Frieze New York Sparks a Frenzy

BY Katrina Kufer / May 2 2017 / 14:27 PM

The sixth edition of the contemporary art fair is the catalyst for a city-wide art invasion

Frieze New York Sparks a Frenzy
Image courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
Samson Young Stanley. Installation view. 2014. 15 C-prints on paper, neon sign, sand. 135 x 420 cm.

The totem around which revolves a frenzy of art market activity in the Big Apple, Frieze New York attracts over 200 exhibitors from 31 countries, their offerings complemented by a rich line-up of talks, commissions, prizes and events. But 2017 marks a change in the contemporary art landscape with a host of new events, and Frieze NY is the instigator.

New York has dubbed the fair and the plethora of satellite events ‘Frieze Week’, and this year the handful of days in early May will see 14 other fairs in addition to some blue-chip artist exhibitions joining the fray. SPRING/BREAK (with a focus on public art), Superfine! (a Miami import that showcases emerging talent), Asia Week New York Contemporary (itself a series of curated events) and the inaugural TEFAF New York Spring (for Modern art and design) are but a few of the new headliner events that will coincide with Frieze NY.

While most of the fairs are complimentary, filling specific niches, such as CONCEPTION from Miami, an exclusively women-owned and female artist showcase, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, or Cultural Traffic Print Publishing Arts Fair, a publisher’s fair which supports artist-activists, Frieze NY will have one serious competitor: TEFAF, which will now be showing contemporary pieces alongside its concentration on Masters works.

On offer at Frieze NY will be three special platforms and a new symposium in addition to its usual programming. Spotlight, curated by Toby Kamps, will expand to 31 galleries which present solo artist exhibitions that reveal key moments in art history since the 1960s through seminal figures as well as artists from emerging countries; Frame, under the helm of Jacob Proctor and Fabian Schoeneich, also increases in size to include 17 emerging experimental galleries from 13 countries; and Focus acts as a platform for young international galleries to showcase their programmes. The debuting symposium (5 May) is in collaboration with the Getty and the Institute of Fine Arts and will raise questions related to Latin American art and culture, indicating that the 2017 fair has a more pronounced international focus.

Additional highlights include the invitation of three non-profit art spaces (Donald Judd Foundation, SculptureCenter and White Columns) to exhibit, and the highly anticipated seven new commissions for Frieze Projects curated by Cecilia Alemani. The works by Dora Budor, Elaine Cameron-Weir and Jon Rafman, Giosetta Fioroni, Fabio Mauri, Ryan McNamara, and Adam Pendleton dive headfirst into the fine line between exhibitionism and voyeurism. “There isn’t a better place than the fair to look at people and art–and to be looked at in return,” said Alemani. The works include a secret movie theatre that combines amateur 3D animation and computer-generated erotica, encouraging visitors to watch other visitors (Rafman). However, Projects will pay particular tribute this year to the experimental 1968 Il Teatre delle Mostre exhibition in Rome, an appropriation of a ground-breaking art space which for its New York iteration will host a rotating programme of projects and sets the tone for the diverse performative and installation commissions throughout the fair.

Frieze New York runs 5-7 May at Randall’s Island Park, New York, USA. For more information visit