During the first week of May, the annual Frieze Art Fair was back in New York City with a lot less pomp than usual. The Frieze Art Fair in NYC happens to be one of my favorite art shows. They also sponsor a show in Los Angeles, London and now Seoul. The Frieze Art Fair features an extensive list of local and international contemporary art galleries, and commissioned artists’ projects, as well as a variety of art education forums and a magazine.
This year it was not held at New York’s Randall’s Island since the number of galleries was down to about 1/3 and mostly US based. International galleries were missing and clearly the difference was apparent as much of the art work was not as diverse or excitingly. Restrictions to get in were by appointment and required having a recent COVID test or being vaccinated. The weather was cold and rainy. The cost was also painful at $80-$90 per person… yet it sold out. I am happy to say I got in free!
This year the Art Fair was held at the newly built Shed at Hudson Yards. If you are wondering what is the Shed? It is this amazing dynamic architectural space consisting of 170,000 square feet. A Visual Arts and Performing Art Center capable of expanding and adapting to every possible cultural venue both indoor and outdoor. I linked a video here on what the Shed can do. No doubt, another competitor in the marketplace competing with museums and small/large theaters. The Randall Island’s layout is far more appealing than the Shed.
What about the Art?
The theme of the show this year was a tribute to “Vision and Justice “— allowing galleries to showcase artists who’s works relate to the theme. Frankly, I did not see many works that I felt truly reflected the theme but then it’s not always that easy to interpret the minds of artists. The goal was to prompt in the minds of artists and the audience “How are the arts responsible for disrupting, complicating, or shifting narratives of visual representation in the public realm?” I found this a bit confusing as it is clear to me that art has always been historically disruptive. It’s what drives so many of us to attend museums and art shows. Regardless, I applaud efforts by the Art World to be more inclusive in bring forward issues that affect society and that open doors for emerging artists.
The art works were not that plentiful with only 60 galleries exhibiting. I can’t say I was WOW by much of the works although many were sold. Also, the ambiance was a bit muted and less noisy due in part to mask wearing which made the event less engaging. It’s just hard to have a conversation with anyone wearing a mask all day.
My photos as usual represent works that I found curious, interesting and some that I liked. As always, I can never resist taking photos of NY fashionistas although this year there was not as many as in previous shows most likely due to the gloomy weather. If you are interested in attending art fairs when planning your travels in the US or Europe click here to access list of 2021-2022 Art Fairs.
Click the center of the photo to see the full view.
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