in Frieze New York , News | 11 MAY 23

Alex Gartenfeld's Top Picks from Frieze New York Viewing Room 2023

The Artistic Director of ICA Miami selects new paintings by Steve Locke, and iconic works by Carlos Villa, Rosa Barba and Betye Saar, amongst others

in Frieze New York , News | 11 MAY 23

Visit Frieze Viewing Room 

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

Assemblage with toy guns and sign saying 'Quality Revolt'
Betye Saar, Quality Revolt, 1973. Mixed media box assemblage including plastic toy guns, holsters, grenades and oil with antique watercolor container, 3 7/8 x 6 x 1/2 inches / 9.8 x 15.2 x 1.3 cm closed, 8 x 6 x 1/4 inches / 20.3 x 15.2 x 0.6 cm as photographed. Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

The booth of Michael Rosenfeld is of particular interest to me, comprising a number of Feminist works. The focus is on the legacy of Roe v. Wade, with works all made in 1973 — the year of the Supreme Court ruling. I was struck by Claire Zeisler's fabric work, and glass work with copper by Claire Falkenstein. Both are absolute masters of their craft. There is also an iconic work by Nancy Grossman, and a very strong piece by Betye Saar.

Alexander Gray Associates 

Painting of two men, one behind the other, in a poignant moment
Steve Locke, cruisers (vest), 2023. Oil on canvas, 76.2 cm x 91.4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York © 2023 Steve Locke / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Alexander Gray Associates has a group of really beautiful 'cruising' paintings by the artist Steve Locke. cruisers (Vest), a new work by the artist, is a particularly poetic and musing picture.


Coat with rooster and pheasant feathers
Carlos Villa, Kite God Coat, 1979. Rooster and pheasant tail feathers and paper pulp, 220.98 cm x 276.86 cm. Courtesy the Estate of Carlos Villa, Anglim/Trimble (San Francisco), and Silverlens (New York and Manila)

Carlos Villa, who recently had a major traveling retrospective, was an important artist and activist, is represented by what promises to be a stunning survey at Silverlens. Kite God Coat (1979), is an iconic, biopmorphic relief comprising of rooster and pheasant feathers. It’s a monument and a tribute to the multi-faceted practice of this artist and advocate.

Esther Schipper

Film in virtine on cogs
Rosa Barba, Mending Clear Positions, 2022. Steel, glass, motor, 35 mm film, aluminum 112.5 x 150 x 12 cm. Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin/ Paris/Seoul © The artist / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023 Photo © Jörg von Bruchhausen

Rosa Barba is a highlight of Esther Schipper's fair presentation. Barba’s kinetic investigations of 35mm film are arresting to watch on loop. They are erudite works, and a lot of fun


Knitted clothes for birds
Mónica Giron, Ajuar para un conquistador (Trousseau for a Conqueror), 1993. (Detail of pullover and gloves for Imperial Shag of Blue Eyes). Merino wool and buttons, 82 cm x 390 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Barro

I really enjoyed the historic works of Mónica Giron at Barro. This series – titled Ajuar Para Un Conquistador or Trousseau for a Conqueror – comprises of pullovers, socks and scarves for Patagonian birds, referencing the history of Argentina and the global climate crisis. The works have an extraordinary control, color, form and a poignant scale. 

Visit Frieze Viewing Room 

About Alex Gartenfeld, Artistic Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami 

Portrait of Alex Gartenfeld
Alex Gartenfeld. Photo by Gesi Schilling

Alex Gartenfeld is recognized internationally for his work with established and emerging contemporary artists. As part of the founding team for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Gartenfeld helped to lead the creation of the institution, its building, and mission. He also led the development of the exhibition that inaugurated ICA Miami’s new home –  the institution’s first major thematic survey, The Everywhere Studio. Other ICA Miami exhibitions curated by Gartenfeld have included solo presentations of Terry Adkins, Ida Applebroog, Thomas Bayrle, Larry Bell, Judy Chicago, Hugh Hayden, Jadé Fadojutimi, Hugh Haydn, Donald Judd, Allan McCollum, John Miller, Paulo Nazareth, Senga Nengudi, Sterling Ruby, Ettore Sottsass, and Andra Ursuta, among others.

Main image: Steve Locke, cruisers (vest) (detail), 2023. Oil on canvas, 76.2 cm x 91.4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York © 2023 Steve Locke / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Frieze Viewing Room is an online platform that offers a preview of gallery presentations at Frieze fairs, as well as the chance for audiences around the world to experience the fair and acquire the art on show from wherever they are.

Frieze New York returns to The Shed in Manhattan from May 17 to 21, 2023 and promises to be an unmissable event. With an unparalleled selection of galleries and artists, alongside a critically acclaimed curated program the fair is a highlight of the global art calendar.

Limited full price tickets are now on sale, buy yours now!


To keep up to date on all the latest news from Frieze, sign up to the Frieze newsletter at, and follow @friezeofficial on Instagram, Twitter and Frieze Official on Facebook.