Frieze back in New York

As we wake up to the depressing news of a new mutation every morning, life is going back to the pre-Covid days in countries that are ahead with their vaccination schemes. Art has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the world during this wave of lockdowns. Actually, the last large-scale art event prior to the lockdowns must have been Tefaf Maastricht Expo. After a depressing period seeing the cancellation of numerous exhibitions and the closure of hundreds of galleries around the world, there is a glimpse of hope as annual events are gradually appearing on the calendars once more.

The pioneer of this great comeback is definitely the New York leg of Frieze Art Fair. Frieze Fairs Director Victoria Siddall knows that the corridors will not bustling with passionate art collectors from around the world, as usually is the case, but she adds, “New York is the only city in the world where you can organise an art fair with a mere 60 galleries without the guarantee of global attendance. So many collectors already live in NY.” Strict Covid-19 testing and vaccination protocols have been introduced to this edition of the Frieze New York fair but Siddall says, “We have downsized considerably this year. But it still felt right to organise the fair on the usual date.”

There is another reason why this year’s Frieze New York will be different. The event is relocating from its traditional venue on Randall’s Island, the fair’s home since it started in 2012, to the Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed The Shed in Hudson Yards, right next to the controversial Vessel building. Right now, The Shed is New York’s top exhibition space. Equipped with a modern ventilation system which delivers fresh air from the outdoors every hour and its special design which dictates a one-way walking route, it has become a saviour for Covid-struck events in the city. At a time when the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movements have peaked on a global scale, the world’s most important art event also has a social message. To show it cares about social problems Frieze has collaborated with Vision & Justice Project, a movement focused on understanding the relation between race and citizenship in the US through the platform of art. Remember to register on the official frieze website ( to tune into the online rooms of Frieze New York.