Pushing the Boundaries of Contemporary Art

The sixth edition of Frieze New York launched new initiatives, driving exceptional sales and record collector and museum attendance

Presented on Randall’s Island Park from May 5 – 7, Frieze New York 2017 drew a record number of top-tier collectors visiting from around the world.

"It has been a great week at Frieze New York, with record attendance by collectors and curators that resulted in strong sales at a range of price points across the fair. We are proud to have had the opportunity to partner with great cultural organizations, from the inaugural Frieze Brooklyn Museum Fund, to our first-ever Symposium in collaboration with the Getty and Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, to our support for Americans for the Arts Action Fund to #SavetheNEA. The galleries in the fair made huge efforts to bring ambitious presentations of the highest quality work by artists from around the world – ultimately, this is what made the fair a great success."

-Victoria Siddall, Director, Frieze Fairs

Press Response
"Since it was founded in 2003, the Frieze art fair has been devoted to selling works by the hottest new art talent, coming straight from the easel, foundry or studio. To visit Frieze is to be confronted with the most energetic art being produced today... In encouraging these kinds of non-traditional juxtapositions, the fair is pushing the boundaries of its own definition of 'contemporary art'." -Nina Seigal, International New York Times

"The fair has always been a place where art is discovered and discussed". -Welkunst, Barbara Kutscher

"The past is present at Frieze New York... [The] fair ‘opens the door’ to more historical work but maintains its commitment to contemporary". -The Art Newspaper, Anny Shaw

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai in Focus at Frieze New York 2017

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai in Focus at Frieze New York 2017

Frieze Brooklyn Museum Fund
This year’s fair marked the inauguration of the Frieze Brooklyn Museum Fund supported by WME | IMG and LIFEWTR, which together contributed $50,000 towards the Brooklyn Museum’s acquisition of a work at Frieze New York. The selection panel, including curators from the Brooklyn Museum and guest curators from museums across New York City, selected the large-scale abstract work, Untitled 1971, by Virginia Jaramillo from Hales Gallery (London, Spotlight). This marks the first official museum acquisition fund for Frieze New York and follows a tradition of museum acquisition funds at Frieze Art Fairs, established with the Tate Fund at Frieze London beginning in 2003 that has supported the acquisition of more than 100 works for the national collection.

"At the Brooklyn Museum we have a long history of championing artists before they have gained wider acceptance. We are thrilled to be able to continue that tradition through our acquisition of the wonderful and historically important 1971 work by Virginia Jaramillo at Frieze New York, with the support of LIFEWTR and WME | IMG in addition to funds from the Museum’s Contemporary Art Acquisition Committee."
-Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum

Symposium in Collaboration with the Getty and Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
In coordination with the fair, Frieze mounted its first-ever symposium in New York in collaboration with the Getty and the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, presenting three panel discussions on Latin American and Latino art related to the Getty’s upcoming “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA” (September 2017- January 2018). Participants included curators Cecilia Fajardo-Hill; Clara M. Kim; Chon Noriega, and artists featured in the exhibitions including Guillermo Kuitca, María Evelia Marmolejo and Clarissa Tossin, among others.

"We so appreciated Frieze giving us the opportunity to present the research behind the upcoming Pacific Standard Time exhibitions to a broader audience. And the fair was a perfect place for us to connect with the leading Latin American galleries, which were so well represented this year."
-Joan Weinstein, Deputy Director of the Getty

Gallery Response

P.P.O.W at Frieze New York 2017, winner of the Stand Prize

P.P.O.W at Frieze New York 2017, winner of the Stand Prize

International collectors responded with great enthusiasm to the gallery presentations across Frieze New York, with galleries reporting significant sales throughout the fair.

Wendy Olsoff, co-founder of P.P.O.W (New York, main) said: “We always love participating in Frieze New York and London. This is our fourth time in New York and it was of course our most exciting as we won the stand award. We couldn’t have felt more validated and appreciated. It isn’t an exaggeration to say this was an historical highlight for us after almost 35 years in business, to have both our gallery and the artists we were showing recognized so publicly, many of whom we’ve been championing for years. There were many museum attendees and collectors at the fair who have supported us over the years and shared their enthusiasm with us about being honored. On top of all this, we sold work to great collections.”

Andreas Genger, Director of Sprüth Magers (Berlin, main) noted: “This year’s edition of Frieze New York was very successful and solid despite the current political climate and the anxieties it is causing in the art world. American collectors turned out in strong numbers and the mood on the opening day was buoyant and energetic without being frantic; sales were strong. We placed works across a wide range of prices starting from $15,000 to $350,000 in very good collections, including pieces by Rosemarie Trockel, Otto Piene, Sterling Ruby and Llyn Foulkes. Sprüth Magers is glad to have been part of the fair this year.”

Greg Lulay, Director, David Zwirner (New York, main), said: “Frieze New York is a great environment for ambitious, curated presentations, and we were excited to continue our recent tradition of presenting a dual-artist show at the fair, this year featuring Carol Bove and William Eggleston, following the pairing of Isa Genzken and Lisa Yuskavage last year. The collector response was strong - we sold out the works by Carol Bove on opening day, and had a similarly positive experience with selling the majority of the photographs by William Eggleston.”

David Zwirner, Frieze New York 2017

Carol Bove at David Zwirner, Frieze New York 2017

Alex Logsdail, International Director of Lisson Gallery (London, main), remarked: “We had a strong week at Frieze New York, with sustained sales and interest throughout the fair following a successful opening day with the sale of major works by Lee Ufan and Anish Kapoor. We’ve been pleased by the collector and curator response to the dialogue between these two artists’ works.”

Lisa Spellman, Founder and Director, 303 Gallery (New York, main) shared: “We’ve had an incredible fair; Frieze is spectacular. There has been an international crowd throughout the week and we’ve had great feedback. We have made incredible sales beyond expectation.”

Noach Vander Beken, Axel Vervoordt Gallery (Antwerp, main) said: “This was our first year participating in Frieze New York and we have been very pleased with the quality of collectors that have visited the fair each day. For our stand, we presented works by Masatoshi Masanobu, marking the pioneering Gutai artist’s rediscovery with a first solo show in New York, and the response from collectors has been incredibly strong with sales made throughout the week to a number of collectors that are new to the gallery. Overall, the experience here has been tremendous and we’re already looking forward to next year.”

Elisa Uematsu, Taka Ishii Gallery (Tokyo, main) said: “New York is a city full of opportunities to explore the arts, but with the growing range of art on view this week and the addition of more modern art galleries at Frieze New York, this year’s fair gave visitors an exceptional range of art to discover. It was the ideal setting for our presentation of contemporary and historical material. We received a strong response from institutions and collectors, especially for the works of Takeo Yamaguchi, Yoshio Sekine, Kimiyo Mishima and Tomoo Gokita.”

Donald Ellis Gallery (New York and Vancouver, main) commented: “We are very pleased with our participation and received an overwhelmingly positive response to our first presentation at Frieze New York. We look forward to being back and showing more of this historical material in the context of contemporary and modern art in the future.”

John Ollman, Owner Fleisher/Ollman Gallery (Philadelphia, Spotlight): “This was our first time exhibiting at Frieze New York and the energy here was incredible – it felt like fairs of years past. The response to our presentation of work by Felipe Jesus Consalvos has surpassed all our expectations. We sold works to collectors that are all new to the gallery, and many who had never seen Consalvos’ work before. We’re also very happy with the response from the museum community, with a number of works anticipated to enter institutional collections.”

Marius Wilms, Société (Berlin, Focus), said: “Following our Soylent installation last year, this year we decided to present a booth that showed works by a range of artists and highlighted some major strengths of our gallery program. The response was very strong with good sales throughout the fair, particularly to collectors that are new to the gallery and we’re looking forward to continuing to build on these relationships in the future.”

