Frieze Week – New York

Date: 25 May 2023

Karen Jones

Frieze week is the talk of New York and Deutsche Bank has sponsored the show now at the venue ‘The Shed’ in Hudson Yards for many years.

Pamela Rosenkranz and her ‘Old Tree’ on the Highline

The sentiment from New Yorkers is that it is a good venue and easy to access in and out. It was previously much further out making it harder to get to and leave.

Quite a change of mood was apparent with more ‘emerging practices and discovery’ with craft, artisan and ‘assemblage’ work dominating the upper floors ‘Focus sections’ with bigger names on the main level. Galleries 3 and 4 included those ‘under 12 years old’ from Iran, Nigeria, Korea and Brazil to give a platform to lesser known galleries and artists.

Online is big now, as in preview before you attend, but the difference in colour is so drastic as to reveal a completely different artwork in person. Sometimes online reveals a subtle colour palette and then in person, it is garish.

Frieze feels more activist this year but the commentary disagrees and says this is usual but the themes that have hit the world were evident in another form. For instance, and ‘plan your vote’ were given floor space to reach younger voters to help with civic work. A box of water was given out with the word ‘banned’ on it, referring to one US state refusing to offer water to waiting voters. Tamara McCaw who is the Shed’s Chief Civic Program Officer also talks of direct action with unhoused people, which has become a big issue in Manhattan, it was the most mentioned topic on my recent visit. She talks of “hosting quarterly days of action to help with social issues like legal aid, food assistance and employment pathways.”

The Artist Plate Project launched a collection of over 40 plates created by renowned artists like Frank Bowling with editions of 250 each plate and a price tag of $250 to benefit homelessness. In the past, the project has raised substantial sums and is credited to Michelle Hellman, a partner of the New York gallery ‘A Hug from The Art World’. The plates were a hot ticket but the question remains for Citywealth Editor, do you hang them or eat from them? I favour the latter and expect to see some Instagram elevating eating to a new artistic level.

The showstopper piece of art was on the Highline with Pamela Rosenkranz and her ‘Old Tree’ which was a Highline commission. Blaring out in size and psychedelic pink it spoke to me of Australian coral rather than a tree but its visual connection is actually the human circulation system says the artist.

Read more at: Pamela Rosenkranz – Old Tree – Sprüth Magers

All the big names were on the second floor like Tracey Emin and Jack Whitten who is with Hauser & Wirth and the VIP drinks were in full flow. One of the most unusual art piece installations was from Monica Giron who knitted bird skins and feet, a representation of Patagonia. She is based in Buenos Aires.

Another interesting year with sculpture from Japan with Izumi Kato represented by Perrotin and Scott Lyall with UV cured inkjet on glass, mirror and acrylic gel with gold nanoparticles represented by Miguel Abreu Gallery. A final shout-out to artist Susumu Kamijo and his poodle collection. This a real commentary on the Upper East Side residents, where standard poodles, might, outnumber people.

Old Tree | The High Line

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