Frieze enterprise co-founder Amanda Sharp was enquired a few of years ago by the press, with: “What distinguishes the Frieze from any other art fair?” her straight and simple answer said it all: “It’s Cutting-Edge, [stupid]”. The British born and bred art fair is this year already celebrating its 10th anniversary edition, starting in 2003 as an offspring of Frieze magazine, also published by Sharp and co-founder Matthew Slotover. The fair’s accelerated success briskly grew into one of the most important art events on the global calendar, contending with Art Basel and Armory. In less than a week’s time, the very first edition of Frieze New York (FNY) will cut its inaugural ribbon on Randall’s Island to roll in the four-day art extravaganza. Some news sources have so far depicted Frieze New York as another ‘British invasion’, a tale supported by Sharp and Slotover’s recent OBE (Officers of the Order of British Empire) appointment by the Queen, at the very start of 2012. The real question is: How will Frieze shake up New York’s existing art establishment?
Work of one of Frieze Projects’ artists, Ulla von Brandenburg. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Projects NY.
Under a white tent designed by Brooklyn based architect SO-IL, FNY will accommodate just over 180 galleries from 30 different countries, including the usual powerhouses such as Gagosian, White Cube, Victoria Miro, Maureen Paley, David Zwirner, (Pace is absent) and a gathering of Frieze debutants: Miguel Abreu, Catriona Jefferies, Tang Contemporary, Triple Canopy, White Columns and many more. FNY sees the return of many sporadic attendees like Art : Concept, Metro Pictures and James Cohan, as well as improvements on its floor layout into segmented gallery categories. These span from Galleries, the new Focus section (for spaces opened after 2001) and Frame comprising 20 young art venues hosting solo presentations, plus Frieze Projects curated by Cecilia Alemani, who commissioned artists John Ahearn, Uri Aran, Latifa Echakhch, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Ulla von Brandenburg and many more. The exterior Sculpture Park will show new pieces by James Angus, Rathin Barman, Christoph Büchel, Ernesto Neto, Tomás Saraceno and existing works by Louise Bourgeois, Joshua Callaghan, Subodh Gupta, and Ryan Gander to name just a few. Much excitement and anticipation is buzzing for Frieze New York in the wake of its imminent opening, even more so than its London counterpart simply because of its unprecedentedness. We will have to wait and see if the new territory will work out for Frieze. In the meantime, the sheer ambition of it all is newsworthy. M-KOS will be on location to feedback on FNY soon.
Frieze New York promo. Soundtrack by Martin Creed. Courtesy Frieze Art Fair
*Can’t see the video? Click here, you can watch this on Frieze New York website.
Frieze New York
Randall’s Island, New York
4–7 May 2012
Frieze Art Fair Electrifies New York [Wall Street Journal]
London Frieze braves backlash to fly the flag of British culture in Manhattan [The Guardian]
Frieze Art Fair Is Coming to Randall’s Island! So How the Hell Do You Get There? [Gallerist NY]
Art heaven at Hell’s Gate [Financial Times]
The fair phenomenon [Financial Times]
Can Frieze New York Reshape The US Art Market [Artlyst]
Occupy Wall Street joins protests against Frieze New York [The Arts Newspaper]
Frieze: ‘We Are Not in a Labor Dispute’[Gallerist NY]