Frieze Masters and Frieze London concluded on October 14th, with both fairs reporting solid sales on the high end. This year, there was a distinct focus on curated booths and curatorial projects and less of an overt feeling of commercialization. Frieze Masters in particular focused on serious connoisseurship and an academic approach, both of which translated into a successful fair for dealers.
Auction week also coincided with the fairs, as well as the numerous exhibitions in private galleries and museums. In addition, Pace Gallery, David Zwirner, Per Skarstedt and Michael Werner inaugurated new spaces in London.
A Robert Mangold Painting, Red Frame/Yellow Ellipse, 1988 at Barbara Mathes Gallery at Frieze Masters
At Frieze, White Cube sold a new Damien Hirst, Destruction Dreamscape, for £500,000; Hauser & Wirth sold Paul McCarthy’s White Snow Head for £812,000 reportedly10 minutes after opening. At Frieze Masters, there were reports of at least two strong Picasso sales: Homme et Femme au bouquet, 1979 sold for $8.5 million at Christophe Van de Weghe’s booth; Acquavella also reported a Picasso sale of $9.5 million for its Buste d’Homme, 1969.
Frieze London (formerly Frieze Art Fair) has grown in size in the past ten years – 264 dealers from 35 countries showed work by over 2,400 artists. Compared to 2003, 124 galleries from 16 countries showed the work of 1,200 artists in a space about half the size. 27,000 visitors attended Frieze in 2003, compared to the approximately 60,000 this year. This was the first year for Frieze Masters, which also took place in Regent’s park.
Installation View of Pace Gallery’s booth at Frieze London, photo courtesy Pace Gallery
The total revenue for both fairs was over $1 billion, according to preliminary estimates by the insurer Hiscox Ltd.
A Zhang Huan ash painting at White Cube’s booth at Frieze London, photo by Art Observed
Installation view of booth of the Brazilian gallery, A Gentil Carioca, at Frieze London
Carol Bove, The White Tubular Glyph, 2012 at David Zwirner’s booth at Frieze London
James Rosenquist, The Facet, 1978 at Acquavella’s booth at Frieze Masters
Frieze Projects: Grizedale Arts, Yangjiang Group, Colosseum of the Consumed
A fairgoer at Frieze London
Donald Judd, Untitled 1980, David Zwirner’s Frieze Masters booth
Thomas Schütte Wichte 2007 Frith Street Gallery’s booth at Frieze London
Installation View, Standard Oslo’s booth at Frieze London
Installation View, Pilar Corrias London’s booth at Frieze London
The Standard ["Hey, big spenders: no funding Frieze at opening of major art fair"]
The Financial Times ["Cool, calm and collectable"]
Businessweek: ["Picasso’s $8.5 Million Lovers Sell as VIPs Browse Frieze"]
The Art Newspaper: ["On a roll: Frieze at ten"]
The Financial Times: ["The Art Market: Spoilt for choice"]
Businessweek: ["Warhol Joins $50 Million Schiele in Fighting Frieze"]