Frieze New York's tent (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Frieze New York’s tent (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

It’s finally starting to get warm in New York, which means it’s time to hop the ferry for Randall’s Island and visit the Frieze art fair. This year’s edition of the mighty British art fair’s stateside outing is once again the anchor of a big week for art in New York City, which boasts nine other fairs, from the august TEFAF New York to more DIY endeavors like the Fridge Art Fair, and newcomers like the Moniker Art Fair. As always, there will be more art on view than any human could reasonably process this week, but if you pace yourself and pack plenty of snacks, you’re sure to see some strong work and discover some new names.

Stay hydrated and tuned for our reports from the fairs throughout the week, and don’t forget to check Hyperallergic’s Instagram for pics.

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1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

An overhead view of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Pioneer Works in 2016 (photo by Melissa Stern/Hyperallergic)

An overhead view of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Pioneer Works in 2016 (photo by Melissa Stern/Hyperallergic)

When: May 4–6 / Friday, Saturday: 12–8pm; Sunday: 12–6pm ($20)
Where: Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

Now in its fourth year, 1-54 returns to Red Hook with 21 galleries showing artists from Africa and the African diaspora, including Gallery 1957 from Accra Ghana, Retro Africa from Abuja, and Galerie Cécile Fakhoury from Abidjan. The fair is ramping up its special programs and events this year, with commissions by Azikiwe Mohammed, Phoebe Boswell, and others, as well as a fulsome lineup of talks and panels curated by Omar Berrada, the director of Dar Al-Ma’mûn, the library and residency in Marrakech. As always, the fair is a welcome respite from the likes of Frieze — where the biggest names show their biggest, newest works — and a wonderful setting in which to get acquainted with artists and dealers who get to show in New York too rarely.

Art New York

Crowds at Art New York 2017 (photo courtesy Art New York)

Crowds at Art New York 2017 (photo courtesy Art New York)

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

If you’ve been suffering from westside Pier withdrawal in the aftermath of the Armory Show and AIPAD, well, first of all, you’ve got issues. But you’re also in luck! Art New York returns to Pier 94 with a whopping 85 galleries. Expect the offerings to be somewhat less blue-chip than March’s Armory Show, but the fair features a refreshing mix of local, regional, and international exhibitors, and there are always some discoveries to make the trek worthwhile — like, for instance, an installation by movie star Adrien Brody entitled Metamorphosis: Transformations of the Soul.

Cultural Traffic

When: Sunday, May 6, 11am–8pm (free)
Where: Hester Street Fair (Hester Street and Essex Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Now in its second edition, the New York iteration of this London-based book art, zine, and print fair returns to the Hester Street Fair on Sunday. This year’s edition of Cultural Traffic boasts over 30 exhibitors including Ain’t Bad, Dashwood Zines, Ex-It Publishing, and more. Now let’s just hope and pray that Sunday’s sunny forecast holds.

Fridge Art Fair

When: May 3–6 / Thursday–Saturday: 1–9pm; Sunday: 12–5pm ($15)
Where: NU Hotel (85 Smith Street, Downtown Brooklyn)

Perhaps the scrappiest of Frieze Week’s fairs, the Fridge Art Fair takes up residence once again at the NU Hotel in downtown Brooklyn, where participating artists will share deliciously and devilishly decadent works inspired by this year’s theme, a dessert-centric tribute to a famous figure skater and a glamorous man from space: “The Tonya’s Tasty Triple Axel Icebox Cake Edition, featuring Ziggy’s Stardust Powdered Donuts.” Chief among them is co-organizer and artist Eric Ginsberg, who will be showing a series of his portrait paintings of famous television pets. Other participants include the Gowanus Swim Society and the longtime Lower East Side artist-run space Gallery Onetwentyeight.

