Located at The Shed in Hudson Yards—reduced in size but still with the highest concentration of the hottest and most powerful galleries in the world—Frieze New York is, more than any other art fair, a perfect mirror of the art world at a certain moment in time, a microcosm where all the players come to light.
On the first floor, the major galleries presented their latest trophies: the controversial photographer Nan Goldin at Gagosian; a one-man show of the late American abstractionist Jack Whitten at Houser & Wirth; and abstract painter Suzan Frecon at David Zwirner. Other galleries opted for artists with a presence in the city, like Pamela Rosenkranz, whose captivating red tree sculpture punctuates the High Line and who has some beautiful works at Spruth Magers; like Alex Da Corte, whose paintings are center stage at Matthew Marks; and like Lauren Halsey, who was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create a site-specific installation on the Cantor Roof Garden, and who has a solo presentation at David Kordansky Gallery.
Kurimanzutto offered beautiful Gabriel Orozco, Michael Werner had some great Florian Krewer, Victoria Miro a 2D work by Sarah Sze, Thaddeus Ropac a fresh Georg Baselitz—the list of works to buy would be endless…if only they were still available.
The major trend is still painting—less figurative and more abstract—with a focus on female artists. It is great to see so much work by women in every single gallery throughout the fair: women from different generations, the well known, the rediscovered, and those fresh from the studio. We wanted to walk home with a small black box by Louise Nevelson presented by Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, where a section focused on Feminist art from 1978, the year when abortion was first ratified by the Supreme Court.
On the top floor, where the younger galleries and the more avant-garde offerings are grouped, another trend comes to attention: multimedia works that elevate traditional craft, in particular handcrafts. Patchwork and quilts—including the exceptional ones by Sanford Biggers at Massimo De Carlo—crochet, embroidery, and lace artworks, like those of the well known Sonia Gomes and Joana Vasconcelos, who collaborated recently with Dior, and the surprising and moving works by Mónica Giron at Barro and by Jagdeep Raina at Cooper Cole in the Focus section.
On the topic of art and entertainment, a favorite were the word paintings by Mario García Torres at Galeria Luisa Strina, where Hollywood and fake news converged.