Frieze returns to Randall’s Island for its sophomore edition May 10–13 determined not to be a one hit wonder. Accordingly, the organizers have attracted a slew of new exhibitors—including Luhring Augustine, Jack Shainman, and CRG—and that influx portends staying power. “Despite 10 years of successful fairs in London, we were still untested in the States the first time around,” says co-director Amanda Sharp. With 45,000 expected visitors and a 20 percent bump in local participants, she says, “it seems like the city has embraced the fair.” The lineup shows the organizers and the 180-plus galleries pulling out the stops to set this edition apart from last year’s, and from London’s.
Just north of Frieze’s airy tent, Romanian artist Andra Ursuta will unveil a cemetery honoring forgotten and lost works of art. One of five artist commissions, Ursuta’s installation consists of six small marble gravestones and a low white fence. “With the overproduction of art we are witnessing these days, it’s clear only a small percentage will make it into museums,” Frieze Projects curator Cecilia Alemani explains. “Andra is asking, ‘Where does the rest of it go to die?’”
Forget the VIP lounge. The hot ticket is the speakeasy-style bar erected by artist Liz Glynn and hidden behind an unmarked white door amid the booths. Each day, 200 lucky visitors, chosen at random, will receive a key and a map with directions to the bar upon entry to the fair.
The most anticipated restaurant at the fair hasn’t served a customer in more than 40 years: A tribute to Gordon Matta-Clark’s legendary SoHo eatery FOOD will be staffed by chefs from the original kitchen as well as a handful of younger artists selected by Alemani. “FOOD is an excuse to get artists to come together in a way you wouldn’t normally see at an art fair,” she says. And perhaps to approach dinner with a new set of tools: When Mark di Suvero served as a guest chef at FOOD in the 1970s, Alemani notes, he proposed that people eat with chisels and screwdrivers.
A number of galleries are swapping paintings for performance at Frieze New York. During the VIP preview on May 9, Brooklyn-based artist Santi Moix will create a wall drawing at the booth of New York’s Paul Kasmin Gallery. (Moix’s fairytale inspired murals typically start at $70,000.) Marian Goodman, meanwhile, will turn her space over to performance artist Tino Sehgal. The British artist will present Ann Lee, a work he debuted at the Manchester International Festival in 2011 that stars a melancholy 11-year-old girl.
Frieze New York isn’t content to engage merely your eyes—it wants your ears, too. The fair commissioned three new audio works by Haroon Mirza, Charles Atlas and New Humans, and Trisha Baga. Visitors can stream the sound pieces online, pick up a pair of headphones at the fair, or tune in during a ride in one of the VIP BMWs.
Canadian clothing designer-retailer Joe Mimran began collecting art 15 years ago and hopes to encourage others to do the same. His company, Joe Fresh, is underwriting Frieze’s Frame section, devoted to solo presentations by galleries younger than six. This year’s selection includes New York’s Simone Subal Gallery, London’s Carlos/Ishikawa, and Tokyo’s Misako & Rosen. “Art has always had a huge influence on fashion,” says Mimran. “The best part of art fairs is that they are so concentrated. You can really get a sense of what artists are thinking, as well as trends that often move into the apparel world.”