8 things to look forward to at frieze’s eighth edition
i-D's guide to the epic art show, from the first black female photographer acquired by MoMA, to afrofuturist textiles.
FIRELEI BÁEZ: Untitled (Central Power Station), 2019 Acrylic and oil on archival printed canvas. Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery.
After only seven editions, Frieze New York has firmly cemented itself as “New York’s most important art fair”. And, with that title, flock hundreds of the art world’s elite, tourists, semi-interested fairgoers, and Instagram opportunists.
Because the fair’s strength lies in exposing people to unfamiliar galleries and artwork, it can be hard to navigate exactly what to expect from the long and daunting list of exhibitors.
i-D found some, of the many, interesting things to look forward to this year.
JAM: Just Above Midtown
In a special section of the fair, Franklin Sirmans, the director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), will be curating a show to highlight the artists from Just Above Midtown (JAM), a historic platform for contemporary African-American art founded by Linda Goode Bryant.
This will include eight solo presentations by artists from Bryant’s original programming: Dawoud Bey, Norman Lewis, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Howardena Pindell, Lorna Simpson, and Ming Smith (from 10 galleries).
Ming Smith showed with JAM in 1981 and was the first black female photographer acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. She will be presenting present photographs from the 1970s-90s in this section, through Jenkins Johnson Gallery.
A new themed section focusing on art by contemporary Latinx and Latin American artists is not to be missed this year.
This will include work from Ana Mendieta (Galerie Lelong & Co.), influential Cuban American artist known for her “earth-body” performances exploring her identity as a female emigrant, Ken Gonzales-Day (Luis De Jesus), with powerful work exploring the history of racial violence in America, and emerging New York-based artist Firelei Báez, who explores the histories of Afro-Latina and Afro-Caribbean women who have been forgotten by the West.
The “Frame” section at Frieze is always a great way to discover emerging galleries and artists, and this year it does not disappoint. Highlighting solo artist projects by galleries 10-years-old or younger, this year will showcase new work by multimedia artist Leslie Thornton (Unit 17), emerging American artist Olivia Erlanger (And Now, Dallas), Japanese filmmaker Takahiko Iimura (Microscope Gallery, New York), and Chinese-American painter Yanyan Huang (Bank, Shanghai).
While there, be sure to watch out for the work of emerging artist Sarah Faux, presented by Capsule Shanghai, whose work explores intimate and abstract nudes. She will be creating a site-specific wall drawing composed of bodies in motion for the fair.
Nari Ward (Lehmann Maupin)
On the back of a Nari Ward's acclaimed solo exhibition, “We the People” at the New Museum (until 26 May 2019), the artist will feature at Frieze New York in Lehmann Maupin’s presentation. Ward is known for his ability to use everyday objects in his neighborhood to address issues related to race and poverty.
Lehmann Maupin’s presentation will also feature work from American artists Helen Pashgian and Lari Pittman.
This year’s “Spotlight” section, in collaboration with The Drawing Center and led by the new curatorial advisor Laura Hoptman, is set to continue to explore solo presentations of overlooked figures and modern masters.
With over 33 galleries participating, some of the most exciting artists featured include pioneering US artists Louise Fishman, Joan Brown, and Charles Hinman, postmodernist German painter Elvira Bach, and the misunderstood feminist Argentinian painter Leonor Fini.
It will also include the work of Kazuko Miyamoto, presented by Zürcher Gallery. Born in Tokyo during World War II and moving to America in 1964, Miyamoto’s work has been largely ignored by the art world, despite being one of the founding artists of the A.I.R. (Artist in Residence), the first all-women artist collective in New York. She also established gallery onetwentyeight, a community art space that is the longest continuing space of its kind in the Lower East Side.
Erin M. Riley (P.P.O.W)
Textile artist Erin M. Riley, will feature this year as part of P.P.O.W’s exhibition, also featuring works by Prunella Clough, Ben Gocker, Judith Linhares, and Katherine Kuharic, alongside a performative installation by Steve Keene.
The Brooklyn-based artist uses tapestry to explore womanhood and the spectrum of female sexuality, often reflecting on America’s current political landscape. Her work is currently also part of the permanent exhibition The Salon curated by Lolita Cros.
Lauren Halsey (Frieze Artist Award)
Los-Angeles based artist Lauren Halsey was this year’s winner of the “Frieze Artist Award”, and will create “an architectural intervention” for the fair this year.
Inspired by Afrofuturism, hip hop, and funk, her work explores the relationship between architecture and community-building in urban centers. Look out for her the “du-rag models” and “black ideological pyramid worlds” in her experimental sculptures showcased in gateways and communal areas within the fair.
Ferry Portraits with Joel Mesler
If you happen to be catching the ferry from Manhattan’s 35th Street to Randall’s Island, you may want to have your own portrait painted by artist and dealer Joel Mesler.
The portraits will range from around $100-$250 and provide the perfect take-home souvenir from Frieze for those more narcissistic among us. It’s also worth noting the artist is open to painting both “humans and non-humans”.
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning New York art critic Jerry Saltz for "The Art World Now: The Good, The Bad, and The Very Bad". A reception including a customized activation presented by Levi's® Made&Crafted®, along with bites and drinks to follow. On Friday May 3, from 5 to 7pm in the Talks Tent.