Independent New York 2015 (photo by Tom Powel, courtesy Independent New York)

Spring is here and it’s time to look ahead to the art fair endurance test that is May in New York. This year, May 5–12 will mark the inaugural “New York Art Week,” a citywide initiative (for which there is a handy map) involving a consortium of museums, nonprofit art organizations, auction houses, and four art fairs: Future Fair, NADA New York, Independent Art Fair, and TEFAF New York. Next up, from May 18–22, is Frieze Week, a battery of art fairs including, of course, Frieze New York (later in the month than usual), along with VOLTA New York, 1-54 New York, and The Photography Show. There is so much to see in these weeks; enjoy it.

Future Fair

Nadine Faraj, “Susan II” (2017) watercolor on paper, 11.5 inches in diameter (courtesy the artist and ANNA ZORINA GALLERY, New York)

When: May 5–7
Where: Chelsea Industrial (535 West 28th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

For its sophomore in-person edition, Future Fair has relocated to a larger venue to accommodate 50 exhibitors from the US and abroad, which are given a stake in the fair’s profits. This budding art fair encourages collaboration among exhibitors, and you can expect shared booths from the likes of New York-based galleries New Discretions and Asya Geisberg Gallery, as well as long-distance partnerships like that of Double V Gallery in Paris and ADA Gallery in Richmond. This year, the fair will also introduce a new emphasis on design with a section curated by Julia Haney-Montanez.

NADA New York

Amber Rane Sibley, “Generous Helping #3” (2021), ceramic, 13 x 10 x 6 in (image courtesy the artist and FIERMAN, NY)

When: May 5–8
Where: Pier 36 (299 South Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

After a three-year hiatus, New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) has returned to New York with 120 exhibitors, from local alt-staples like 56 Henry, Marinaro, and SITUATIONS to Warsaw’s High Gallery and Buenos Aires’s Galería Nora Fisch. Highlights of this edition of the contemporary and emerging art fair include an arcade-inspired booth pairing gaming stations by new media artist Jeremy Couillard with paintings by Stephen Thorpe; solo presentations of work by Julia Jo and Elif Saydam; and the smaller, experimental “Projects” section with displays devoted to artists including Molly Rose Lieberman, Yura Adams, and Lumin Wakoa.

Independent Art Fair

Wolfgang Tillmans, “The State We’re In, B” (2015), inkjet print in artist’s frame, 13 3/8 x 17 3/8 inches, edition of 10 + 1 AP (6/10) (courtesy the artist, Maureen Paley, and Independent New York)

When: May 6–8
Where: Spring Studios (50 Varick Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)

For its 13th iteration, Independent has opted for a spring New York Art Week slot instead of its usual September date. Significantly increasing its exhibitor numbers from last year, the fair will feature 66 commercial and nonprofit galleries, the bulk of which are mounting single-artist or two-artist booths. Keep an eye out for Nicelle Beauchene Gallery’s intergenerational pairing of Gee’s Bend Quiltmaker Rachel Carey George with Ruby Sky Stiler; Fleisher/Ollman’s homage to artist-collector Ray Yoshida; and the cat portraits of Renate Druks, presented by The Ranch. The fair’s online platform runs from April 28 to May 31.

TEFAF New York

Cy Twombly, “Untitled (Roma)” (1962), oil, pencil, and wax crayon on canvas, 27.6 x 23.6 inches (courtesy Galerie Karsten Greve; © Cy Twombly Foundation)

When: May 6–10
Where: Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue, Lenox Hill, Manhattan)

The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) is back in New York in person for the first time since 2019 with offerings ranging from a marble torso carved by Polykleitos circa 440 BCE, to a Giorgio Morandi still life from the 1940s, to Wendell Castle’s 2009 stained cherry desk. 91 exhibitors hailing from 14 countries will be participating this year, with several newcomers including blue-chip US gallery Blum & Poe, the prominent Gallery Hyundai in South Korea, and longtime German institution neugerriemschneider.

