Frieze New York has, for the past six years since it set up camp on Randall Park Island, reigned supreme over its own ‘week’ in early May. But this year for the first time it has some real competition in the form of the inaugural TEFAF New York Spring (4-8 May), the second spin off from the long-established Dutch original in Maastricht, following the first TEFAF New York Fall in October 2016.
While the Fall event focused on pre-20th century art and antiques, so no competition to Frieze’s contemporary crown, the spring edition is solely concentrated upon Modern and Contemporary art. Its location in the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side is more undoubtedly central than Frieze (although the building is often derided as decrepit) and in its first year, TEFAF New York Spring has attracted an impressive list of the international contemporary art heavyweights. Many of them are also regular Frieze exhibitors, who have never thought to travel to the remote Southern Netherlands to exhibit in Maastricht. The fair is around half the size of Frieze at 92 exhibitors, but they include such blue-chip names as Acquavella Galleries, Di Donna, Hauser & Wirth, Paul Kasmin, Sean Kelly, Eykyn Maclean, Helly Nahmad, Lisson Gallery, Galerie Perrotin, White Cube and David Zwirner.
Zone Riflesse (detail). Paolo Scheggi. Courtesy of Tornabuoni Arte
To say that the fair shows just Modern and Contemporary art and design is not strictly correct; as with events such as Frieze Masters in London, other fields that are complementary to this and attract a similar collector (the ‘crossover buyer’ as they are known in the trade) are also included, albeit in smaller numbers. Namely African and Oceanic art and antiquities, alongside design led jewellery, from exhibitors such as Charles Ede and Cahn International AG (antiquities), Galerie Meyer Oceanic Art and Didier Ltd, the latter with artist jewellery.
There’s also some tipping into the 19th century, such as the very earliest incarnations of photography by the likes of William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron on the stand of specialist Hans P. Kraus.
A highlight will be London based Dickinson’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ground-breaking Dutch movement De Stijl, which encompassed art, architecture and design. The gallery dedicates its stand to paintings inspired by De Stijl principles, among them Yves Klein, Paul Klee, Josef Albers and Lucio Fontana. Another booth themed around a great art movement of the 20th century is that of Di Donna Gallery who focus on gastronomy focused works by Surrealist masters such as Magritte and Dali.
For more information see tefaf.com