Events

Art Rx: Your Concise Guide to Frieze NY Art Week

by Hrag Vartanian on May 6, 2014

Frieze

Aerial shot of Frieze New York (2013) (via so-il.org)

Art fair fever is about to hit NYC (again), and this year’s Frieze New York Art Week promises to be the biggest yet.

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With 11 art fairs and dozens of events (including smaller art-fair-like exhibitions) happening all weekend, we went to work trying to summarize all there is to do in NYC. All fairs and events, with the exception of Frieze, which tops our list for obvious reasons, are listed in order of their opening date.

Also, don’t forget to follow Hyperallergic on Instagram for pics from the fairs throughout the week.

Art Fairs

 Frieze New York

When: Friday, May 9–Monday, May 12 ($43)
Where: Randall’s Island Park (Randall’s Island, Manhattan)

There’s something very luxurious about visiting Frieze. Located on Randall’s Island, Frieze and its designer tent slither on the coastline like a double-headed serpent ready to eat the art world alive. Its well-chosen foodie amenities (Blue Bottle Coffee, Court Street Grocers, Furanku, Frankies Spuntino, Marlow & Sons, Mission Cantina, Momofuku Milk Bar, Roberta’s,  and The Fat Radish), its spacious booths, and its bucolic setting will all give you a feeling that you’re on a mini urban vacation.

Whether you arrive by taxi, car, bike, foot, or ferry (all options), you will be able to see art by 190+ of the world’s most elite art galleries (Gagosian, Zwirner, Lisson … ) and experience sticker shock when you ask about prices.

Pro tip: it takes a lot longer to get to the fair than you might expect, so plan accordingly.

 The Satellite Show

When: Wednesday, May 7–Sunday, May 11 (FREE)
Where: RePop Room (527 West 29th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Hyperallergic Weekend’s Edward M. Gómez gave us a small preview of this salon-style fair:

… the Satellite Show will present works by both self-taught and trained art-makers … the Satellite Show aims to deliver a dose of fresh attitude … don’t expect elitist categories of VIP “guests” and overpriced flutes of champagne. That the Webb Gallery of Waxahachie, Texas, near Dallas, will be taking part in the Satellite Show says a lot about its anticipated vibe. Dealers Bruce and Julie Webb are well-known in the folk art and outsider art fields for showing everything from carnival banners and fraternal-lodge paraphernalia to the self-taught painter Ike E. Morgan’s portraits of U.S. presidents, rendered with icing-thick brushstrokes.

 Collective 2 Design Fair

When: Thursday, May 8–Sunday, May 11 ($25)
Where: Skylight at Moynihan Station (360 West 33rd Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, Westside, Manhattan)

It’s becoming more commonplace for design fairs to commingle with art fairs, so there’s nothing out of the ordinary about Collective 2‘s promise of high-end luxury design curated by a “collective” of leading designers, curators, collectors, and others. Thirty-seven galleries and companies are participating, and if I had $50,000 to drop on a dining table, I’d probably make sure to stop by. Though, to be fair (pardon the pun), I will probably stop by anyway since there will be so much eye candy on display.

 Contemporary Art Fair NYC

When: Thursday, May 8–Sunday, May 11 ($20)
Where: The Tunnel (269 11th Avenue, between West 27th & 28th Streets, Chelsea, Manhattan)

What distinguishes the Contemporary Art Fair NYC from the others is its focus on independent artists without gallery representation and encouragement of the blurring of boundaries between art and craft (a no-no for many more conservative venues). Seventy-five artists will be exhibiting paintings, sculptures, furniture, glass, ceramics, digital media, and everything in between at this new location for the fair. I think the best advice is to bring a sense of adventure.

Art work or ad? Could be both. (via Cutlog)

Art work or ad? Could be both. (via Cutlog)

 Cutlog

When: Thursday, May 8–Sunday, May 11($15 adults, $10 students and seniors)
Where: The Clemente (107 Suffolk Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

I like Cutlog because it’s a jumble of art, booths, and galleries. This year the fair seems to be keeping its slightly punk attitude and planting itself in the midst of the city’s Lower East Side gallery scene. There’s good stuff on view, but the curatorial strategy of mixing it all together means you usually have to look a bit harder to spot the gems — but don’t worry, they’re there.

