Art Fairs to Check Out This Weekend in New York
May 6, 2016 / by Kat Herriman / The New York Times
Frieze New York isn’t the only game in town this weekend: New York is buzzing with a flurry of fairs hoping to attract the collectors that swarm to the city to shop on Randalls Island and auction week previews. Scattered across the city and into Brooklyn, these satellite events offer unique experiences to see something unexpected. Here, an overview of the top venues to check out.
Collective Design seems to get better with age. In its fourth year, the 20th- and 21st-century design fair corrals galleries from 11 international cities under the roof of the Skylight Clarkson Sq, a refurbished industrial space along the West Side Highway. New York shops like Johnson Trading Gallery and Patrick Parrish Gallery mingle with international influencers like Copenhagen’s Etage Projects and Madrid’s Garrido Gallery. Exhibitors take meticulous care with the look of their booths, and it’s a pleasure to circulate around inspecting the fine details. Unlike an art fair, things are touchable: We recommend starting with one of the sibling design duo Fernando and Humberto Campana’s chairs at Friedman Benda or Print All Over Me’s fully committed sky lounge with Various Projects Inc. If you’re looking for a souvenir, head to Sienna Patti’s booth, where Mallory Weston’s graphic pins are available for $20 to $30 each. Through May 8, collectivedesignfair.com.
Spring Masters New York
Walking through Spring Masters New York feels a bit like an Art History 101 crash course. From polished, Neolithic figurines to crisp Christopher Williams prints, this event, geared toward the secondary market, embraces all types — making for the week’s most varied fair experience. Spring Masters has a more genteel sensibility than its contemporary competition, in part due to its generous layout and low lighting. Erected within the Park Avenue Armory, the fair is organized like a hive, with hexagonal booths stacking on one another. This irregular shape encourages a sense of journey that is absent from fairs arranged on the favored grid system. There are many treasures to find if you’re patient enough to look, including Alexander Calder drawings, rare Tiffany lamps and sizable Marc Chagalls. Through May 9, springmasters.nyc.
If Frieze represents the art-world establishment, then the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) fair is the rebellious prodigy. Held in Basketball City along the East River, the independent art fair is saturated with contemporary up-and-comers. Outfitted with a noticeable amount of solo booths, the attitude there is go big or go home. Strapping on the artist Rachel Rossin’s virtual reality piece at Signal’s booth is worth the wait, as is a closer look at the handcrafted displays by Alex Chitty that occupy Patron Gallery’s booth. Following Mira Dancy’s eye-catching neon odalisque and site-specific painting at MoMA PS1’s “Greater New York” show, the artist is a welcome sight at Galerie Hussenot with a large, punchy portrait and mirror piece. The video art distributor Daata Editions is also on the scene, with virtual works by artists like Jacolby Satterwhite, Rashaad Newsome and Katie Torn. Through May 8, newartdealers.org.
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
The furthest afield, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair is worth the schlep out to Pioneer Works in Red Hook. In its second New York edition, the fledgling fair offers a place for international collectors to discover new artists and galleries that don’t have a large footprint at other the contemporary fairs. With only 17 exhibitors in total, 1:54 encourages a more intimate viewing experience, and dealers tend to engage with their visitors. African exhibitors like David Krut Projects from Johannesburg and ARTLabAfrica from Nairobi help give context to the continent’s art scene from a native perspective, while European and American outposts like Milan’s Officine dell’Immagine and Richard Taittinger show how these artists are fitting into the global landscape. Don’t be shy about asking questions; the fair’s primary mission is to expand the conversation. Through May 8, 1-54.com.