Frieze New York 2016 Draws Record Attendance, Driving Major Sales

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • May 10, 2016

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Victoria Miro, Frieze York 2016. Photograph by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze.

The fifth edition of Frieze New York closed on Sunday, May 8, with ambitious presentations from galleries from around the globe that generated exceptional sales and fostered meaningful dialogue with collectors, curators and art enthusiasts. Convening more than 200 galleries from 31 countries, Frieze New York 2016 showcased an extraordinary cross-section of work by established, emerging and under-recognized contemporary artists. The fair drew over 43,000 visitors from across the country and around the world, with record attendance on Preview Day and throughout the week, and reinforced the role of Frieze New York as a vital platform for engaging with the most influential and inspiring artists working today.

Across its main section and three specially curated sections—Spotlight, Focus and Frame—Frieze New York 2016 united international galleries at all stages in their development and inspired high-quality exhibitions, with a particularly strong presence of female artists, collaborative practices, solo presentations, as well as a prominent focus on artists with recent and upcoming institutional shows.

‘I was delighted to hear many people say this week that the quality of work and the environment of the fair were better than ever, and this is thanks to our exhibitors who went to great lengths to create fantastic presentations for Frieze New York 2016. The
galleries raised the bar yet again, shaping stands of extraordinary ambition, and this drove tremendous attendance and sales throughout the week,’ said Victoria Siddall, Director, Frieze Fairs.

Mounted in a light-filled structure designed specifically for the presentation of contemporary art, Frieze New York was presented in Randall’s Island Park on May 5 – 8.

International collectors responded with great enthusiasm to the gallery presentations across Frieze New York, with galleries reporting major sales from the moment the fair opened.

Marc Payot, Partner and Vice President of Hauser & Wirth (Zurich, London, New York, Somerset, Los Angeles), shared: We had a wonderful week at Frieze New York. From our perspective the caliber and internationalism of the visitors, including so many colleagues from museums, reached a great new level. The fair has taken its place among the best in the world. In terms of sales, Hauser & Wirth had a robust week. We placed Philip Guston's important 1977 oil painting Black Coast and a very important drawing from Guston's coveted series of sleeping figures, done in the 1970s. Roni Horn's work was a real draw: We placed two of her cast glass sculptures ($975,000 each) and several works from her series of Hack Wit drawings ($85,000 each). We also sold Paul McCarthy's red silicone Red River, the first sculpture from his new Stagecoach body of works, for $750,000. These and other sales, and the atmosphere of the fair itself, made the week a great success for the gallery.’

Galeria Fortes Vilaca, Frieze New York 2016. Photograph by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze.

Rachel Lehmann, Founder of Lehmann Maupin (New York), said: ‘Though it's only in its fifth year, Frieze New York is a very mature fair. The quality of artworks and collectors are very high. It has become a prominent art destination and a platform that allows us to present to both historical and new artworks in a curatorial context.’

On returning to Frieze New York for the fifth year, Wallace Whitney of CANADA (New York) shared: ‘We've always enjoyed coming to Frieze and this year was our best yet. Installing in a larger footprint proved to be an amazing opportunity for us to showcase works by a dynamic range of artists. Organized by New York-based artist Katherine Bernhardt, the booth was an energetic fusion of the artists and peers she works with across New York, and we were blown away by the support and enthusiasm from collectors, curators and visitors each day.’

Joost Bosland, Director of Stevenson (Cape Town and Johannesburg), said: ‘Frieze New York attracts the most sophisticated audience of any fair in the United States. Our survey of two decades of work by Moshekwa Langa was warmly received by both collectors and art historians. It was great to share our research with curators like Philippe Pirotte, Trevor Schoonmaker, Naomi Beckwith, Tobias Berger, Dan Leers and Rita Kersting, all of whom have played important roles in Langa’s career.’

Marian Goodman, Frieze New York 2016. Photograph by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze.

Greg Lulay, Director of David Zwirner (New York and London), remarked: ‘Frieze New York grows stronger every year and is one of the gallery's most vital fairs. This year we noticed an even more expansive range of major institutional as well as individual collectors visiting each day from around the world. Sales for our presentation of works by Lisa Yuskavage and Isa Genzken were very solid. We sold out of all four Yuskavage paintings, which were created especially for the fair; including one to the Long Museum, Shanghai, which will feature the work in forthcoming exhibition dedicated to female artists, opening this July.’ 

Adam Sheffer, Partner and Sales Director at Cheim & Read (New York), remarked on the gallery’s Frieze New York experience, sharing: ‘We had a very successful Frieze New York this year. We had a number of significant sales of works by Lynda Benglis, Jenny Holzer and Louise Fishman, among others. The engagement with collectors and curators was steady and meaningful throughout the fair. More and more, we find that fairs such as Frieze complement what we do in our bricks and mortar space, playing a vital role in our program and serving as important platforms to strengthen relationships and create new ties across the international cultural community.’

Winner of the Frieze Stand Prize, Galerie Gisela Capitain (Cologne) said: ‘Frieze New York was very successful for us. Throughout the week we were visited by so many key collectors and museum curators from the USA as well as from Europe—they were all there. Several came back to the fair later in the week to take a deeper look at our presentation and make significant acquisitions. For all these reasons, Frieze New York is the essential U.S. art fair for us.’

Rob Diament, Director of Carl Freedman Gallery (London), added: ‘We had a great week at Frieze New York with sales made throughout the week. The response to our Katherine Bernhardt series was phenomenal. The other success story for us was Edith Dekyndt, the Belgian artist—we sold many works by her with interest from collectors and museums.’

Matthew Wood, Managing Partner at Mendes Wood DM (São Paulo): ‘For us it was the best edition of Frieze New York yet with a very ebullient opening day and strong visitation through the weekend. Also it seems that the fair has an increasingly global pull and we met many friends from Europe and China.’

Wendy Olsoff, Co-Owner of P.P.O.W. (New York), commented: ‘This year Frieze New York was really exciting for us—it was our third year participating and we felt very comfortable in the venue and had fun venturing out again to Randall's Island. Viewers can really see the work at Frieze New York and the space is big enough for artworks to be viewed generously. People spend a lot of time looking. Curators and collectors were there every day, and we were able to make sales each day as well. Now we must think about Frieze London!’

Michael Findlay, Director of Acquavella Gallery (New York), shared: ‘This was Acquavella’s second year at Frieze New York and again it was a great success for the gallery. The engagement from major private and institutional collectors was steady throughout the week.  Frieze has proven a valuable extension of our gallery’s ongoing program, and we’re looking forward to continuing to strengthen the new and existing relationships we’ve built here.’

Michael Callies of dépendance (Brussels): ‘We had a good fair, and the quality of the fair brought a lot of good collectors. We were happy to place works from all the artists we brought: Richard Aldrich, Sergej Jensen and Peter Waechtler.’


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