 Downtown Art Fair

When: Thursday, May 8–Sunday, May 11 ($20)
Where: Downtown Armory (68 Lexington Avenue, Gramercy Park, Manhattan)

The people behind Art Miami have slowly been making their presence known in the New York area, and this is their latest project. The Downtown Art Fair will be hosting 51 galleries showing a wide range of contemporary art. The fact that it’s only 10 blocks away from the ferry landing for Frieze will definitely be an advantage for this brand-new fair.

Pro tip: This fair is in the midst of Little India, so try not to leave without trying one of the many inexpensive (for NYC standards) restaurants in the area.

 Outsider Art Fair

Richard C. Smith, “Time Bearer” (2013), found wood, 17 in tall (courtesy of Henry Boxer Gallery, London)

Richard C. Smith, “Time Bearer” (2013), found wood, 17 in tall (courtesy of Henry Boxer Gallery, London)

When: Thursday, May 8–Sunday, May 11 ($20)
Where: Center 548 (548 West 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

A breath of fresh air in the art fair circuit, the Outsider Art Fair this year will feature 48 exhibitors from around the world, including Yukiko Koide, the director of Japan’s leading gallery in the outsider art field. Other notable inclusions are several of A.G. Rizzoli’s fantasy architectural drawings, which were on view in last year’s Venice Biennale, presented by Ames Gallery; ballpoint-ink-on-paper drawings by the Iranian artist Mehrdad Rashid; a self-contained exhibition of drawings (curated by Christopher Byrne, a writer, curator, and co-founder of the Dallas Art Fair) by New Zealand’s Susan Te Kahurangi King, a middle-aged woman who does not speak; and the futuristic fantasy worlds of French artist Marcel Storr that can look like Angkor Wat temples on steroids.

 Pulse Art Fair

When: Thursday, May 8–Sunday, May 11($20)
Where: The Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

If an art fair were trying to replicate the department store experience, then it would look a lot like Pulse. Pleasant, welcoming, and easy to navigate, Pulse Art Fair has a full range of galleries (classic conservative to edgy upstart), great location (central Chelsea), and not too many exhibitors (51).

Pro tip: The Rubin Museum of Art is only a block away, so if you have some time to spare, I suggest you visit.

 Select Art Fair

When: Thursday, May 8–Sunday, May 11($15)
Where: Select Art Fair (135 West 18th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

I’m going to be honest. I wasn’t a fan of Select’s Miami incarnation in a hotel, but I’m hoping its great location in Manhattan (the Altman Building, which is next door to Pulse) will help them put on a better show. Mostly indie galleries (44 booths) with a strong lowbrow and street art flavor, Select Art Fair has a lot of potential; I only hope they realize it this time.

 NADA

When: Friday, May 9–Sunday, May 11 (FREE)
Where: Pier 36 at Basketball City (299 South Street on the East River, Lower East Side Manhattan)

The entrance to NADA New York 2013 (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

The entrance to NADA New York 2013 (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

I think the NADA Art Fair loves to make people suffer. Perhaps it’s part of the “too-cool-for-school” thing they love to cultivate? In Miami, they force people to trek way up to a god-forsaken part of Miami Beach, and in New York they have been holding court in a basketball complex by the East River (yes, it’s as random as it sounds but a great space). This nonprofit art fair always has good art but also a lot of crappy art, too (usually made of stuff you find in 99-cent stores or dumpsters). Some of my favorite galleries are at this fair (Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, Callicoon Fine Arts, Blackston … ).

Beyond the Fairs

 Seven / Video

When: Friday, May 2–Sunday, May 11 (FREE)
Where: Pierogi Boiler (191 North 14th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

SevenVideoA collaborative video exhibition put on by seven galleries (Bitforms, Postmasters, PPOW, Ronald Feldman, David Castillo, Momenta, and, of course, Pierogi), Seven prides itself on presenting artworks on their own merit, without the in-your-face branding of contemporary galleries. Featuring works by Rafaël Rozendaal, Rico Gatson, Daniel Canogar, Kate Gilmore, and others, this (rather large) one-room show is surely worth stopping by.

Pro tip: You’re in Williamsburg, so there’s a plethora of restaurants and bars to explore. My suggestion is the Wythe Hotel for a taste of the new culinary culture brewing here, and if it’s a Saturday, definitely check out Smorgasburg on the waterfront.

