AO On Site with Photoset – New York: Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island, MAY 4–7, 2012

May 4th, 2012

Gavin Brown and Mark Ruffalo cooking sausages. All photographs by Aubrey Roemer for Art Observed.

The always fresh but now venerable Frieze Art Fair of Regent’s Park, London, has successfully completed its maiden voyage to this side of the Atlantic. The pavilion, designed by Brooklyn-based SO-IL Architects, places Frieze New York on Randall’s Island Park from May 4-7, 2012. The fair is being held in a distinctly snakelike structure that houses 180 leading contemporary galleries presenting works by more than 1,000 artists. There are a number of culinary options as well: Roberta’s, The Fat Radish Café, Frankie’s Spuntino Restaurant, Sant Abroeus Café and the Standard Biergarten.

Entrance to the Frieze Art Fair

Simon De Pury and family.

Fresh off the heels of the Armory Show and Sotheby’s spring auction, the New York art cognoscenti will largely determine whether this inaugural show will be the dawn of record-setting sales or the buzz-building tour de force that is Art Basel Miami Beach with its equal parts art and party recipe. The mood of the crowd is doubtlessly framed by Edvard Munch’s ‘Scream’ selling for a record $120m the night before  the opening.

Anish Kapoor at Lisson Gallery.

Early attendees included Cecilia Dean of Visionaire Magazine who visited Doug Aitken’s More at 303 Gallery, Simon De Pury of Philips de Pury, Bill Powers of Half Gallery, Klaus Biesenbach of MoMa PS1, and Knight Landesman of ArtForum in his trademark red suit. Larry Gagosian’s conspicuous absence apparently did not deter the brisk sellout of six Rudolf Stingel screen paintings, which sold within the first hour of the fair’s opening for an average of $450,000 each.  Other notable sales included Antony Gormley’s Tense, 2011 at Sean Kelly Gallery, which sold for £250,000 and Build IV, 2010, which sold for £300,000 at White Cube Gallery. Damien Hirst’s I Want You Too 1993 was reportedly under contract as of late Thursday evening.  Mayor Bloomberg arrived with his security detail and spent some time at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. discussing Washington Crossing the Delaware, after Emanuel Leutze (Pictures of Magazines 2), 2012 by Vik Muniz, a Brazilian born NYC-based artist. The work reimagines the 1851 oil painting permanently housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and investigates ideas of history, time and appropriation.

Doug Aitken, More, at 303 Gallery

The effervescence surrounding Mark Ruffalo’s performance art piece at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise was palpable. In conjunction with artist Rirkrit Tiravanija’s installation designed to raise awareness on the dangers of hydraulic fracking for natural gas, Ruffalo served pork sausages wrapped in copies of Dick Cheney’s contentious fracking bill to spectators. When a woman explained to him that her house in Pennsylvania had been destroyed by fracking, Ruffalo put his arm around her and roared, “This is the face of hydro-fracking! She doesn’t look like a farmer. She looks just like you!” Another interactive spectacle was Jennifer Rubell’s “Lea I” (2012) at the Breeder Gallery, which features a Barbie-like mannequin that functions as a nutcracker and comes complete with a chest of walnuts for curious onlookers.

Jennifer Rubell, Lia I, at the Breeder Gallery booth of Athens

The fair is open to the public Friday and Saturday from noon to 7 PM and Sunday and Monday from noon to 6 PM.  Tickets to Frieze New York are available online and at the fair entrance; One day (12pm Entry): $40; Reduced One Day (1pm Entry) available for Senior Citizens (62 or over) and Students with ID card: $25. All tickets include return Frieze ferry and bus services from 35th Street on the East River.

Installation of David Zwirner Booth

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #422, at Sprüth Magers

Installation View of Sprüth Magers Booth

Installation View with Jerry Saltz at Salon 94

Rirkrit Tiravanija, untitled 2012 (Kramer and Newman make sausage), at Gavin Brown Enterprise

Tatiane Trove Installation at Galerié Perrotin

Wolfgang Laib at Sean Kelly Gallery

Tracy Emin at White Cube Gallery

John Ahearn at Frieze Projects

Detail of Ai Weiwei’s Moonchest at Lisson Gallery

Jerry Saltz

Daniel Firman, Lea, at Galerié Perrotin

Paul McCarthy at Hauser & Wirth

Huda Lufti at The Third Line Gallery


Andrea Zittel at Andrea Rosen Gallery

Rudolph Stingel at Gagosian Gallery

Jim Lambie, Vortex Series, at Anton Kern Gallery

Installation Shot of Wilkinson Gallery’s Booth

Installation View of Sikkema Jenkins & Co.’s Booth

Knight Landesman

Installation View at Anton Kern Booth

Installtion View at Stuart Shave / Modern Art Booth

Installation View of Cheim & Read’s Booth

Another Installation View of Cheim & Read’s Booth

Anselm Reyle at Contemporary Fine Arts

Installation View of Tina Kim Gallery’s Booth

Cecilia Dean and Friend

Detail of artwork at Foksal Gallery



Installation View of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery’s Booth

Justin Matherly’s Piece at Bureau’s Booth

Another Installation View at Tina Kim Gallery’s Booth

Allen Ruppersberg’s Piece at Greene Naftali


Gelitin’s Installation at Greene Naftali


Installation View at Stevenson Gallery

Installation View at Maccarone Gallery

Installation View at The Modern Institute


Installation Shot at 303 Gallery

Installation View at Massimo Minini

The Frieze sign

—I. Kim

Related Links:

Exhibition Site [Frieze New York]
Where ‘Just Looking’ is Just Fine [New York Times]
Scoping Art at a Four-Day Island Getaway [Wall Street Journal]
Ruffalo Fries Sausage, Mack, Marron Try N.Y. Frieze Fair [Bloomberg]
New York’s billion-dollar art week [The Art Newspaper]
Frieze New York review: more glitz, less grit, as art fair moves stateside [Guardian]
The fair phenomenon [Financial Times]