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The sixth edition of Frieze New York returns to Randall’s Island Park, with presentations from 200 galleries on view to the public from May 5 to 7. This year’s mix of international emerging and established talents will also see an addition of work from 20th-century masters. Whitewaller checked in with the fair’s director, Victoria Siddall, to learn more about what not to miss.
WHITEWALLER: Frieze New York is no longer the new kid on the block, as it has been in years past. How have you seen Frieze evolve and find its footing in New York?
VICTORIA SIDDALL: It has been great to see the fair become truly established in New York City and be embraced by its galleries, collectors, museums, and public. Frieze Week has become a cultural event in itself, while the fair has evolved in many ways and has taken on more and more aspects of the city every year. I am particularly pleased by the extremely strong showing of West Coast and Latin American galleries this year, as well as the best of New York. While contemporary art continues to be at the heart of the fair, the gallery list has also evolved toward those showing blue-chip and 20th-century work.
WW: Has the interest in expanding opportunities for cross-collecting in New York been organic or intentional?
VS: The crossover in collecting between contemporary and modern is something we have seen at Frieze London and Frieze Masters—a huge number of collectors and curators visit and buy at both fairs. In New York, the demand for 20th-century art became apparent and so we have built on its presence in recent years.
Major galleries including Skarstedt, Acquavella, and Lévy Gorvy have been showing at Frieze New York since 2015, bringing modern masterpieces by artists from Ed Ruscha and Sherrie Levine to Jean Dubuffet. In 2015, we also introduced Spotlight at Frieze New York, a curated section for 20th-century pioneers from all over the world, and have been thrilled by the response in terms of visitor engagement and museum sales.
WW: Can you tell us a bit more about what we can expect from the Spotlight section curated this year by the Menil Collection’s Toby Kamps?
VS: Spotlight is bigger than ever this year, showcasing 30 pioneering artists. It consists of solo presentations of figures working in the 20th century all over the world, many of whom have been underrecognized until recently, or were not well known outside their own country. Toby Kamps has built the section around a number of strands, one of which is “hippie modernism” with USCO (The Company of Us) and Gerd Stern, who merged psychedelia and linguistic theory in search of enlightenment; and new forms of concrete poetry, with DomSylvester Houédard, a Benedictine monk and expert on the Beat movement, as well as Irma Blank, whose work will be in the Venice Biennale. You will also find icons of New York’s downtown avant-garde such as FelipeJesusConsalvos, a self-taught artist and Cuban immigrant; and TeresaBurga, a Peruvian artist who is opening her first-ever museum retrospective at SculptureCenter during Frieze Week.
This article appears in Whitewaller New York spring 2017.