Sales Report: Frieze New York Makes a Convincing Case for Itself With an Opening Burst of Business

Wandering around the airy, massive tent that is home to the inaugural Frieze Art Fair, critic Jerry Saltz mused, “New Yorkers usually don’t cross water for culture, unless it’s an ocean.” But cross water they did, and in droves — though the tent was so large that it was at times difficult to determine exactly how many people were there.

Judging by the number of familiar faces and substantial sales, if not by the elbow room, Thursday’s VIP opening day on Randall’s Island was quite well attended. Artists Tracey Emin,Maurizio Cattelan, and Chuck Close were all spotted, along with a healthy crowd of art advisors, curators, and museum directors like Glenn LowryThelma Golden, and Jeremy Strick.

“The fact that it’s limited to people who bother to get out here and people who can afford to get out here means it’s a more discerning audience,” said Joost Bosland, director of Capetown’sStevenson Gallery. While the Miami art fairs may play host to P. Diddy and Catherine Zeta-Jones, there were few celebrities to spot here (other than Mark Ruffalo, engaged in a strange BBQ stunt at Gavin Brown Enterprise, to call attention to the dangers of fracking). The audience was professional, and though Thursday’s VIP opening had the jovial feel of something fresh and new, it was clear that serious business was being done.

For the complete article by Shane Ferro and Julia Halperin please visit