Yes, we just did an art fair week in New York—the inaugural “New York Art Week,” no less. But for some reason, the city’s fairs didn’t sync up their calendars this year, so we get to do it all over again just two weeks later with Frieze New York.
Things kick off early with the American Art Fair, which will end its run before the first of Frieze’s two preview days. The main event will be complimented by four other fairs, for a bustling but not-overwhelming week for dealers, collectors, curators, and all the other art world professionals on the fair circuit. (New York Art Week had four fairs in total, for those of your keeping count.)
Here’s your guide to what you need to know about the week’s events.
The American Art Fair
Returning after a two-year break, the 15-year-old American Art Fair moves from November to May and brings together just 17 exhibitors, collectively showing 400 works of historic American art—no living artists allowed. This year’s fair is also expanding its parameters to include Latin American and Mexican art, as well as work from the Hudson River School painters, Tonalists, Ashcan School painters, and American Surrealists, among other movements.
On Saturday and Sunday, the fair will present four lectures from American art specialists, on the Transcendental Painting Group, the Park Avenue Cubists, Milton Avery, and how Venetian glass inspired painters such as John Singer Sargent and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
When: Friday–Monday, May 14–16, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.; Tuesday, May 17, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York
This intimate gallery fair is now in its 26th edition, held between Zürcher Gallery’s New York and Paris locations. It’s also the fair’s fifth presentation of “11 Women of Spirit,” an invitational exhibition first held during the Armory Show in 2020 and inspired by the 18th-century French term femmes d’esprit, referring to the era’s under-recognized women artists and intellectuals. And in the spirit of the French salons, the artists—who include Judith Braun, Cair Crawford, Debra Pearlman, Jennifer Riley, and Margaret Watson—will be on hand to speak to visitors about their work, creating a direct artistic dialogue that can be hard to find at larger fairs.
When: Monday, May 16, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.; Tuesday–Saturday, May 17–21, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday, May 22, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Zürcher Gallery, 33 Bleecker Street, New York
Frieze Art Fair
Under the leadership of new director Christine Messineo, Frieze New York returns for its second year at the Shed, with 65 of the world’s biggest galleries in tow. The fair’s 10th anniversary edition is taking place two week later than its traditional early May dates. It is also honoring New York art nonprofits A.I.R. Gallery, Artists Space, and Electronic Arts Intermix, which are all celebrating their 50th anniversaries in 2021 or 2022, and Printed Matter, Inc., which turned 45 last year.
The nation’s first all-female artists cooperative gallery, A.I.R. will respond to the seemingly imminent overthrow of the landmark court case Roe v. Wade with Trigger Planting, a map of U.S. states where abortion will likely be outlawed, made with herbs traditionally linked to fertility and reproduction by the collective How to Perform an Abortion.
Other expected highlights include a restaging of Eight Renovations: A constellation of sites across Manhattan, a 1997 piece by Tom Burr featuring posters installed guerrilla-style across the island of Manhattan, plus the new Ninth Renovation, a text and installation created for the occasion on view at the Shed during the fair.
When: Wednesday, May 18 (invitation only), 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday, May 19–21, 12 p.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday, May 22, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: The Shed, 545 West 30th Street, New York
Tickets: Thursday first preview, $200; Friday, $155 before 2 p.m., $125 general admission; Saturday and Sunday, $65 general admission, $35 students age 13 to 18, $5 children 12 and under.
VOLTA New York
Volta had a rough go of it pre-pandemic—the 2019 edition got cancelled a week before it was due to open when structural problems at the piers led the Armory Show, its then sister fair, to take over its venue. A much-smaller event under new ownership opened under the shadow of COVID-19 in March 2020. Two years later, it returns with 49 national and international galleries to a venue with a considerably higher arts pedigree: 548 West 22nd Street, most recently home to Hauser and Wirth, and a former host of the Outsider Art Fair, but best-known as the longtime home of the Dia Foundation. The fair is embracing new technology, introducing the juried Volta Spotlight Prize for NFTs, collaborating with Artsted to award a $2,500 grant to a crypto artist.
When: Wednesday, May 18, private view 2 p.m.–6 p.m., public vernissage 6 p.m.–9 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday, May 19–21, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday, May 22, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
Where: 548 West, 548 West 22nd Street, New York
Tickets: $25 general admission; $20 students and seniors, Frieze ticket holders, or groups of 10 or more; $65 family ticket for two adults and two children over 12.
1-54 New York
After a three year hiatus, 1-54 returns to New York, not in its longtime digs at Red Hook’s Pioneer Works, nor in the West Village, where it held its last in-person edition in 2019. Instead, it is moving uptown, to Harlem, the city’s historic African American enclave—fitting, for a fair dedicated to art from Africa and the African diaspora.
There will be presentations from 25 galleries, as well as a robust calendar of programming for 1-54 Forum, curated by Novella Ford, associate director for public programs and exhibitions at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. This year’s theme is inspired by “From the Dark Tower,” a poem by Harlem Renaissance writer Countee Cullen. Other highlights will include a special project by Micha Serraf and an NFT project with Christie’s and Code Green.
When: Thursday, May 19, VIP preview, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Friday, May 20, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday, May 21, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday, May 22, 12 p.m.–5 p.m. (daily preview hour 11 a.m.–12 p.m.)
Where: Harlem Parish, 258 West 118th Street, New York
Tickets: $20 general admission
The Photography Show Presented by AIPAD
Back after a more than three-year absence, the Photography Show, presented by the Association of International Photography Dealers, moves from Pier 94 for its 41st edition. It’s the world’s oldest photography fair, but was set to be phased out in favor of a new Paris Photo New York pre-pandemic, making its return a pleasant surprise.
The event will showcase 49 dealers from 23 cities in nine countries, and you can expect work by some of the biggest names in the medium. For example, New York’s Hans P. Kraus Jr. Inc. is bringing work by pioneering photographer William Henry Fox Talbot, while Oakland’s Richard Moore will present vintage prints by photojournalist Dorothea Lange. But there will also be new discoveries, like Lora Webb Nichols, who photographed the frontier town of Encampment, Wyoming, in the early 20th century, and is being shown by New York’s Danziger Gallery.
When: Thursday, May 19 (VIP preview) 12 p.m.–8 p.m., Friday, May 20, 1 p.m.–7 p.m.; Saturday, May 21, 12 p.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday, May 22, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Center 415, 415 5th Avenue (between East 37th and 38th Streets), New York
Tickets: Run of show, $75; $45 general admission, $20 students
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