If there is a single takeaway from this year's third edition of the Frieze art fair in New York, it's that things aren't as wild or weird as they were in years past. There isn't a giant Paul McCarthy dog looming next to the tent, like there was last year, nor is there a pregnant sculpture inviting viewers to sit inside the womb, like there was at Frieze London last year.
Instead, this year seems more about focus, or alternately, repetition. Gagosian has brought all Ed Ruscha works (they just opened a simultaneous exhibition of his work at their Madison Avenue location), David Zwirner has brought all Yayoi Kusama works, Gladstone has brought all Carroll Dunham works, Haegue Yang's jingle bell chair is back, Anish Kapoor's shiny bowls are back, and the list goes on.
There are works that shake things up a bit, such as Public Fiction's Al's Grand Hotel, where visitors can book actual rooms at Frieze for the night (a $350/night Jesus Room and $375/night Bridal Suite are options), Frieze Sounds sponsored by BMW (Hannah Weinberger's piece is the sound of her baby's heartbeat), and Takeshi Murata's Melter 3-D hypnotizing strobe x sculpture installation.
Whether things are less flashy and therefore more agreeable (or simply safer) this year, there are still many intriguing works to be seen. Enjoy 50 Must-See Pieces at Frieze New York 2014 and visit the fair through Monday on Randall's Island.