clandestine rooms” by Aki Sasamoto and “underground environments” by Samara Golden.  If you need to chill after these mysterious challenges, look for one of the free massage chairs placed around the venue by Korakit Arunanondchai.  There are also daily talks including one called “Ask Jerry” with New York Magazine’s art critic Jerry Saltz on Saturday at noon and a talk-show panel hosted by the artist/comedian and 2015 Paper Beautiful Person Casey Jane Ellison on Friday at noon.  A single day ticket is $44 and the hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except Sunday, when things shut down at 6 p.m. The full schedule is HERE.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 4.18.21 PM.pngMaripola X

For the first time, the folks behind Art Miami – that city’s longest running art fair — will host a New York spin-off on Pier 94 (12th Avenue at 55th Street) with over 100 galleries showing works from May 14th (VIP Preview) to May 17th.  FRIEZE VIP cardholders get in free and there’s also a courtesy shuttle service from the FRIEZE ferry dock on East 35th Street.  It’s open from noon to 8 p.m. daily, except Sunday until 6 p.m. A single day ticket is $25.  On Saturday, May 16th, 3 to 6 p.m., photographer and designer, Maripol, will sign copies of her limited-edition book MARIPOLA X  in booth #B19.  The book includes unreleased photos and poems chronicling the early-80s NY underground. Also: NYC’s Keszler Gallery is showing several works by UK artist Banksy and The New York Academy of Art has a special exhibition of alumni work curated by Natalie Frank.

Gerard-Quenum-La-Cour-du-Roi-2013-acrylic-on-canvas-130-x-170-cm.jpgGérard Quenum, ‘La Cour du Roi’, 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 130 x 170 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Art Twenty One

Another fair making it’s NYC debut this year is the “1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
happening out in Red Hook at Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn) from May 15th through May 17th.  The fair was founded in London in 2013 by Touria El Glaoui to showcase emerging contemporary African art. Sixteen galleries will be on hand with works by over 60 artists.  The award-winning London architecture and design studio RA Projects will do the lobby and exhibition spaces for the fair.  A single day ticket is $10 and it’s open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. (6 on Sunday).

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 4.42.08 PM.png

NADA returns to Pier 36, Basketball City (299 South Street), for the fourth edition of their New York fair. The not-for-profit collective offers a great mix of global galleries and special projects including a fashion show on Thursday, May 14, 7 p.m., featuring limited-edition clothing designed by artists including Cheryl Donegan, Amy Yao, Sarah Braman, Bjorn Copeland and Daniel Heidkamp.  Richard Haines will be on-hand to document the show with his drawings.  This is a collab between NADA and Print All Over Me and was curated by Sam Gordon.  Admission to this fair is free and it’s open to everybody, so check it out on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., or Friday thru Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (5 on Sunday).

The fifth LIC Arts Open runs from May 13th to May 17th with tons of open studios, exhibits, music etc. happening throughout Long Island City.  The complete list is HERE. Flux Factory (39-31 29th Street, LIC) is participating with a BBQ, artist talks and an exhibition by Roopa Vasudevan on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Sixty-one exhibitors are showing at the Spring Masters New York art and design fair at the Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue).  This fair opened last week, but you still have a chance to check it out before it closes at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12th.  Tickets are $25.  Acclaimed architect Rafael Vinoly did the booth layout.

4928h.jpgBerndnaut Smilde,”Nimbus”

NeueHouse (110 East 25th Street) is once again the official VIP partner for FRIEZE and will host the VIP lounge with music, food and cocktails; plus artist talks including David Salle in the fair lounge on Sunday, May 17, 11 a.m., and Stephen Posen and his son, Zac, on Tuesday, May 12, 7 p.m., in their 25th Street location.  Also at 25th Street, on Wednesday and Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde will present “Nimbus,” creating artificial indoor clouds.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 4.51.08 PM.pngThe local auction houses are hosting their contemporary art auctions this week with Bonhams on May 11, Sotheby’s on the 12th & 13th,  Doyle on May 12, Christie’s on May 13 and Phillips on May 14th & 15th.  Swann Auction Galleries (104 East 25th Street) hosts theirs at 1:30 p.m. on May 12th and it includes several items in what we like to call the “never throw anything away” category.  There’s a 1984 invitation to Keith Haring and Larry Levan’s “Party of Life” at the Paradise Garage that’s estimated to go for between $1,000 and $1,500.  Haring printed the invite on a cloth handkerchief.  Also up for bidding is a leather jacket from the collection of a “door girl for the Danceteria VIP room Congo Bill” that includes tags by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Futura 2000, Fab Five Freddy, Ad-Rock and many other downtown notables.  It’s estimate is $5,000 to $8,000.  You can check out all the cool items in this auction HERE.

