art.: Frieze 2017, The Art, The Coffee, The Culture, May 8, 2017

hold up

Frieze New York is a global art fair. It occurs yearly in London (2003) and New York (2012) currently on Randall’s Island. More than 200 galleries appear showing works from over 30 countries. Among these works are pieces that speak culture to coffee culture through drawing, design commenting on ancient and contemporary culture. Looking through the lens of coffee as a craft, skill and art form, from cafe booths to the curated works of art As well, the booths of cafes and coffee shop are coffee culture is just as much an exhibition too. An installation in type and design, the culture and coffee consumed by people is in real life display.


Three specialty café’s that installed and enthralled the culture during the culture included Café Ambroeus, Café Pedlar and Russ & Daughter.

Café Ambroeus of SoHo fame made a cameo, waterside with its iconic wallpaper branding the experience from round tables to behind the café bar like a petite scene out of Italy. Cappuccino $7.00



Café Pedlar, a neighborhood Brooklyn coffee shop returned after making a showing last year. A green background with a hand-drawn coffee cup appeared with type handwritten across its walls it served as art through typography while doubling as the café menu. A piece of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and its storied brownstones came across the water. Latte Cost: $4.50



Russ and Daughters, the long standing, family owned, kosher café installed wire baskets full of bagels –including a sign ‘Please Don’t Touch’ atop the makeshift walls signaling an entrance into the blue and white themed spaced. The Frieze experience included branded blue napkins, a menu board with Russ & Daughters typography across. A piece of old world New York at its finest. Cold Brew Coffee $6.00


Among the art installations featuring the culture of coffee I enjoyed the following:

  • a birchwood table installed in a quarter of a corner, with a white ceramic espresso cup, spoon included installed center of the table next to an opened printed book. The installation wasn’t static but vibrated every so slowly. Was this symbolic of us as humans, of the power of coffee to a human?


  • A 3-D installed exhibition – shared to our Insta-story –  that featured white to-go coffee cups among a plane of constructed stairs, wire chairs and glass folding doors. While the state of compostable cups and eco friendly to-go options remain a topic of concern, perhaps this exhibition lends its voice to the conversation, calling for more transparency in how we source and used such everyday, utilitarian objects.
  • William Monk, These eyes within coffee cup give the culture a big brother feel. Who is watching and why?
  • this lovely under the coffee table installation border by a draping of blue fabric against on old newspaper prints5. this charming and delightful framed teacup

Beyond coffee, these artists and their works drew me in and were visually invigorating pieces of art.

Highlights include:

1.Dieter Krieg, Untitled, 197 acrylic on fabric,

Dieter Klaus

2. Karl Holmqvist, Untitled, 2016 Marker on Canvas

Who doesn’t need a hug.

3. Mira Schendel, Untitled, “Toquinhos”, Series, Letterset and dyed on Japanese paper


4. La Novia En El Temple Kasapuram, India

Her eyes stopped me in my tracks. Thats the power of art. And, a beautiful portrait.