'Untitled,' photo by Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall on view at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (Photo from 1:54 website and courtesy of Axis Gallery)

‘Untitled,’ photo by Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall on view at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (Photo from 1:54 website and courtesy of Axis Gallery)

If there’s anything to say about Frieze that speaks to the massive annual art fair as a whole is that it’s wholly impossible to see everything. Last year, there were 190 participating art dealers from all over the globe. And that’s just at Frieze alone. What’s more the art fair brings so many art people into the city and out of their studios in “far-flung” neighborhoods to Manhattan, that several satellite festivities coincide with the event in places other than the Frieze tent. So take your pick and get ready for two parts shmoozing and feigning interest and one part legitimate enthrallment!

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NADA

NADA is the naughtier younger cousin of the engorged art fair that is Frieze, which isn’t to say NADA is a bitty affair. Quite the opposite, actually — it’s become quite sprawling in its own right, however expect less-established artists and perhaps more daring, experimental stuff.

NADA is short for New Art Dealers Association which, yeah we know makes it sound a lot less exciting than a play on Da Da. But with Signal Gallery, Bodega, and the Hole counting amongst local participants, there’s sure to be some wacky stuff.

The art fair also sets aside space for special projects including performances and discussions. Shoot the Lobster (the Lower East Side space that’s one-part gallery, one-party noise show party-space partial to depositing bales of hay around the room to make for confusion/mayhem) is among the project presenters.

Another is Wendy’s Subway. The Williamsburg writers’ collective and library will be presenting “an hour of readings, talks, screenings, and performances by invited artists, writers, publishers, organizers, and readers,” which to us sounds like a hell of a lot of material to cram into one hour. But wow us, Wendy’s. 

And if you thought things couldn’t get more underground, Melissa Brown’s project from last summer, Eye in the Sky Hold ‘Emis getting a new lease on life at NADA. The closed-circuit monitored, Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, a collaborative effort with the shipping container slash gallery Where, was first held at the Bushwick gallery. The joint-effort is back, though this time at an undisclosed offsite location, and on view only to NADA attendees.

The Eye in the Sky team is asking fair-goers to participate by monitoring the poker players and texting in directions. Find more details and the full list of programming hereMay 14th through May 17th at Pier 36 Basketball City

1:54

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Pioneer Works is hosting the premiere of Europe’s 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in the United States– 54 being a reference to the 54 countries that make up the Africa continent.

Both established and emerging artists from Africa, part of the African diaspora, and working in an African context will be on display here. There will be tons of all mediums of art to ogle as well as some panel discussions and artists talks to attend.

Galleries based in Europe, the United States, and African countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, and Morocco are representing the work of over 60 artists.

Hank Willis Thomas an artist working in photography, sculpture, installation and video, among other mediums, will join with fellow African-American artist Lyle Ashton Harris to discuss the term “diaspora” and its relation to the creative process. May 15 through May 17th at Pioneer Works: day pass for $10, $5 for students

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Sight Unseen Offsite 

This isn’t exactly a Frieze offshoot, rather a parallel program to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and NYCxDesign also happening this week, but whatevs we’ll take it! The design magazine Sight Unseen is heading Sight Unseen Offsite, a design fair showcasing the work of independent design studios such as Williamsburg’s Tunica, which will present “a collection of artworks exploring the juxtaposition of traditional techniques in art, like the organic use of brushstrokes, with recent technologies and methods, such as 3-D printing.”

And yeah, so what if these “artworks” are printed pillows, tapestries, and anatomically inspired tea pots? Getting art to do stuff is half the fun of design anyway. May 13th through 17th at Skylight Clarkson Square, 550 Washington Street: FREE