Art Market

The 10 Best Booths at Frieze New York 2022

Brian P. Kelly
May 19, 2022 4:03PM

Rachel Uffner Gallery’s booth at Frieze New York. Courtesy Rachel Uffner Gallery.

On Wednesday, Frieze New York returned for its second edition at its new Hudson Yards home in The Shed. Last year’s outing marked the first major New York fair to reopen following the outbreak of COVID-19, and the mood then, while joyful, was also palpably charged with uncertainty. What will fairgoing be like in a pandemic world? Will people come? Will work sell? How would this new venue fare?

Now, a year later, that uncertainty has all but disappeared. Despite rising COVID cases in New York, attendance was undeterred, and it seemed as if the contemporary art world had completely come to terms with living with an endemic virus: “I’ve had COVID three times,” one attendee mentioned to another in passing. People were still coming (among the attendees touted by the fair’s press team were Leonardo DiCaprio, Glenn Lowry, and Mera and Don Rubell). Works were still selling (Perrotin, for example, sold out its day-one booth to the tune of almost $3 million).

Opinions on The Shed remained fairly evenly split, with some missing the pilgrimage to Randall’s Island and the sprawling tent that hosted far more exhibitors than the 60-some-odd galleries at the current fair. Others, however, were happy not to have to make the trek—most often accomplished by ferry—especially if they were visiting multiple times, and found the smaller number of booths more manageable. Below are the 10 best displays at this year’s fair.

Carlos/Ishikawa and Chapter NY

Booth C4

With works by Christopher Culver, Erin Jane Nelson, Rose Salane, and Issy Wood

Carlos/Ishikawa and Chapter NY's booth at Frieze New York. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze.


Carlos Ishikawa and Chapter NY were among very few galleries that shared a booth at this year’s fair. This arrangement came about in part as a cost-saving measure, one of the galleries’ representatives said, but also because they know their rosters of artists play well together. That’s especially evident in this four-artist presentation, which, despite not being intentionally curated as a group show, works as well as if it had.

Most powerful are the works that elevate humble objects—often borderline detritus—into high art. In short, the booth makes garbage look good. If that doesn’t sound appealing at first, Issy Wood’s aptly named Trash 1 (2021) should dispel any concern. The oil on linen of empty bottles, a can, and a paper towel roll dissolves into an earthy color field painting as you approach, but is a razor-sharp technical rendering from afar. Christopher Culver’s charcoal and pastel drawings, which sold out, also have a similarly abstract quality to them, as the unwavering horizon line of City Shore (2022) gives way to the more organic forms of abandoned oil drums and a mattress below.

And Rose Salane’s 60 Detected Rings (1991–2021) (Person 1–30) (2021) presents a collection of lost jewelry, carefully cataloged, that’s part of the artist’s now well-known conceptual practice (her work is in the current Whitney Biennial and was shown in the New Museum’s latest Triennial, as was Erin Jane Nelson, whose work is also displayed in this booth). All compelling works of subjects that many would just as soon have sent to the dump.

Company Gallery

Booth FR8

With works by Cajsa von Zeipel

Cajsa von Zeipel, Post Me, Post You, 2022, left. Cajsa von Zeipel, Celesbian Terrain, 2022, left. Courtesy of the artist and Company Gallery.

At this point, art has lost a lot of its power to shock. Whether it was Chris Burden getting shot, Andres Serrano defiling a crucifix, or Jeff Koons inflating his sex life, contemporary audiences have become inured to the scandalous. Company Gallery’s presentation of Cajsa von Zeipel’s alternately crazed and erotic sculptures cracks through viewers’ hardened exteriors and elicits fear, curiosity, arousal.

Indeed, among the many materials listed for Celesbian Terrain (2022) are “glass eyes (crazy green).” Those bloodshot eyes belong to a gasping woman, clutching a bathroom safety bar, her braided hair blown back against the wall as if she’d just been hit with the exhaust from a jet engine. Despite her glossy lips and the puppies that accompany her, the expression on her face is nothing if not panic, and as she stares over the viewer’s shoulder, we, too, experience agita, the feeling of something terrifying lurking just behind us.

Post Me, Post You (2022), the other sculpture here, is an erotic monument that challenges us to figure out where the flesh and limbs of one of its many figures ends and another begins. The characters here ooze power and ecstasy; the myriad cameras and sex toys on display lobby for unrestrained sex positivity.

Von Zeipel’s work was also a highlight of the last pre-pandemic Art Basel in Miami Beach. Here, it is part of Frieze New York’s Frame section, which features solo presentations of emerging artists from galleries that opened in or after 2012. Company’s booth reveals the importance of fairs’ support for lesser-known artists and galleries without the deepest pockets.

