The 10 Best Booths at Frieze New York 2023

Art Market

Arun Kakar and Josie Thaddeus-Johns

Installation view of Casey Kaplan’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh / CKA. Courtesy of CKA and Frieze.

This week, Frieze staged its 11th edition in New York, hosting 68 galleries, for the third time at The Shed in Hudson Yards.

While the fair is not the largest in terms of exhibitors to take place in New York this May (Independent and TEFAF feature more galleries), it is still viewed as the city’s staple event of the spring, during these two weeks in May when auctions, openings, and art fairs coalesce.

While opinions are divided on whether the Big Apple has too many art events taking place during this period, footfall at Frieze’s VIP preview on Wednesday was proof that collectors’ appetites remain whetted. A fresher approach seemed to be favored by galleries at the fair: A vast majority displayed artworks from 2023 as opposed to more historical pieces, and several booths also used the fair as a stage to debut newly represented artists.

Installation view of White Cube’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh / CKA. Courtesy of CKA and Frieze.

Notable attendees included fashion designer Jonathan Anderson; curators Cecilia Alemani, Ian Alteveer, Naomi Beckwith, Klaus Biesenbach, Johanna Burton, Erin Christovale, and Massimiliano Gioni, among others; and plenty of major collectors and patrons, including Aggie Gund, the Rubells, the Horts, the Rachofskys, and Komal Shah.

An impressive slate of opening-day sales included White Cube’s sale of a Doris Salcedo piece for $1.25 million; Pace’s sold-out booth of Robert Nava works, priced at $30,000–$80,000 per piece; Thaddaeus Ropac’s sale of Robert Longo’s Study of Cotton Field (2022) for $900,000; Casey Kaplan’s $300,000 sale of the mesmerizing Matthew Ronay sculpture that was the sole focus of its booth; Goodman Gallery’s sale of a William Kentridge bronze for $500,000; and Xavier Hufkens’s sale of Milton Avery’s Autumn Trees and Goat for $600,000. Check back on Monday for our full sales recap.

Here, we present our 10 favorite booths from Frieze New York 2023.

Booth F10

With works by Emma Prempeh

Emma Prempeh, installation view in Tiwani Contemporary’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Courtesy of Tiwani Contemporary.

Emma Prempeh is an artist tipped for big things. The British artist (with Ghanian and Vincentian heritage) has only recently completed her MFA at the Royal College of Arts, but she has already picked up several awards and notable show appearances, including being named among Bloomberg’s New Contemporaries in 2019.

London gallery Tiwani Contemporary presents Prempeh’s first solo fair booth, and it’s easy to understand the acclaim. Through a series of new paintings (which also feature light projections and a soundscape), we’re brought into personal spaces that Prempeh brings to life in a warm, gauzy fashion. The home emerges as a theme across these works, through worn-in armchairs, bustling family kitchens, and cozy living rooms.

Emma Prempeh, Steal the Rum Cake From the Kitchen, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary.

“What captures me about Emma is how she is treating the ideas around memory and the passing of time,” Maria Varnava, the gallery’s founder, told Artsy. “I interpret it as the tragedy of the passing of time. What I get from this work is that all we have is the here and now, and the present moment.”

This sensation is often evoked through the use of what looks to be gold leaf, a recurring motif across Prempeh’s paintings. “It’s imitation gold leaf,” explained Varnava. “It’s a material that, as time goes by, it will change color and possibly texture.”

A standout of the booth is a hulking canvas on the back wall, which includes a video projection that makes it appear as though the kitchen faucet is running.

—Arun Kakar

Booth A1

With special projects by Sanford Biggers and Dennis Kardon; and works by Jean-Marie Appriou, John M. Armleder, Giorgio Griffa, Johannes Kahrs, Ludovic Nkoth, Paola Pivi, Rob Pruitt, Brian Rochefort, Ferrari Sheppard, Josh Smith, Piotr Uklański, and Austyn Weiner

Sanford Biggers, installation view in MASSIMODECARLO’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Courtesy of MASSIMODECARLO.

