At first, not everyone thought that the art fair Frieze New York was such a great idea, given its location on the seldom-traveled Randalls Island in the East River.
“There was a certain amount of skepticism among dealers,” said Fergus McCaffrey, proprietor of an eponymous gallery in the art-dense New York neighborhood of Chelsea. “Would people travel to Randalls Island?”
They would, and they did. Frieze New York returns for its fifth edition on Thursday and runs until Sunday, featuring 202 galleries from 31 countries.
“I was one of the skeptics, but I was quickly converted,” said Mr. McCaffrey, who started showing at the fair in its second edition and this year devotes his booth to the work of the post-Minimalist sculptor Richard Nonas.
The success of Frieze New York can be attributed to its points of difference — fine-food offerings and a serpentine, unusually light-filled tent — but also some basic market factors.
“We all chase our tails from one art fair to another, but the heart of the matter is that New York, and America, are the absolute center of the commercial art world,” Mr. McCaffrey said.