Last year, the London-based Frieze Art Fair came to New York, pitched a tent on Randalls Island, and it was cool. The sophomore effort, on view through Monday, keeps much of the formula from a year ago. The 250,000 square-foot custom tent by SO-IL is back with sweeping views of the East River. (All photographs by James Panero).
The special water taxi with regular departures from Manhattan's 35th Street Ferry Dock is still the way to go.
But this free service from a year ago now costs $12.50 round trip and requires advanced ticketing.
Added to the $42 daily ticket fee (which must also be booked in advance), Frieze is anything but free. This year, a red inflatable sculpture by Paul McCarthy is there to keep your mind off your wallet.
The work also signals that, in the future, all art will only be balloon dogs.
Inside I liked this gritty sculpture by Marianne Vitale, a Frieze Projects artist, but Sant Ambroeus kind of ruins the effect, no?
This sculpture by Valeska Soares at Galeria Fortes Vilaca includes real liquor.
Much like last year, sculpture continued to look good in the ambient light of Frieze. This bronze souffle is by Erwin Wurm of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
Regrettably, Frieze has also regressed to the art-fair mean. Crotch-shot photographs by Thomas Ruff are in abundance, and there are plenty of shiny things on display. This "Rim Sculpture" by Cyprien Gaillard at Spruth Magers sums it up.
Labor issues have also caught up to Frieze.
The artist Andrea Bowers at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects has included this letter of protest with her work--the appearance and dissappearance of which has been a point of discussion.
Frieze continues to offer interesting aesthetic challenges, such as, Roberta's or Mission Chinese for lunch?
I was enjoying the mellow vibe of "Food 1971/2013," a special project space in homage to Gordon Matta-Clark and (Friday's chef) Carol Goodden, until I got bumped from my seat by Renee Rockefeller.
With curated food trucks and hip eateries, Frieze New York is either an art fair with food on the side or a food fair with art in the middle.
However you slice it, I enjoyed this ice cream sandwich.