7 Art World Luminaries Share Top Picks from Frieze New York

Galerie Magazine / May 3, 2024 / by Lucy Rees / Go to Original

On Wednesday morning, VIPs and collectors made their way to The Shed in Hudson Yards for the 12th edition of Frieze New York. and its third at the glossy Midtown West venue. Smaller in scale than past years, this year features just 68 booths spread over three floors of the building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro along with Rockwell Group, which is hosting the fair through May 5. On opening day, Galerie asked a handful of leading art-world figures including museum directors, curators, and collectors to share the work that impressed them the most.

1. Antonio Obá at Mendes Wood  
“Antonio Obá is a Brazilian artist I’ve been intrigued with for a number of years. Obá’s practice encompasses sculpture, painting, installations, and performance—his work is tough yet poetic. keré: antebellum / estripulia, (2024) is a standout work for me at the fair. The title is rich with symbolism and references to Tupi history. It is such an enigmatic image—the girl is staring right back at us, suggesting she’s on the verge of some playful troublemaking. Obá is also showing a new body of work at Archipelago in Germantown, titled “Erase the Silence” —it’s an exhibition I’m really hoping to see in the coming weeks.”—Ed Tang, Co-Founder of Art-Bureau 

2. Ana Segovia at Kurimanzutto
“On the top floor of the fair, the painting Noche Americana- int. cantina by Ana Segovia immediately caught my attention at Kurimanzutto. I was captivated by the work’s vivid cobalt hues and cinematic composition. His work interrogates tropes of masculinity in mainstream film and popular culture, in particular Mexican films, and challenges dominant narratives through queer readings, shifting from the hypermasculine macho to the homoerotic. I also love the Chicago connection, as he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lately I have been interested in Latin American painters who studied in Chicago.”—Carla Acevedo Yates, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at MCA Chicago 

3. Elias Sime at James Cohan
“I was blown away by the solo presentation of Elias Sime at James Cohan. These large colorful abstractions are composed of electrical wiring, circuit boards, and other components gathered from discarded computers and telecommunications equipment. The works are arranged in dense woven and layered compositions that evoke the natural world–topographical maps and crystalline mineral forms—and the origins of the raw materials extracted to supply the production of electronics with an increasingly rapid obsolescence. From a distance, they appear soft and fibrous, yet Sime’s handwork is evident throughout, and in this way, they explore the contrast between physical contact and the virtual social networks we all inhabit.” —Pete Scantland, Founder and CEO of Orange Barrel Media 

4. Sylvie Fleury at Karma International and Sprüth Magers
“I was thrilled to see Sylvie Fleury’s solo show in Karma International and Sprüth Magers’s shared space. Her work illuminates the problems of exclusionary art history and consumerist contemporary culture while also revealing our vulnerability to glamour and sensual pleasures. The work seductively invites us into the tension between a critical posture and complicity. As we navigate our ethics and desires, she offers us multiple viable positions over a range of time horizons. Her invitation is as timely as ever, particularly with the proliferation of artist and brand collaborations. While I love her work across media, I am especially delighted to see the inclusion of her video work in the fair context. It is yet another playful provocation to re-consider another history: that of collecting itself, which has had a bias toward traditional media. I look forward to seeing more of her digital work everywhere, including in the public space.”—Cynthia Noble, Executive Director of Vornado Realty Trust, Arts and Art on the Mart

5. Yuko Mohri at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
“Much like her recent installation in the Japanese pavilion in Venice, Decomposition, Mohri’s sculpture single handedly brings together sculpture, sound, ecology, entropy, and performance. The sometimes tonal, sometimes atonal ambient sound coming from the speakers comes from sensors plugged into the locally sourced fruit and will change as the fruit decomposes. The work is humorous, straightforward, and intelligent. —Silvia Cubina, Executive Director of The Bass Museum of Art 

6. Charisse Pearlina Weston at Patron Gallery
“Charisse Pearlina Weston’s solo booth with Patron Gallery continues the artist’s exploration of architecture and black spatial resistance. With “the many instances where edge meets to wedge and unmoors (the after-being of collapse in riot time),” Weston’s use of glass—melded with photography, cement, and text—creates a composition of shifting light and textile-esque movement holding materials (the image and language) as a phantom embedded in space. Here, Black life and its effects are held and obscured within a prism of the built environment noting the possibilities of illegibility as a form of refusal.”— Essence Harden, Co-Curator of Made in LA 2025; Curator of Frieze LA, Focus 2024; and Visual Arts Curator at the California African American Museum 

7. Andy Robert at Michael Werner Gallery 
“How is it that an assemblage made of a taxidermied bird and a rusted shovel perched on an old kid-size wooden chair can be so poignant and haunting? A day after seeing this work by Andy Robert tucked in a corner of Michael Werner Gallery’s booth, I’m still struggling to comprehend where the sheer emotional power of this piece comes from. Adding the references up—the African Sacred Ibis, the mask-like shovel, childhood, all these things that speak of home and longing—still falls short of an explanation, and I believe this speaks to Robert’s capacity to let his works open up their own space and have you lose yourself in it.” —Stephane Aquin, Director of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts