Inside New York’s Frieze Art Week: A Personal Tour of May’s Art Fairs

by | May 11, 2024 | Art Fair Coverage

Laura Lati in front of Alex Katz, featured by Gladstone Gallery at Frieze New York 2024 © Laura Lati for artfairmag

The first week of May, every year, is crucial in New York City for the art fairs calendar. At the heart of it, Frieze New York and around it, New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) for emerging galleries, Future Fair for cutting edge contemporary artworks, 1-54 for the finest of today’s African art, aside many show openings such as the Met roof garden commission by Petrit Halilaj and Mika Tajima at the Hill Art Foundation. This period also sets the tone for the week after, with the upcoming iconic TEFAF on Park Avenue and Independent, for more art trends to visit.
Frieze took place at the Shed, one of the city’s newest skyline additions, a gigantic venue that can accommodate the relentless flow of collectors and art enthusiasts. Most mega galleries were present, with impressive booths, as well as many established galleries and a few newer ones in the Focus section. With no surprise, the sweeping works with thick paint layers of Sterling Ruby at Gagosian and the new sculptures of Arlene Shechet at Pace Gallery were among the most successful booths. Shechet’s abstract, geometric steel and hardwood constructions, with titles relating to family ties such as Brother, Better Half or Seventh Son, each listed for USD 100,000, enchanted collectors. Early May, the artist is also debuting six exciting large-scale commissions at the Storm King Art Center, in upstate New York.
Arlene Shechet, Pace Gallery at Frieze New York 2024

Arlene Shechet featured by Pace Gallery at Frieze New York 2024 © Laura Lati

At Stephen Friedman Gallery, Holly Hendry’s oversized structure Weather Vein was a show stopper and priced under USD 50,000. Along it, cartoonish red arrows traced the passage of the water droplets made of glass. The British artist is rapidly gaining momentum and is currently exhibited on the building façade of the SCAD Museum in Savannah, Giorgia. Her witty works explore the relationship between the human body, the mechanical and natural environment.

With no doubt a highlight of the fair, Elmgreen and Dragset’s amusing White Poodle, as commentary on the repetitive nature of social media, at Massimo de Carlo gallery, was staring in circles at the works of Rob Pruitt, Sanford Biggers and Mel Bochner.

At Xavier Hufkens Gallery, Ken Price’s colorful, impeccably bulbous, sculpture Geodesic Pile from fired clay with multiple paint layers was shining from all sides, with a price nearing half a million American dollars.

holly hendry at stephen friedman

Holly Hendry at Stephen Friedman, Frieze New York 2024 © Laura Lati for artfairmag

The German gallery Esther Schipper presented a beautiful Simon Fujiwara work for EUR 100,000 and Anton Kern gallery had a set of five delightful pots welcoming visitors at the front of their booth, the group listed for USD 40,000, and a sunglass lens work by trendy artist Jim Lambie, further back (GBP 80,000).

At Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Tomás Saraceno’s airy translucent hanging mobile-like structure was arresting upon entering the first floor of galleries, gorgeously contrasting with Kimsuja’s bright red agglomeration of used clothes and bedcovers.

Solemnly, at the other end of that first floor was the concrete blocks sculpture of Antony Gormley (Retreat, GBP 500,000) exhibited by White Cube. The British gallery, with a newly opened space in New York City, also put forward a tapestry by Etel Adnan (Rivière Bleue, EUR 170,000) and a delicate silk thread work by Doris Salcedo (top sale of the fair, USD 1,000,000).

Tomás Saraceno at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Tomás Saraceno at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Frieze New York 2024 © Laura Lati for artfairmag

At the Modern Institute, a surreal blue sculpture with several limbs emerging from rest from a sofa-shaped object intrigued most passersby. Gina Fischli also appealed to many with her paintings after Josef Albers, listed at USD 5,500 and her iconic humorous sculptures at Chapter, NY.


