These galleries stood out for their abstract, thoughtful, and surreal stagings.
Frieze New York is settling into the new formula it introduced last year—around 65 exhibitors, scaled down from nearly 200 on account of the change in venue from Randall’s Island to the Shed in Manhattan, plus an online viewing room component. This year, however, there seems to be far less pandemic-related anxiety hanging in the air, with fairgoers chomping at the bit to resume business as usual.
And what can be more usual than the sensory overload of strolling past booth after booth, assuming you’ll spot the must-see show just around the corner?
So, knowing that many fairgoers operate in anticipation of what’s next, and may not stop to take a close look at everything on view—not to mention the promising under-the-radar shows, like the ones at the less-established galleries featured in the Frame section—here are five of my standouts, representing an array of media and styles, as well as a diverse group of artists.
But don’t treat this list like the be-all and end-all of what’s worthy of your time. Let’s call it a good starting point. The rest of what you take away from Frieze New York 2022 is entirely up to you.
Jenkins Johnson Gallery
San Francisco/New York
Mary Lovelace O’Neal has been painting vibrant, large-scale abstractions with assemblage elements since the 1960s, and according to dealer Karen Jenkins-Johnson, if she had gotten the attention she deserved, her work today would be priced just like her white male counterparts. Even so, the 80-year-old artist is certainly not flying under the radar anymore; in the selection here, her paintings are being offered at $900,000 a pop. Her reputation has been on a steady incline since 2020, when she had her first solo show in New York since 1993 at the Mnuchin Gallery. Shortly after that, she had another in San Francisco at the Museum of the African Diaspora (40-plus years after becoming the first Black woman to have a solo show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art).
In this presentation, Jenkins-Johnson placed Lovelace O’Neal’s work alongside pieces by Gordon Parks, Enrico Riley, Lisa Corinne Davis, and Sydney Cain—who sold two pieces by the close of the first day, for prices ranging from $5,000 to $26,000.