Founded by Amanda Sharp, Matthew Slotover and Tom Gidley in 1991, Frieze made its start with the launch of frieze magazine – a leading publication of contemporary art and culture. To expand the conversation about art beyond the pages of their magazine, they established Frieze London art fair in 2003, quickly becoming one of the most influential art fairs in the world. Coinciding with the London fair is Frieze Masters – a fair devoted to art from ancient to modern time periods. In 2012, Frieze brought its world-renowned fair to the United States and introduced Frieze New York, followed by the 2019 debut of Frieze Los Angeles.
Every May, Frieze New York attracts art enthusiasts, curators and collectors from around the world to the Big Apple’s iconic Randall’s Island Park. Rich with history and set between the Harlem and East Rivers, Randall’s Island Park is home to several recreational facilities, music concerts and, of course, Frieze New York. The venue is ideal for the fair’s need for an expansive space and provides stunning New York City views overlooking the East River. With each annual iteration, custom tent structures are designed and built to showcase hundreds of art galleries and for spectators to experience art and programming in a unique setting.
A special element of the fair is getting there. Guests can enjoy a quick boat ride and arrive to the fair by ferry, the fastest and most scenic way to the fair festivities at Randall’s Island Park. The fair exudes an energetic atmosphere as attendees immerse themselves in art and culture.
Jessica Hodin Levy, who coordinates strategic partnerships for Frieze, described the fair’s ambience. “Frieze New York is a place of discovery. You are encountering over 200 galleries from all over the world, all in this dense space,” she noted. “There’s so much to see and do and learn at the fair. It’s a place of exchange, where people come together from all over the world to share intellectually, artistically and creatively what they are doing. It’s a very inspiring environment.”
FRIEZE NEW YORK IS A PLACE OF DISCOVERY.Jessica Hodin Levy
The 2019 Frieze New York marked the fair’s eighth edition and, yet again, proved to be a powerful platform for art and culture – offering guests the opportunity to experience an exceptional quality of a wide-range of artwork from iconic, established names to emerging, self-taught artists. Galleries from around the world submit applications to join the fair and final selections are made by a committee of Frieze New York gallerists. The affair attracted 36,000 visitors and spanned five days, May 1 to 5, with two VIP preview days, and featured hundreds of the world’s leading galleries from an unprecedented 26 countries.
In addition to admiring thought-provoking art, visitors can also experience what New York is best known for – the cuisine. In between browsing art from more than 1,000 of today’s artists, guests can enjoy palette-pleasing dishes at pop-ups of New York City’s most talked about restaurants, including farm-totable cuisine from Foul Witch, New York-style pizza from Roberta’s, a cup of joe from Black Fox Coffee, and many more.
Frieze New York offers spectators a variety of art sections, including Frame and Spotlight. Frame is dedicated to younger galleries showing emerging artists who are new to the international platform and located in the center of the fair for high visibility. Spotlight celebrates originality and focuses on both under-recognized artists and rarely seen avantgarde work by well-known, influential artists. The fair also features Frieze Talks, a series of keynote lectures and panel discussions from leading artists and arts professionals.
The 2019 edition proved that Frieze New York is committed to promoting innovation and new ideas with dynamic curated programming. “This is an exceptionally strong year for content at Frieze New York, making this fair the leading platform in the city to discover, as well as to buy art,” said Victoria Siddall, Director of Frieze Fairs. “This year’s edition continues to expand the potential of an art fair, showcasing new and under-represented art forms alongside the most significant names in modern and contemporary art.”
This year’s highly-anticipated fair also featured new curated sections: Di.logos, a celebration of Latin art; Just Above Midtown, a legendary gallery comprised of world-renowned, African-American contemporary artists; The Doors of Perception, a collection of art from self-taught, outsider artists; and Electric, a virtual reality art experience.
The fair continues to evolve each year, setting new trends and responding to the current environment, politics and ideas. The fair’s unique Electric exhibition, curated by Daniel Birnbaum, proved to be a new crowd favorite. The exhibition demonstrates how technology has shaped and influenced the world of art. “Electric was definitely one of my favorites,” exclaimed Hodin Levy. “It was an enriching exhibition and something that’s not typically done at art fairs.” Guests experienced the new art medium with headsets, which also paired with phones through the Acute Art app, allowing audiences to view virtual reality artwork outside of the fairgrounds, something that was made possible this year through major support from LIFEWTR, Frieze’s Official Water and Emerging Program Partner.
