Today, Frieze New York marks the beginning of an optimistic, new era for the art fair world, as the first major United States iteration to return to an in-person format since the Armory Show in early March 2020.
However, for seasoned fairgoers, this year’s adapted edition will stray significantly from the artist-packed nature of Frieze New York’s past. This year’s scaled-down iteration will host 60 exhibitors (almost all of which are US-based), instead of the typical 190. And, taking extra precaution, the event’s organizers opted to relocate from the fair’s signature white tent on Randall’s Island to The Shed — a non-profit arts center in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards — which allows for new social distancing measures, according to the Visitor Information guidelines.
“Without being able to hold the fair in the Shed, I don’t know if it would have been possible to do any in-person event this spring,” says Loring Randolph, director of programming for Frieze New York, of the building’s safety-compliant layout to Cultured Magazine. “Now that everyone is eligible, a lot of gallery staff has gotten vaccinated, giving people a lot more confidence. People are flying in for it.”
This year’s event programming will center entirely around one universal theme: furthering the artistic potential of its visitors at the pandemic’s tail. Paying tribute to the Vision and Justice Project, an organization dedicated to dissecting the roles of visual art and representation in democracy, and its founder Sarah Lewis, an associate professor at Harvard University, Frieze New York 2021 will investigate how art can cultivate more ethical societal standards.
In compliance with government COVID-19 regulations, visitors will be required to present proof of either full vaccination or a recent negative test.
Frieze New York begins today, May 5, and will run until May 9. Join the waiting list on Frieze’s webstore.
In other art news, Sotheby’s will be accepting cryptocurrency in its upcoming Banksy auction.