The New Museum curator offers an insightful perspective on the role of art fairs like Frieze New York, noting the frantic energy and last-minute preparations that are typical of such events. Despite the frenetic pace, however, there is a palpable sense of hope and anticipation in the air, as dealers and collectors alike look forward to engaging with the art on display.
For the curator, the role of art fairs is to provide a platform for galleries and artists to showcase their work to a wider audience, fostering dialogue and exchange within the art world. By bringing together a diverse range of artists and galleries from around the world, fairs like Frieze New York offer a unique opportunity to explore the global landscape of contemporary art, discovering new artists, and engaging with fresh perspectives on the issues that matter most in our world today.
While the pace of the fair can be frenetic at times, the curator suggests that it is precisely this energy and excitement that makes events like Frieze New York so valuable for artists, dealers, and collectors alike. By providing a dynamic and engaging platform for the exchange of ideas and perspectives, art fairs play an important role in shaping the future of the art world, helping to spur innovation, creativity, and critical dialogue for years to come.
Walking the fair with someone like Isolde Brielmaier, a seasoned curator and expert in the contemporary art world, offers a unique perspective on the role of events like Frieze New York. Rather than viewing the fair as a marketplace for buying and selling art, Brielmaier sees it as a platform for discovery and engagement.
For her, Frieze New York is an opportunity to gain new insights into what is culturally significant in the world of contemporary art, to connect with old friends, and to discover new artists and galleries. By fostering dialogue and exchange between art professionals, collectors, and the general public, the fair serves as an important catalyst for creative innovation and critical thinking, helping to shape the direction of the art world in the years to come.
By taking a more holistic view of the fair, Brielmaier underscores the importance of engagement and discovery in the contemporary art world, emphasizing the vital role that events like Frieze New York play in fostering creativity, innovation, and cultural exchange. With her perspective in mind, we can approach the fair with a sense of curiosity and openness, welcoming the new perspectives and insights that this dynamic and engaging event has to offer.
Brielmaier’s emphasis on the importance of connecting and engaging with others in the art world is reflected in her own experience at Frieze New York. As one of the most important art events in the city, the fair is a destination for serious collectors and galleries, and can be intimidating for those not familiar with the art world.
Despite this, Brielmaier seems right at home among the galleries and collectors, taking the opportunity to connect with colleagues and see new art outside of her normal environment. As she walks the fair, she immediately spots Margot Norton, a co-curator of the transfixing Wangechi Mutu show currently on view at The New Museum, embracing her with a sense of familiarity and warmth.
This kind of connection and engagement is at the heart of what makes events like Frieze New York so valuable in the contemporary art world. By providing a space for artists, collectors, and curators to come together and share their perspectives, the fair helps to foster critical dialogue and exchange, driving creative innovation and promoting cultural understanding and appreciation. With Brielmaier’s example in mind, we can embrace the opportunities for connection and discovery that fairs like Frieze New York have to offer, forging new relationships and uncovering new insights into the dynamic and multifaceted world of contemporary art.
As Brielmaier navigates the fair, her insider status becomes even more apparent, with friends and colleagues popping up around nearly every corner. Her experience and dedication to the industry have clearly paid off, giving her the opportunity to connect with some of the most influential figures in the art world.
From confirming an upcoming meet-up with the director of the Swiss Institute to chatting with the CEO of Sotheby’s, Brielmaier is at ease rubbing elbows with some of the most prominent figures in the art world. As everyone wants to know what’s new at the museum, Brielmaier takes the opportunity to plug upcoming projects, including four new shows set to open throughout the summer.
One of these shows highlights Puerto Rican artist Pepón Osorio, while another will be a large survey of the work of Judy Chicago in the fall. By showcasing the work of diverse artists and exploring new themes and ideas in contemporary art, The New Museum continues to play an important role in shaping the direction of the art world, bringing new perspectives and fresh insights to audiences around the world.
Through her engagement with colleagues and peers at Frieze New York and beyond, Brielmaier’s passion and dedication to the contemporary art world shines through, inspiring others to engage more deeply and passionately with this dynamic and ever-evolving field.
While Brielmaier enjoys catching up with colleagues and friends at Frieze New York, there is also a subtle work to be done in fostering relationships with galleries that can benefit her institution, The New Museum. By developing these relationships, Brielmaier can secure loans of artwork from galleries and gain their support for upcoming exhibitions.
In addition to networking, Brielmaier is also keenly attuned to the new works by up-and-coming artists on display throughout the fair. As she passes through the Proyectos Ultravioleta booth, she notes how the gallery has been doing great work with young artists since its humble beginnings as a non-profit in Guatemala City over a decade ago.