Sanford Biggers’s sculptural quilt works take center stage at MASSIMODECARLO’s booth, presented as a solo project entitled “Soft Geometries.” By turning colorful antique quilts into three-dimensional wall works, the artist alludes to the textiles’ use as a secret code for the Underground Railroad. Fire Flower (2023), priced at $85,000, for instance, twists the center of a star-shaped quilt into a rose-like knot, while elsewhere, quilts adorn geometric gold-leafed angles, like in Boogie Down (BX Boogie Woogie) (2023), priced at $125,000.

In addition to Biggers’s solo project, standout works abound, including Ludovic Nkoth’s deftly captured painting of children in school uniform waiting in line, their backs turned to the viewer, inspired by the artist’s recent travels to Africa. Another wall is filled with Rob Pruitt’s calming minimal scatter of framed paintings in millennial-friendly peach, lavender, and banana hues. Pruitt also created the high-shine gold table and chairs for the gallery’s booth, as well as black-and-white mugs, which were available in an edition of 20.

—Josie Thaddeus-Johns

Booth B9

With works by Jack Whitten

Jack Whitten, installation view in Hauser & Wirth’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. © Jack Whitten Estate. Photo by Sarah Muehlbauer. Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth.

The late abstractionist Jack Whitten is the subject of Hauser & Wirth’s solo booth, entitled “not just a formal process.” The presentation features a selection of never-before-seen monochromatic works on paper, paintings, and sculpture that takes its title from a quote by the artist.

“[Whitten] explained that it’s a conscious [decision] not to use color and what it means in American society to introduce blacks and whites,” Marc Payot, the gallery’s president, told Artsy. “It’s that idea which was the starting point of the presentation. Jack is really known for exploring radical ways of painting without the brush.”

Indeed, this presentation is a remarkable showcase of the artist’s capacity for innovation and relentless experimentation that characterized his practice. On opening day, the gallery sold several paintings priced from $95,000 to $2.5 million.

Works from every decade of the artist’s career are featured, and themes of materiality and politics surface in different, intriguing ways. A series of strange, intimate “Ghost” paintings of the 1960s are hung near expansive works on paper made with electrostatic Xerox technology from the ’70s. An Untitled work from the artist’s seminal “Greek alphabet” series (1976) foregrounds the booth, employing handmade practices including a comb, frottage, and imprinting to stunning effect.


Booth F7

With works by Liao Wen

Liao Wen, installation view in Capsule Shanghai’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by Daniel Terna. Courtesy of the artist and Capsule Shanghai.

There is a perfectly round peephole in the wall of Capsule Shanghai’s booth, through which the viewer can peek: They will find themself eye-to-eye with Stare (2023), an anthropomorphic wood and resin sculpture from young Chinese artist Liao Wen’s solo presentation, which peers back at the viewer through its legs, in a crouching squat position. This uncomfortable pose is intended to think of the body’s internal processes—childbirth, perhaps—echoed, too, by the yellow shade on the booth’s outer wall.

Hung along the booth’s inner walls, meanwhile, is a series of smaller pieces, each of which recalls a specific bodily process: inhaling, for instance, or swallowing. All of Liao’s works are made of lime wood, a material traditionally used in marionette puppetry—a discipline that the artist learned while studying in the Czech Republic, and evident in the moving joints of works such as Headwind (2023), another armless humanoid figure that steps forward, seemingly, against a strong gust of wind. Having recently moved to Hong Kong, the artist carves all of her stunningly smooth sculptures by hand, without any assistants or fabrication. Works are priced under $25,000.


Booth A9

With works by Pacita Abad, Ghada Amer, Davide Balliano, Ha Chong-Hyun, Suki Seokyeong Kang, Maia Ruth Lee, Mire Lee, and Minouk Lim

Installation view of Tina Kim Gallery’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by by Charles Roussel. Courtesy of Tina Kim Gallery.

Several threads run through Tina Kim’s vibrant group presentation on The Shed’s ground floor concourse, which features a range of artists across the New York gallery’s program.

“These are all women artists from different regions and they are all concerned and dealing with cross-cultural, global tensions,” Tina Kim, the gallery’s founder, told Artsy. The booth also features several artists who have been—or are set to be—a part of major museum moments. Filipino artist Pacita Abad has a major retrospective currently at the Walker Art Center (and has a solo show opening at the gallery in Chelsea today); South Korean artist Mire Lee has an upcoming solo show at the New Museum; and Mexican artist Tania Pérez Córdova had a recent solo exhibition at the Museo Tamayo.

Abad’s energetic batik and printed cloth, Put a Lime in My Coconut (2002), created late in her career, is an exultant abstract work that showcases why the artist is deserving of the renewed attention she is currently receiving. That work is complemented nicely by Lee’s earthy works of concrete and wood—Look, I’m a fountain of filth raving mad with love; tunnel sculpture I (2022) is another eye-catching highlight (keep an eye out for the soft tentacles).


Booth D6

With works by Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Varda Caivano, Guglielmo Castelli, Adriano Costa, Sônia Gomes, Mimi Lauter, Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato, Paulo Monteiro, Paulo Nazareth, Iulia Nistor, Antonio Obá, Rosana Paulino, Solange Pessoa, Paulo Nimer Pjota, Celso Renato, Maaike Schoorel, Paula Siebra, and Rubem Valentim

Installation view of Mendes Wood DM’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Mendes Wood DM.

At the center of Mendes Wood DM’s sprawling booth is a new, freestanding sculpture, Sol Maior (2023), by Sônia Gomes: Cloth forms hang on large loops of wire, a continuation of the artist’s work with intuitive forms and the fabric of her hometown, a hub for industrial textiles. Presenting many recent works from the gallery’s Latin American–focused roster, the booth demonstrates an interplay between older, established artists such as Gomes and Solange Pessoa (whose work is also currently on view in a solo show at the gallery’s New York space), alongside new names.

Installation view of Mendes Wood DM’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Mendes Wood DM.

For example, as the art world looks towards São Paulo, in advance of the biennial later this year, the gallery was showing a large self-portrait photo of the youngest artist represented by the gallery, Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro. In that work, Parto Natural (2023), priced at $22,000, the artist is pictured nude, seated, with plastic bags over her fists, in the forest, in the midst, it seems, of communing with nature. It’s an earthy backdrop for this enthusiastic image of transformation, inspired by her Bantu heritage.

Mimi Lauter also makes a splash at the booth: Her untitled, large-scale abstract painting from 2022, priced at $55,000, was on hold just a few hours into the fair, with four different buyers vying to take it home.


Booth D12

With works by Abraham Cruzvillegas, Adrián Villar Rojas, Bárbara Sánchez-Kane, Carlos Amorales, Damián Ortega, Danh Vo, Gabriel Orozco, Geles Cabrera, Haegue Yang, Minerva Cuevas, Nairy Baghramian, Petrit Halilaj, Roberto Gil de Montes, and WangShui

Installation view of kurimanzutto’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of kurimanzutto.

One half of kurimanzutto’s booth at Frieze has been painted a pale peach color—a nod to Nairy Baghramian’s recent show at the gallery’s Mexico City space. The artist’s work S’appuyant (2022), a large, silver-painted slab made of cast aluminum, bronze, and silicon, leans up against the booth’s wall, commanding the area, which is filled with works that seem to be in conversation with one another.

The pearly color, for instance, is echoed in WangShui’s AI-assisted oil painting on aluminum, Encounter III (2023), and the hefty form speaks to the small, curvaceous casts from the 1970s and ’80s by Geles Cabrera, who is now 96 and was one of the first women to attend Mexico City’s prestigious San Carlos Academy. These aesthetic associations continue with Petrit Halilaj’s casts of ocarinas, the earliest instrument found in his home city in Kosovo, which sprout out of the wall on tentacle-like wires.

In the rest of the booth, painted a more traditional white, a small oil painting, From the series “The Work of the Ocean” XIV (2021) by Adrián Villar Rojas, stands out. With a kaleidoscopic paper collage by Haegue Yang, along with WangShui’s painting, drawing many interested buyers, only a few works on view were still available by the end of the fair’s first day.



Booth C3

With works by Adam Alessi, Jean-Marie Appriou, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Sebastian Black, Matt Copson, Sara Flores, Hugh Hayden, Zak Kitnick, Shota Nakamura, and Daisy Sheff

Installation view of Clearing’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by JSP Art Photography. Courtesy of the artists and Clearing.

