Frieze New York
We’re quite happy with our footprint,’ says Christine Messineo, director of Frieze Americas. Before the pandemic, Frieze New York was something of a behemoth, with 190 galleries cramming in to a big white tent on Randall’s Island in 2019. Now, for the third year running, the fair returns looking considerably trimmer, with just under 70 exhibitors setting up their stall at the Shed, the culture centre designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro at Hudson Yards.
But if quality over quantity continues to be the order of the day, there has been a subtle shift of emphasis for this year’s fair. All but one of eight first-time participants hail from abroad. As a result, the fair has more of an international feel than recent editions – and for Messineo, this ‘global presence’ has been a priority.
The newcomers include Silverlens from the Philippines, Whistle from Seoul, Neu Alte Brücke from Frankfurt and, from London, Arcadia Missa, Emalin and Tiwani Contemporary. The latter, taking part in the Focus section dedicated to young galleries, brings a display of works by the young painter Emma Prempeh, the surfaces of whose fabulously rendered, earthy portraits and interiors are brought to life by the use of gold leaf. From Belo Horizonte in Brazil, Mitre Galeria presents a booth dedicated to the light artist Marcos Siqueira.
Still, the fair is also keen to maintain close links with its host city. For Messineo, the big difference between Frieze Los Angeles – which she also oversees – and the New York edition is that ‘in LA, we essentially create a canvas for art. In New York, the canvas is the whole city.’ Exhibitors from Chelsea and Tribeca include stalwarts such as Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, which presents a group show focusing on the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, with works by artists including Louise Nevelson, Betye Saar and Magdalena Abakanowicz, all created in 1973. Meanwhile, Sprüth Magers has partnered with Karma Gallery, based in the East Village, for a solo presentation of works by Pamela Rosenkranz, marking the recent unveiling of the artist’s vast pink tree on the High Line.
The Frieze Artadia Prize also launches this year. It offers an artist based in New York the chance to realise a large-scale commission at the fair; Jessica Vaughn is the first recipient, and her work The Internet of Things is a canny update on the tradition of mail art – Vaughn sent off a flurry of letters to locations including offices in Silicon Valley, Disney World and Prospect Park, each intentionally mislabelled so that they returned to her bearing the marks of their passage through the postal system. With the images of these missives printed on linen and canvas, the resulting work, Vaughn says, is a ‘revisioning of the traditions of landscape painting’. It is also a fitting symbol for the balance between the far-flung and the local that the fair is hoping to strike.
Frieze New York takes place at the Shed from 17–21 May.
Bilal Hakan Karakaya: Invisible Cities
Until 21 May
Anna Laudel, Istanbul
Taking his title from Italo Calvino’s novel, Bilal Hakan Karakaya presents an array of similarly fantastical sculpted metropolises. Fashioned from bronze, aluminium and stone, some rise from the ground, some dangle from the ceiling as though suspended on a comet and others protrude from the gallery walls. The Turkish artist has described them as a ‘modern-day equivalent of medieval darkness’.
Shani Rhys James at 70
Until 19 May
Connaught Brown, London
The figures in Shani Rhys James’s paintings seem both vivacious, but also plagued by fear and doubt – as demonstrated by the self-portrait Red Beret (1991), which shows the artist ruddy-cheeked, in paint-spattered overalls and staring intently back at the viewer. This painting is a highlight of Connaught Brown’s show, a rare London outing for the Welsh painter that has been organised in celebration of her 70th birthday.
Picture This: Photorealism 1966–1985, pt. 1
Until 20 May
Waddington Custot, London
This is the first exhibition in London dedicated to the Photorealism movement in 50 years. By basing their paintings on photographs, artists like Richard Estes, Richard McLean and John Baeder depicted the world at a remove, conjuring up a cool modernity that was radically at odds with Abstract Expressionism. Favourite subjects included diners, billboards and other symbols of consumerism.
Bonnard: The Experience of Seeing
Until 26 May
Acquavella, New York
The Post-Impressionist who liked to draw his viewers’ eyes to the margins of his paintings is centre stage in this display, which brings together 20 loans from museums and private collections. Focusing on Bonnard’s final three decades – much of which were spent on the Riviera, which instilled his palette with new luminosity – the show includes landscapes, nudes, still lifes and the meditative interiors that are perhaps the painter’s hallmark.
Fairs in focus
1–54 Contemporary African Art Fair
Malt House, New York
For its largest New York edition to date, the fair dedicated to art from Africa and its diaspora welcomes 26 galleries to a new venue with considerably more exhibition space: the Malt House, a recent addition to the Manhattanville Factory District. More than half of the exhibitors are participating in 1–54 New York for the first time, while more than a third have galleries based in Africa. Newcomers include, from Lagos, Wunika Mukan Gallery and DADA Gallery, and from Abidjan, LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery which brings photographs by the Senegalese artist Alun Be. Work by more than 60 artists will be on show.
The environmental impact of art fairs has been hotly debated for some time – and it’s a topic this German fair has decided to tackle head on, with everything from reusable carpeting to works of art made from recycled materials. In total, 207 galleries are taking part this year.