Frieze New York

Frieze New York in 2017 (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Frieze New York in 2017 (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

When: May 4–6 / Friday: 11am–7pm; Saturday, Sunday: 11am–6pm ($48)
Where: Randall’s Island Park (Randall’s Island, Manhattan)

The big kahuna at the confluence of the Harlem and East rivers is, once again, enormous, with some 190 galleries signed up for the 2018 edition of Frieze New York. As ever, you can expect the biggest galleries in the world to showcase the latest from their star artists, but the more unpredictable Focus, Frame, and Spotlight sections of the fair tend to hold the most pleasant surprises. This year, Frieze will also boast its first-ever thematic exhibition, a showcase devoted to the late dealer Hudson and his gallery Feature Inc., curated by Matthew Higgs of White Columns. Whitney Museum curator Adrienne Edwards has selected artists for the “ASSEMBLY” program of live art and interventions inspired by protest, so keep your eyes peeled for processions, performances, banners, and other interventions. Even the fair’s talks program has a thematic bent this year, with events pairing artists and curators with authors — like Fred Moten and Sondra Perry, or Yuri Herrera chatting with artists Carlos Amorales and Abraham Cruzvillegas.

Moniker Art Fair

When: May 3–6 / Thursday: 5–10pm ($25); Friday: 12–10pm; Saturday: 12–8pm; Sunday: 12–6pm ($15)
Where: Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse (73 West Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Launched in London in 2010, the Moniker Art Fair has distinguished itself with its flair for street art and graffiti. Now, the fair is making its US debut, with 30 galleries and artists from all over the world descending on the cavernous Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse. In addition to showcases for the artists Icy & Sot and Gabriel Specter, the fair will offer a look at the history and legacy of 5Pointz with artist and curator Meres One, as well as its own outdoor mural project.

Other Art Fair

When: May 3–6 / Thursday: 6–10pm ($30); Friday, 3–10pm; Saturday: 12–9pm; Sunday: 11am–6pm ($15)
Where: Brooklyn Expo Center (72 Noble Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Saatchi Art’s biannual art fair returns to Greenpoint, with an impressive 130 artists (primarily from Europe and North America) set to participate. Beyond the booths, this year’s Other Art Fair features plenty of additional programming, including a virtual reality dance experience, the chance to get a mystery tattoo by Scott Campbell or a portrait sketch by Amber Vittoria, and a neon installation by Fei Alexeli perfectly suited for resting your feet and/or snapping selfies.

Salon Zürcher

Installation view of the 2015 edition of Salon Zürcher (photo by Kemy Lin/Hyperallergic)

Installation view of the 2015 edition of Salon Zürcher (photo by Kemy Lin/Hyperallergic)

When: April 30–May 6 / Monday: 5–8pm; Tuesday–Saturday: 12–8pm; Sunday: 12–5pm (free)
Where: Zürcher Gallery (33 Bleecker Street, Noho, Manhattan)

As in years past, Bleecker Street’s Zürcher is giving over its gallery for a mini-fair, this year with six participating art spaces from Paris, Brussels, and New York setting up shop for the week. If you’re looking for something more intimate than the big fairs and more tightly curated than the smaller ones, Salon Zürcher may be just the right fit.


The entrance to Superfine! in 2017 (photo courtesy Superfine!)

The entrance to Superfine! in 2017 (photo courtesy Superfine!)

When: May 3–6 / Thursday–Saturday: 12–7pm; Sunday: 12–8pm ($12)
Where: 459 West 14th Street (Meatpacking District, Manhattan)

It’s hard not to be won over by the pep of an art fair whose name includes an exclamation point! And, what’s more, Superfine! features an impressive 82 exhibiting artists and galleries this year! That said, you should be prepared to wade through plenty of hyperrealist paintings of anthropomorphized animals and, yes, even some body painting, to get to the good stuff.

TEFAF New York

TEFAF New York's spring 2017 edition (photo by Harry Heuts, courtesy TEFAF)

TEFAF New York’s spring 2017 edition (photo by Harry Heuts, courtesy TEFAF)

When: May 4–8 / Friday, Saturday: 12–8pm; Sunday: 12–6pm; Monday: 12–8pm; Tuesday: 12–6pm ($55)
Where: Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

The Maastricht-based fair’s US franchise, TEFAF New York, is bringing 90 galleries to the Park Avenue Armory, and whereas its fall edition embraces Old Masters, antiquities, and antiques, the spring edition is all about contemporary and modern art and design. In other words, TEFAF and Frieze will be competing for a lot of the same collectors (and their money), so expect the Dutch fair’s exhibitors to go all out. In addition to booths of modern and more recent treasures, the fair features a robust lineup of talks, including panels on the ethics of museum admissions and another on the challenges of presenting socially engaged art for both institutions and artists.

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...