Chokers, The Met Ball, Frieze New York 2017… Sorry, you distracted me while I was making my list of things all the cool kids are doing lately. Frieze NY this year is so cool (but not trying too hard to be, obv) and topical this year that it is… impossible to ignore. Not quite Pepsi commercial-level topical (although almost—looking at you, #DougAitken, 303 Gallery) but sociopolitical commentary was part of the discussion, along with other trending subjects. Take a look below for more insight into what to keep an eye open for at this year’s inimitable Frieze NY.
Trend 1 | Installations Incorporating Everyday Objects.
International galleries were especially prone to the conceptually-driven phenomenon of the “everyday object installation”. From A Gentil Carioca to 303 Gallery, everyday items—pots, pans, utensils, flower pots—were displayed in new ways, re-framing the relationship of the viewer to the ordinary. Call it art world normcore. Hard to tell whether Marcel Duchamp would be horrified or elated at the widespread elevation of the everyday item to museum quality status, but one thing is for certain: if you’re out and about playing grandma’s dining room bingo at Frieze NY this year, the competition will be fierce.
Spotted at: A Gentil Carioca, 303 Gallery, Night Gallery
Trend 2 | Salon-style hangs.
The salon-style hang trend has been carried along for a few years now, but it has never been so prevalent at Frieze NY. Like your friend who’s been showing up to birthdays with a new date ever since their long-term relationship ended two months ago, very little is more reliable than showing up to a major art venue and encountering a salon-style hang. With some artists, this route totally works (Bridget Donahue at FRAME, Frieze NY 2017 comes to mind) while with other galleries, this style can seem like overkill. With established artists, the salon-style hang can come across as a gambit to refresh their art market status with a new, contemporary feel. But don’t take my word for it—wander through the fair and see for yourself.
Spotted at: Gagosian, Bridget Donahue, CANADA
Trend 3 | Science Experiment Art Installations.
Ahh, the interdisciplinary art installation. Nothing is more vague and, by reflex, more hypnotic. From drums and high-hats clanging for attention to strange wires connecting various electronic equipment components, the mad scientist-artist is well represented at this year’s Frieze NY. Walk by Kate Werble and marvel at Brock Enright’s strange, mining-the-natural-history- museum aesthetic. Miniature dinosaurs and strange DNA sequences sit politely atop a small black platform, waiting for gasping fairgoers to come by and document every angle. Turn a corner at Frieze and odds are you’ll be in front of a bone, fossil, or mad scientist science set of some kind.
Spotted at: Gagosian, Bridget Donahue, CANADA
Trend 4 | Plants.
2016 and 2017 have been a strong showing for the natural world in arts and design, particularly with plants. From Miami Art Basel to magazine racks everywhere, succulents and palm fronds have assumed hipster gold status. Who knew nature could be so cool? Hans Peter Feldmann, with his fake planter wall installation at 303 gallery, plays with this natural/artificial construct, while wandering through Frieze’s FRAME section will reveal a corner of tropical forest—wander and wonder, my friends, fields and forests await.
Spotted at: 303 Gallery, Proyectos UV
Trend 5 | Selfie-Ready Art.
Ah, where would we be without the selfie-ready artworks at Frieze NY 2017? From Olafur Eliasson to Anish Kapoor, giant flashy artworks give rise to the now-instinctive need for a selfie moment. And what better serves the Frieze aesthetic for overwhelming attention in the now? Nothing goes together better than an art fair and social media, not even PB&J, and you don’t have to tell that to the booths we’ve spotted that have no problem with strategically placing blockbuster pieces in place for the perfect pic. But first,…
Spotted at: PACE, 303 Gallery, Tanya Bonakdar, Galerie Peter Kilchmann
Audra Lambert is a freelance arts contributor and independent curator based in New York City. Her articles can be found in Whitehot Mag, Art Nerd NY, Artefuse, Examiner and more. The author focuses on participatory and public art projects with an emphasis on emerging and established female artists. She is co-founder of alt_break art fair, a nonprofit art fair fostering dialogue between community-based social justice nonprofits and the arts. Currently completing a Master’s thesis in Modern/Contemporary Art at City College of New York, her curated projects and ongoing coverage of interdisciplinary art projects can be found on ANTE. (www.antecedentprojects.com), an online art platform showcasing contemporary arts and culture, which may or may not be secretly run by llamas on Mars.