“The fair is the anchor of everything—it really is what brings a lot of international people to New York, and it’s what provides the platform for the other fairs to exist this week,” said Randolph, who was previously a director at New York’s Casey Kaplan Gallery
. “I know from working for a gallery for so long that it was also one of our busiest weeks. So it’s an event that generates a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for what’s going on in the art world, and we’re the catalyst—which is why we call it Frieze Week.”
The Red Grooms sculpture The Bus
was certainly one of the highlights, as it is the size of a real bus and filled with intricately detailed straphangers. It passed the ever-important Instagram test, appearing in the feeds
of hundreds (if not thousands) of visitors. What began as a tricky install became a smash hit when Marlborough sold it to a Rotterdam institution hours into the fair, said Max Levai, the principal director of Marlborough Contemporary.
Gagosian also brought A-game material to Frieze, despite also showing at TEFAF and hosting shows of new work by
at its galleries in Chelsea—and putting together the awe-inspiring Picasso show, which it did in just over a month.
works hung amid an installation of works by
, which, priced in the range of $3 million, were among the most expensive works at the fair. (Some pointed out that the pairing was a tad discomforting, given that Parrino died in a motorcycle accident at age 46, and Chamberlain’s sculptures are made of crumpled car parts.)
Hauser & Wirth was also doing both of the week’s prestige fairs, and at Frieze, it staged its first Jenny Holzer solo booth since announcing that it would be representing the artist in the U.S., building on its previous arrangement with her in Europe. As ever, the work was timely: Her “Redaction Paintings” series is based on the Mueller Report.
Marc Payot, a partner and vice president at the gallery, said that while several of his colleagues at other New York galleries have ditched one fair for another or opted out of both to focus on the programming in their local spaces, Hauser & Wirth is committed to both expos.
“For us, it’s important because we can serve a very different part of our program to an entirely different audience,” Payot said. “Being in New York, of course we participate in the important New York fairs.”