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Your Concise Guide to Frieze Week 2016

The 2015 Frieze New York art fair (Benjamin Sutton/Hyperallergic)
The 2015 Frieze New York art fair (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

New York City’s second big week of art fairs, Frieze Week, has become almost as dauntingly vast as its first, Armory Week. This year, the latter featured 14 fairs of all sizes and specializations; the former now boasts 12. Added to the Frieze Week mix this year are a sprawling exhibition inside the dramatic Federal Hall National Monument (Portal) and a multi-gallery mini-fair in Chelsea (Gallery Share).

The week’s fairs stretch from Randall’s Island and Harlem, via the West Side piers and Williamsburg, all the way down to the Financial District and Red Hook. Below, we’ve compiled a tasting menu of the weeklong art feast that awaits.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated and follow Hyperallergic on Instagram for pics from the fairs all week.

 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

When: May 6–8 / Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 12–8pm ($20)
Where: Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

The 2015 edition of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (Jillian Steinhauer/Hyperallergic)
The 2015 edition of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (photo by Jillian Steinhauer/Hyperallergic)

It is unquestionably a good thing that last year’s small but strong newcomer to Frieze Week, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, has returned for a second go-round. Holding steady with 16 galleries — plus four special projects this year — the fair focuses on contemporary African work, attempting to open up more of an international art market for a part of the world that hasn’t historically had one. In keeping with the goal of creating new opportunities, the 2015 edition of the fair featured a lot of strong work by emerging and underrepresented artists; this year’s will hopefully do the same — in my opinion, the more names you don’t know at a fair, the better. Also be on the lookout for some interesting conversations in the Forum program — I’ve got my eye on a discussion of how American museums display contemporary African art — and an ongoing, two-day performance by Kingston-born artist Dave McKenzie. —JS

Art New York

When: May 3–8 / Tuesday: 5–8pm; Wednesday–Saturday: 12–8pm; Sunday: 12–6pm ($40)
Where: Pier 94 (55th Street and West Side Highway, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan)

Now in its second year, Art New York (gratefully, no longer confusingly named “Art Miami New York”) has grown to 150 galleries exhibiting roughly 1,200 modern and contemporary artists. Most of the galleries are New York- and Miami-based, and, as with last year, the global reach is mostly European, though the list of artists features a healthy mix of established (Josef Albers, Gustav Klimt, Yayoi Kusama) and lesser known names.

In addition to sharing Pier 94 with the inaugural edition of its sister fair, Context (see below), Art New York will host a series of panels on how to financially and strategically manage your collection, both physically and digitally. It will also host various “Artist Spotlights,” including one where Bruce Helander answers the question: “Why are artists willing to starve in New York for their art?” —EWA

Collective Design

When: May 4–8 / Wednesday–Saturday: 11am–8pm; Sunday: 11am–5pm ($32.64)
Where: Skylight Clarkson Sq (550 Washington Street, West Village, Manhattan)

The 2015 Collective Design fair (Benjamin Sutton/Hyperallergic)
The 2015 Collective Design fair (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

If you prefer to see with your hands, Collective Design is the fair for you. Focused primarily on furniture, jewelry, decorative objects, and interior design, it brings together an eclectic mix of dealers specializing in bleeding edge contemporary design, seminal Modern furniture, eclectic historic objects, or specific niches like lighting or glass, almost all of them showing work that you can inspect with your fingertips.

This year’s lineup of exhibitors includes stalwart galleries like R & Company, Friedman Benda, and others, as well as some more conventional art galleries that dabble in design, including Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery and 99¢ Plus Gallery. Most enticing among the fair’s special programs is an exhibition of design objects created by students of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit in response to pressing humanitarian and environmental crises.

 Context

When: May 3–8 / Tuesday: 5–8pm; Wednesday–Saturday: 12–8pm; Sunday: 12–6pm ($25)
Where: Pier 94 (55th Street and West Side Highway, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan)

Familiar to those who migrate south in the winter for Art Basel Miami Beach, but making its New York debut this week, Context brings an eclectic selection of exhibitors heavy on galleries from North America and Europe, with a special focus on Berlin galleries. Sharing Pier 94 with its more established sister fair Art New York, Context skews more contemporary. In addition to conventional booths it will include a special exhibition of sound art curated by Christoph Cox and a show of handmade artworks inspired by digital and moving images curated by Regine Basha.

 Flux Art Fair

When: May 3–31 / Hours vary, check calendar for details (free)
Where: Marcus Garvey Park (Fifth Avenue at East 120th Street, Harlem, Manhattan) and surrounding venues

If you fused a conventional art fair with a neighborhood-wide public art exhibition, you’d get something like the Flux Art Fair, which brings outdoor works to Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park and the surrounding streets and avenues. Organized in collaboration with New York City’s Parks Department, the Department of Transportation’s Art Program, and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, Flux’s second edition boasts 40 artists doing outdoor interventions, installations, and performances, some loud and conspicuous — like Bayeté Ross Smith’s tower of boomboxes and Linda Cunningham’s twisted steel totem; others are much subtler — like Jeffrey Allen Price’s DIY repairs to worn down park infrastructure made from found materials like lint, broken pens, and eggshells.

