Hans Peter Feldman, Untitled, Installation outside Regent’s Park for 303 Gallery, Frieze Art Fair, 2010. Photo by Art Observed.
Art Observed is on site in London for Frieze 2010, which opened yesterday to a crowded VIP preview and featured 173 galleries (up from 164 last year) with reportedly over 2,000 works of art from 1,500 artists and likely between 50-75,000 people expected (there were 60,000 visitors at last year’s fair). Since its inception in 2003, the Frieze Art Fair, founded by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, has become the center point for the most important week for contemporary art in London. The fair is distinctive in that it is devoted entirely to living artists.
Spotted inside the fair were many collectors, art world figures and the occasional bold-faced name including collector Marty Margulies, hedge fund manager Steve Cohen with his art adviser Sandy Heller, Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota, Klaus Biesenbach of MoMA, Charles Saatchi, young dealer Vito Schnabel, mega-collector Dakis Joannou, jeweler Laurence Graff, Dasha Zhukova art curator and companion of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and Claudia Schiffer. Artists Ai Weiwei, Yinka Shonibare, Gabriel Orozco, Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry and Tracey Emin were also in attendance.
Sales at the fair:
A detail of Damien Hirst’s cabinet piece The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths, photo via Tate Etc. Magazine
The sales were robust for the VIP opening, but not at the frenzy of years before the recession. Perhaps the most talked about sale was at White Cube’s booth, where a large Damien Hirst installation The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (2006) sold for £3.5 million or $5.6 million. The work, which takes its title from a quote by artist Bruce Nauman, is a shelf work filled with fish and may have been the the most expensive work ever sold at the fair. Very nearby at Gagosian, another Damien Hirst sculpture, a Viagra-tablet-filled pill cabinet was reportedly on sale for $6 million.
more images, story and full news link summary after the jump.