Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
Frieze New York breaks the traditional fair mold this edition, opting out of a separate VIP room and instead hosting several sponsored spaces, programs, and more throughout the tent on Randall’s Island. Participating this year are global lead partner Deutsche Bank, media partner the Financial Times, automotive partner BMW, Frame Prize supporter Stella Artois, Douglas Elliman, and The Standard.
Don’t worry, there will be spots to pause and rest your feet, keeping sensory overload at bay. For Deutsche Bank’s lucky clients, they’ve got a lounge boasting an extensive program of events. The public will be able to experience the BMW Lounge in a new, specially designed way where fair guests can stay and relax between their booth visits. Additionally, BMW continues its art and design talk program on the occasion of the fair. And may we suggest kicking back with a beer from one of two Stella Artois bars while perusing the FT’s Collecting Supplement in the Reading Room?
The official champagne partner is Ruinart. And this week they’ll be premiering in New York their artist of the year commission with none other than Jaume Plensa. Within a dedicated space at the fair, Frieze attendees will get a chance to see the large-scale sculpture created by the artist for the champagne house.
Plensa is known for his figurative sculptures that use symbols and letters to silhouette the human form. For this commission, the artist pays tribute to Dom Thierry Ruinart, the monk who inspired the creation of Maison Ruinart. Plensa took stainless steel letters and numbers from eight different languages—Latin, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Hindi—to form the figure of a person seated, knees tucked into the chest. “Each alphabet is of such extraordinary beauty because I believe it is the most accurate representation of a culture,” said Plensa.
Symbols splay out at the base of the sculpture, perhaps referencing a vine taking root in the soil. There are two dates carved at the bottom, connecting the past and the present: 1729 and 2016. The work took Plensa close to five months to create. “All the letters of the alphabet are there, it’s like I had a palette of colors. You imagine the piece but the piece becomes fantastic when the letter is the body,” he said.
The collaboration also resulted in a 20-piece limited-edition box for a magnum of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs designed by the artist. The cut-metal box, just like the work, allows light into its center, both casting complicated shadows and allowing the champagne to sparkle from within.
This article appears in Whitewaller New York‘s spring 2017 edition.