Frieze kicks off a busy week of fairs around New York
Fresh out of New York Art Week, the only proper follow-up for the city’s art scene may be another whirlwind of fairs, openings, auctions and events – and the return of Frieze New York promises everything in abundance this week.
Main act is Frieze New York (May 18-22), with its ten-year edition of 65 exhibitors at The Shed. This year, Londoner Chic’s program focuses on giving back to the city’s cultural mosaic through collaborations with esteemed non-profits such as Artists Space, Printed Matter, Electronic Arts Intermix and AIR Gallery. “We have almost the same number of galleries as last year, but the important thing this year is that we are able to squeeze into the city,” explains Christine Messineo, the new director of the Frieze fairs in Los Angeles and New York.
She highlights AIR Gallery’s partnership with National Women’s Liberation for a project on the current attack on women’s freedom to make decisions about their own bodies. How to Perform an Abortion is an educational platform and exhibition that includes works by architect Kadambari Baxi and artists Maureen Connor and Landon Newton on reproductive rights, in line with AIR’s historic role as a champion of art and activism feminists.
In addition to exhibits and performances at partner nonprofits, Tom Burr’s Eight Places Project Eight renovations: a constellation of sites across Manhattan (1997) is revived with the addition of a ninth renovation to the Shed itself. A love song to the city’s ongoing transformation – highlighting changing or vanishing cultural and natural landmarks such as Central Park’s Ramble, a paradise for birds and cruisers – the poetic texts pasted on the panels construction sites commemorate the fleeting intersections of each site.
After eight editions on Randall’s Island, Frieze moved its New York lounge to The Shed last year with a social distancing test. In this year’s biggest release, the art will turn heads, pull smart phones and sting wallets. The parade of premier works from New York and around the world includes Pace Gallery’s solo performance of fresco paintings by Latifa Echakhch, alongside the Moroccan-born artist’s Swiss representation at the Biennale of Venice in progress. Another New York gallery solo stand is James Cohan with his exhibition of hypnotically densely colored paintings by Los Angeles-based Eamon Ore-Giron, whose Infinite Regression mixes golden hues on raw brown linen to harness the transcendent potential of abstraction beneath.
A sense of psychedelia also lingers in David Lewis’s group show stand with minimalist yet sultry floral paintings by Greg Parma Smith, Lynn Randolph’s bloody figurations with mythological bodies battling brutal octopuses, and the demure dreamscapes of Claire Lehmann with haunting bodies and crawling everyday objects. The 18-foot-tall bronze sculpture of a deity by Delhi-based artist Bharti Kher will land in Central Park this fall with the Public Art Fund, but for now, visit Perrotin’s stand for its broken mirror wall sculpture covered in bindi.
Other international attendees such as Thaddaeus Ropac, White Cube, Sadie Coles HQ, Gallery Hyundai and kurimanzutto will showcase the latest creations from their renowned artists, but the find is here in the Frame section of the fair. Dastan Gallery in Tehran exhibits The garden of desolation, an installation of works by Homa Delvaray, who draws on his training in graphic design to deconstruct and reformulate the imposed codes of language, shapes and colors. Yan Xinyue’s pastel-hued paintings at Capsule Shanghai’s booth in the same section capture the intricacies of urban femininity in the detail of a teardrop or haunting nightmare. Between the sales talk, last night’s party and the tables designed by Ettore Sottsass for Carol Bove’s steel sculptures at David Zwirner’s stand, the fatigue of the first day can be soothed at the installation of maestro Dobel , Artpothecary, dedicated to seminal Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta with contemporary furniture interpretations of his iconic design for the Camino Real Hotel in the 1970s – relax on one of the wicker chairs and sip tequila.
Energized again, head downtown for another old world export, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (May 19-22), which also has annual iterations in London and Marrakech. After several years at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn and one in Lower Manhattan, the sixth New York edition of the fair is deploying its 25 stands in the flowery decor of Harlem Parrish. Looking no further than the neighborhood’s vast cultural landscape for programming, the fair has partnered with Novella Ford, associate director of public programs and exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, to host a series of events. , including a talk with Harlem-born textile artist Dindga McCannon about the historic collective of women artists, Where We At Black Women Artists Inc.
The early 20th-century church and event space has had many lives, including as a studio for Julie Mehretu and the venue for the Performa performance art biennial. According to the organizer of the fair, Touria El Glaoui, the place is perfectly suited to the programming of 1-54.
“Harlem was my original plan when I first brought the fair to New York, and we’re finally here,” she says, adding that her long-term plans include a partnership with the soon-to-reopen Studio Museum. in Harlem and a VIP collector. program focused on artists’ studios and neighborhood organizations. In addition to six New York galleries, including Fridman Gallery, Harlem’s Long Gallery and a joint stand between Andrew Kreps and Richard Saltoun Galleries, international presenters include Jason Shin from South Korea and Hafez Gallery from Saudi Arabia.
Accra and London-based Gallery 1957, a 1-54 staple, dedicates its solo stand to Amsterdam-based Ghanaian painter Lord Ohene’s lush figurative paintings of African youth. The recent wave of interest in contemporary African figuration will complement the fair’s in-person return, providing visitors with a more accurate understanding of artists’ painterly textures. “A few years ago, collectors questioned our prices,” says El Glaoui, “but now they are jumping on opportunities with young African artists.”
Basel Fair Volta (May 18-22) returns to New York for its 14th edition, with over 50 galleries taking over the building at 548 West 22nd Street that once housed the Dia Art Foundation. The fair occupies a mid-market niche in contrast to Frieze’s focus on blue-chip heavyweights, bringing an international selection of galleries from an often vulnerable sector of the art market. A quick stroll through the aisles includes stops at Istanbul’s Anna Laudel, which features images of homoerotic male rituals by New York-based Turkish photographer Sarp Kerem Yavuz and sculptures by Ardan Özmenoğlu; Tokyo’s UG Gallery featuring Kunihiko Nohara’s whimsical carved-wood human sculptures; and Beirut’s Nadine Fayad Art Gallery, whose presentation is dedicated to the character representations of founding Lebanese painter Raouf Rifai in turbulent settings. Among the local participants, Daniel Cooney Fine Arts, based in Chelsea, presents the pastels and romantic drawings of Richard Haines; The Leilah Heller Gallery exhibits the surreal transhistorical architectural paintings of Iranian-Egyptian artist Parinaz Gharagozlou.
The oldest fair of the week, the photography fair (May 19-22), got a location update in its 41st run, landing at Center415 in Midtown. The 49 participating galleries, representing nine countries, are members of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), and their presentations cover the different pillars of the medium, from portraiture to photojournalism. Michal Chelbin’s piercing shots of young Ukrainians staring at the camera in military gear at ClampArt’s booth and Oye Diran’s colorful shot of three black babysitters in 1960s fashion with Atlanta’s Arnika Dawkins Gallery are among of the first category. The Howard Greenberg Gallery showcases photojournalism in Baldwin Lee’s black-and-white photographs of the American South throughout his 2,000-mile road trip in the 1980s.
The photography fair will also take place downtown thanks to AIPAD’s collaboration with the International Center of Photography for the annual ICP Photobook Festival at the new ICP site at 79 Essex Street. The two-day event (May 21-22) will see independent photo book publishers and photographers showcasing their latest work.
Frieze’s Messineo draws a parallel between the late 1990s, when Burr first created his citywide art project, and the present moment as the city goes through another transformation in the wake of the pandemic. recognize the vibrancy of the city’s cultural landscape with its non-profit organizations and social landmarks,” she adds.