 Frieze New York

When: May 5–8 / Thursday, Saturday: 11am–7pm; Friday: 11am–8pm; Sunday: 11am–6pm ($45)
Where: Randall’s Island Park (Randall’s Island)

The 2015 Frieze New York art fair (Benjamin Sutton/Hyperallergic)
The 2015 Frieze New York art fair (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

A fifth wedding anniversary is traditionally represented by wood, although in the present day, silverware is a suggested gift. I’m not sure what exactly Frieze New York‘s fifth edition will give us, but the latter sounds about right: the high-end fair tends toward the in-the-box and the shiny. That isn’t to say it’s all bad — this year, for instance, Pace Gallery will devote its booth to Fred Wilson and Alexander Gray Associates will spotlight Melvin Edwards, both of which sound promising. For Frieze Projects, meanwhile, David Horvitz will bring a professional pickpocket to surreptitiously drop sculptures into fairgoers’ bags (I will wear my cat tote; please find me), and for Frieze Sounds, Liz Magic Laser will ventriloquize Donald Trump. They’ve even recruited poet Eileen Myles to give a talk (appropriate titled, “What a poet might be doing here”)!

Frieze’s manners are too proper to serve up anything taste-transforming, but it’s not the worst fair to gorge on. —JS

 Gallery Share

When: May 5–8 / Thursday: 12–9pm; Friday–Sunday: 12–7pm (free)
Where: Off Vendome (254 West 23rd Street, #2, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Mini-fairs that take over a single gallery (see Salon Zürcher and Seven, below) are welcome side dishes to the all-you-can-eat buffets of the bigger art fairs, and Gallery Share is the newest. Five galleries — locals Real Fine Arts and Bridget Donahue, Düsseldorf’s Galerie Max Mayer, London’s Chewday’s, and Los Angeles’s Jenny’s — will take over Off Vendome’s 23rd Street space.

NADA New York

When: May 5–8 / Thursday: 4–8pm; Friday, Saturday: 11am–7pm; Sunday: 11–5pm ($20)
Where: Pier 36, Basketball City (299 South Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

The 2015 edition of NADA New York (Jillian Steinhauer/Hyperallergic)
The 2015 edition of NADA New York (photo by Jillian Steinhauer/Hyperallergic)

With 105 galleries, most of them hailing from North America and Europe — plus outliers from Sydney, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, and Dubai — NADA New York is the quote-unquote emerging artist counterpart to Frieze’s blue-chip offerings. If you’ve spent much time gallery-hopping on the Lower East Side, you have some idea of what type of art to expect from this fair, though this year’s special programming includes treats like a three-on-three basketball tournament (in honor of the fair’s venue, Basketball City), performance art by Angie Jennings, Bailey Scieszka, and others, and panels on the state of public art, the dual practices of artists who are also dealers, and the economics of performance art.

 Portal

When: May 4–10 / Wednesday–Tuesday: 10–5pm (free)
Where: Federal Hall National Monument (26 Wall Street, Financial District, Manhattan)

A newcomer to the Frieze Week lineup, Portal is organized by the same team that puts on the Governors Island Art Fair, which should give you some idea of what to expect: large-scale installations and colorful sculptures playfully integrated into a dramatic, historical space. In this case, the venue is the 1842 United States Customs House on Wall Street, now known as Federal Hall, whose three levels will host luminous sculptures by Laurent Fort, large rusted steel sculptures by Rodrigo Nava, Marie Koo’s kaleidoscopic paintings of surreal animal bacchanals, and much more.

Salon Zürcher

When: May 2–8 / Monday 5–8pm; Tuesday–Saturday: 12–8pm; Sunday: 12–5pm (free)
Where: Zürcher Gallery (33 Bleecker Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Once again, Zürcher Gallery is giving over its Lower East Side space to a small group of local and European galleries for Salon Zürcher, a welcome palette cleanser between all the big fairs. This month’s edition includes three Parisian galleries (Galerie la Forest Divonne, Galerie Pixi – Marie Victoire Poliakoff, and Galerie 8+4), Mathilde Hatzenberger from Brussels, NoHo neighbor Christian Duvernois Gallery, and Brooklyn nonprofit A.I.R. Gallery. Stop in on one of your cross-town trips this week for a jam-packed and generally fun group of installations.

Seven

When: April 29–May 22 / May 5–8, May 14, 15, 21, 22: 12–6pm (free)
Where: The Boiler (191 North 14th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Works by Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw (left), and Martha Wilson (right) at Seven (photo by @PPOWGallery/Instagram)
Works by Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw (left), and Martha Wilson (right) at Seven (photo by @PPOWGallery/Instagram)

Contemporary art needs humor like Donald Trump needs humility, so it’s a good thing that this year’s edition of Seven, the thematic mini-fair staged in Pierogi’s Williamsburg warehouse space The Boiler, is all about comedy. Offerings include a cheeky photo diptych by Martha Wilson (from PPOW Gallery), a saucy kinetic installation by Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw (from Postmasters), irreverent video art by Michael Smith and Shannon Plumb (shown by Greene Naftali and Pierogi, respectively), and more.

 Spring Masters New York

When: May 6–9 / Friday, Saturday: 11am–7:30pm; Sunday, Monday: 11am–6pm ($25)
Where: Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

The third edition of Spring Masters New York brings centuries’ worth of visual art, furniture, design, and jewelry, all overwhelmingly represented by London and New York-based galleries (45 of 62), with the remainder flocking from other European and American cities, as well as Singapore and Tokyo. The exhibited masterworks — which range from fine silver tea sets and art nouveau lamps to Picasso sketches and Rodin casts — will all be displayed within booths specially designed by architect Rafael Viñoly. —EWA

With contributions by Elisa Wouk Almino and Jillian Steinhauer

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