Everything You Need To Know About Frieze New York 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Frieze New York 2018

There’s novelty in the air for fans of Frieze New York: the focus at this year’s fair is on quality, with a wide variety of international works on show, ranging from freshly-discovered talents to 20th Century masters. With the arrival of new programmes and curators, and a new layout, Frieze New York 2018, for the seventh year, continues to strive for artistic excellence.

One of the biggest changes concerns Frieze’s artistic direction because, for the first time, Loring Randolph will be in charge of the New York event. Director of New York’s Casey Kaplan Gallery for the past 11 years, and an art dealer with Sotheby’s in London, Randolph also brings years of experience as an exhibitor at the Frieze Fair. In other words, she seems superbly equipped to take on this new challenge.

In line with the formula adopted in 2017, the fair will be open to the public for three days (May 4-5-6), with another two days (May 2-3) set aside for dealers and other professionals to preview the show.

This year’s edition has 190 galleries from 30 countries participating. And while the United States is fielding the largest contingent as usual, the number of overseas galleries has also grown. Habitués include New York’s Gavin Brown, the contemporary art giant Gagosian – presenting the works of painter Robert Therrien this year – London’s Lisson Gallery and the Partners and Muciaccia Gallery, which, for 2018, is betting again on Italian art and showing paintings by Carla Accardi at its booth. Also present will be Italy’s Castelli Gallery and Nicolò Cardi with his London gallery, which last year grossed record figures with the works of Mimmo Paladino and Giuseppe Penone.

Figuring alongside these major-league players will be some of the most interesting and dynamic of the younger exhibitors, most of them hailing from Latin America and Asia.

The fair is hosting famous figures, international artists and some priceless works. But how many collectors will be able to afford to buy here? This year, exhibitors are taking the economic situation into account by showing works priced at under $1,000. But at the same time, better-off clients will have no problem finding art priced at $ 200,000 and over.

That’s not all, however, because this year the fair’s entire look is being renewed. In charge of the makeover are London’s Universal Design Studio, one of the coolest architectural studios around (they were also behind the restyling at Frieze London). Eagerly awaited is the opening of the "Live" programme, consisting of a series of performances and interactive shows held in collaboration with the galleries.

While innovation and experimenting are the key words for the 2018 event, there are also major changes with respect to admissions. Frieze – which over the past few years has faced growing competition from other art fairs – has tried to boost attendance by overhauling its format. This year, the fair is opening its doors not only to major international art galleries but also to art dealers who, while lacking physical premises, do have an impressive list of international clients, enabling them to compete openly with galleries for the most-sought-after items. This represents a big step forward for the art market.

Like every year, the Big Apple is laying on numerous shows and side-events for Frieze’s visitors. Not to be missed is the one-man show Gagosian is organizing for Damien Hirst (to be launched, as it happens, on the same day as Frieze) while Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery is betting on Italy and staging a retrospective exhibition of Domenico Gnoli’s works. The Guggenheim Museum, for its part, is staging a major exhibition devoted to Constantin Brancusi. And for real devotees (who also like walking), art fair happenings will not be limited to Frieze’s stands but take in the whole city. The Park Avenue Armory is hosting Dutch art fair giant TEFAF’s spring show, TEFAF New York Spring. While Brooklyn is going Afro with the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. It looks like the chances of getting bored in the city that never sleeps will amount, as usual, to zero.

The countdown has begun, exhibitors are confident, and the public is on edge with excitement. Stay tuned.