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This week, Frieze debuts Frieze Viewing Room, an ambitious new digital initiative that will launch with an online edition of Frieze New York. The mobile app and web-based platform will be live May 8–15 2020, with a preview from May 6–7, and will offer visitors the opportunity to explore diverse virtual viewing room spaces. Galleries will be able to add up to 30 artworks to their digital space, alongside video and text, to share information about their featured works and artists. This inaugural edition will showcase an extraordinary cross-section of artwork, from today’s most exciting emerging artists to celebrated figures of the 20th century.

Loring Randolph, Director of Frieze New York, says, “I am extremely excited to present our first ever online fair, as part of our new digital platform, Frieze Viewing Room. Here you will find hundreds of artworks from over 200 galleries from around the world. You can explore more than 200 exhibitions presented by Frieze New York’s gallery partners and non-profits. You can search for works by today’s most influential and exciting artists. And you can view videos and each artwork in detail, including being able to see two-dimensional wall-based work in a virtual space, or to scale in your own home. Our mission this year for Frieze New York was to create relevant and innovative programming that was collaborative and community-building, and I’m really excited to say that all of our regular and special programming is present on Frieze Viewing Room.”

Randolph continues, “Our regular Gallery Sections, which you may be familiar with already, like Frame, Focus, Spotlight, and Main, are all located in the Galleries area of the Viewing Room. Here we collaborate with museum curators and directors to present the most dynamic selection of artists and galleries. For example, in Frame, we focus on solo presentations by a younger generation of galleries, while in Spotlight we focus on pioneering artists of the 20th century. We have a special area of the Viewing Room that’s focussed on curated exhibitions and new programming.

Under special programming, we are proud to present our sister city tribute to Chicago. We are celebrating the achievements of women artists who have had a history or meaningful relationship with Chicago. The artist list for this includes Gladys Nilsson, Gertrude Abercrombie, Sue Williams, and Michelle Grabner, among others. These women are not only accomplished visual artists but they’re also social activists, they’re authors, they’re teachers, they are visionary radicals. I am really honoured that we are celebrating them this year, during the hundred year anniversary of the ratification of the women’s right to vote in the United States.”

Elsewhere, in the Diálogos section, discover the work of established and emerging Latino/Latinx and Latin American artists, many of whom have played a key role in the history of El Museo del Barrio, a vital New York institution. Artists featured in the section include Adriana Bustos, Mestre Didi, Christina Fernandez, and Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, among others. Victoria Siddall, Global Director of Frieze fairs notes, “Our original aim in developing Frieze Viewing Room, when we embarked on this more than six months ago, was to create an online platform that would support and celebrate galleries at every level and engage the same audiences we bring to our fairs. We are now delighted to use this initiative to showcase the galleries who would have been at Frieze New York and the works they would have shown there – the quality of work will match that of our fairs and the curated content will be innovatively presented in this new sphere. For the future, we are excited to see how this initiative can expand the potential of our support for galleries and artists.”

As part of Frieze Viewing Room’s inauguration, design writer Libby Sellers has curated a special exhibition with Collective Design. She tells, “As part of Frieze New York’s mission to collaborate with other creative disciplines and organisations, Collective Design were the natural partner for the fair’s first-ever exhibition dedicated to design. The invitation to me was to work with Collective to help define and develop their initial ideas. As a design historian, writer and curator for fairs, institutions and galleries alike, I was perhaps uniquely positioned to respond to the requirements of that challenge.”

She expands, “Building on my early research into colour, the exhibition loosely traces technological developments of colour across new materials and processes – from the petrochemical industries to electrification – to explore how forces of production can influence creative practice. The exhibition also looks to contemporary practitioners such as Tanya Aguiniga and Formafantasma who are reacting against, or making commentary on, our petrochemical reliance and are instead turning to alternative, natural and pre-industrial sources for their work.”

To discover Frieze New York’s 2020 online edition, register here to visit Frieze Viewing Room, running from 8-15 May 2020.

Feature image: Barbara Kruger b. 1945, Untitled (It’s New, It’s You), 2014. Archival pigment print, 48 x 55 inches, 121.9 x 139.7 cm. Edition of 10, 3 of 3 AP. Courtesy of David Zwirner. (via Frieze)

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