11th Annual Frieze New York Recap

Last week, Frieze staged its 11th edition in New York, as artists, galleries, collectors and celebs flocked to the big city for dinners, parties and… art!

Like all contemporary art fairs, Frieze has gone through quite a few changes since its inception.  Before it was an art fair, Frieze started as a London-based independent arts publication in 1999.  The first edition was covered by a Damien Hirst butterfly piece when the artist was emerging on the London scene.  Today, it’s the world leading platform for contemporary art - which includes Frieze Mag, as well as the art fairs, a podcast and other core pillars of the business.  Furthermore, the company is primarily owned by Hollywood giant Endeavor, which speaks to the transformation of Frieze from a scrappy arts publication to a global platform.  Despite all of the growth, the festival remains a top destination for great art.  Below are a handful of standout presentations from this year's show.

jack whitten frieze nyc

Hauser & Wirth at Frieze New York 2023

The gallery’s booth this year was dedicated to works by Jack Whitten (a widespread trend that we saw across the fair - single artist presentations in favor of group shows).  We love Whitten’s work because it combines a distinctly design forward sensibility in a fine art context.  The presentation featured never-before-seen monochromatic works on paper as well as paintings and sculptures from every decade of the veteran artist’s career.

art frieze company

Company at Frieze New York 2023

Company - a MATTE favorite on the LES - is known for discovering up and coming talent in the art world, and their group show at the fair this year was full of excitement.  Of the many standout pieces, we were especially impressed by Tosh Basco’s (aka boychild) large scale painting October 15, 2022.  While absent from the frame, the abstract composition evokes the body of the artist who created it, through its ephemerality and dancing brushstrokes.  No wonder, Basco is also a performance artist.

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Michael Rosenfeld at Frieze New York 2023

Michael Rosenfeld curated a booth of works created in 1973, the year that the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade - legalizing abortion across the country.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark ruling, as well as its overturning.  The show features painting and sculpture by women artists interfacing with the political issues of the early 70s - which are just as relevant today as they once were.  While the works don't directly address “abortion”, they amplify women’s voices, as they assert their claim to equal rights.

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Karma at Frieze New York 2023

Another MATTE favorite, Karma, dedicated its booth to Thaddeus Mosley, on the heels of his solo show at the gallery earlier this year in April.  His large scale wooden sculptures - hand carved and formed out of walnut, cherry and chestnut - provided a delightfully warm and natural contrast to many of the ultramodern presentations at The Shed this year.  At the age of 96, Mosley continues his work as an artist, includenced from a wide range of sources including Jazz, traditions of West African Mask-Making and European Modernism.

gagosian photographs art frieze nyc

Gagosian at Frieze New York 2023

Another solo show booth - and a debut, at that - Gagosian’s booth was devoted to its latest (and very exciting) signing, Nan Goldin.  The presentation included eight “grid” works, a format that Goldin has been working in for the past twenty years.  As Elisabeth Sussman has written, “The grid, an echo of the slideshow, sums up [Goldin’s] view that history and time exist as an aggregate of individual lives.”  Goldin selects the images for her grids according to formal or psychological themes.  And they’re at once gorgeous and heartbreaking.