Today, Frieze reveals details of the inaugural Frieze Artadia Prize, a new initiative launched in partnership with the celebrated national non-profit Artadia providing a New York- based artist with the opportunity to realize a major new work at Frieze New York. Jessica Vaughn has been named as the recipient of the prize and will debut her selected commission at this year’s fair, which runs May 17–21, 2023 at The Shed. The new partnership continues Frieze New York’s legacy of collaboration with local non-profits and artists.
Frieze New York is supported by Deutsche Bank, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary as Frieze’s global lead partner, continuing a shared commitment to artistic excellence built over two decades.
The prize recognizes the work of a New York-based artist who has previously benefited from the Artadia Awards program, enabling them to realize a new site-specific commission at Frieze New York. Vaughn’s proposal was selected by jurors: Sohrab Mohebbi (Director of New York’s SculptureCenter) and Franklin Sirmans (Director of Miami’s Perez Art Museum) who regarded the project as particularly apt in its criticality and awareness of the context of this public platform.
Carolyn Ramo, Executive Director, Artadia said: ‘As we draw close to our 25th anniversary, it is an important moment to celebrate Artadia’s legacy of elevating the careers of the most groundbreaking artists of our time. Given that Frieze is a global platform for showcasing talent and a place of discovery, this partnership is an opportunity to proudly amplify Artadia’s work, celebrate our to-date nearly 400 Awardees, and to collaborate on the inaugural Frieze Artadia Prize. We are excited to highlight Jessica Vaughn and her incisive interrogation of the institutional politics of labor—in this case, the United States Postal Service— which will culminate in this large-scale commission, which is such a fitting platform for the public to experience and reflect on.’
Titled The Internet of Things, Vaughn’s Frieze Artadia Prize commission draws on the US postal system to spotlight the organizational structures that underlie late-stage capitalism. In a process that began during the pandemic and lasted until earlier this year, Vaughn mailed letters via the US Postal Service to a series of locations, each marking a site of leisure, commerce, or an act of public violence.
By intentionally mislabelling the letters, Vaughn was able to ensure their return, and each now bears the marks, digital and handwritten, of passing through the various stages of the postal system. Images of both the interior and exterior of these envelopes, printed onto strips of canvas and
linen, will be on view at The Shed throughout the fair’s run, in what the artist describes as a ‘revisioning of the traditions of landscape painting.’ She adds, ‘I was interested in all of these sites, which when considered together, constitute a conceptual landscape that reorients how American life is pictured, felt, and structured.’