What's up with Frieze New York?
Four Questions for Victoria Siddall

She “curates booth locations as one might seat a dinner party: with the aim of sparking conversation,” writes the British edition of Vogue. Now Victoria Siddall is taking on one of the most challenging jobs in the art world. Starting in 2015, the director of Frieze Masters is also directing Frieze London. What's more, she will be at the helm of Frieze New York as well in 2016. At Frieze Masters, Siddall adeptly brings ancient and modern art into a dialogue with the current scene. She combines a spirit of discovery with expertise —a guarantee that the Frieze fairs will continue to hold surprises in the years to come.
What do you think has made Frieze Masters this instant success?

Victoria Siddall: Frieze Masters is unlike any other fair as it brings together such a depth and breadth of work, from ancient to modern, all under one roof. It helps that this roof is part of a space designed by the brilliant architect Annabelle Selldorf - her fresh, minimal and elegant design has contributed hugely to the character of the fair. The fair explores the crossover between the contemporary and the historical, for example through Frieze Masters Talks in which contemporary artists appear in conversation with leading museum directors. Having said all this, the most important element in the fair’s success has been that the best galleries in the world are all present and they bring the highest quality works of art.

How will you further sharpen the profile of each Frieze fair? Will there be any changes in the fairs’ concepts or designs that we can look forward to?

Each of the fairs has a very distinct character and these are becoming more defined and individual as Frieze New York and Frieze Masters enter their fourth year. The fairs are very much part of the cities in which they take place. I look forward to drawing on the strengths of each fair and bringing the benefits of one to the other. The first example of this is at Frieze New York this year, where we will bring Spotlight for the first time – this is a curated section dedicated to solo presentations of 20th century artists, which has been a feature at Frieze Masters for the last three years. We are also introducing more galleries showing blue chip work at Frieze New York to sit alongside the best emerging artists from all over the world as we see a demand for it at that fair.

What do the Frieze fairs have what their competitors do not have?

The cities of London and New York are two massive benefits – they are unrivalled in the quality of museums and galleries, most of whom stage their most important and exciting exhibition of the year to coincide with Frieze Week. The visitor experience is something very special to Frieze. Building the fairs from the ground up, with the help of leading architects, is a huge undertaking but gives the fairs a feeling unlike any other. Our curators commission artists to produce special projects for the fairs and put on excellent talks and education programmes (Deutsche Bank support our education activities). As with any fair, the most important element is the gallery list and few can rival the international scope shown at the Frieze fairs.

Many people can’t afford to buy a work of art at Frieze. What makes a visit to the fair still worthwhile?

There is rarely an opportunity to see the best art being made around the world right now, from Mexico City to Berlin, from Shanghai to Los Angeles – a visit to Frieze London and Frieze New York provides exactly this. It is a great experience whether you are new to the scene or a true expert. Frieze Masters offers a unique, contemporary insight into historical art and the opportunity to see extraordinary artworks spanning thousands of years. Our non-profit programmes ensure that everybody can take part in the fair via our Projects, Talks and Education programmes, of which we’re hugely proud. We also have fantastic restaurants, some of them Michelin-starred, so even the food is a great experience!

Frieze New York
May 14–17, 2015
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan