7 must-see moments during Frieze New York (and beyond)

From art exhibitions and book releases to parties meant to impress friends and followers alike... here's what not to miss this week.

by Paige Silveria
18 May 2022, 3:48pm

Photo via Instagram

It’s finally warm enough in New York City to pull out those low rise jeans and hyper-short mini skirts (that Miu Miu skirt set, perhaps?). And for those seeking to present not only as fashion forward, but also culturally aware, the very high-brow behemoth of an art fair, Frieze is in town. In addition to the fair itself, which begins on May 18 with a VIP preview, there are a handful of book releases, art exhibitions and, of course, parties to regale those in town — or watching on IG stories from afar. Lucky for you, whether you’re looking to impress your followers, your friends or even your date, we’ve rounded up this week’s must-see events.

Here’s what you won’t want to miss during Frieze.

photo of i-D's new book WINK AND SMILE: The first forty years

1. The i-D book launch at DSM !

First and foremost (and arguably the most important thing on the list), is the launch of our new hardcover, i-D WINK AND SMILE: The First Forty Years, which chronicles i-D from its hand-stapled punk zine origins to its current standing as the coolest print and digital fashion magazine ever created. Divided into four chapters, each focusing on a different decade, the book includes full-page spreads from past issues, archival ephemera, new and old writings from friends like Sade, Phoebe Philo and Raf Simons, photography from friends like Tyler Mitchell, Juergen Teller, David Sims and Wolfgang Tillmans — plus hundreds of iconic covers. The chronicle presents itself as a go-to reference for not only the evolution of youth culture, but also of publishing as a whole. We’ll see you at Dover Street Market this Saturday, May 21 from 5-7pm to celebrate ;)

Kiko Kostadinov’s Exhibition ener.G at Jeffrey Stark Gallery 

2. Kiko Kostadinov’s Exhibition ener.G at Jeffrey Stark Gallery 

On view at one of our favourite galleries, Jeffrey Stark, in East Broadway Mall, is Bulgarian-born London-based fashion designer Kiko Kostadinov’s debut New York exhibition titled ener.G. In a commentary on the effects of the past century’s masculine aesthetics on today’s identity politics, Kiko draws on disparate references culled from throughout the evolution of his practice. Illuminated by overhead fluorescent tube lighting, coloured Sambo belts — a Russian martial art he practiced as a youth — are suspended from the ceiling and laden with photography pulled from German workwear catalogs. Laying underneath, are a pair of IKEA mirrors onto which he sandblasted with a fragmented pattern of bore spacers. Hanging on the wall to the right, is a 90s motocross jacket, replete with an Energie logo — one of the designer’s early entry points into the industry — and the name of motocross champion Valentino Rossi, who Kiko’s been told he resembles. The exhibition is on view through May 22.


3. Pink Essay’s PHYSICAL EDUCATION II: DESIGN FOR ALL group exhibition

Over the past year, Matt Pecina and David Eardley of new creative studio Pink Essay have been building what they call the future of the furniture and object design community in New York. For their latest presentation, PHYSICAL EDUCATION II: DESIGN FOR ALL at Skilset, they’ve invited exhibitors from their previous projects to showcase what they thought exemplified their motto “design for all”. The result is a wide range of work like Emmanuel Popoteur’s PVC Chair, Matt Pecina’s GUAPO Rocker V1 and CAOS MOTE’s Cinderblock Table V1, which offers an idea of what the industry might look like moving forward. “We are absolutely floored by the overwhelmingly positive response to the show,” Matt says. “The opening was such a vibe, full of love and pulsing creative energy. There is a real need for a cultural revolution in the design industry and it’s our mission to break down these barriers and create a place where our design community can truly flourish.” The showcase is on view at 63 Flushing Ave, Building 5, Suite 305, from 1–6 pm through May 20. 

4. La Repetición es un Desastre by Blobb designer Sofia Elias 

“This show was very special to me,” explains Mexico City-based designer Sofia Elias about her first solo exhibition in New York, organised by Jessica Hodin. “For the first time, the pieces I’ve created were presented in an art forum, rather than just a retail space. I’ve always considered my pieces to be more like unique miniature sculptures for the body, rather than merely jewellery.” Considering her well-known brand Blobb, through which she sells handmade, vibrantly coloured resin rings and bracelets — including collaborations with designers like Mowalola and Marshall Columbia — Sofia’s current presentation is exactly what you’d imagine. Though the space is small, the Blobb jewellery and vases (which are for sale!) are framed by bright scarlet wall-to-wall carpeting, a mirrored ceiling and Greek columns printed on large-scale ribbons of white paper, creating a feeling of being lost in some fantastic world. “The space was about ludic interaction,” Sofia adds. “People had to bend down and open the little balls I put rings in, to make sure they found the right one. It’s a way of making people play with the pieces, and invite them to be part of the installation. La repetición es un desastre references how I make everything by hand. It’s an argument against mass production, with a bit of irony. I’m trying to bring out our inner child.” The show is on view at WHAAM! gallery, through May 22. 

masa galleria exhibition in new york city

5. Intervención/Intersección: MASA GALERIA at Rockefeller Center, curated by Su Wu

For their first New York exhibition, Mexico City design platform MASA took over a former federal post office at Rockefeller Center where they installed over 700 functional artworks by historical and contemporary Mexican and Mexico-based artists and designers. Some of our favourite works being shown include: “Empathy For Other Creatures”, a trio of reworked seesaws by one of the the country’s biggest names, Miguel Calderon (you may remember his “Bad Route” painting of wild, masked four wheelers, hung behind a mescaline-high Owen Wilson in Wes Anderson’s film, “The Royal Tenenbaums”); Rubén Ortiz Torres’ car hoods, which were mangled by cartel violence and restored using Japanese “kintsugi”; a chain-link-fringed bench by Frida Escobedo; and on the weirder side, the design project MARROW, which takes leftover bones from dinner parties and fashions them into lamps. Chic! Curated by Sue Wu, the work is on view through June 24 at Rockefeller Center, 610 5th Ave at Rink Level.

Tommy Malekoff’s FOREVER and FOREVER presented by New Canons

6. Tommy Malekoff’s FOREVER and FOREVER presented by New Canons

The second offering at Rockefeller Center this year is photographer and video artist Tommy Malekoff’s two-part site-specific installation FOREVER and FOREVER. Presented by the itinerant, project-based program New Canons, the ominous show features a series of photographs and multiple large-scale video works accompanied by a booming original soundtrack created by Tommy and Joe Williams. “The video deals with violence in nature, and nature revolting,” Tommy explains. “It was shot in the Everglades region of Southern Florida, which can look and feel prehistoric. It was also a way to make a video about people, without showing people.” Set underground in an obscure, dimly-lit former storage space, with the throng of tourists just outside, the venue furthers the feeling of alienation. “I hope people can see the video and draw their own conclusions.” The show’s on view at Rockefeller Center (630 5th ave, concourse level) from noon-10 p.m. through May 27. 

7. Scammer Anna Delvey’s first-ever solo show

Last, but absolutely not least, is convict Anna Delvey’s first-ever solo exhibition of 20 drawings she sketched with the limited means available to her while in Orange County detention. Opening to a very select audience at a secret location, the viewing will be followed by a video call from the scammer herself, currently held by ICE in upstate New York while she awaits her appeal. Following the globe’s hyper focus on her fascinatingly swift rise and fall as detailed on Netflix’s Inventing Anna — which she made $320,000 from — and the numerous articles following it, the ever-detail-orientated Anna Delvey seeks to make her own voice heard. The works won’t be for sale individually, rather the Founders Art Club is selling 48% of the collection as a whole for around $500,000. Lol. The exhibition won’t be open to the public following the event, but we recommend refreshing your feed on May 19 to tune in.

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