Frieze New York arrives this year at a time of transition for Clearing, which has just decamped from its Brooklyn location after 13 years to set up shop on the Bowery, in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

“At the gallery we have a group show called ‘Maiden Voyage’ about the history as well as the future of the gallery, so we tried to reflect here in the booth,” Laurence Dujardyn, the gallery’s director, explained to Artsy. A combination of gallery mainstays and newer talents feature in the dynamic installation. There are several attention-grabbing works—a playful flamingo sculpture by Jean-Marie Appriou; a cherry-bark Telfar handbag by Hugh Hayden; and a curious LED light box by Matt Copson—but the presentation also shines through its quieter works.

Installation view of Clearing’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by JSP Art Photography. Courtesy of the artists and Clearing.

A luscious crimson painting from Japanese artist Shota Nakamura, the newest name on the gallery’s roster, is a standout, while a playful painting by Adam Alessi is given prime positioning on the outside of the booth. Alessi’s work sold before the fair started, and the L.A.-based artist is also set to have a solo show at the gallery’s Bowery space. “We expect a tremendous amount of interest,” noted Dujardyn.


James Cohan

Booth B5

With works by Naudline Pierre

Naudline Pierre, installation view in James Cohan’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by Silvia Ros. Courtesy of James Cohan.

Naudline Pierre’s protagonists are in the midst of transforming. Wings sprout from their backs; feathers and scales develop across their skin. Everything around them, meanwhile, is on fire, perhaps floating across a sickly yellow landscape, as in The Only Way Out Is In (2023).

This suite of brand-new, stylized, characterful paintings is the artist’s attempt to insert her own point of view into traditional scenes of the male-dominated worlds of classical painting, explained Sascha Feldman, director at James Cohan. “Her work is all about using the structures of Renaissance and Baroque painting to build an alternative universe in which an all-female cast of characters play out scenes of care-taking, confrontation, and entanglement,” she said, noting that Pierre’s Haitian identity significantly impacts her work.

Having been featured in The Artsy Vanguard in 2020, and now with a forthcoming show at New York’s Drawing Center, the artist made a splash with collectors at the fair: The whole booth of these bright, fluid works had sold out within a few hours of the fair’s opening; prices ranged from $45,000 to $130,000.


Dastan Gallery

Booth D2

With works by Behjat Sadr, Farideh Lashai, Farah Ossouli, Bita Fayyazi, and Newsha Tavakolian

Installation view of Dastan Gallery’s booth at Frieze New York, 2023. Photo by Alex Staniloff / CKA. Courtesy of Frieze.

In a display that features a cross-generational group of five women artists from Iran, Tehran-based Dastan Gallery’s booth is a presentation that connects the current political moment with the personal.

“The selections and presentations are put together by the directors of the gallery, who are actually mostly artists represented by the gallery,” the gallery’s founder, Hormoz Hematian, explained to Artsy. “They thought it’d be very important, with the context being what it is at the moment, to think more deeply about the Iranian people. They thought that it’d be important to highlight five Iranian artists who are female but have also had social impact through both their work and their life.”

Spanning mediums, these works share a dialogue through generations of women artists in Iran. In Newsha Tavakolian’s Listen (2010), six video screens shed light on the restrictions faced by women singers in Iran, while Behjat Sadr’s Untitled (2009) repositions the artist as an overlooked abstract pioneer. As the first woman director of the visual arts department at Tehran University, Sadr didn’t receive a major retrospective until 1990.

Behjat Sadr, Untitled, 2009. Courtesy of the artist and Dastan Gallery.

Sadr’s work is placed in dialogue with a distinctive abstract oil on canvas, Untitled (2008), by Farideh Lashai, who was also a best-selling novelist and translator.

“There are a lot of artists that do abstraction and there are some artists who do abstraction and community at the same time, Lashai’s daughter Maneli Keykavoussi told Artsy. “In abstraction, you can kind of detach from a community. But my mother was really doing abstraction and community at the same time.”


Arun Kakar

Arun Kakar is Artsy’s Art Market Editor.

Josie Thaddeus-Johns

Josie Thaddeus-Johns is an Editor at Artsy.

2023-05-18 15:00:00