How Frieze Managed to Put Together the First Art Fair of the Pandemic

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You know the scene at the end of Bong Joon-ho's 2013 film Snowpiercer where they leave the hellish bullet train and see that the frozen Tundra is starting to melt and nature is coming back to life? That kind of gives you the sense of the relief that the art market is hoping to feel next week when, miracle of miracles, the Frieze New York art fair opens to real in-person audiences.

This marks the first major art fair to return to life since the pandemic shut down the international art calendar, along with the rest of the world, in March of last year.

After all, art fairs are, for better or worse, the lifeblood of the art industry, a place where collectors and professionals meet, greet, and do a huge chunk of their business. And they have been sorely missed.

Marking a new beginning as the pandemic begins to wane, Frieze New York will also be a swan song of sorts for Loring Randolph, who has been overseeing the fair since 2017 and will now be stepping down to become the director of the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger collection in Dallas this fall.

On this week's episode, Randolph joins the podcast to discuss the fair's move from Randall's Island to the Shed, how they're preparing for an influx of art-starved VIPs, and what she has in store for the future.

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