Frieze New York Kicks Off at The Shed

In-person art fairs are officially back on. Here, a highlight of presentations and activities happening during Frieze New York.

Happening at The Shed

The 10th edition of Frieze New York kicks off at its new location on Wednesday, marking the return of in-person art fairs. This year, Frieze is more accessible than ever — no more trekking to Randall’s Island. More than 60 galleries will present work during the fair at The Shed on the West Side of Manhattan, as well as digitally as part of the virtual Frieze Viewing Room. While the in-person component of Frieze runs through May 9, the Viewing Room exhibition has an extended run, through May 14. The ticketed fair is already sold out, although fair hopefuls can join the waiting list for additional slots. Visitors will be required to fill out a health and safety form ahead of time, as well as show proof of either a recent COVID-19 test or full vaccination.

For those who make it inside the fair, there’s plenty of new and notable work to encounter. Highlights include new sculptures by Rachel Feinstein for Gagosian, three assemblages by the late Thornton Dial for David Lewis, a new painted six-panel folding screen by Hernan Bas for Lehmann Maupin, large-scale paintings by Dana Schutz created specifically for David Zwirner’s Frieze presentation, and three works by French artist Daniel Buren, exhibited for the first time in the U.S. by Lisson Gallery.

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The Shed is the backdrop also for “The Looking Glass,” an augmented reality exhibition of work by artists Precious Okoyomon (winner of Frieze’s 2021 Artist Award), Cao Fei and Kaws. Their pieces, situated around The Shed and the surrounding area, are only visible through the Acute Art phone app.

In addition to the gallery presentations, a central component of Frieze this year is a tribute to the Vision & Justice Project, founded by Harvard associate professor Sarah Elizabeth Lewis. The project looks at the relationship between art, race and citizenship in America. The tribute encompasses a series of talks, collaborations and exhibitions with contributions across galleries. The programming includes an online screening of “Aggie,” a documentary about philanthropist and collector Agnes “Aggie” Gund, conversations between Black cultural leaders, and works by Carrie Mae Weems and Hank Willis Thomas created in homage to the Vision & Justice Project. Thomas, who founded For Freedoms, recreated his Who Taught You to Love? (2020) billboard, which will be exhibited alongside a billboard created by Mel Chin marking solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Aperture magazine will also launch The Vision & Justice Book Series as part of the tribute at Frieze.

Who Taught You to Love? (2020) Courtesy of Hank Willis Thomas

Vision & Justice Project founder and Harvard associate professor Sarah Elizabeth Lewis. Courtesy of Stu Rosner

Virtual and Video Happenings

Prada Sponsoring Panel Discussion for Vision & Justice Tribute
On Thursday at 2:30 p.m. EST, Vision & Justice Project founder Sarah Elizabeth Lewis will moderate a panel discussion (which is being supported by Prada) on Zoom. Lewis is bringing together creative leaders from film, art and music — Wynton Marsalis, Ava DuVernay, Franklin Leonard, Carrie Mae Weems and Theaster Gates — to discuss opportunities and challenges within Black cultural creation.

Matchesfashion Launches Art Matches Fashion and Partnership With Frieze
Matchesfashion has launched a monthly series, which will facilitate conversations around the connection between art and fashion. The retailer has also partnered with Frieze on an audio talk series, “Voices From Frieze New York,” in which artists and curators will share their experiences from the fair. Antwaun Sargent, who recently guest-curated Art in America’s New Talent issue, will host a video walking tour and is the next subject of Matchesfashion’s “Curated By” series. Matchesfashion is also the exclusive partner for the launch of Frieze 91, a membership program designed to immerse new and young collectors into the Frieze experience.

Institutions Art Curator Kimberly Drew, for Matchesfashion’s “Voices From Frieze New York.” Courtesy


Not technically at the fair, but close enough.

Maison Margiela Debuts Marco Brambilla’s “Nude Descending a Staircase No. 3”
Maison Margiela is presenting Marco Brambilla’s video installation work “Nude Descending a Staircase No. 3” at its Crosby Street boutique on Wednesday. The 11-monitor video piece was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2,” with Brambilla interpreting the work into a dynamic contemporary video art presentation. The debut of Brambilla’s piece marks a series of upcoming artist “interventions” set for Maison Margiela’s SoHo concept store.

A still from “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 3.” Courtesy

Another Marco Brambilla Debut, at Hudson Yards
Ahead of Brambilla’s solo show at the Pérez Art Museum Miami this June, the artist is unveiling another video art piece. On Wednesday at 5 p.m., Hudson Yards is hosting a preview of “Heaven’s Gate,” a satirical video collage of iconic moments from Hollywood — Leonardo DiCaprio in “Great Gatsby,” Audrey Hepburn from “Funny Face.” There are also images of dinosaurs and the Capitol riot in January. The work will play across 65 digital public screens throughout Hudson Yards.

A still from Marco Brambilla’s “Heaven’s Gate” video art piece. Courtesy

New Random International Work “Body/Light I” Takes Flight at Manhattan West’s Public Plaza

Artist collective Random International (of “Rain Room” fame) is debuting their latest public art piece in collaboration with Arts Brookfield, Superblue and BMW. “Body/Light I” will light up Manhattan West’s public plaza, across the street from The Shed, for a limited time starting Thursday through May 9. The experiential installation (which draws inspiration from Pablo Picasso’s 1949 “light drawings” for Life magazine) invites visitors to interact with the piece through movement, as their movements are traced in light. Three times a day for the installation’s duration, musician Lester St. Louis will play a live score alongside a performance by dancers from New York Theatre Ballet.

Random International’s “Body/Light I.” Courtesy

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