The entrance to one of the main buildings at the Mana Contemporary complex (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

The entrance to one of the main buildings at the Mana Contemporary complex (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

 Hot House

When: Thursday, May 8–Sunday, May 11
Where: 418 East 115th Street, Harlem, Manhattan

Hot House is an exhibition of works by over 40 artists in a four-story townhouse in Spanish Harlem. Right across the river from Randall’s Island, the press release for the show states that the “works are arranged by function as opposed to context or content” in a bid to shake up the traditional curatorial criteria by which art is displayed and presented. Let’s find out what this is all about.

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 Greenpoint Gallery Night

When: Friday, May 9, 7–10pm
Where: Various locations

I love Greenpoint Gallery Night because it reminds me why local gallery events are always the best. Lots of interesting surprises, fun and relaxed parties, and new spaces, including a few you’ve probably never heard of. This time out I’m looking forward to Ivin Ballen at Bunker259, Caroline Paquita at Booklyn Artists Alliance, Game Show at Fowler Project Space, and Jon-Paul Villegas at Dose Projects.

Pro tip: Paulie Gee’s pizza is a great place to eat. Just be warned that waits can be long on a Friday night.

 NYC X Design

When: Friday, May 9–Tuesday, May 20 (select events ticketed)
Where: Various locations

NYC X Design begins this week, and while the design-centric citywide festival continues past Frieze, it’s something you should have on your radar. From architecture to theater costumes, from graphic design to furniture, this wide-ranging open festival (anyone can submit an event for inclusion) has something for everyone.

 Kara Walker at the Domino Sugar Factory

When: Saturday, May 10–Sunday, July 6 (open Friday and weekends only)
Where: Domino Sugar Factory (316 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

The Domino Sugar Factory, formally a repository for raw sugar, will be home to artist Kara Walker’s first major public art project, “A Subtlety” (2014). Anything but subtle, Walker’s towering sculpture of a sphinx-like figure, comprised of over 160,000 pounds of sugar and a polystyrene core, powers critical associations with race, economy, and empire. The event also presents an opportunity to explore the factory structure prior to its partial demolishment and conversion to offices, apartments, and stores. This is pure spectacle.

 Bushwick/Ridgewood Late Night

When: Saturday, May 10, until 9pm
Where: Various locations

Another local gallery event, though this one is larger than the Greenpoint night, some of the 50+ galleries now in the Bushwick/Ridgewood area will be opening their doors for this special Saturday night. Bedford + Bowery has the full list of the participating spaces, but my suggestion is (and trust me, it’s hard to pick) to check out Interstate Projects, Theodore Art, and Transfer.

 Mana Exposition

When: Saturday, May 10–Friday, August 1 (FREE) (Mon-Fri, 11am-5pm)
Where: 888 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey

If you haven’t been to Mana Contemporary yet, prepare to be wowed. This humongous complex is a mini-city of art. Sure, you have to be adventurous to visit (it’s in Jersey City), but if you make the trip, you can check out the brand new Glass Gallery building, which features a 30,000-square-foot former warehouse converted to a gallery space and designed by world-renowned architect Richard Meier. The inaugural exhibition, All the Best Artists Are My Friends (Part 1), is curated by Ray Smith.

 Russian Pavilion

When: Through Friday, May 18, 12–6pm (FREE)
Where: Erarta Galleries (1043 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

If you want something off the beaten path, then try this. The Russian Pavilion is a juried exhibition showcasing emerging and established artists from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Baltic regions. This version includes the work of 27 artists.

Pro tip: You’re very close to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum, so why not stop by the Whitney Biennial or Dan Graham’s roof commission at the Met?

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  • rthorn

    fuck all that noise.
    This weekend I’ll be reading a good book in bed
    and periodically doing some work in my studio!

    • http://hragv.com/ Hrag Vartanian

      So, does that mean you do relational aesthetics?

      • rthorn

        you could say that, but I’d rather avoid categorizing those activities.
        I think of it more as a protest against business and fake schmoozing.

        • http://hragv.com/ Hrag Vartanian

          Protest art, love it!

          • rthorn

            yes, protesting art world greed.
            look for this and other stickers around the city
            this weekend.

      • Brian Fernandes-Halloran

        lol beautiful

  • Richelle Murry

    Thanks for the info! I write a art blog and this will help greatly. I would love to be in NYC and visit.

  • thorn

    it’s on!

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