May 2, 2018

The VIP preview of Frieze New York opened Wednesday, with multi-million-dollar works on view in a redesigned tent.

The seventh edition of Frieze New York opened to VIPs Wednesday morning, featuring a new layout for its Randall’s Island tent that arranged the 190 galleries from 30 countries into a long line, separated by clusters. As soon as the doors swung open at 10:00 AM, a scrum of collectors, advisors, curators and high-profile attendees stormed the two entrances to take in the architectural restructuring (the revamp was planned by Universal Design Studio—the same firm that built the tent that houses Frieze London). The crowds were greeted by highlights such as Pierre Huyghe’s massive glowing cube L'Expédition Scintillante, Acte 2, Untitled (Light Box) (2002) at the Marian Goodman Gallery booth, and Bruce Nauman’s complex wood and plaster installation Dead End Tunnel Folded into Four Arms with Common Wall (1980-87), which the gallery said took a dozen art handlers to put in the booth.
The Nauman is on sale for $8.5 million, but had not yet found a buyer, despite a lot of interest from a variety of institutions, the gallery said. But some work had sold in the fair’s opening hours. David Zwirner had sold nearly all of its work by the artist Josh Smith, who’s new to the gallery’s stable. The large works were going for $100,000. And 26 works by David Hockney at Pace Gallery—all made on his iPhone and iPad—sold for $26,000 each. But it was early, and there were plenty of collectors on hand to pick up more work as the day went on. Collector Maja Hoffmann was investigating new work by Arthur Jafa in the Gavin Brown’s Enterprise booth, Marieluise Hessel was on hand to have a chat with Sean Kelly in his booth in the afternoon, and billionaire arts patron (and, of course, former mayor) Michael Bloomberg was chatting up dealers. The artist Chuck Close made an appearance by the Skarstedt booth, a rare public foray into the art world for the photographer who was accused of sexual harassment late last year. And KAWS was spotted stalking the fair aisles with the actor John Krasinski. Perhaps the star of “The Office” was checking out the Randall’s Island iteration of Frieze ahead of the fair’s debut in January in a location more familiar for actors: Hollywood.