Frieze New York’s Intimate Art Fair Pops Up at the Shed

Temporary “pop-up” editions of retail stores and restaurants have proliferated in the past few years. And what is an art fair if not a specialized, group version of that idea?

The 11th edition of the fair Frieze New York will pop up at the Shed in Hudson Yards this week, from Thursday to Sunday, and will feature 68 galleries.

The trick for the fair is that New York is already an art-world hub with hundreds of art spaces throughout the city, and the Shed sits just a few blocks from the gallery-packed Chelsea neighborhood.

As Frieze’s director of Americas, Christine Messineo, put it, “The mission for New York is, we know we have a really educated audience, so how do we show them things they might not come across on their own?”

Ms. Messineo oversees the New York and Los Angeles editions of Frieze, which also has fairs in London and Seoul.

Some of the galleries showing at Frieze New York even have multiple spaces close by, including Matthew Marks Gallery, Gagosian and David Zwirner.

“Galleries can start a conversation in their booth and invite the people to come to the gallery to continue it,” Ms. Messineo said.

Hauser & Wirth, with spaces in Chelsea and on the Upper East Side (in addition to another in Southampton, N.Y., and others around the world), will show in its booth about 10 works spanning the career of the American painter and sculptor Jack Whitten, including the 2014 sculpture “The Apollonian Sword.”

Lisa Spellman, the founder of 303 Gallery in Chelsea, said she liked the proximity to the event.

“Any fair I can bike to is a good fair,” she said. Before moving to the Shed, Frieze New York took place on Randall’s Island, much farther afield for most galleries and collectors.

Ms. Spellman emphasized the upside for local dealers. “We have the home advantage,” she said, adding that she liked the “boutique size” of Frieze New York. (The London edition has recently had about twice as many galleries.)

303 Gallery participates in many fairs, from Art Basel Miami Beach to the Armory Show in New York, and it exhibited at Frieze Los Angeles in February.

“We’re die-hard supporters of Frieze,” Ms. Spellman said.

The 303 booth will show a mix of artists, including the American painter Mary Heilmann and the Berlin-based Alicja Kwade, best known for her installations and sculptures. The New York-based multimedia maker Rob Pruitt will be represented by the sculpture “People Feeder (Life is a Bowl of Cherries: Cherry Vodka)” (2023).

In the weeks leading up to the fair, Ms. Spellman was struggling with the list of things she wanted to show within the limited space of her booth.

“I don’t know how we’ll fit all these things, but we will,” she said.

Ms. Spellman is a veteran of the fair, but there are several first-timers, including Neue Alte Brücke of Frankfurt, Germany, and Derosia of New York.

Derosia is one of 11 galleries in the Focus section, for galleries less than 12 years old. The group includes Whistle of Seoul and Cooper Cole of Toronto.

“I attended Frieze New York last year as a visitor, and I appreciated the high quality of galleries and the manageable size,” Elyse Derosia, the co-owner of Derosia, located in Little Italy. “It allows you to spend quality time.”

“I had great conversations,” she added. “If I were a collector, I would appreciate that intimacy.”

She is presenting a solo booth with the work of the New York painter Sam Lipp, the subject of a show at the gallery last year. Some of his works, like “Joe (Flesh)” (2023), are painted on metal. The artist often uses steel wool as a paintbrush to create tiny dots of paint, in a contemporary spin on Pointillism.

“It’s very beautiful, and also dark and mysterious,” she said of Mr. Lipp’s work. “People responded to it strongly at the solo show we did in the gallery.”

Formerly called Bodega, the gallery changed its name last year. Ms. Derosia noted that she was excited to connect with people under the new name.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the promise of the younger galleries in Focus is appealing to younger collectors, including Ben White Levin, 29. Mr. Levin is a co-owner of the retail store Revive, and he is based in Detroit.

“I get the most enjoyment out of Focus,” said Mr. Levin, who began collecting when he was 16. “I’m gravitating toward younger, emerging artists.”

Mr. Levin recalled discovering the work of various artists at the fair over the years and, soon after, buying the work of those makers, including Adam McEwen from Petzel Gallery and Haroon Mirza from Lisson Gallery. His collection is largely concentrated on paintings.

Mr. Levin added that making an actual purchase at Frieze was not necessarily his goal.

“I use it as a way to see old faces and meet new faces,” he said. “That’s one of the biggest benefits of these fairs. You can talk to people, and the hustle and bustle is invigorating.”

The robust local participation still leaves room for galleries from 27 countries at this year’s fair, including Emalin of London. Emalin is making its debut at Frieze New York, and will be sharing a booth with Arcadia Missa, another London gallery making its debut at the fair.

“It’s half the cost, and we both have an active client network, and we share some clients,” said Leopold Thun, a co-founder of Emalin, explaining the setup.

Mr. Thun said he thought that Frieze New York’s approachable size allowed for more “quality control.” He noted that when he showed at Art Basel Miami Beach, “Even as an exhibitor, I didn’t see all the booths.”

The Emalin presentation features the work of the multidisciplinary maker Jasper Marsalis, the Conceptual photographer Megan Plunkett and the Vietnam-born, Berlin-based artist Sung Tieu.

Mr. Thun explained that he was highlighting artists who currently have a significant institutional presence. For instance, Ms. Tieu, who uses different media to examine power structures, has a show at M.I.T.’s List Visual Arts Center, “Sung Tieu: Civic Floor,” on view until July 16, and an exhibition at the New York art center Amant, “Sung Tieu: Infra-Specter,” through Sept 10.

“She’s having a moment, and it makes sense to show her,” Mr. Thun said. His booth includes Ms. Tieu’s sculpture “Courtyard” (2022), made of steel and soil.

Several galleries that are based in Brazil or have branches there are showing at Frieze New York this year, including Mendes Wood DM, Galeria Luisa Strina and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel.

“Our mission is bringing the best of art in Brazil abroad but also bringing some of the best international contemporary art into Brazil,” said Márcia Fortes, a partner and director of Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel. The gallery is based in São Paulo and has a branch in Rio de Janeiro.

“We’re art fair regulars,” Ms. Fortes said, noting that she has a special penchant for Frieze.

“I always like the Frieze fairs because they bring curators and museums into the fair,” she said, referring to both specially curated sections and the participation of institutional collectors.

Some of the works in the booth are loosely organized around the idea of windows, including Iran do Espírito Santo’s granite sculpture “Janela Reflexiva 5” (2020) and Lucia Laguna’s painting “Estúdio nº 59” (2022).

Also in the booth will be the Brazilian artist Jac Leirner’s “Sunrise Sunset” (2016), a long, skinny sculpture made of rolling paper packages and liquid level indicators on plywood. Ms. Leirner has a concurrent show at the Swiss Institute, a nonprofit contemporary art space in New York, up through Aug. 27.

“She collects materials that she consumes,” Ms. Fortes said of Ms. Leirner. “It’s a collage that is both appropriation art and post-Minimal.”

Ms. Fortes said the intimate atmosphere at the Shed was a good backdrop for all the works she’ll be showing, in that it has fewer distractions than other similar events do.

“We all have the attention spans of 3-year-olds at fairs,” she said. “In this format, we can touch you and reach you.”

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