FRIEZE week also overlaps with NYC X DESIGN, New York City’s official celebration of everything design related, featuring hundreds of showcases, fairs and events all over town from May 8 to 19.  These include the Collective Design Fair which runs from May 13th to the 17th at Skylight Clarkson Square (550 Washington Street); WantedDesign in Brooklyn at Industry City (274 36th Street, Brooklyn, from the 9th to the 19th and also in Manhattan at 269 11th Avenue from the 15th to the 18th; plus ICFF, the “luxury/high end” furniture fair at Javits Center from May 16th to 19th.  Check out the massive list of events HERE.

If you’re looking for an alt-fair experience, we suggest the FRIDGE Art Fair running May 14th through the 17th in the Retro Bar & Grill in the Holiday Inn (150 Delancey Street).  Their opening on Thursday, 6 to 9 p.m., benefits BARC (Brooklyn Animal Rescue Coalition) and is sponsored by Heineken, Zevia, Perrier and Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery with a raffle, performances, surprise guests and more. Tix are $20. And would you like a portrait of your fave pet?  Bring him/her by on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. to be photographed and then painted by the fair’s founder Eric Ginsburg. Prices start at $1200. A portion of the proceeds go to BARC.

Picture 97.pngphoto from FLUX by Shahram Entekhabi

Harlem’s first contemporary art fair, FLUX, runs from Thursday through Sunday in The Corn Exchange Building (81-85 East 125th Street @ Park Avenue). Works by over 50 international artists will be on view, and the fair’s curator’s have tried to focus on the theme of “the 21st Century artist as a nomad.”  It’s open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., except Sunday when things close down at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $20.  If you’re going to stop by FLUX, you should also check out THIS list of events during the inaugural edition of Harlem EatUp! — “A celebration of food, culture and spirit” — put together by Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Kalitz.

RISD hosts a private reception on Sunday evening at the WantedDesign fair in Industry City, Brooklyn, with RISD President Rosanne Somerson.  RSVP only.

8921d146-a290-4486-b24a-cf39fcbc48e4.jpgAby Rosen and Vito Schnabel are hosting a pop-up exhibition called “First Show/ Last Show” on Saturday, May 16, 5 to 8 p.m., in the old Germania Bank (190 Bowery).  That’s the former home of photographer Jay Meisel, recently purchased by Rosen’s RFR Realty for a reported $55 million.  Schnabel curated the show featuring artists including Harmony Korine, Julian Schnabel, Mark Grotjahn, Ron Gorchov, Jeff Elrod, Joe Bradley and Dan Cohen.

main.gifMoMA PopRally (11 West 53rd Street) presents “Serendipity,” featuring the films and photography of Awol Erizku on Sunday, May 17, 7 to 10 p.m.  This includes the premiere of the LA artist’s new film; plus a sound performance by MeLo-X, a DJ set by Kitty Cash, open bar and access to the museum’s latest contemporary art exhibition: “Scenes for a New Heritage.”  $25 tickets are HERE.

W Magazine and Stefano Tonchi celebrate their May art issue at the “premiere” of Ian Schrager’s newest hotel, The New York Edition (5 Madison Avenue) on Tuesday night with Q-Tip spinning the tunes.  Invite only.

Maiyet, Conscious Commerce and Milkmade host a cocktail party on Wednesday — also at The NY Edition — with Alexandra Richards on the decks.  Again, it’s invite only.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 1.50.19 PM.pngSunglass Hut (496 Broadway) and Mr. Brainwash launch their new collab collection on May 14th.

mccarrenrachel.jpgRachel Libeskind and Swaai Boys present “Ancient Baggage: Recent Discoveries in Ritualistc Objects” on Thursday, May 14th, 8 p.m., in the Sheltering Sky lounge at the McCarren Hotel & Pool (160 N. 12th Street, Brooklyn). This is Libeskind’s performance piece that deals with “the rituals imposed by the suitcase” in a colab with experimental music from Swaii Boys.

aligleighbowery.jpgLeigh Bowery by Michael Alig.