It was easy to hop from Frieze to NADA and Future Fair, since all three were happening a few blocks from one another in the Chelsea neighborhood. At the highly sought-after NADA, a few booths stood out such as Foundry Seoul with a solo presentation by Korean artist Jongwan Jang who was awarded the TD Bank Curated Spotlight for his monochromatic turquoise paintings intercepted with light pink spots (USD 10,900 for the large canvases), The Hole with half the booth dedicated to artist David Bradley with works made of UV ink on vinyl (Evochase, USD 15,000), Rachel Uffner Gallery with a remarkable coffee table and wall-reliefs by Sacha Ingber, Ruttkowski;68 with an impressive triptych by Fabian Treiber (USD 37,000). At Volume, the Chicago gallery, Luftwerk’s polychromatic circles were priced at USD 14,000 and the heads by Anders Ruhwald at USD 6,500.
the hole, david bradley

David Bradley featured by The Hole, UV ink on vinyl. NADA New York 2024 © Laura Lati for artfairmag

At JDJ Gallery, Minako Iwamura rightfully had a large work acquired by TD Bank (USD 9,500). Her radiant pastel subtle gradients spread out through biomorphic shapes that seemed to reach beyond the canvas.

Carl Kostyál stole the show at NADA with their solo booth by artist Camilla Enström which sold out very early on (Afternoon Nap, USD 44,000). Enström has an upcoming show with the London gallery at the end of the month, a second chance to catch a work by the rising market star.

installation view of minako iwamura

Installation view of Minako Iwamura, at JDJ Gallery. NADA New York 2024 © Laura Lati for artfairmag

Future Fair

Moving on to Future Fair at Chelsea Industrial, the pace was a little slower but gallerists were optimistic. Tian Contemporary presented the dreamy detailed fantasy watercolor worlds of Robin Crofut-Brittingham in variously shaped custom maple frames (Darkness Well Suited for Devotion, USD 5,200). Jano Lapin Gallery presented the works of Sylvia Trotter Ewens from Honduras grieving and rebuilding after loss of a dear one through her art (Searching for you, 2024, USD 4,800).

Robin Crofut-Brittingham at Tian Contemporary
Robin Crofut-Brittingham at Tian Contemporary. Future Fair 2024 © Laura Lati for artfairmag
Two female artists were exceptional at the fair and certainly to follow: Melody Tuttle, at Hashimoto Contemporary with her representative female portraits (What Does Your Soul Look Like, USD 3,500) and Sara Bonache, at Daniela Mercuri Gallery (DMG) with her sensual organic shapes paintings priced between USD 3,000 and 6,000.
Melody Tuttle,  installation view at Hashimoto Gallery.
Melody Tuttle, installation view at Hashimoto Gallery. Future Fair 2024 © Laura Lati for artfairmag

Sum it up, I'm in a rush!


  • When? | May 1-5, 2024
  • Where? | New York City
  • Atmosphere | High-end and elegant
  • Curator’s pick | White Cube
  • Featured Gallery Gem | Stephen Friedman
  • Spotlighted Artists | Sterling Ruby, Ken Price, Antony Gormley, Arlene Shechet
  • For Whom? | Established collectors


  • When? | May 2-5, 2024
  • Where? | New York City
  • Atmosphere | Thrilling and informal 
  • Curator’s pick | Carl Kostyál
  • Featured Gallery Gem | Rachel Uffner Gallery
  • Spotlighted Artists | Sacha Ingber, Minako Iwamura
  • For Whom? | Emerging collectors

Future Fair

  • When? | May 1-5, 2024
  • Where? | New York City
  • Atmosphere | Calm and inspiring
  • Curator’s pick | Daniela Mercuri Gallery (DMG) 
  • Featured Gallery Gem | Hashimoto Gallery
  • Spotlighted Artists | Sara Bonache, Melody Tuttle and Arang Choi
  • For Whom? | New collectors

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