The Art F City Guide to Frieze Week 2016

by Paddy Johnson and Rea McNamara on May 2, 2016 Art Fair + Events


Here we go again. Put on your best black outfit and prepare to network! It’s Frieze Week in New York. The collectors will be out buying.  The dealers will be out dealing.  And the press will be out chattering.

As per usual, we’ve put together our annual art fair guide. We don’t promise it will be the comprehensive guide you’ll find. There are other blogs out there for that. But we do promise that we won’t waste your time. If a fair’s not worth your time, we’ll let you know.

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Zurcher Gallery

33 Bleecker Street, NY
Monday, May 2 5-8PM; Tuesday, May 3 12-8PM; Wednesday, May 4 12-6pm; Thursday, May 5 - Saturday, May 7 12-8PM; Sunday, May 8 12-5PM
General admission: freeWebsite

Salon Zϋrcher

East Village’s Zϋrcher Gallery hosts their mini art fair devoted to emerging and established artists from an ever-evolving group of hosted galleries. We like to list this event for the A.I.R.’s involvement. The woman-only Brooklyn-based non-profit uses a membership model to ensure women artists get the exposure they deserve. And the gallery launches some strong shows. They’re worth checking out.  


Marcus Garvey Park

18 Mt. Morris Park W., Harlem
Opening Night Stroll: Tuesday, May 3, 8PM
General admission: Stroll $25/ticket, free anytime from May 3 until May 31Website

Flux Art Fair

The second edition of Harlem’s only contemporary art satellite returns, this time taking taking over the neighborhood’s parks and boulevards. Over forty artists are participating this year, and half are women. If you’re looking for a more chill option than the rest of the fairs, this should be worthwhile. 

Pier 94

12th Avenue at 55th Street
Tuesday May 3 : 5pm-8pm , Wednesday May 4 : 12pm-8pm, Thursday May 5 : 12pm-8pm, Friday May 6 : 12pm-8pm, Saturday May 7 : 12pm-8pm, Sunday May 8 : 12pm-6pmWebsite

Art New York

A fair for the conservative secondary market collector who likes tacky ceramic sculptures of bears and Mel Ramos paintings. This isn’t our beat, but markets like this exist because collectors don’t all have the same taste.  CONTEXT, Art New York’s sister fair will also launch at Pier 94 during the same times. The galleries at this fair tend to show emerging, untested talent.


Federal Hall National Memorial

26 Wall Street, NY
Wednesday, May 4 - Tuesday, May 10, 10AM-6PM
General admission: freeWebsite


Artist-run non-profit 4heads, best known for running the annual Governers Island Art Fair, has launched a new emerging artist-focused satellite in Lower Manhattan’s Federal Hall National Monument.

It runs off a SPRING/BREAK type model where artists pay nothing to participate and the fair takes a percentage of all sales. And, of course, the sales percentage is more favorable than a gallery split; Portal offers a 30/70 split to the artist where as galleries offer 50.  

Participating artists include Hannah Hill, Will Kurtz and Alexandr Razin (a highlight from last year’s Governer’s Fair with his car parts sculpture).



191 North 14th Street, Brooklyn
Thursday, May 5 to Sunday, May 8 12-6PM
General admission: freeWebsite


According to Plato, “even the Gods love jokes”. This year’s edition of the Brooklyn art fair alternative-slash-collaborative exhibition is focused on the theme SEVEN-ish, Seriously Funny, so expect tricksters, jokers and jesters. Post-Fischli and Weiss at the Guggenheim, the theme’s timely, and we’re especially keen on Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw’s “Spaghetti Machine Monument,” which is described in the press release as “an ultimate monument of 2016, making a momentous year (so far) in humanity’s collective achievements in politics, social justice and art.” And yes, it is truly a machine made for tossing oversized spaghetti.

Participating artists: ELEANOR ANTIN (Ronald Feldman Fine Arts), SEAN J. PATRICK CARNEY (Special Guest: BHQFU), JEN CATRON & PAUL OUTLAW (Postmasters), GARY PANTER (Fredericks & Freiser), SHANNON PLUMB (PIEROGI), DAVID SHRIGLEY (Anton Kern Gallery), MICHAEL SMITH (Greene Naftali), MARTHA WILSON (P•P•O•W)   

Pier 36 | Basketball City

299 South Street on the East River
Thursday, May 5 4-8PM; Friday, May 6 - Saturday, May 7 11AM-7PM; Sunday, May 8 11AM-5PM
General admission: $20/day; $40 for run of show; $10 student/seniorWebsite

NADA New York

We love this fair. It’s a great way to be exposed to high quality work from emerging gallerists world-wide; in fact, over half the exhibitors are first-timers. Worth checking out will be the second season launch of Daata Editions, an online platform that distributes downloadable artis video, sound and text affordable editions by artists like Rashaad Newsome, Jacolby Satterwhite and Sara Ludy.

Randall’s Island Park

Thursday, May 5 11AM-7PM; Friday, May 6 11AM-8PM; Saturday, May 7 11AM -7PM; Sunday, May 8 11AM-6PM General admission: $45/single ticket, $10/ticket for 25 and under, $29/studentWebsite

Frieze New York

The largest fair of them all, and the one that requires taking a boat to Randall’s Island. When we covered the fair last year, we noted how “idiosyncratic luxury” was the season’s buzz concept, as “a lot of the work at Frieze walked a line between feeling subtle decadent and unconventionally tasteful. Then again, many booths features giant silver or gold asteroid-like sculptures. Once could get the impression that precious meteorites had pelted Randall’s Island.” 

I personally find Frieze a little sterile for my tastes, but it’s worth checking out regardless for its sheer size. With over 200 international galleries, there’s bound to be something for everyone. And this year, there’s good news for students: Frieze has introduced a special $10 pass! That is a good price, my friends. Tickets only remain at that price point for Thursday, so pick them up now.



Pioneer Works

159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn
Friday, May 6 - Sunday, May 8 12-8PM
General admission: $20Website

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Returning to Red Hook’s Pioneer Works after its successful inaugural edition last year, the European art fair will present over 60 African and African diasporan artists. This year’s edition will the involvement of Performa’s curator Adrienne Edwards, leading to the creation of a new performance section. Jamaican-born artist Dave McKenzie and as yet-to-be-announced artist have been confirmed.

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