Frieze buys The Armory Show and Expo Chicago

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The art fair franchise Frieze has acquired The Armory Show in New York, and is in the process of buying Expo Chicago—two of the largest and longest running fairs in the US.

Both US fairs will continue to operate under their own brands and with their current teams, according to a press release. The Armory Show, which was founded in 1994 and takes place in September, will continue to be led by its executive director Nicole Berry. And Expo Chicago, which takes place in April, will still be directed by Tony Karman, who founded the fair in 2012. They will both work alongside the various directors of Frieze’s five fairs in London, New York, Seoul and Los Angeles. Further terms of these deal have not yet been disclosed.

A spokesperson for Frieze confirms that the next edition of Frieze New York is still planned to take place at The Shed in May.

“These acquisitions mark a transformational moment in Frieze’s growth and allow us to extend the depth and breadth of our presence in the US—the world’s leading art market,” Frieze’s chief executive Simon Fox said in a statement. “New York and Chicago each have their own distinct ecosystem of artists, galleries, museums, and collectors. By expanding our presence in both cities, we will build on the strong track record we have established in the US at Frieze New York and Frieze Los Angeles.”

“Joining Frieze enables us to leverage a respected brand, deep industry knowledge, expanded resources and a larger network, which will further enhance the experience for our exhibitors and visitors alike,” Berry said in a statement. “On behalf of our new owner, we look forward to continued growth in our role as a cornerstone of the New York cultural landscape.”

In addition to its two recent acquisitions, Frieze stages five fairs a year: Frieze London and Frieze Masters in October, Frieze Los Angeles in February, Frieze New York in May and Frieze Seoul in September. The second edition of Frieze Seoul will take place from 6 to 9 September, meanwhile the next edition of Frieze London marks 20 years for the fair. Frieze has since 2016 been majority owned by the Hollywood entertainment company Endeavor.

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