Stephen Friedman Gallery

Booth B17

With works by Jonathan Baldock

Stephen Friedman Gallery’s booth at Frieze New York. Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.

The masks and totems of Jonathan Baldock at Stephen Friedman are vibrantly primal, at once lighthearted objects—grinning, adorned with emojis—and deeply spiritual relics tied to identity, the body, and the past.

In his “Maske” series, Baldock deploys seemingly endless variation as he adorns ceramic rectangles with realistic ears, stylized eyes, and snaggled teeth. There’s a childlike joy to these pieces—how many of us made clay masks in a grade-school art class?—but they also remind us of concealment, psychological masking, and theatrical traditions dating back to the ancient Greeks.

Similarly, his series of upright sculptures, “Facecrime (suspect),” mines history, serving as contemporary artifacts. Here, brightly colored cylinders are covered in slip-casted parts of the artist’s body—fingers, hands, ears—and ornamented with emoji, those hieroglyphics of the 21st century. Hidden speakers play clicks, groans, and laughter, lending a mystical air to these pieces. We wonder, are these monuments, ritual sites, grave markers?

By the end of the fair’s opening day, nearly all the masks had sold, along with an upright sculpture and a large relief work. With works priced in the range of £5,000–£25,000, the sales were mostly made to “U.S.-based collectors as well as some international visitors,” gallery director Mira Dimitrova said.

Hauser & Wirth

Booth B5

With works by Charles Gaines

Hauser & Wirth’s booth at Frieze New York. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

The grid-based work of pioneering African American conceptual artist Charles Gaines proved to be hugely popular at Frieze, and it’s easy to see why. The five large pieces from his “Numbers and Trees” series reverses the artist’s usual process of layering, now bringing details of trees to the foreground and floating them over a carefully colored and numbered grid that is based on the entire tree.

From a distance, these could be taken to be oversized lab slides or medical scans detailing branching capillaries and bubbling pathogens. Look closer, though, and details come into view: the pixelated outlines of the grid trees, the roughness of the bark in the close-up images. Inspired by the massive trees he encountered during a 2020 trip to Dorset, England, these works benefit by emulating those plants’ imposing scale, yet, like trees themselves, there is a breeziness about them. While comparisons are often made between Gaines’s work and that of, most obviously, Sol LeWitt, as well contemporaries such as Mel Bochner and Lawrence Weiner, these works continue to show that he has a vernacular all his own.

All five works, priced at $550,000 each, had sold by early afternoon, including one that was acquired by an American museum.

David Kordansky Gallery

Booth B1

With works by Mai-Thu Perret

Swiss-born artist Mai-Thu Perret foregrounds contemporary feminism in the watercolors and sculptures on view here, riffing on classical elements while bringing them solidly into the 21st century.

Best among the work in this solo presentation is Diana (2022), an upright woman with arms outstretched that, in pose, could easily be from antiquity or the Renaissance. However, we quickly notice that the piece is anything but traditional: The multiple breasts are certainly one tip-off, but smaller details—a cropped haircut, sneakers, a low-cut dress—make it entirely modern and play with notions of feminine fashion. The piece sold on the first day in the range of $80,000–$90,000.

Also impressive is The hundred flowers that come with the spring, for whom do they bloom ? I (2022), a massive ceramic corpse flower in full bloom. Its font-like petals recall the stoups placed at the entrances of churches, while also bringing to mind the sexual connotations common to floral imagery. The flower’s towering spadix—the fleshy spike that protrudes from the center of the petals—is undeniably phallic. These showcase pieces were complemented well by the more muted, if no less physical, hanging works and watercolors on view, several of which also sold at $5,000–$20,000 per piece.

Pace Gallery

Booth B12

With works by Latifa Echakhch

Pace Gallery’s booth at Frieze New York. Courtesy of Pace Gallery.

Moroccan-born, Swiss-based Latifa Echakhch, whose work is also currently on view at the Swiss pavilion of the Venice Biennale, offers a series of six acrylic and concrete works created this year. Drawing on pictures her friend, photographer Sim Ouch, captured of nightlife in Lausanne, these canvases undergo a labor-intensive, fresco-like process. After applying concrete and glue to their surfaces and letting it set, Echakhch paints her image, then carefully chips away at it to expose the surface underneath.

The results feel like traveling back from the future and discovering well-preserved 21st-century ruins. Parts of faces are missing, cracks spread across arms and legs, revelers grin and feel simultaneously alive and dead—present and lost to the past. Monumental in scale, a number of the works sold in the €120,000–€180,000 range on opening day.

Michael Rosenfeld

Booth D10

With works by Nancy Grossman

Michael Rosenfeld’s booth at Frieze New York. Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY.

