Here Are the Dealers and Artists Making Big Debuts Amid Frieze New York

At NADA New York, pop-ups around town, and the main fair, new talents are stepping up.

Installation view of KDR305's debut booth at NADA New York. Photo courtesy KDR305

One of the great benefits of an art fair week is that it offers the opportunity for long-established galleries and plucky emerging ones to show side by side. And as Frieze New York opened on Wednesday, the high energy at the Shed—as well as at satellite fairs and openings all over town—was in large part due to a cast of fresh faces making their first forays into the art world. 

A white-walled gallery with a wood floor contains a number of artworks in this color photo

Installation view of “Unrequited,” a pop-up show from the Los Angeles gallery Spy Projects in SoHo. Photo courtesy Spy Projects

Before the fairs even began, a string of gallery openings brought some new people to the fore. In SoHo, the rising curator Sara Apple opened “Unrequited,” a pop-up show from the Los Angeles gallery Spy Projects that includes famous names like Raymond Pettibon and Peter Alexander alongside artists who at the very beginning of their careers, like the video artist and painter Christine Brache, sculptor Kay Kasparhauser, and multimedia artist Chris Lloyd. 

“Art is all [about] borrowing off itself, so I think it’s really interesting to juxtapose blue-chip artists with emerging artists, because it’s all cyclical,” Apple told me over phone. “They were young artists once, too. Like, how great is it to put an artist whose work has never been seen before, like Kay, next to a punk rock icon like Raymond?” At the opening, Pettibon and Patti Smith mingled with bastions of the new Downtown scene, like Richie Shazam and Daniel Arnold.

a woman sits in a dark cubicle watching video art on a screen

Installation view of Chella Man at Frieze New York 2024. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Frieze and CKA.

A similar phenomenon has been taking place over at Frieze, where several artists are having their very first art-fair outings next to giants who regularly exhibit there. On the Shed’s fourth floor, performance and video artist Chella Man screened their film The Device That Turned Me Into A Cyborg Was Born The Same Year I Was in collaboration with Performance Space New York, where the artist staged a performance called Autonomy that is in dialogue with their introspective video about personal identity and the medical-industrial complex. 

a view of a dilapidated warehouse on the Hudson

Stanley Stellar, October (1982). Courtesy of Kapp Kapp.

Nearby, the Tribeca gallery Kapp Kapp was participating in Frieze New York for the first time, and brought along reprinted editions of photographer Stanley Stellar’s iconic imagery of queer life on the Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, along the Hudson River, in the 1970s and ’80s. The gallery is run by twin brothers, one of whom, Sammy Kapp, was over-the-moon about how the opening had gone. “The energy and crowds have been great,” he said. “We’ve sold out most of our booth and expect the remaining works to be placed over the weekend!” He added that he’d been speaking with the newly minted collector Ke$ha, as well as photographer Mario Testino, about Stellar’s work. “Whispers say our booth has been turning heads,” he said, grinning. 

A few streets to the south, NADA New York opened its doors to several new gallery participants. Among them is Katia Rosenthal’s Miami-based space KDR, which brought work by Ana Won, Samuel Stewart, and Sergio Suarez. This is Rosenthal’s first New York fair, and served as a bit of a homecoming for her. (She was once a New York–based employee for the late dealer Bill Brady). “As a gallery that has only done the Miami rendition of this fair for the past three years, I’m so happy to be back in my Chelsea gallerina stomping grounds,” she said, laughing.” It’s nice reconnecting with the New York collectorship. I love NADA’s energy.”

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