In Depth

Frieze: New York's biennial goes political

Hundreds of galleries will display works by new and established artists on areas such as feminism, colonialism and protest

Following in the footsteps of other cultural biennials and festivals around the world, this year's Frieze New York is set to have a distinctively political edge. More than 200 galleries from 31 countries will gather under one roof in Randall's Island Park from 5-7 May, with many presenting works that explore themes from colonial pasts to dystopian outlooks on the future.

Important works include those from pioneering artist-activists Martin Wong and David Wojnarowicz, who examine how immigration, street art and hip hop intersect, while New York's PPOW gallery will also display a large-scale, car-shaped pigeon coop by Anton van Dalen, first exhibited in 1988. Internationally, Brussels gallery Meessen De Clercq will present a solo stand from Vietnamese artist Thu Van Tran, who examines how rubber can be interpreted as a symbol of oppression in the country, while the Glasgow-based Mary Mary will highlight Aliza Nisenbaum's paintings based on the imagery of protest found in 20th-century Mexican modernist prints.

Beyond its main section, which brings together leading galleries across the globe, Frieze offers three further areas that provide a diverse viewpoint on today's contemporary art scene. Spotlight, curated for the first time by Toby Kamps from the Menil Collection in Houston, is dedicated to solo presentations from under-appreciated artists from recent decades and this year has expanded to 31 galleries. Turning its attention to the here and now, Frame will feature a series of solo shows from up-and-coming new artists and Focus will showcase 28 young galleries to look out for.

Other key topics that will be seen across the stands include tribal art in the 20th century and feminist works, while Latin America will be the subject of a major symposium on 5 May, created in collaboration with the Institute of Fine Art, NYU, and the Getty Foundation. Frieze's first event of this kind, it will feature three panel discussions relating to the latter's upcoming exhibition Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, with speakers including art curators Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Clara M. Kim and Chon Noriega.

Frieze New York is at Randall's Island Park from 5-7 May; frieze.com

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