Two words, darlings: art fairs! Frieze New York is back and bigger than ever … er, maybe. But either way, there two new fairs to go with it, plus gallery nights in Greenpoint and Bushwick, which means the whole thing has turned into a bona fide fair week. (Watch out, Armory Show.) Don’t worry, though: if you suffer from fair fatigue, the doctor’s got plenty of other recommendations. Lots of good openings this week, and some poetry to bring you back to earth when it’s all over.

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The Art Fairs


When: Wednesday, May 8–Saturday, May 11 ($25)
Where: Pier 57 (West Side Highway at 15th Street, Meatpacking District, Manhattan)

A new fair! Now you may be thinking, “Is that really what we need? Another fair?” But Collective is focused on design, which the other fairs, for the most part, aren’t. And with only 25 participating galleries, we have high hopes for it being both manageable and well-curated.


When: Thursday, May 9–Monday, May 13 ($15)
Where: The Clemente Soto Vélez Center (107 Suffolk Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Another fair you haven’t heard of! But we have to admit: this one sounds good, too. An import from Paris, Cutlog will feature 45 international galleries showing contemporary work inside the Clemente Soto Vélez Center, a Dutch Neo-Gothic building and former public school. That should be a nicely challenging and fun setting for a fair that aims to be a “creative laboratory.”


When: Friday, May 10–Monday, May 13 ($42)
Where: Randall’s Island Park (Randall’s Island, Manhattan)

Last year, Frieze got low marks for its labor issues and high ticket prices, but generally excellent marks for classiness and the art. If you held off last year, uncertain about whether it was worth the trip, it sounds like it’s probably time to suck it up and go see what the fuss is about. Be warned, though: you’ve got to buy your tickets in advance, and they charge extra for transportation. Expect fair fatigue (more than 180 galleries) but know that there will be plenty of delicious food. Keep an eye out especially for the seven site-specific works for Frieze Projects.


When: Friday, May 10–Sunday, May 12
Where: Pier 36 at Basketball City (299 South Street on the East River, Lower East Side Manhattan)

This year NADA has upped its roster — from 60 exhibitors to 70 — and moved to where its beating heart resides: the Lower East Side (last year it was in Chelsea). The fair is free, and the vibe is always hip and heady. It’ll be interesting to see how NADA and Cutlog play out alongside each other, as complements or competition.


When: Thursday, May 9–Sunday, May 12 ($20)
Where: The Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Pulse is sort of the friendly fair: affordable, accessible, offering to transport you to the Frieze ferry stop for free. It’s got 60 exhibitors this year, a mix of solid standbys and more up-and-coming galleries. One of the more pleasant fairs to attend, although that sometimes means the artwork plays it too safe.


When: Friday, May 10–Sunday, June 9
Where: The Boiler (191 North 14th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

We heart Seven not just because it’s good, but because it’s an art fair in our own backyard. And it doesn’t feel much like an art fair, really — more like an exhibition, and the work just happens to be for sale. If you haven’t guessed already, it involves seven participating galleries. We recommend the Friday night opening party as a way to go out and say you’re doing something fair-related without having to dress or pony up for a vernissage.

Because of the Fairs, but Not the Fairs

 Wish Meme

When: Thursday, May 9–Sunday, May 12
Where: Old School (233 Mott Street, Nolita, Manhattan)

Cutlog isn’t the only one taking over a school this week: the team behind the alterna-fair Spring/Break Art Show is back at its usual space, the Old School, with another exhibition that features a whole bunch of curators and a whole bunch more artists taking up residence alongside lockers and in former classrooms. The works in Wish Meme, as the show is called, are actually for sale, so maybe it is a fair? We don’t know. But we like what we’ve seen before, and we’re excited to see another iteration. And with Cutlog and NADA not too far away, you’ve got a solid (if exhausting) day trip.

 Greenpoint Gallery Night

When: Friday, May 10, 6–9 pm
Where: All over Greenpoint, Brooklyn

When you’re done visiting the opening of Seven at the Boiler (or before), head north into Greenpoint, where the galleries (well, 14 of them) will be open late! We’re co-sponsoring, so we’re biased, but it should be a great night of gallery hopping.

