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Tribeca Guide: 3 Must See Attractions At Frieze Art Fair

Tribeca's guide to one of the biggest art events happening in NYC this Spring

Frieze Art Fair opens this week for its fourth installment in New
York. Featuring 198 galleries from around the world, the fair is a major event on the spring arts calendar.

Founded in London in 2003, Frieze has included its New York fair
since 2012. The London fair is upcoming in October, and includes Frieze Film, a special section devoted to screenings artist films.

Thinking about attending Frieze in New York? Read on for tips on how to get there, what to eat, and most importantly, what to see.

Alicja Kwade, Grosses C (2004/2015)

Must Hear: Alicja Kwade, Grosses C

Our first must-see at the fair is also a must-hear. Artist Alicja Kwade's Grosses C is an audio work consisting of a collage of 200 film excerpts, a continuation of her work which is often filled with repeated noises. In Grosses C, each sound clip captures the moment at which actors, mostly women, are presented with a diamond (hence the “C” in the work’s title, which stands for carbon, the central element of a diamond). With reactions ranging from shock to awe and delight, the installation is sure not just to amuse but also call to mind issues of feminine stereotypes in the film industry. Kwade's audio project is commissioned as part of Frieze Sounds, a selection of three audio works that will premiere in the VIP cars at the art fair and be available online and at listening stations inside the fair.

Must Attend: Pierre Bismuth to discuss his directorial debut, Where is Rocky II?

As part of Frieze Talks 2015, artist Pierre Bismuth will discuss his quest to find the lost artwork of American artist Ed Ruscha in his upcoming film Where is Rocky II? The film marks the directorial debut for Bismuth, winner of the Academy Award for best screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Set to release in December, Where is Rocky II? is about the search for a fake rock created by Ruscha. Produced in 1979, Rocky II is an artificial rock made of resin which Ruscha placed at an undisclosed location in the vast Mojave desert, where it is thought to have remained, indistinguishable from other rocks and boulders in the area. The artwork has never been exhibited or displayed, nor is it listed in the catalogue of Ruscha’s works.The film includes footage of the screenwriters, DV DeVincentis and Anthony Peckham, as they create a fictional story about the search for the rock by a private investigator hired by Bismuth.

Admission to the talk is included with a fair ticket. Book a seat outside the auditorium inside the fair and arrive 15 minutes early to ensure your spot. The event takes place Saturday, May 16 at 4 pm.

Jonathan Horowitz, ‘590 Dots,’ 2014, at 356 S.Mission Rd, Los Angeles, installation view.

Must do: Jonathan Horowitz at Gavin Brown's enterprise

Create art yourself (and get paid for it) at Jonathan Horowitz’s presentation of 700 Dots. Sponsored by Gavin Brown's enterprise (Stand B38), Horowitz’s project will enlist the collaboration of 700 individuals, from fair guests to gallerists, tasked with painting a perfectly shaped black dot. Participants must create the black dot using only a brush and paint, without the assistance of tools like compasses or rulers. The freehand process ensures that the dots will be as unique as the individual participants, each of whom will receive payment in the form of a handmade $20 check from the artist.
Note: keep the check. Not only it is a souvenir from the project, but also keep in mind that any drawing by Horowitz is undoubtedly more valuable than $20. Horowitz has been working on the black dot project for the past few years, previously presenting it last year as 590 Dots in Los Angeles, where dots painted by participants were pasted to a white wall over the course of the exhibition.

What to eat:

Hungry after strolling the length of the expansive white tent and feasting your eyes on so much art? Step outside for a slice of Roberta’s renowned brick oven pizza, snag a coffee from Parlor Coffee, and indulge in dessert from Milk Bar. Additional food offerings include Frankies Spuntino, Marlow & Sons, and Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Creams.

If you have a VIP ticket, pop into the VIP Room sponsored by NeueHouse featuring creations by chef Chris Bradley.

Plan accordingly, however: food lines tend to be long, so it’s a good idea to prioritize your time and see everything you want to see before getting in line.

Where & When

Where: The fair takes place at Randall’s Island, located in the East River between the Upper East Side, the Bronx, and Queens.

When: Open hours at the fair begin Thursday and run through Sunday from 11 am - 7 pm. Note that the fair closes early on Sunday at 6 pm.

Tickets can be purchased at the door (a one-day ticket is $44), but it’s a good idea to guarantee entry by buying online. Buy ticket here.

How to Get There:

By ferry: The most scenic route to Frieze is by ferry on the East River. Board at East 35th Street in Manhattan and take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and skyline views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The trip takes about 20 minutes, and the ferry runs every 20-30 minutes during the fair’s open hours. Buy ferry tickets here.

By car: You can also travel by cab or car – take the RFK/Triborough Bridge at East 125th Street in Manhattan and bear left for the exit to Randall's Island/Icahn Stadium after the toll plaza.

By bus: Frieze provides a bus service that departs from the Guggenheim Museum (5th Avenue between 88th and 89th Streets) approximately every 10 minutes during the fair’s open hours. Roundtrip tickets cost $8 and the trip takes 15-20 minutes depending on traffic. Buy bus tickets here.

First time going to an art fair? Here are a few more tips:

Take pictures and take notes. See an artist that interests you? Snap a photo of the wall label or pick up a press release (most galleries include them at their booths).

Bring a portable charger for your phone. You’ll undoubtedly want to take photos and notes, and cellular reception on the island might not be great.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most gallerists are thrilled to speak with you about the artwork on view. If you’re not interested in buying, be courteous and keep the dialogue to a minimum.

Utilize social media. Follow the fair’s Instagram (@friezeartfair) and Twitter (@FriezeNewYork), and search hashtags like #frieze to discover art pieces you might have missed.

And there you have it - everything you need to make the most of your trip to Frieze. Let us know how it goes!


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