Frieze New York Is Moving From Its Palatial Tent on Randall’s Island to the Shed for a Pared-Down Art Fair in 2021

The next edition of Frieze New York will be a significantly smaller affair.

The Shed in Hudson Yards. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
The Shed in Hudson Yards. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Frieze has announced a surprising change of location for the next in-person edition of the New York fair: The Shed, the new Hudson Yards arts center on the far West Side of Manhattan.

The fair, which was introduced in New York in 2012 after several editions in London, had been held in a bespoke tent on Randall’s Island, off the northeastern tip of Manhattan, and access typically involved a ferry or special bus.

The fair’s next outing, expected May 5–9, 2021, will not only be in a new home, it will also be a fraction of its traditional size.

Frieze New York at the Shed will host approximately 60 galleries from around the world, as compared to the nearly 200 exhibitors commonly showing at Randall’s Island. The fair will also feature its popular “Frame” section devoted to younger galleries, alongside “an anchor program of collaborations, special projects and talks,” according to a statement from the fair.

A representative for Frieze said that the new location provides better conditions for social distancing: “The adaptable nature of the space at the Shed gives us the flexibility to meet the changing needs and conditions in light of the pandemic.”

The outside of Frieze New York 2019. Photo: Mark Blower, courtesy of Frieze.

The outside of Frieze New York 2019. Photo: Mark Blower, courtesy of Frieze.

In addition, running alongside the physical event will be a dedicated Frieze Viewing Room that will  “benefit from enhanced digital functionality and reach a global online audience.”

The Shed, which opened in early 2019, is billed as “a multi-arts center designed to commission, produce, and present all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture.” It consists of an eight-level “base building” that has two floors of gallery space, a theater, rehearsal space, creative lab for artists, and a sky-lit event space. There is also a mobile steel outer shell that can roll out over a sprawling plaza making it a flexible indoor/outdoor event space, a function that could come in handy, if, weather permitting, the fair wants to make the event more of an outdoor affair.

The Shed’s CEO and artistic director, Alex Poots, said the art center is committed to developing new partnerships and approaches “to support the arts and our city at this critical time. We’re looking forward to welcoming Frieze New York together with their artists, galleries, and visitors to the Shed next spring.”


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