Taking the challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic head-on, the Frieze Art Fair has opened its Online Viewing Room program, bringing a selection of works by its exhibitors to view on its website. Opened as a stand-in for the cancelled New York edition of its international fair program, the online show has created an expansive online show, welcoming those left working from home or sheltering in place to take a leisurely browse through the show.
The physical contacts and sense of encounter is surely gone from this iteration of the fair, with the sheer density of the fair site, and the need to explore and browse through, leaving some galleries left outside of the viewer’s scope, while other name-brand and blue-chip spaces perhaps receiving more than the lions share. At the same time, the fair also enables galleries to roll the dice on more adventurous works, showing works online with no concern over shipping, insurance or installation costs.
For galleries able to rise to the occasion, sales seemed relatively strong. Pace Gallery moved a substantial number of works over the early days of the fair, among them a a 2019 painting by Loie Hollowell for $250,000, while at Hauser & Wirth, the gallery had sold over 20 works in the first days of the fair, including a $2 million piece by George Condo, underscoring its flexibility and adaptability during such challenging times.
Art Observed has compiled a range of works from the fair viewing rooms. The show closes May 15th.
— D. Creahan