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Frieze New York is the first art fair to return to the city

Written by Daniel Cassady

This article was originally published by The Art Newspaper, an editorial partner of CNN Style.
Beginning in late March last year, restrictions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced every New York art fair to be canceled. Now we’re making a cautious comeback – Frieze New York (May 5-9), the first in-person, one-location fair to be held in the city since The Armory Show in 2020. The fair has abandoned its plans to host the Randall’s Island event – a chore to get from anywhere – instead moving to The Shed, a nonprofit cultural institution in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. Rebecca Ann Siegel, Director of Americas and Content at Frieze, said: “The Shed was designed for flexibility, both in its architecture and programming, which made it the best partner for this year.”

The fair will have just over 60 exhibitors (mostly based in the US), down from the usual 190. Safety precautions are strict: all visitors will need to show proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test or full vaccination, and a team will be on site for the duration of the event. And it won’t be cheap to visit – tickets (which are all sold out) ranged from $ 265 for early bird tickets, preview tickets to $ 80- $ 90 for general admission.

Frieze’s regular special section, Frame, will return, featuring solo performances by emerging artists with galleries under 10 years old.

“It’s amazing, you are on a par with more established, not hidden galleries,” said Sam Gordon, co-founder of Gordon Robichaux Gallery, who participated in Frame in 2019, and will present this year the work of New York artist Otis Houston Jr. “Many of us did not think [Frieze] would happen, but it’s on. Collectors seem excited, almost eager to get back there. “

Sean Kelly, founder of Sean Kelly Gallery, anticipates a busy week. “There is such a pent-up desire to be able to see the work in person. My biggest concern is whether anyone will be able to come in,” Kelly said. “Frieze went beyond the structure to run this fair and get people in and out safely.” Kelly applauds the show for leaving Randall’s Island, which, he said, “no one was really happy.” He added: “They have moved to an exciting area, to an exciting building.”

Top image: The hangar in New York.


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