But if dropping hedge-fund money on your living room decor (or, heck, even paying Frieze’s $50 entrance fee) isn’t really your scene, there were a couple of lower-key fairs on the Lower East Side with enough fresh and interesting stuff on hand to satisfy even the most jaded gallery-goer.
One of the largest “satellite fairs” was NADA, which for the second year in a row took over the massive Basketball City building across the FDR from the Vladeck Projects. Local spots like The Hole, Eleven Rivington, and Interstate were joined by an impressive gathering of some 90 galleries and institutions from all over America and Europe. And if the crowds seemed a bit sparse as compared to the hordes up-river at Frieze, well, so much the better for the casual art fan. That free admission price felt pretty good, too.
The other big LES fair was Cutlog, which filled the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center on Suffolk Street. The Clemente is a terrific space for events like this: the former schoolhouse retains all of its quirky architectural details and the art wanders through classrooms, hallways, offices, and even closets. Each of the 50 exhibitors from all over the world (with a sizable local contingent) had to present an original project specific to the fair. The art here was the most consistently engaging of any of the fairs I visited all weekend. Definitely recommended for next year.