The SELECT Art Fair (548 West 22nd Street) runs from May 13th to the 17th in the old DIA building in Chelsea. Several floors of galleries — including “one entire floor of Brooklyn-based galleries” — will be on hand; plus there’s an exhibition of Michael Alig’s prison artwork. Check out the daily rooftop parties in a maze structure called “You Are Here” designed by the art duo TROUBLE, featuring DJs, bands, performances etc. including Blondes on May 13, Jungle Pussy on the 14th and James Chance on the 15th.  A day-ticket is $20.

Peter Brant, Interview Magazine, Paul Kasmin Gallery and 1stDibs celebrate FRIEZE with a private cocktail party on Thursday evening.

TUMBLR hosts a private “unveiling” of Richard Phillips’ new studio in LIC on May 14th, 7 to 10 p.m. Invite and RSVP only.

The Standard High Line (848 Washington Street) and High Line Art host a private cocktail party on Tuesday for Rashid Johnson’s “Blocks” commission on the High Line.  Invite only.

Denis Gardarin Gallery  has a pop-up exhibit by French artist Mathieu Mercier from May 13th to the 16th, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, at Skylight at Moynihan Station on West 33rd Street.

DM-FLYER3 copy.jpgCanadian artist Daniel Mazzone has a pop-up called “Torn Apart” on Thursday, May 14th, 7 to 11 p.m., at Carriage House Center (149 East 38th Street).  Mazzone’s “collage portraits” of historic figures often incorporate personalized elements relating to the subject.

SAVETHEDATE_HP.jpgR & Company (82 Franklin Street) has a solo exhibition by LA-based designer David Wiseman called “Wilderness & Ornament” featuring cast bronze works and porcelain decorative walls.  Check it out during their normal business hours all week.


The Van Alen Institute hosts their “Celebrate Spring” benefit party and their on-going auction on Wednesday, May 13, 6:45 to 11:30 p.m., at the Surrogate’s Courthouse (31 Chambers Street) with a seated dinner and performance by My Midnight Heart; plus DJ David Pacho and the “dystopian funk super group” LA-BAS.  You can get tickets HERE and bid on auction items now through May 20th via Paddle8. There are lots interesting things up for bidding including a “hot tub roundtable” with architect Charles Renfro at his fab Fire Island beach house and a private fitting with menswear designer Patrik Ervell in his NYC studio.

Several art jewelers and street artists have hooked-up to create some unique works that will be on view starting Saturday, May 16th, 6 to 8 p.m., at The Gallery at Reinstein Ross (30 Gansevoort Street) in a show called PLACEMENT.  Some of the artists participating are Skullphone, Logan Hicks, CYRCLE, ASVP, Arthur Nash and Tara Locklear.  Have a look before the end of June.

No Longer Empty will present a big multi-media group show called “Bring in the Reality” at the Nathan Cummings Foundation (475 10th Avenue, 14th floor). The exhibition features works that “speak candidly, freely and boldly…works that speak truth to power.”  Participating artists include John Ahearn, Mel Chin, Tim Collins and K.O.S., Dread Scott, Nari Ward and many more.  The opening is May 12th, 6 to 8 p.m. and you should rsvp to if you plan to attend.  It’s on view through the summer, but, again, you should make an appointment via the same email address.

And check out some recs from our friends over at the Mirror Cube, a new events site where artists suggest their favorite happenings in NYC and LA.:

Nathan Hoho of the band, Walking Shapes, recommends checking out the Garth Greenan Gallery at Frieze, which is focused on giving established artists greater visibility: this year, they will be showing minimalist ’70s color studies from Howardena Pindell, which she painted during her years as a MoMA curator. “I’ve only recently been exposed to the gallery but was blown away by the last show I saw there,” Hoho says.

Lyz Olko, the designer behind clothing label Obesity + Speed, suggests stopping by the 303 Gallery, which is known for championing contemporary artists like Stephen Shore, who got his start documenting the goings-on at Andy Warhol’s Factory at the tender age of 17. This year at Frieze, they will be showing 3D mixed media works from Israeli artist Elad Lassry.

Both photographer Natalie Neal and artist/PAPER Beautiful Person Chloe Wise recommend Foxy Production, a NYC-based gallery that’s new to the fair and will be showing manipulated photography from Sara Cwynar and a video installation from Petra Cortright. “Petra’s unique vision mixes technology, ready-mades, and femininity in an unforgettable way,” Neal says. “Every piece she shows is a piece you don’t want to miss seeing in person.”