Esperanza Rosales, Director, VI, VII (Oslo, Frame) said: “We have had a tremendous response to our debut presentation at Frieze New York. Frame has been the ideal platform to show Eva LeWitt’s works for the first time in an international art fair context. Within hours of the fair opening we had made new connections and placed works in major collections from New York and Latin America, including a large-scale wall sculpture. We could not be happier.”

Stefan Benchoam, Director, Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala City, Frame) said: “This was our first year participating in Frieze New York, and it has been a wonderful experience.  We’ve made connections to museums, curators, and collectors from around the world, and there had been a great response to our stand of works by Akira Ikezoe with strong sales and interest across the board.”

Museums and Curators

Eykyn Maclean, Frieze New York 2017

Eykyn Maclean, Frieze New York 2017

Drawing a record level of institutional attendance, Frieze New York 2017 welcomed leadership and stakeholders from 230 leading art museums from around the world. International museum directors and curators acquired works throughout the fair and lauded Frieze New York for convening an unparalleled collection of emerging and established galleries, artists, and thought-leaders for a vibrant week of conversation and discovery.

Nancy Spector, Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, commented: “Frieze is my favorite art fair; it is well-curated and always legible.  The announcement this year of a purchase award to the Brooklyn Museum is especially admirable.  It is wonderful to see Frieze giving back to the communities that support it.”

Gavin Delahunty, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Dallas Museum of Art, commented: “The fair struck a terrific balance between contemporary and more modern work. We discovered a number of contemporary artists and artworks new to us, such as Yuji Agemtasu’s sculptures at Miguel Abreu and Nick Relph’s photograms at Herald Street. There were also significant examples of work by well-known artists such as Mike Kelley’s Compound Eye (1982-3) at Franklin Parrasch, and other highlights for us included the solo presentation of Jamie Davidovich at Henrique Faria, Kiki Kogelnik at Simone Subal, Etienne Martin at Galerie Bernard Bouche, and the combination of works from across different time periods at Taka Ishii.”

Alex Gartenfeld, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, remarked: “Frieze always offers so many opportunities to discover artists and galleries from around the world, especially through the Frame section and Focus. I appreciate that the fair is finding new ways to challenge the art fair model with performance activities, site specific installations, and Cecilia Alemani’s Frieze New York Projects, which is always a highlight.”

Yana Peel, CEO of Serpentine Galleries, London, noted: “It’s thrilling to return to Randall’s Island for the sixth year, to celebrate the success of the Frieze Fair as it grows in size, ambition and influence. Among the 200 exhibitors, the expanded Spotlight section – curated by Toby Kamps – is particularly exciting for discovery and rediscovery, as is Frame.”

Partnership with Americans for the Arts
This year, Frieze partnered with Americans for the Arts in support of its Action Fund campaign to save the National Endowment of the Arts.  Through an integrated onsite and online awareness campaign, Frieze encouraged all fair attendees to both sign a petition to the United States Congress and to make a contribution to the Arts Action Fund, which Frieze matched in full, to help support the organization’s legislative efforts to ensure public arts funding is preserved in the United States. Information about the Action Fund campaign and opportunities for the public to contribute were presented on Frieze’s website and across the fair.

Bob Lynch, President, Americans for the Arts Action Fund said: “The Americans for the Arts Action Fund greatly appreciates the generosity of Frieze New York in making our national arts advocacy efforts the beneficiary of funds from this year’s art fair. It is truly visionary and important long term thinking that an excellent commercial art enterprise like Frieze recognizes the value of entities that serve the not-for-profit arts world such as our nation’s federal agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services among others. The Americans for the Arts Action Fund will use the funds to educate the US Congress and other decision makers about the value of the arts and arts education to all Americans in every part of our nation and urge them to fully fund the NEA for fiscal year 2018, plus all the other federal cultural agencies and efforts such as the Artist Museum Partnership Act which would allow artists the same tax benefits for donations of their own art as a collector currently gets when gifting a similar work to a museum or educational institution.”

Frieze New York returns in May 2018!
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