Wow, Frieze New York: is 2017 your year or what?
You came out of the gate like nothing else mattered, rising to the top like the art world Seabiscuit.
Not to say that the experience at this year’s Frieze NY is anything less than elevating. It’s positively transporting: visitors can commune with live caged pigeons, instagram into reflective surfaces flanked by technicolor canvases, peer into frantically assembled universes. This year, Frieze NY just doesn’t slow down (reason enough to seek respite in the drinking holes scattered throughout).
The booths at Frieze gamely highlight the “Look at me!” aesthetic, and the pervasive imperative of social media. Below are some of the booths that discern the line between quality and shock factor.
A Gentil Carioca [Focus, D3]
OPAVIVARÁ’s incredible Arte Povera/social practice-inspired art pieces, featuring the kitchen utensils and pans protestors use at gatherings in South America to express dissent, introduce the first (of many) political cues in the Fair to visitors. Located at D3 in the northeast corner of the Fair, ask the gallerist on hand to demonstrate how these sculptures can be utilized. While this art collective, who demonstrated their pieces at 7 pm on Friday, May 5th at the fair, is the standout in this booth, a solid bevy of interdisciplinary artists from Brazil rounds out the gallery’s offerings.
CANADA [Focus, A2]
Leave it to CANADA to be on top of guiding the overall art fair aesthetic of any venture they participate in. In this year’s iteration, the booth itself transforms into a kunsthalle/apartment hybrid, with various artists curated by Marc Hundley into a living room, dining room, and adjacent spaces. The salon-style hang is both comforting and discomfiting, playing on the idea of our expectations of art fairs in general. The installation includes artists represented by the gallery, including Katherine Bradford, Katherine Bernhardt, Sarah Braman, and more.
James Fuentes [Focus, A4]
Joshua Abelow, Lonnie Holley, and Marcel Eichner’s works surround the viewer at James Fuentes gallery, a Focus booth in the north west section of the fair. Carefully curated and evincing a clever balancing act between painterly and linear, the works on view also hint at the gallery’s eye toward trendspotting – Holley is both an artist and musician to watch, and Fuentes is carefully keeping an eye toward his ascendancy.
Jack Shainman [Main Section, C22]
This is one gallery who needs no introduction: mainstay dealers of El Anatsui and Nick Cave, the Shainman presence at this year’s fair is unmistakable. Featuring Gerhard Demetz among others, the emphasis is on human scale and cleverly blended textures. The postcolonial and takes center stage, along with a well-deserved and reaffirming focus on women creating art in the vein of both the personal and powerful.
303 Gallery [Main Section, C58]
From houseplants to protest houses, 303 has spared no expense to bring the fair visitor into close contact with contemporary culture in their Frieze NY, 2017 booth. Ranging from implicating the viewer into images of protest and slowing down the visitor’s eye with a wall of bright neon text, the gallery has dedicated their ample space toward blockbuster works that will pleasantly fill a significant portion of your time near the Southern entrance of the Fair. Artists on view include Alicja Kwade and Jeppe Hein.
Rachel Uffner [Main Section, A20]
Joanne Greenbaum’s works take center stage at Rachel Uffner gallery, sharing the space with small colorful artifacts that the artist has assembled in the same lexicon as her engaging, large-scale paintings. Drawing the eye through both 2-D and 3-D abstract space, Greenbaum spares no expense to delight and titillate, managing to maintain both an unassuming and dominant presence at the same time. The booth succeeds as a result of the underlying aesthetic of the whole body of Greenbaum’s new works: works on view, from sculpture to painting, all stem from an interlocked visual language that manages to be timeless and fresh.