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Massimo De Carlo

We Went to Frieze, Part One: Seagull Poop, People Poop, and Demon Poop

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 4, 2017
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Every year Frieze installs a massive tent on Randall’s Island and lures jetsetters from across the globe to its contemporary art fair. This year, the fair expanded its usual roster of contemporary art galleries to include a few secondary market stalwarts as well. Newcomers to the fair included Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Castelli Gallery, and Axel Vervoordt and Eykyn Maclean.

That’s not a huge change in the landscape of the fair, but notably the fair’s director, Victoria Siddall, told the Art Newspaper recently that there was a significant uptick in applications from galleries in this market. Is Frieze grooming the New York market for an edition of their London-based Frieze Masters (a fair focused on secondary market art works)? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, Frieze New York is much better than usual. Art fair standards that drag these events down—geometric abstraction, process based abstraction, and assembly line art works by A-list artists—were few and far between. Overall, the work on view seemed unusually fresh and thoughtful. Neither are words we normally use to describe art fair art, let alone that at Frieze.

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