At the close of the tenth edition of Frieze London, sponsored by Deutsche Bank, galleries report strong sales and high levels of energy in the contemporary market. The successful addition of Frieze Masters, the organisation’s first fair for historical art, which coincided with Frieze London’s tenth edition, has made London in October an international meeting point for the widest of art audiences.
Reports of a robust market were made by both established galleries and younger participants. 175 galleries from 35 territories made the tenth edition the most international event produced by the organisation to date. In the region of 55,000 visitors were welcomed to the fair during the five-day event, a number that ensured both visitors and galleries had the best possible experience.
Fair directors Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp were very pleased with the success of the fair: ‘It has been a great year for us, to be back in our Regent’s Park home after the success of Frieze New York has been a delight and the energy in London this week has been unparalleled. The quality and focus of the galleries’ presentations at Frieze London has been higher than ever and we’re very pleased that this has been rewarded by strong sales.’
Reported sales highlights included: Hauser and Wirth selling Paul McCarthy’s White Snow Head (2012) within minutes of opening for $1.3 million; White Cube placing Damien Hirst’s Destruction Dreamscape (2012) for £500,000; Andrew Kreps selling a multi-panelled installation of paintings by Ricci Albenda for $200,000; Sprüth Magers Berlin London selling Jenny Holzer’s installation Blast (2012) for $525,000 and George Condo’s Red Profile (2012) for $325,000; Victoria Miro Gallery had particular success with Yayoi Kusama, selling Universe RYKP (2012) in the region of $500,000. Newcomer to the fair Stevenson Gallery were rewarded by the acquisition of Nicholas Hlobo’s Balindile I (2012) by the The Outset/ Frieze Art Fair Fund to Benefit the Tate Collection. In the new section Focus, for galleries under ten years old, Galeria Plan B made sales within the first hours of the fair with works by Adrian Ghenie and Victor Man selling for €35,000 each. Frame, for galleries under six years old, remained a favourite for collectors and curators alike with a number of galleries selling out within the first day, including Take Ninagawa’s paintings by Yukiko Suto. Another draw in Frame was François Ghebaly Gallery, selling their Mike Kuchar drawings for $6,000 each.
Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, Managing Director at Pace London commented, ‘This year has been particularly exceptional for Pace London. We were both present at Frieze and Frieze Masters and are pleased to confirm that sales have been robust. We notably sold to European, American, Middle Eastern, Russian and even Brazilian collectors.’
Stefan Ratibor, Director, Gagosian: ‘We had a terrific fair. Both Frieze and Frieze Masters were quite brilliant.’
Iwan Wirth of Hauser & Wirth was similarly enthusiastic: ‘Within minutes of the fair opening, we had sold McCarthy’s White Snow Head, and by the end of the first day, we had sold over 20 intimate reliefs by Hans Josephsohn. To add to all of this, we also had Anri Sala’s incredible Clocked Perspective and a group of Josephsohn’s sculptures on view at Frieze Sculpture Park, both of which looked amazing in Regent’s Park.’
Sprüth Magers Berlin London reported significant sales including Jenny Holzer’s installation Blast (2012) for $525,000 George Condo’s Red Profile (2012) for $325,000 and collage pieces by Sterling Ruby, priced between $135,000 – $175,000 all of which sold to European and Asian collectors. Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers commented: ‘We have had great success, selling works by George Condo, Cyprien Gaillard, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Sterling Ruby, Cindy Sherman and Rosemarie Trockel. This is our tenth year at Frieze – it’s an important fair for us and we are impressed every year.’