Nobody does lines like English. This was evident when exhausted security attempted to direct throngs of competing international dignitaries into an organized queue to enter the London Frisians.
A guide is heard telling an antique collector interested in seeing if he knows who she is: “Everyone here has a VIP pass.” So was former Member of Parliament and Treasurer Rishi Sunak, although it remains unclear whether some celebrities were seen inside – from the pink-haired Jared Leto to fellow American actor Josh Hartnett, models who were to Claudia Schiffer and Princess Beatrice. Princess of York the same respect for the system.
If dealers are concerned about whether the excitement surrounding the debut of Paris + art fair Basel next week will cause some collectors to cede Frieze London in favor of the Swiss-owned French gallery, the very busy first hour quickly reassures them. There was a strong presence from institutional groups, including the Aspen Museum of Art, the Center Pompidou in Paris, and the Sharjah Art Foundation.
And while last year’s fair welcomed fewer collectors in the US due to the ongoing travel difficulties caused by the pandemic, there were certainly more this year—notably Lonti Ebers and Pamela Joyner among them. The Americans, undoubtedly, were encouraged by the strong position of the dollar linked to the pound and the euro at the moment, as well as the closeness of the new exhibition in history to the Paris fair, which made it possible to carry out the two events back-to-back. .
“If you’re American, it’s a great time to buy in sterling, so I think there’s a big shift towards coming to London; everything is a little bit cheaper, everything is better value for money,” Hauser and Neil Weinmann of Wirth told Artnet News. Prior to the exhibition, many dealers joked that it was best to put their prices in US dollars to avoid making a decision, even though most dealers (including Hauser and Wirth) actually operate in the artist’s local currency.
And while there was a certain lack of enthusiasm before the exhibition by many Europeans about heading to post-Brexit London, collectors like the Belgians Alan Service Finally appeared.
On the side of the dealer, David Zwerner, who He caused a stir at FIAC in Paris last year, With a fierce judgment on sales at the time, he was optimistic about the London Fair.
“The work here has been fantastic, I would say surprisingly strong given that there are all kinds of headwinds in the world right now,” Zwerner told Artnet News, adding that the gallery was able to put together expensive works with collectors. “I think what happens when things slow down is people are more discerning and the smart collectors really realize there’s opportunity and they step up. I feel like we’re in that cycle. It feels good.”
By mid-afternoon, Zwerner reported the sale of Kerry James Marshall’s $6 million work to a major American museum, Carol Buff’s work for $500,000, and two Oscar Murillo paintings for $400,000, among others. Zwerner said he was looking forward to Frieze and Paris+ developing a harmony in their back-to-back programming over the next few years, and he didn’t stop before delivering a final knockout blow to FIAC, saying: “It’s going to be hard for us to remember FIAC once we’re done with Paris+ the week.” next”.
With art events back on the calendar, London appears to have found a definite focus in its offerings in the ultra-contemporary sector, with many galleries choosing to showcase its young, hard-to-reach artists in the primary market. A collection of large-format paintings by Jade Vagotimi, who is currently enjoying a solo exhibition at Hepworth Wakefield, adorns the walls of the completely sold-out Gagosian booth. Artnet News understands that each is priced at £500,000, although the gallery does not disclose prices.
Another work by Fadojutimi was in the Gisela Capitan booth, which still represents her, along with the Taka Ishi Gallery, priced at £800,000; The sale was awaiting confirmation in the first moments of the exhibition.
Elsewhere, there was a buzz about Luiz Giovannilli at the White Cube and Grimm Gallery. BAt the end of the day, the White Cube reported the sale of two works of the artist for £25,000 and £20,000. was also popular Work by Ireland-based Japanese artist Atsushi Kaga at Mother Tank Station, which I found success With the artist at Sotheby’s Artist selection initiative two weeks ago.
Olivia Davis, The Art of Choice consultancy, pointed out that recent fluctuations in exchange rates are unlikely to affect sales in this part of the market, as many people have been traveling to London specifically to be physically present to get their name on the bucket list for those Young artists. “People want to buy them no matter what that exchange might be because the prices are obviously going up at auction and anything you can get at the underlying market level — no matter if it’s in US dollars or British pounds — is kind of theft,” Davis said. “It’s no thinking.”
Material selection wasn’t the only way the wild west of the growing global auction market seemed to affect business at the fair. When asked about sales, Neil Weinman of Hauser and Wirth said the show has now taken a different approach, with its “first come, first served” days over.
“What we have to think about is the artist and the best placement of the work. So in many scenarios, we have five to ten people who said they would buy it, but we try to make sure it gets to the best place for the artist,” Weinman said. “These conversations on the first day are all going on.” The designers added that they wanted to slow down in order to be more protective of the artists. “The market is very fast and people are very excited and very excited to be involved,” he said. By the end of the day, the gallery had put on 15 works, including a Philip Guston sum of $4.8 million to a European collector, Hans Arp’s work worth $1.2 million, and a $900,000 piece by George Kondo.
Xavier Hofkins also reported the sale of a work on paper by George Kondo for $600,000 – $650,000 and a Tracy Emin painting worth £950,000 on the first day of the exhibition. Other sales came from Thaddaeus Ropac, who sold a 1988 metal work to Robert Rauschenberg for $1.8 million, and a £120,000 painting by young star Rachel Jones.
Lionel Richie bought a work by Calida Rawls At Lehmann Maupin, who also sold two paintings by Cecilia Vicuña – at a price of $ 80 thousand to $ 110 thousand. Pace Gallery has reported sales including a stall on a booth akin to a $450,000 Kenneth Noland painting with an American collector, and a $70,000 painting by new gallery artist Kylie Manning to a European.
David Kordansky reported that his booth nearly ran out of sale by mid-afternoon, including two works on paper worth $350,000 for Jonas Wood. Stephen Friedman’s works include three Jeffrey Gibson works, valued at between $135,000 and $300,000 Société Berlin sold Lu Yang’s video work for €80,000 – €100,000 as well as a Conny Maier painting for €25,000. Contemporary Tiwani Gallery in London and Lagos has sold its booth, including two works by Omar Rashid for $75,000 and $45,000 and three Joy Labingo paintings for $50,000.
And the good news crept into the budding scale as well; The Paris gallery Edouard Montassut sold the works of Hélène Fauquet, at a price between €6000 and €10,000, and Hot Wales Athena Gallery has sold three works for 5,000 euros each to Maria Zinovotos, who has just won the Camden Art Prize.
While sales reports fell thick and fast, they were rarely in the multi-million dollar range, and tThe opening of the Paris + exhibition was a buzzing topic among the audience, who were comparing notes on previews. (The takeaway is that the standard in Paris is likely to be higher than what is on offer in London.)
However, not everyone was dusting off their hats. Valeria Napoleon, a former Londoner who now lives in New York, said she was too exhausted to jump on the Eurostar after a busy week of reconnecting with her friends in the UK. However, the consensus among traders and advisors seemed to be that the extra trip would be worth it. Artnet News will be in the path next week so suppose, on vera!
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