As the sun beat down on the ferries making their way up the East River this morning, Frieze New York opened its doors on the early hours of its first preview day, offering an opportunity for collectors and dealers to take a first stroll through the fair without the bustling crowds of the later fair days. Celebrating its seventh year on Randall’s Island, the fair’s early previews saw a first look at a fair that has come into its own as an anchor of New York’s already packed art scene, and which has become a much-anticipated first hint of the summer months in the city, a first opportunity to get outside and into the greenery of the slender island just north of Manhattan.
This year benefited particularly from an early bout of warm weather, with a sunny forecast drawing a healthy first day’s attendance to the fair, with sales to match. Pace had one of the more noteworthy figures of the day, selling an impressive 27 works from David Hockney series of small paintings and iPad drawings, each priced at around $26,000. With a new show of highly-praised works on view at the gallery space in Chelsea, the timing was perfect. Thaddaeus Ropac also had a strong first day, selling works by Jack Pierson and Georg Baselitz for $850,000 each. David Kordansky also made good on multiples, selling a string of works by Torbjørn Rødland for between $14,000 and $28,000.
Takashi Murakami seemed to be everywhere today, showing work at Gagosian Gallery and stopping by the Galerie Perrotin booth (which is currently showing a massive show of the artist’s work at its downtown space), as well as dropping into his own Kaikaikiki Gallery, where works by Yoshitomo Nara and MR were on view. Robert Therrien was also splitting time at the fair, with works on view at both Gagosian and Castelli Gallery, including his massive folding table sculpture, which was an easy favorite for attendees.
A work by Takashi Murakami, via Art Observed
A work by Takashi Murakami at Gagosian, via Art Observed
At Galerie Perrotin, a series of vivid Paola Pivi works also seemed to fit quite well with the beautiful weather outside, its colorful feathers and moving parts swirling across the booth surfaces to give the space an animated, enervated atmosphere. At Overduin and Co., painter Eliza Douglas was also showing a striking body of paintings, bearing a powerful energy that was balanced by the artist’s colorful sense of balance and detailing. Yet for sheer visual spectacle, it was difficult to beat Acquavella Gallery’s massive Keith Haring work, which towered over viewers and captivated passerby with the artist’s signature bold figurations and whimsical depictions cartoon violence.
A work by Richard Prince at Acquavella, via Art Observed
A work by Nick Cave, via Art Observed
Outside, the fair’s sculpture park also looked commanding in the bright sunlight, with work by Kapwani Kiwanga spreading its massive colorful panels out across the fair lawns, while nearby, Tony Tasset’s sculpture pit a series of smiling and frowning faces in a slender totem. Inside, artist Lara Schnitger’s Suffragette City saw a procession of women winding through the gallery space, bearing high banners and ephemera paying homage to the female spirit.
With its doors now open to the public, the following days offer ample opportunities for visitors to visit and explore, with sales expected to follow close behind. The fair closes Sunday, May 6th.
A work by Joseph Kosuth at Sprueth Magers, via Art Observed
A work by Dan Asher at Martos Gallery, via Art Observed
A work by Sarah Sze at Victoria Miro, via Art Observed
A work by Kaikaikiki, via Art Observed
A work by Leon Polk at Lisson Gallery, via Art Observed
A work by Tim Rollins and KOS at Maureen Paley, via Art Observed
A work by Tony Tasset, via Art Observed
A work by Alfredo Jaar at Lelong, via Art Observed
A work by Tom Friedman, via Art Observed
A work by Philip Guston at Hauser & Wirth, via Art Observed
— D. Creahan
Frieze New York [Frieze]