For a city that is used to having everything immediately and accessible, the trek to Randall’s Island for the first ever New York edition of the London Frieze Art Fair was a jarring start. However, all was forgiven upon arrival where Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover – organizer’s extraordinaire of Frieze – had managed to assemble a fair seemingly enjoyed by all the (usually jaded!) art world cognoscenti. The VIP preview on Thursday saw the usual crowd enjoying the well laid out booths and sneaking peeks at everyone around them; who was wearing and buying what. The 180 galleries showing were well chosen by Sharpe and Slotover, a good mix of established – hello David Zwirner – and some of the more interesting younger galleries, such as the Lower East Side’s James Fuentes. For those who were hungry there was pizza by the now legendary Brooklyn restaurant Roberta’s, as well as other New York favorites. And for those who were hungry and had no cash, Gavin Brown (of Gavin Brown’s enterprise) had seemingly quit his day job and spent Thursday in his booth cooking Bratwurst with his sous-chef and doppelganger, the actor Mark Ruffalo. SO-IL – a Brooklyn based architecture firm – designed the tent which was spacious and light-filled, allowing for a much nicer atmosphere than at similar fairs. Outside in the surrounding lawn was the Frieze Sculpture Park showing works by artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Christoph Büchel, who were some of the biggest names. For the younger/living generation, Berlin based artist Olaf Nicolai at Eigen & Art seems to be one to watch (in my humble opinion!), as does Bortolami Gallery’s Richard Aldrich. Overall, a big hats off to Frieze, we look forward to having you back again next year!
[Images from bloomberg.com]
[Images from nytimes.com]