During the preview of Frieze New York in Randall’s Island Park last month, one thing dominated discussion: the extreme heat inside the big tent. Some parts of the fair were absolutely sweltering, and no number of pints from the Stella Artois bar could truly provide relief. The climate inside improved in the coming days, though, and Frieze’s organizers responded to exhibitors’ complaints by saying in an email that they would “be offering some compensation to every participating gallery.”
Now they have revealed that refund proposal: a 10-percent repayment on the cost of the booth for those affected by the unusually balmy conditions.
In a letter sent to exhibitors this morning, higher-ups at Frieze—the fair’s director, Victoria Siddall; its cofounders, Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover; and its artistic director, Loring Randolph—apologize for the heat, explaining that they did everything they could amid “record-breaking temperatures” in the city.
“Our intention has only ever been to create a fantastic experience for you, your clients and artists,” they write, “so we are truly saddened and sorry for this and want you to know we are working now to ensure it can never happen again.”
Frieze, which also runs an annual fair in London each October, is set to launch a Los Angeles edition in February with around 60 exhibitors.
It remains to be seen what Frieze exhibitors will make of the offer. One New York dealer who participated in the fair emailed an immediate reaction this afternoon: “Regarding the refund, I think the percentage should be higher.”
Their letter continues, “We are extremely grateful for your support of the fair and want to thank you for being with us at Frieze New York this year. We have heard many people say that the fair has never looked better in terms of the quality of the work, and that is entirely thanks to the exhibitors.”
Update, 3:20 p.m.: This post was updated with a quote from a New York dealer.