Frieze New York is the first in-person, one-venue art fair to return to the city. It's a very different beast from its previous iterations and, as the first major art fair to take place in the midst of the pandemic, it can offer some invaluable insights into how the art fair model has and will continue to change going forward.
First off, it's a lot easier to get to this year: Organizers have abandoned Randall’s Island for The Shed — a non-profit cultural institution in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. The programming has also been scaled down, with just over 60 exhibitors compared to the usual 190.
It will be a much more spacious affair, too. According to the Visitor Information guidelines, Frieze has introduced new measures to aid social distancing. Visitors will also need to present a letter of proof of a negative test or of full vaccination.
This year's fair pays tribute to the Vision and Justice Project, which explores the central role of images and art in a democracy. Artists, public programs, and exhibitions explore the central role of images and art in a democracy. This question is not just as one section of the fair, but as an overarching and unifying theme.
Frieze New York kicks off today, May 5, and runs until the 9th. Join the waiting list here and scroll for everything you need to know about the artists and the galleries exhibiting at the prestigious art fair.
Works we're checking out
One thing remains the same — Frame is an absolute must-see. Presented by galleries under 10 years old, Frieze's special section of solo exhibitions by emerging artists is one of the best ways to discover new talent. Standouts this year include Olga Balema’s installation, painting by Zeinab Saleh, and Otis Houston Jr.’s sculpture.
Elsewhere, look out for Dana Lok (Clima, booth FR7), Ina Archer (Microscope Gallery, booth FR2), Karon Davis (Wilding Cran Gallery, booth FR4), Henrique Pavão (Galeria Bruno Múrias, booth FR10), and Douglas Rieger (Helena Anrather/Capsule Shanghai, booth FR8).
Stepping outside, The Looking Glass curated by Acute Art’s artistic director Daniel Birnbaum and The Shed’s chief curator Emma Enderby is a large exhibition of augmented reality works presented in The Shed and the public area surrounding the building. The first chapter of this expanding exhibition, which opens today, presents works by Precious Okoyomon, Cao Fei, and KAWS. Invisible to the naked eye, they appear as real as the environment around them once captured through a camera.
Events you won't want to miss
You'll obviously want to mark your calendars for Sneakers And The Luxury Market. Join Highsnobiety's former Editorial Director, Jian DeLeon, and his panel of sneaker enthusiasts and experts, including stylist Matthew Henson, streetwear influencer and founder of Mission Chinese Food and The Mission Burger, Danny Bowien, and stylist Aleali May as they discuss how sneakers and sportswear are shaping the luxury market.
On the events schedule, it doesn't get bigger than Thursday's conversation between Ava DuVernay, Carrie Mae Weems, Franklin Leonard, Theaster Gates, and Wynton Marsalis as they pay tribute the Vision & Justice Project. Register here to watch it online.
The Museum of Modern Art’s Forum on Contemporary Photography pays tribute to Carrie Mae Weems in a two-hour discussion featuring Thelma Golden, among others, during which they talk about the impact of the artist on contemporary culture.
Don't miss Brandice Henderson, the founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row, in conversation with Condé Nast's Khalia Braxton, Sacsha Flowers, and designer Trey Denis to discuss the future of fashion at 5 Carlos Place on Thursday, May 8.
What we're skipping
Art:LIVE in Collaboration with Deutsche Bank, because no one asked for a bank-affiliated “intimate talk with Marina Abramovic in her NYC loft” reflecting on ‘Reflect, Refocus, Reset.’