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"A Great Start" The Press on the First Exhibition at the KunstHalle
"No Longer a British invasion But a Local Institution" - The Press on the Second Edition of Frieze New York
"Picasso, That's Me" - The Press on MACHT KUNST

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“No Longer a British invasion But a Local Institution”
The Press on the Second Edition of Frieze New York


Last year, the Frieze Art Fair ventured a leap across the Atlantic for the first time. With great success. The art fair thrilled both visitors and the press. Like its London counterpart, Frieze New York relies on a mixture of established and young galleries, current contemporary art and an ambitious framework program. Deutsche Bank is a partner of both fairs. There is a consensus in the press: The Frieze is developing into one of New York’s most interesting art fairs.


“The New York art world is on fire. It’s got spring, it’s got Frieze, it’s got the contemporary auctions. It’s got galleries and artists, and exhibitions opening for seemingly all of them. The only thing it doesn’t have is a night off.” This is how Artforum describes the mood during the Frieze in New York. For New York Magazine, the city is the “world center of the arts” during the fair, and Hollywood Reporter writes that the opening kicks “off a weekend that has become one of the new highlights of the city’s cultural calendar.” The fashion magazine W reports: “Frieze New York is only in its second year, but the mega-art fair already feels like an institution. (…) To lure the big-fish collectors and international artelligentsia in town, galleries have pulled out the big guns – Koons, Kelly, McCarthy.” Women’s Wear Daily, however, is less interested in the art than the people in the tents, claiming to have spotted James Franco, Valentino, Michael Stipe, and John McEnroe there.

 “Opening day was packed solid, and it's now clear that Frieze is no longer a British invasion but a local institution,” writes the Guardian. “Frieze New York is a great art fair – the best in New York, we can now say,” the British daily adds. Die Welt has a similar view: “Visitors and gallery owners agree: the Frieze has surpassed the Armory.” “Stop reading, leave the house and head to Frieze on Randall's Island,” recommends the cultural website Art.BroadWayWorld. “Frieze, in its second year in NYC has staked it's claim as THE show to see of all the art fairs.”

Some 45,000 visitors flocked to the fair tents and sales were solid. “There was no shortage of buyers at Frieze New York last week, even though it opened in a rainstorm” registers the
Telegraph. “Overall,” reports the BBC, “dealers were delighted with the brisk business at the fair.” “While many gallery owners felt that last year’s sales were rather meager, during the opening day of this year’s Frieze you see satisfied faces,” writes Art.

Star critic Roberta Smith from the New York Times is also more satisfied than she was at the premiere of the fair: “This year around 180 galleries from nearly 40 countries are showing works by some 1,000 artists. (…)  Nearly all have shown up with art that is several notches above last year’s offerings and not nearly as many big, shiny things. The stylish surroundings seem to have encouraged a rise in uncluttered displays and curatorial thought.” But Jed Perl of the New Republic has an extremely critical view of the fair: “At a time when the people with the heaps of money are terrified of anything that isn’t ‘curated,’ whether it’s their Louboutins or their Warhols, Frieze is so finely curated that it becomes its own conceptual art work, annihilating whatever art happens to be on display.”

Nearly all of the critics were deeply impressed by Tino Sehgal’s project for Marian Goodman Gallery. He has a girl appear as the Manga heroine Ann Lee incarnate and speak elaborate monologs. “The audience is spellbound,” observes the FAZ. “The booth is an original rendering,” writes Welt am Sonntag, “the Grande Dame Goodman doesn’t need to serve up Richters or Broodthaers.” Gallerist NY calls this work “intensely unusual and strange and beautiful.” The Financial Times and Art Newspaper use Ann Lee as an opportunity to report on the renewed interest in performative works.

To make it easier for readers to get their bearings given the huge offer at the Frieze, many media list their respective highlights. Among the 14 must-see works recommended by The Daily Beast are, apart from Ann Lee, a mobile by Pae White and Bjarne Melgaard’s wool blanket painting installation at Gavin Brown's Enterprise. The Huffington Post’s top ten artists include David Shrigley, Zoe Leonard, and Tsuruko Yamazaki, founding member of the legendary Gutai Group from Japan. The Wall Street Journal has only five recommendations, including Thomas Ruff’s photo series ma.r.s., an installation by Sarah Sze, and Paul McCarthy's Balloon Dog, a giant sculpture belonging to the Frieze’s temporary Sculpture Park that floats high in the air next to the tents, an ironic response to Jeff Koon’s stainless steel dogs.

The press repeatedly praises the ambience of the fair. The Guardian finds the tent “fabulous,” while Design & Trend writes that it is a place where “up-and-coming artists meet global superstars.” “From the start,” says the BBC, “the long white tent built for the fair, with its bright natural lighting, proved an excellent showcase for the art.” Monopol declares: “Scarcely another art fair has such a clear layout.” “The Frieze combines an elegant corporate design with cardboard booth signs,” writes Welt am Sonntag, “serious professionalism with a chummy, provisional, relaxing atmosphere.” “Most art fairs are held in hermetic bunkers like structures,” avers Artlyst. “Frieze NY, now in its second year is different. Held in high vaulted white tents, situated on the green grasses of New York’s Randall’s Island Park, surrounded by the East River, fresh air and fresh light are abundant. Frieze NY feels outdoorsy and fresh. (…) We look forward to round three sometime in May 2014.”




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