 Bushwick/Ridgewood Frieze Night

When: Saturday, May 11, 6–10 pm
Where: All over Bushwick and Ridgewood

Make sure you take a break during the week so that you’ll have some energy left for this Bushwick/Ridgewood gallery night. Since galleries in the two adjacent neighborhoods are about as frequent as bodegas these days, there are a lot of participants — 47, to be exact. Things are spread out, though, so plan strategically. Here’s a map.

The Rest of the Art World (What Fairs?)

An image from Erik Berglin and Clement Valla’s “Iconoclashes” series


When: Opens Thursday, May 8
Where: The future Moynihan Station (421 8th Avenue, Penn Station, Manhattan)

Well, this sounds kind of badass, and like something that only someone with a famous last name could pull off: a massive art exhibition in the future Moynihan Station. Vito Schnabel, son of Julian, is producing, with critic David Rimanelli curating. The show is called DSM-V, short for the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. and the artist list includes, just, you know, Picasso, Basquiat, and Warhol alongside more contemporary contributors like Cecily Brown, Urs Fischer, and Dan Colen.

 Summer Shows

When: Opens Thursday, May 8, 7–9 pm
Where: 100a Forsyth Street (Lower East Side, Manhattan)

LES dealer Helen Toomer is giving over her space this summer to two young emerging curators, Margaret Kross and Suzie Oppenheimer. They are curating and bringing in other curators and planning endless summer shows — as many as possible! The madness begins this week, with a show by artist Nick Parker.

 After Hours

When: Thursday, May 8, 9:30–11:30 pm
Where: Liberty Theater (234 West 42nd Street, Times Square, Manhattan)

This week also marks the return of Times Square Arts and the Clocktower Gallery’s After Hours series, which brings installations and performances to sites around Times Square (and is sponsored by Hyperallergic). Last month, Marco Brambilla projected video art onto an indoor pool; this month, singer, songwriter, and producer Nomi Ruiz will perform at the historic Liberty Theater. Tickets are free but limited — get them here.

 A Cage Went in Search of a Bird

When: Opens Friday, May 10, 6–9 pm
Where: Radiator Arts (10-61 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens)

Artist and Hyperallergic contributor Sarah Walko curated this Kafka-inspired group show, an exploration of the “surreal space” we currently occupy and an investigation of “our current cosmic predicament.”


When: Opening reception Saturday, May 11, 6–9 pm
Where: Mulherin + Pollard (187 Chrystie Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

We first encountered Erik Berglin and Clement Valla’s Iconoclashes at March’s Art Hack Day, and we’re happy to see them now taking over a gallery. The series mashes up images from the Metropolitan Museum’s public archives that are tagged “god” or “religion,” with playful, surreal, and fascinating results.

 Expo 1

When: Opens Sunday, May 12
Where: MoMA (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan) and MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens)

Chances are you’ve seen or heard the title Expo 1 floating around in the past few months. You may not know exactly what it is, but that’s okay, neither do we. From the press release: “an exploration of ecological challenges in the context of the economic and socio-political instability of the early 21st century … a festival-as-institution …” Beyond that, we know it includes a piece by Random International called “Rain Room” (at MoMA), which is a room of falling water that stops wherever a human body is detected, which sounds amazing. That’s a good start.

 Poetry: John Yau

When: Monday, May 13, 6:30 pm ($6)
Where: Dia:Chelsea (535 West 22nd Street, 5th floor, Chelsea, Manhattan)

We can’t think of a better way to unwind from a week of fair madness than with a poetry reading. And in this installment of Readings in Contemporary Poetry, Dia features our Hyperallergic weekend editor and critic John Yau alongside Arlo Quint.

Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...

One reply on “Art Rx: Frieze Week”

  1. To artists, gallerists, workers, and fairgoers attending Frieze New York:

    Frieze’s labor issues haven’t gone away, they are as urgent as ever. Tell them to adhere to the industry standard and start working with organized labor.

    “Frieze is a for-profit private event that takes over a municipal public park for two months to serve a global clientele of wealthy art collectors. The fair pays less than $1 per square foot to lease the land from the city. With a ticket price of $42 per day, Frieze is inaccessible to many working New Yorkers. However, despite the cheap rent and high admission prices to an event that generates millions of dollars in art sales, Frieze claims it cannot afford to pay decent wages to local workers.”

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