View a photo gallery of highlights from Frieze NY Art Fair at The Shed
After a five-day run and its first time taking place at The Shed in Manhattan, Frieze New York 2021 closed on Sunday, May 9. The fair reported strong sales and notable attendance throughout the duration of its run, which began on May 5th. As the first major contemporary art event to take place in the city since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Frieze New York managed to reunite the city’s arts community with sold-out tickets across the week, bringing together galleries, institutions, artists, and arts organizations in more than 60 featured galleries.
“Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who participated in Frieze New York at The Shed and online, as well as all our visitors and partners,” Rebecca Ann Siegel, Director of Americas and Content at Frieze, said. “This year’s fair was a challenge, but Frieze’s commitment to New York and the global arts community is unwavering. We are very proud of the work we’ve done and are deeply honored to have led the way forward.”
As per the press release, “the fair’s celebrated curated program was led in a tribute dedicated to the Vision & Justice Project and its founder, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Associate Professor at Harvard University, dedicated to examining art’s role in the relationship between race and citizenship.” Following the fair’s finale, the program’s special commissions by Carrie Mae Weems, Hank Willis Thomas, and Mel Chin will remain on view at The Shed and be free to the public from June 4, 2021. “Our thanks goes to our long-time partner Frieze for brilliantly executing a fair for those in New York and online for those around the world,” Dr. Anna Herrhausen, Global Head of Art, Culture, and Sports at Deutsche Bank, said. “The programming illustrates what we strongly believe in: art can help pave the way for social change.”
Many galleries reported sold-out booths and high interests in the works they presented, even seeing swift sales and major placements. For instance, on the opening day of Frieze New York, Hauser and Wirth sold a Louise Bourgeois work in the range of $1 million, a work by Ed Clark for $650,000, a George Condo painting for $800,000, a Rashid Johnson work for $750,000, a work by Simon Leigh at $300,000, Gary Simmons at $200,000, and a Günther Förg at $560,000.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the first day back to real art fair life,” Marc Payot, President of Hauser and Wirth, said. “Business has been very brisk, interest in our artists is almost overwhelming, and we’ve been delighted to greet so many friends and colleagues, from collectors to critics, arriving at The Shed from all over the map. This one day confirms yet again that New York City is the global capital of the contemporary art market.”
Another gallery that did well in sales was David Zwirner, who sold out their booth of new Dana Schutz paintings ranging from $700,000 to $900,000. Further sales were made by galleries including Stephen Friedman Gallery, who sold out their solo booth of paintings by British artist Sarah Ball at prices ranging from £15,000 to £35,000. Strong sales were also reported across the third iteration of Frieze Viewing Room on view through May 14, including 303 Gallery, which sold works such as a Doug Aitken lightbox work at $225,000, a Hans-Peter Feldmann painting at €130,000, a Rodney Graham painting at $125,000, a sculpture by Alicja Kwade at €52,000, a Jeppe Hein sculpture at €25,000, and a work by Nick Mauss at $50,000.
“It was an incredible week with great friends, clients, and curators back in town again, many for their first trips,” Lisa Spellman, Owner of 303 Gallery, said. “It was an emotional reunion. Frieze deserves serious props for rebuilding the art fair paradigm, it couldn’t have been a better week.”
The overall response of Frieze New York was positive, with many participants merely happy to be back to doing what they love. Birte Kleeman, Director of Michael Werner Gallery attests saying, “‘It is a fantastic experience to be exhibiting in-person at Frieze New York this year as it has been a great opportunity to connect with collectors who we haven’t seen since before the pandemic. We have participated in many fairs and this year’s edition of Frieze New York has been the most consistent in terms of engaging with collectors throughout the fair. Because of the steady pace, we have been able to meet new collectors, which is exciting for a gallery that has been running for 50 years. The Shed has been a successful venue, we have done well in sales, and our experience has overall been great.”
Notable attendees included Max Hollein and Ian Altveer of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thelma Golden of The Studio Museum in Harlem, Jessica Morgan of the Dia Art Foundation, Ann Pasternak of The Brooklyn Museum, Massimilano Gioni of The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Cecilia Alemani from the Highline, Nicholas Baume of the Public Art Fund, and Klaus Biesenbach of MOCA.
Frame is a section of the fair that features ambitious solo shows of new work by galleries active for a decade or less. Colombian gallery, Instituto de Visión, was named the winner of the 2021 Frame Stand Prize, which acknowledged the gallery’s exceptional presentation by Wilson Díaz. Honorable mentions were given to Gordon Robichaux for their presentation of Otis Houston Jr. as well as Microscope Gallery for their presentation of Ina Archer.
The online Frieze Viewing Room will continue through May 14, showcasing over 160 galleries, including those featured in Frieze New York alongside other international galleries from across six continents.