Your Concise Guide to Frieze Week 2015

Inside the Frieze Tent at Frieze New York 2014 (photo by Jillian Steinhauer for Hyperallergic)

Have you finally recovered from Armory Week? Are you ready to do it all again? Too bad, because it’s Frieze Week in New York City! This year’s lineup features one exhibition and eight fairs — three of which are making their New York debuts — spread between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Randall’s Island, where Frieze New York and its 200 exhibitors await. For those trying to make sense of it all, here is our primer on all the fairs, including notable special projects, talks, performances, and panels.

Also, don’t forget to follow Hyperallergic on Instagram for pics from the fairs all week.


 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

When: May 15–17 / Friday, Saturday: 12–8pm; Sunday: 12–6pm ($10)
Where: Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

Far and away the most interesting addition to this year’s Frieze Week lineup, the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair is bringing 15 galleries either based in Africa or that specialize in African contemporary art to Pioneer Works. Among the former will be Art Twenty One from Lagos, Afronova from Johannesburg, and Marrakech’s VOICE Gallery.

The London-based fair’s first New York outing also includes an impressive schedule of panels and talks, among them a discussion between artists Hank Willis Thomas and Lyle Ashton Harris on the importance of the term “diaspora” to their practices (May 15, 4:15pm) and a panel on the importance of “cultural specific curating” at major institutions that will feature Christa Clarke from the Newark Museum, Thomas J. Lax from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and Franklin Sirmans from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (May 16, 1:15pm).

Art Miami New York

When: May 14–17 / Thursday: 5–9pm; Friday, Saturday: 12–8pm; Sunday: 12–6pm ($25)
Where: Pier 94 (55th Street and West Side Highway, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan)

If you’re experiencing Armory Week withdrawal and looking for an excuse to trek back to the Hudson River piers, Art Miami New York — which boasts the most geographically confusing art fair name since Paris Photo Los Angeles — is the fair for you. It is bringing 100 galleriesto Pier 94, most of them from Europe and North America, as well as a handful of outliers from Uruguay (Piero Atchugarry), Bogota (Galería Casa Cuadrada), Hong Kong (AP Contemporary), and elsewhere.

Art Miami New York’s schedule of talks and panels will be particularly compelling for those interested in the art world’s commercial side. It includes a talk by collector and art financier Asher Edelman on the use of art in real estate developments (May 15, 3pm) and a panel on art collector faux pas (May 16, 3pm).

Collective Design

When: May 13–17 / Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 11am–8pm; Friday: 11am–9pm; Sunday: 11am–5pm ($25)
Where: Skylight Clarkson Sq (550 Washington Street, West Village, Manhattan)

A presentation at the 2014 Collective Design fair (photo by Sarah Archer for Hyperallergic)

Frieze Week’s lone design fair — whose “design council” features designers, architects, and Oscar-winner Julianne Moore — Collective Design boasts 29 galleries specializing in everything from 20th century modern furniture (New York’s BAC and Stockholm’s Modernity), jewelry (New Jersey’s Gallery Loupe and Hudson’s Ornamentum), Mexican modernism (ADN Galería), silver (Madrid’s Garrido Gallery), and modern and contemporary children’s design (New York’s kinder MODERN).

The fair’s special programming includes an exhibition by the lighting designer Ingo Maurer, a special section devoted to Italian design and its global impact on the field, and a site-specific installation curated by Noguchi Museum Senior Curator Dakin Hart. Notable talks and tours include a walkthrough of the fair with Museum of Arts and Design director Glenn Adamson (May 14, 2pm), a talk on the function of nostalgia in contemporary jewelry design (May 16, 11:30am), and a panel on the intersections of craft and digital design (May 16, 4pm).

 Flux Art Fair

When: May 14–17 / Thursday–Saturday: 11am–8pm; Sunday: 11am–6pm ($20)
Where: Corn Exchange Building (81 East 125th Street, East Harlem, Manhattan)

Another one of this year’s Frieze Week newcomers, the Flux Art Fair foregoes galleries to match up artists and curators. Its inaugural lineup features 57 artists including Willie Cole, Lina Puerta, Sol Sax, Ai Campbell, Ivan Forde, and others. The curators include New York Foundation for the Arts’s David C. Terry, No Longer Empty founder and chief curator Manon Slome, and RaúI Zamudio, one of the co-curators of the 2013 El Museo del Barrio biennial.

 Frieze New York

When: May 14–17 / Thursday–Saturday: 11am–7pm; Sunday: 11am–6pm ($44)
Where: Randall’s Island Park (Randall’s Island)

With just under 200 galleries split into four sectors — the main fair, the Spotlight section for solo booths, the Frame section for galleries established since 2007 showing one artist’s work, and the Focus section for galleries founded in or since 2003 — Frieze New York is a monster fair. Luckily it is also sited on a verdant stretch of Randall’s Island inside an airy and bright tent and boasts the best food and drink options of any art fair this side of the Atlantic.