Frieze New York

Eamon Ore-Giron, “Infinite Regress CLIV” (2021), mineral paint and flashe on linen (courtesy the artist and James Cohan, New York; photo by Phoebe d’Heurle; © Eamon Ore-Giron 2022)

When: May 18-20
Where: The Shed (545 West 30th Street, Hudson Yards, Manhattan)

Nudged from its typical early May slot and helmed by new director Christine Messineo for the first time, the New York arm of London’s modern and contemporary art fair boasts an international roster of 65 established galleries including Gagosian, Thaddaeus Ropac, Mendes Wood DM, and Pace. The fair’s not-to-be-missed “Frame” section, dedicated to presentations by younger, up-and-coming galleries, will feature work by artists including Ivan Cheng, Tania Candiani, and Homa Delvaray. For those who prefer to browse from home, Frieze is debuting a new online viewing room in partnership with Vortic.

VOLTA New York

Kumkum Fernando, “Listening Lilly” (2022), mixed media – combined wood, brass detailing, magnets (to attach the tears), UV print, lacquer, 28 x 15 x 7 in, courtesy Jonathan LeVine Projects, Jersey City

When: May 18–22
Where: Center 548 (548 West 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Located a convenient hop, skip, and a jump from Frieze, which is running concurrently, VOLTA will offer presentations by 49 international galleries including Blond Contemporary in London, Spence Gallery in Toronto, and Vellum Projects in Brooklyn. The fair often attracts younger galleries and is known for focused booth presentations that highlight single artists; this year, creators in the spotlight include Japanese painter Yasushi Ikejiri, fashion illustrator Richard Haines, and Cuban-born artist William Perez.

1-54 New York

Dindga McCannon, “Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth-Warriors” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 47.9 x 47.9 inches (courtesy Fridman Gallery)

When: May 19–22
Where: Harlem Parish (258 West 118th Street, Harlem, Manhattan)

Back after a two-year interlude, the New York edition of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, which is devoted to new art from Africa and the African diaspora, is setting up shop at a former church in Harlem. Curated by Novella Ford, director of public programs and exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the fair will feature 25 exhibitors with a new emphasis on galleries based in New York City, especially Harlem. David Uzochukwu, Wonder Buhle Mbambo, and Taylor Barnes are among the artists represented this year.

The Photography Show

Daido Moriyama, “Untitled” from Passage (1998-1999), polaroid, 3.07 x 2.95 inches (© Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation, courtesy IBASHO, Antwerp)

When: May 20–22
Where: Center415 (415 Fifth Avenue, Midtown South, Manhattan)

In the 41st edition of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD)’s long-running photography fair, 49 galleries will present work spanning from the medium’s inception to the present day. Take in a thematic presentation of portraits and street photographs by mid-2oth-century Black photographers, large-scale wheat paste murals by California photographer Michael Jang, and prints by one of photography’s inventors, William Henry Fox Talbot. To coincide with The Photography Show, the International Center of Photography will also hold a Photobook Fest on May 21–22.

Salon Zürcher

Judith Braun, “Psycho Tears” (2021), acrylic on raw unstretched canvas, grommets, 79 x 72 inches (courtesy Zürcher Gallery)

When: May 16–22
Where: 33 Bleecker Street, Manhattan

If you’re looking for a more intimate alternative to the big art fairs, Salon Zürcher, a small fair organized by and held at Zürcher Gallery in Manhattan’s East Village, would be worth considering. It’s also free and open to the public, unlike many other fairs. This year, Salon Zürcher is presenting the fifth edition of 11 Women of Spirit featuring artists including Judith Braun, Cair Crawford, Jeniffer Riley, Margaret Watson, and others. The exhibition’s title references the 18th-century French term “femmes d’esprit,” describing independently minded female painters, writers, and intellectuals who were routinely overlooked by the male-dominated art scene of their time. And indeed the art fair provides a cozy, salon-like atmosphere that allows chatting with the artists.

Cassie Packard is a Brooklyn-based art writer. (