For Brielmaier, discovering exciting new artists and supporting their work is a key part of her mission as a curator, and the fairs provide a crucial platform for doing just that. By exploring the diverse range of artists and galleries on display at Frieze New York and other events, she can gain new insights into the trends, themes, and ideas shaping the contemporary art world, inspiring her own work and informing the direction of the museum.
Brielmaier’s approach to discovering new artists and building relationships with galleries through events like Frieze New York is all about expanding her network and gaining new insights into the contemporary art world. When she sees something of note from a new gallery, she takes a photo of the artist’s name and looks them up, adding international galleries to her global hit list of places to visit while she’s traveling.
As we venture to more recognizable names like Hauser & Wirth, Brielmaier is equally curious, drawn to a solo presentation of the work of painter and sculptor Jack Whitten. Having curated a show with Whitten at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art in 2012, Brielmaier speaks highly of the abstract painter, noting that he brings in incredible elements while still remaining true to his status as a painter.
We can see in Brielmaier’s approach to the fair a passion for discovery, a desire to explore new artists and develop relationships with galleries that can benefit The New Museum and the wider art world. By taking a curious and open-minded approach to events like Frieze New York, she is able to uncover new insights and forge new connections that inspire her work and shape the direction of contemporary art.
Brielmaier’s keen eye and enthusiasm for discovering new artists leads her to Lauren Halsey’s work on display at David Kordansky. Brielmaier notes that Halsey’s work speaks to the intersections of history, culture, and identity, with imagery of Black culture from the late 20th century collaged alongside iconography of ancient Egypt in vivid colors.
Halsey’s recent success, including a much-lauded rooftop sculpture installation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, speaks to the powerful connection between mainstream visibility and opportunity in the art market. For Brielmaier, discovering and supporting emerging artists like Halsey is not only a part of her mission as a curator but also important for the continued growth and evolution of the contemporary art world.
In showcasing the diverse perspectives, experiences, and identities of artists through exhibitions and programming, The New Museum plays a crucial role in promoting inclusivity and cultural understanding in the art world. Through Brielmaier’s engagement with Halsey’s work and other emerging artists, she is able to help shape this dialogue, driving critical debate and promoting new ideas and perspectives in contemporary art.
Brielmaier notes that Halsey’s recent success with her installation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has likely played a role in the buzz around her work at the fair. By showcasing another aspect of Halsey’s practice, her gallery is able to build on the visibility of her Met installation and introduce new audiences to her work.
As Brielmaier delves deeper into the intricacies and references within Halsey’s work, she strikes up a conversation with a collector, who had just purchased one of the pieces in front of them along with another. The collector expresses some concerns about whether the colors of the artwork will fit in his home, but Brielmaier offers her perspectives and expertise, putting his qualms to rest.
It’s encounters like these that highlight the value of events like Frieze New York as a space for dialogue and engagement between artists, curators, collectors, and audiences. Through these conversations, Brielmaier is not only able to deepen her own understanding of the art world, but also inspire others to engage more deeply with the art and ideas shaping our contemporary culture.
Brielmaier notes the solo show of works by Nan Goldin at the mega gallery Gagosian, which has garnered attention following the release of her HBO documentary, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed. The photographs, which are described as eerie and erotic, are drawing a significant crowd.
For Brielmaier, encounters with established artists like Goldin are also important for understanding the evolution and legacy of contemporary art. By exploring the range of artists and works on display at events like Frieze New York, she is able to gain new insights into the trends and ideas shaping the art world, and connect with artists and gallery representatives who can offer new perspectives and ideas for the museum’s programming.
Ultimately, Brielmaier’s passion for discovering and promoting emerging artists, as well as engaging with established artists and their legacies, helps to foster a vibrant and inclusive art community where ideas, perspectives, and creativity can flourish. These encounters and conversations are crucial for pushing the boundaries of what is possible in contemporary art and promoting a more dynamic and diverse cultural landscape.
As the duo makes their way through the final few galleries, Brielmaier’s favorites including works by Whitten, Halsey, and Goldin. However, the question arises of where all of this art will end up, as much of it could potentially go into private hands and never be shown in public again.
In response to this concern, Brielmaier imparts a valuable perspective on the relationship between art and mainstream culture. She notes that art can and should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or status, as it has the power to make a significant impact and offer something meaningful to each individual.
Whether through exhibitions at museums or personal collections, the art on display at events like Frieze New York can inspire and engage audiences from all walks of life. By promoting inclusivity and accessibility in the art world, Brielmaier and The New Museum are helping to create a vibrant and dynamic cultural landscape that celebrates diversity and creativity in all its forms.