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Buoyant mood & high quality work equal strong sales at Frieze New York
Alexandre da Cunha, Mix (Americana) 2013, CRG Gallery. Frieze New York 2013 Photograph by John Berens Courtesy John Berens/ Frieze.

NEW YORK, NY.- The second edition of Frieze New York closed on Monday 13 May with galleries reporting high collector attendance and robust sales across all levels of the market. Many exhibitors also remarked on the fair’s maturity in its second year and expressed further admiration for the overall conception of the fair, its structure and setting. With 186 galleries from 32 countries, the second edition of Frieze New York, confirmed the fair’s place in the contemporary art calendar.

With visitor numbers in the region of 45,000, a number comparable with last year, the fair attracted international artists, collectors, curators and journalists, all of whom remarked upon the quality of the material brought by the galleries and the buoyant mood at the fair. Tickets sold out on the Sunday of the fair. Institutions throughout New York hosted numerous events to mark this year’s edition, with support for the fair felt across the city.

Frieze New York takes place in a bespoke temporary structure, designed by Brooklyn-based architects SO – IL, on Randall’s Island, Manhattan. Frieze New York is sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

Gallery Response
Thaddeus Ropac: ‘It was fantastic! We brought a significant Sigmar Polke and have sold it. We could not be more pleased, seeing a great number of American collectors but also Europeans too, which was a pleasant surprise.’

Lisa Spellman of 303 Gallery said: ‘Sales were fantastic. Collectors love this fair, it’s dynamic, high quality and offers an experience no other fair provides. We are really happy with the feedback, the sales, and the amount of curators and writers. It’s really a perfect fair.’

Luhring Augustine also met with success. Director, Lauren Wittels observed: ‘We came to the fair not knowing what to expect and were happily surprised by the wonderful reception. We were thrilled with the beautiful design of the tent, which allowed us to show new works by Tom Friedman in the best possible light to enthusiastic collectors, museum directors, curators, and the public. We had exceptional sales and sold all of the works within the first hour. It was a pleasure to participate in Frieze New York. We had a great experience.’

Iwan Wirth was also complimentary: ‘The second round of Frieze New York confirmed what we expected after our excellent experience in the inaugural year. Hauser & Wirth had a very strong week, greeting collectors and museum colleagues of the highest level. But most of all the fair was particularly fulfilling for our artists: Paul McCarthy, Matthew Day Jackson and Rashid Johnson. And, of course, it was fantastic for us to be able to share Paul McCarthy’s ‘Balloon Dog’ as part of the curated Sculpture Park in the landscape around the tent. We already look forward to next year.’

Glenn Scott Wright of Victoria Miro remarked, ‘I was struck by the high quality of material across the board. We brought work by artists with a museum presence in New York, for example Yayoi Kusama, and that quality of work sold very well. We’ve seen fantastic clients every day and the opening day was simply fantastic.’

Theresa Liang of Long March Space observed: ‘We had a very good experience. The fair has an open design that has enabled us to showcase our program. We took more space at the fair this year and that was a good decision as it allowed us to introduce the diversity of our artists to a wide audience. New York is one of the few cities that has a strong collector base and awareness of Chinese culture. Collectors, visitors and Museums are all well informed and that gives us the ideal context. We hoped that we would meet important new contacts here but it really has exceeded expectations.’

Young galleries in the Frame section of the fair also met with success. Frame is for galleries under six years old and is sponsored by Joe Fresh.

Gabriella Giattino of Bureau said, ‘Frieze New York gave us the chance to give our artist Julia Rommel more visibility as we’ve had just one solo show with her in the gallery. The audience we met here more than achieved that and we were very successful selling all her works on the opening day. We met new collectors from all across the US: Florida, Texas, Los Angeles and New York and were able to place her pieces in the right hands.’

First time Frame exhibitor Leo Xu was enthusiastic: ‘My first Frieze experience has been exciting and inspiring. The solo booth has been positively received and we’ve had commercial success. Another result is that a new commissioned project is now under generation and exhibition possibilities in America are being discussed. This growing conversation is exactly what we came to New York to find. The best thing is that visitors to Frieze New York are keen to see the new ideas from young Chinese artists that work in new media and deal with social transformation. That is unparalleled!’

In Focus, for galleries under ten years old, there was also a good response with participants developing new relationships.

Sylvia Kouvali of Rodeo remarked: ‘We chose to show Apostolos Georgiou, whose work has never been shown outside Greece before, and could not be more pleased with the response as we had really good sales with really good collectors, many of whom were new to us. For a relatively young gallery, like ourselves, it’s important to get broader recognition of who we are and what we do and here we’ve done that, we met everyone we could have wanted to – everyone came.’

Bruce Haines of Ancient and Modern could not have been more pleased: ‘We’re an unknown gallery in the US and we’ve brought an artist unknown in the US too, but the interest has been huge, from not only collectors but also our peer group. It’s been simply fantastic as I have made extraordinary sales and found new possibilities for our artists to exhibit. Everyone I have met has been a new person to the gallery, not just from the US but also across the Americas as a whole.’

Collector Response
Beth Swofford had a rewarding visit: ‘Frieze New York was a real success in its second year. The energy was great, there was some beautiful art and the special events and projects were even better than last year. My friends who are new collectors were happy to continue their exploration of contemporary art. For me, it was a treat to see work from some of my favourites along with new artists from around the world.’

Jerry Speyer: ‘It was light and airy, and very comfortable. The galleries, those well known in addition to the newcomers from all over the globe, exhibited new and fresh work, in addition to better known works. Bravo!’

Leon Amitai said: ‘My best fair! The galleries have really made an effort to bring good pieces. The natural light and windows makes a difference from other fairs and I feel as if I really have time to talk with the galleries. Also I really like the focus on contemporary work. I think it is fantastic.

Estrellita Brodsky: It was great to see galleries from all over the world, including Latin America. Fairs can be exhausting, but the architecture, the staff, the special events, and the amenities made visiting Frieze New York a particularly pleasurable and human experience.

Museum Groups
With over 90 groups from the world’s major museums the fair had strong institutional attendance. Visiting museum groups included: Aspen Museum of Art; Bass Museum of Art; The Dallas Museum of Art; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardens; LACMA; MACBA, Barcelona; Mamco, Geneva; MAXXI, Rome; MCA, Chicago; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Miami Art Museum; MoMA; Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Centre Pompidou; Seattle Art Museum; Serpentine Gallery; SFMoMA; SITE Santa Fe; Tate; Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; The Power Plant, Toronto; Wadsworth Atheneum; Walker Art Center; Whitechapel Gallery and the Whitney Museum of Art.

A new addition to the fair this year, the Frieze New York Education space was sponsored by Deutsche Bank and allowed public school classes and groups to further explore the fair through workshops.

Over 600 children took part in the Frieze New York Education Program with over ten school groups from schools across all five New York boroughs.

Taking place in a dedicated structure, the program for the space was devised by Free Arts NYC and 826NYC who together produced a dynamic context for students ranging from fourth to 12th grade, exploring notions of contemporary art and color.A creative documentation of the workshops and their results can be found on a dedicated Frieze Education tumblr page.

Stand Prize
The Frieze New York Stand Prize sponsored by Champagne Pommery was won by Galerie Elba Benitez who was awarded a prize of $15,000 for their solo showing of Carlos Bunga. The prize was judged by an international panel of curators: Juan A. Gaitán (Curator 8th Berlin Biennale); Naomi Beckwith (Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator, MCA Chicago); Jeffrey Grove (The Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Dallas Museum of Art).

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