Michael Rosenfeld’s solo booth of collages, drawings, and sculptures by Nancy Grossman coincides with its presentation of her work at its gallery space, both titled “Nancy Grossman: My Body.” While the exhibitions were planned (and the gallery show opened) before the leaked draft opinion of the Supreme Court revealed plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, the connection between that decision and the works on view here, made during the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, is hard to avoid.

Grossman’s flesh-toned collages of dyed paper and watercolor conjure associations with assemblages ranging from wood inlay to skin grafts. Her Double Portrait (1974) stares out at the viewer with featureless faces, a peachy patch stretched across the eyes and nose of one figure while angular masses protrude from the other like a grisly compound fracture. A series of ink-and-wash drawings of variously bound figures creates an eerie tension: Are these consenting participants in their constriction, as nearby, BDSM-esque leather head sculptures might suggest—or are we seeing something more nefarious?

This collection of body-focused work, highly engaged with ideas of identity, autonomy, and vulnerability, remains as fresh now as it was decades ago.

Esther Schipper

Booth A6

With works by Simon Fujiwara

Esther Schipper’s booth at Frieze New York. Photo © Sebastiano Pellion di Persano. Courtesy of Esther Schipper.

British Japanese artist Simon Fujiwara’s neo-Pop paintings appropriate art history by injecting his cartoon character Who the Baer, developed during spring 2020, into iconic works from the Western canon. Using a wide range of media—collage, drawing, painting, sculpture, and stop-motion animation—Who pops up in Matisse’s Dance, a Hockey pool scene, and a Renaissance tondo.

Moving beyond mere appropriation, though, these works by the Berlin-based artist are a humorous look at the thorniness of performance and identity. As the gallery’s press materials explain, “Who the Baer seemingly has no gender, race, sexuality or even a clear design. Without an identity, Who exists only as an image, a status that allows them the freedom to roam a world of online images…in a greedy search for a ‘self.’” Fans of other 21st-century appropriators—Shepard Fairey, Richard Prince, KAWS—will appreciate these works, which are elevated beyond similar practices by other artists thanks to their thoughtful engagement with the past to deal with some of the knottiest ideas of the present.

Booth FR7

With works by Rebecca Sharp

Sé’s booth at Frieze New York. Courtesy of Sé.

São Paulo gallery Sé makes its Frieze debut in the Frame section with a collection of surrealistic works by Rebecca Sharp. The small and mid-size oils and decorated poles by the Brazilian-born artist, currently based in Boulder, Colorado, draw from nature, “Amerindian cultures,” and mysticism. Incorporating architectural elements into dreamy landscapes, her work is reminiscent of Giorgio de Chirico if he worked at the foothills of the Rockies instead of the Italian peninsula.

In Deu (2022), a pitcher floats midair, spilling its liquid into a container below, and a percolator spits coffee into a nearby cup as a variety of fruits dangle from ropes tacked to a tile wall. In T minus now (2022), walls border an arid cliff ledge as a figure reaches skyward toward several floating objects. These hyper-detailed works expand as you spend more time with them. Grids of colorful dots suddenly leap out, runes reveal themselves to be household objects. The smaller works here are often the best—at just 25 by 25 centimeters (9.8 by 9.8 inches), they’re microdoses of metaphysical magic.

Rachel Uffner Gallery

Booth C9

With works by Bianca Beck and Anne Buckwalter

Rachel Uffner Gallery’s booth at Frieze New York. Courtesy Rachel Uffner Gallery.

Philadelphia-based painter Anne Buckwalter is already back in New York after her flattened, Pennsylvania Dutch Country–inspired interiors made a splash at this year’s Future Fair during the recent New York Art Week. Her quiet domestic scenes are rich in detail and pattern, and the often vacant interiors have just a hint of the sinister about them, lending an edge to their quotidien quaintness. A peaceful kitchen scene seems as if someone has just left the room after making a snack, but just off to the side we see a screen in the next room playing pornography. A bedside table holds a clock, keys, and a hair tie, but also a thermometer, birth control, and a copy of Richard Brautigan’s postapocalyptic novel In Watermelon Sugar, bringing ideas of life and death into an otherwise unsuspecting still life.

These paintings are well complemented by Bianca Beck’s biomorphic sculptures made of wood, wire, papier-mâché, acrylic, and oil. These tensed, squat forms could be neon-hued crabs, polychromed yogis, or deconstructed stilettos. Their physicality makes them seem ready to leap off their pedestals and scurry away at any moment, further emphasizing the lively presence felt, if not always seen, in the paintings. Pieces by both artists sold on opening day, including 10 of Buckwalter’s paintings, for $7,000–$14,000 per piece.

Brian P. Kelly