This year’s Projects program of site-specific interventions includes a recreation of the “Flux-Labyrinth,” a 200-foot-long labyrinth originally conceived by George Maciunas and other Fluxus artists in 1975, a subterranean environment by Samara Golden, and secret interrogation rooms peppered throughout the fair in which Aki Sasamoto will conduct personality tests on visitors. The highlight of the program of talks and panels is a discussion between Studio Museum in Harlem director Thelma Golden and outgoing Brooklyn Museum director Arnold Lehman (May 15, 4pm) in which they’ll attempt to answer the question: “Whom do museums serve?”

NADA New York

When: May 14–17 / Thursday: 6–8pm; Friday, Saturday: 11am–7pm; Sunday: 11–5pm (free)
Where: Pier 36, Basketball City (299 South Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Looking down on NADA New York 2014 (photo by Hrag Vartanian for Hyperallergic)

The week’s second-biggest fair, NADA New York‘s 2015 edition features 106 exhibitors —76 of them with traditional booths, 30 of them presenting solo projects. In addition to the usual set of Lower East Side galleries (Nicelle Beauchene, Callicoon Fine Arts, Regina Rex, Essex Flowers, etc.) there will be plenty of out-of-towners, including Detroit’s What Pipeline, Rome’s UNOSUNOVE, Dubai’s Carbon 12, and Springsteen from Baltimore.

The fair’s lineup of talks and performances includes a lecture and slideshow by artist Joshua Smith titled “You inspire me with Your determination And I Love You, Tracey Emin!” (May 15, 2pm) and the intriguingly titled panel “Cloud Based Institutional Critique” with Orit Gat , Zachary Kaplan, and Mike Pepi (May 16, 12pm). Perhaps most intriguing, however, is Melissa Brown and Where’s project “Eyes in the Sky Hold ‘Em,” a high-stakes poker game to be held off-site and streamed live at the fair in which artists will wager their own works in a winner-takes-all Texas Hold ‘Em tournament.

Salon Zürcher

When: May 11–17 / Monday 5–8pm; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 12–8pm; Wednesday: 12–4pm; Sunday: 12–5pm (free)
Where: Zürcher Gallery (33 Bleecker Street, SoHo, Manhattan)

The 10th edition of the little fair that could, Salon Zürcher, features six galleries: Galerie L’Inlassable, Mathias Coullaud, and Isabelle Gounod from Paris; Cathouse FUNeral from Brooklyn; Amsterdam outfit The Merchant House; and hosts Zürcher Gallery. Expect a range of works and media, from an installation by Tim Simonds (courtesy Cathouse FUNeral) to paintings by Regina Bogat (from Zürcher Gallery), and drawings by Anne Deleporte (shown byGalerie L’Inlassable).

 Select Art Fair

When: May 14–17 / Thursday, Friday: 2–10pm; Saturday: 12–10pm; Sunday: 12–6pm ($20)
Where: Center 548 (548 West 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

The entrance to the 2014 Select Art Fair (photo via Hyperallergic/Instagram)

The Select Art Fair has come a long way and seems poised to make the jump to a major satellite fair this year with its impressive lineup of 44 galleries — 19 of which hail from Brooklyn and will occupy their own floor of the fair — extensive schedules of rooftop musical performances, talks, and performance art. And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, Rebecca Goyette’s “Dentata Umbrella Lounge” definitely will — metaphorically and actually.


When: May 13–17 / Wednesday–Sunday: 12–6pm (free)
Where: The Boiler (191 North 14th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Don’t call it a fair, Seven is a collaborative exhibition organized by seven New York City galleries — bitforms, Metro Pictures, Momenta Art, Pierogi, Postmasters, PPOW, and Ronald Feldman — under the title Anonymity, no longer an option. Surveillance-themed works on view include pieces by Addie Wagenknecht, Trevor Paglen, Suzanne Treister, and Katarzyna Kozyra, though the main attraction is undoubtedly “The Prison Ship Martyr’s Monument 2.0, AKA The Snowden Statue” (2015), the sculpture bust of Edward Snowden that was illegally installed in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park last month.

One thought on “Frieze Fair New York 2015: Images, Reports and reviews + Satellites

  1. First of all I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
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