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Is Frieze New York well placed to shake up a dodgy art market?

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Frieze New York returns for its 11th edition, and dealers hope it will help boost what some are describing as a slow start to the year, with bank failures, rising interest rates and war in Ukraine. forcing some collectors to curb their purchases.

“New York is a noisy place,” says James Cohan, a Manhattan drug dealer. “A fair like Frieze gives everyone the opportunity to take a break and concentrate. A solo presentation really highlights this opportunity for the benefit of all. This year, Cohan’s booth will be dedicated to new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Naudline Pierre.

Exhibitors this year include mega galleries such as Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, Pace and David Zwirner, as well as New York stalwarts such as Alexander Gray, 303, Ortuzar Projects and Tanya Bonakdar. Debutants include New York’s Derosia, Manila’s Silverlens (which expanded to Manhattan last year) and London’s Arcadia Missa, Emalin and Tiwani Contemporary.

With 60 stalls, the fair is about the same size as the previous two years and is the maximum its venue, the Shed, can hold. In its final year on Randalls Island in 2019, it hosted 190. The New York fair is now Frieze’s smallest, but organizers and dealers say the central location and small size make it more accessible.

“There is a sense of intimacy” at the Shed, explains Christine Messineo, director of Frieze New York. “We are so close to Chelsea that we are an easy taxi ride to the Tribeca Galleries.” As a result, collectors often make multiple visits, which can boost sales, dealers say. Many galleries feature solo booths, which Messineo says helps make the fair a place to discover new artists.

Yet Frieze is part of an increasingly busy art fair calendar. Tefaf and the Independent fair take place in New York a few days before the start of Frieze, while Art Basel in Basel begins a few weeks later. The number of concurrent satellite fairs also rebounded fully this year, with the 1-54 Contemporary African Art FairNada, Volta and several others competing for collectors’ time and money.

Frieze, which overlaps many of the the big spring sales of the big auction houses, is “very well timed to bring in a larger audience. The size is also very good. Visitors are much more able to concentrate and visit the floor rather than rushing,” says Tina Kim, a New York-based marketer Its booth features works by Filipino-American artist Pacita Abad, South Korean artist Mire Lee and Mexican artist Tania Pérez Córdova.

Frieze New York is also an important location for out-of-town dealers looking to connect with the city’s collector class, according to Courtney Willis Blair, senior manager of White Cube’s future outpost in the city. . At Frieze, the gallery presents a selection of works by artists such as Tracey Emin, Theaster Gates and Gunter Ford. Willis Blair says it has “always been an important show for us, especially making real inroads into such a crucial market”.

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