Although Frieze New York is undoubtedly known for its draw of art spectators and cultural entertainment, it is also staged for the purpose of selling artwork at all levels of the market. Galleries across every section of the fair offered works for sale, ranging from $10 to $10 million. Many of the fair’s featured galleries sold out their entire booth. Buyers included private collectors and major museums in the U.S. and worldwide.
Exceptional art will sell quickly, so many private collectors received VIP access to view galleries prior to the fair’s opening day. Jet Linx New York had the honor of co-sponsoring a private breakfast for 200 of Frieze’s top-tier collectors. “There was a natural fit between our top-tier clientele and Jet Linx’s clientele, and it was a great opportunity to be able to bring art into focus through the lens of Jet Linx,” said Hodin Levy. Jet Linx New York Base Partner and President Isaac Flanagan also described the newly-founded partnership with Frieze, “Great partnerships are based on aligned interests with an aligned worldview, and we have that with Frieze. Both organizations put the highest premium on direct, individually-tailored engagement, curated experiences, and combining a national and global platform with bespoke local operations.”
A strong correlation between leading art collectors and business aviation users inspired Flanagan to explore this partnership. “Our members and prospects in New York participate in the fall and spring auctions, follow art-world developments closely and make acquisitions at the major fairs,” Flanagan stated, adding, “given the strength of Frieze’s brand, we were thrilled to be a part of the fair. We look forward to building on this foundation and growing this partnership.”
MEET FRIEZE ARTIST ZACH LIEBERMAN
LIFEWTR, the Official Water of Frieze New York, exhibited an immersive installation of video works to showcase their new Bottle Series #7: Art Through Technology.
Created by three emerging artists – Sara Ludy, Andrew Benson and Zach Lieberman – the lounge had interactive artworks and a digital video display, and reflected a theme present throughout Frieze, as seen in the curated virtual reality exhibition Electric. Jet Linx caught up with Zach Lieberman to learn more about him as a new-media artist and his experience at Frieze New York’s LIFEWTR Lounge.
Lieberman, an artist, researcher and educator, creates performances and installations that begin with a human gesture and projects them in different ways – putting life into a drawing, giving a voice a face, or transforming a simple silhouette into music.
“I am interested in animation – particularly how motion can create emotion,” described Lieberman. “I want to explore that space between seeing and understanding. I work with code, meaning I write software to make art, but I think of software and technology similar to breathing. You’re not conscious of the fact that you are breathing, and I want the same to be true of my work. Most of what I create are interactive systems or moving forms, so it’s different than what you typically see in art museums. I think the goals are similar though – create poetic works that explore what it means to communicate and be alive.”
Lieberman, along with the other commissioned artists for LIFEWTR, designed a three-channel video installation in the LIFEWTR Lounge – providing a space for Frieze New York guests to relax comfortably, immersed in a wall-to-wall media art experience. An interactive, body-based work produced by Lieberman was also a highlight in the LIFEWTR Lounge. “It was a remarkable experience to be surrounded by all these great galleries and artwork,” Lieberman beamed. “I remember when I was setting up, a member of the staff came and tried my work, he was totally in love with it and kept coming back during the install. Overall, I really enjoyed installing there and feel really privileged to take part.”
In addition to the LIFEWTR Lounge at Frieze New York, Lieberman’s work has made appearances in numerous exhibitions around the world and has been listed as one of the Fast Company’s “Most Creative People.” His projects have received a handful of accolades, including “Interactive Design of the Year” from Design Museum London and graced Time Magazine’s “Inventions of the Year” list.
Lieberman continues to inspire, educate and push the boundaries in the augmented reality world. His latest projects include translating his moving images into still form to produce large prints for his collectors, as well as releasing a collage application called Weird Cuts – allowing users to cut and remix photography and explore the poetics of virtual reality.
VIEW MORE WORKS BY LIEBERMAN AT THESYSTEMIS.COM.