The 12th edition of Frieze London is a fading memory as many of the same international dealers prepare for the FIAC Paris public launch tomorrow. Many of the participating galleries praised this year’s Frieze for energy and the new layout. This year, Frieze London brought 162 galleries from 25 territories under one roof with visitor numbers in the region of 60,000 during the five days of the fair. The 2014 fair also marks the eleventh year of the partnership between Frieze and main sponsor Deutsche Bank.
For the third year, Frieze Masters, a fair dedicated to art from ancient to modern, coincided with the contemporary art fair, continuing the cultivation of a crossover between audiences of art. Together the fairs are the focal point of a season of significant exhibitions and art-related activities across London. Frieze Masters highlights included a Rembrandt portrait offered by New York’s Otto Naumann gallery for $48.5m (unsold). A Cy Twombly paint, crayon and graphite canvas from 1959 at Van de Weghe Fine Art for $24m. There is also an $800,000 cloth work by American sculptor Richard Tuttle, whose new piece featuring vast swathes of fabrics is on view at Tate Modern’s massive Turbine Hall. Other works of note sold at Frieze included: Galerie Perrotin’s KAWS exhibition whichsold out almost immediately (prices ranged: $120,000–$310,000). Sprüth Magers reported, Andreas Gursky’s Kirchentag (2013), the nighttime depiction of a German festival camp, found a new home for €400,000, as did pieces by George Condo (Portrait with Green Shapes, 2014), Sterling Ruby (SPCE (4430), 2013), and Louise Lawler (Hotel Room, Köln, 1989/2014) for $500,000, $85,000, and $60,000.
Next year will see Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover hand over the run- ning of the fair to Victoria Siddall, who will start a new role as Director of all three fairs, adding Frieze London and Frieze New York to her existing position as Director of Frieze Masters. Supporting Victoria in the development of the art fairs will be two Artistic Directors, one based in London and one in New York. In London, Joanna Stella-Sawicka will take up the position of Artistic Director and lead on gallery and institution relationships within Europe, Middle East, Russia and Africa.
Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp commented, ‘It’s been a fantastic year for us and we’ve had a huge number of compliments. Particularly rewarding is the response to Universal’s new layout and lighting. The new “Live” section has also been a major draw. Since it will be our last London fair as directors it’s very pleasing that we can pass it on to Victoria and Jo in such great shape.’
Millicent Wilner, Director of Gagosian Gallery (London) said of this year’s fair: ‘Carsten Höller’s installation Gartenkinder, which transformed the Gagosian stand into a giant children’s playground was an outstanding suc- cess, attracting huge numbers and fulfilling the artist’s intention of emphasis- ing the importance of play. The general feeling among collectors was that this was one of the best fairs ever with a greatly improved setting and a strong presentation by galleries internationally.’
Samia Saouma of Galerie Max Hetzler (Berlin) commented, ‘The new design gave all the necessary space and light for the art to reveal its intrinsic quality. There is no question that this is the reason why we were very satis- fied. As is the case with only a few very important fairs, collectors came from all different continents.’
Daniela Gareh, Director at White Cube (London) said ‘We were delighted to have placed, within the first hour of the fair, Damien Hirst’s historic Because I Can’t Have You I Want You (1993) for GBP 4,000,000, which was swiftly followed by the sale of David Hammon’s Which Mike do you want to be like…? (2001) for USD 4,000,000. The first day also saw the sale of the other major works on our stand, which included works by Georg Baselitz, Theaster Gates, Antony Gormley, Haim Steinbach and Cerith Wyn Evans. Following on from the success of the fair last year, this year’s Frieze was even more active and we were particularly happy with the new layout and the sense of space and light.’
Lehmann Maupin (New York) presented a stand of all female artists, which met with a strong response. Rachel Lehmann commented, ‘Lehmann Maupin has had a very strong fair, selling half of the works in our booth on the preview day, and multiple other sales throughout the fair. We have met and sold to international buyers from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the United States – London is incredibly international.’
The Box, LA was awarded the £10,000 for the most innovative stand at Frieze London 2014, for their solo presentation of works by Barbara T. Smith. Champagne Pommery is sponsor of the Stand Prize for the sixth year, which was judged by the following international curators and critics: Philippe Vergne, Director of MOCA, Los Angeles; Elena Filipovic, Incoming Director Kunsthalle Basel; and Joao Ribas, Senior Curator, Serralves Museum, Porto.
Mara McCarthy of The Box commented: ‘What an honour it has been to be awarded with Pommery stand prize in our first year in the main section of the fair. It has been so fantastic to show off the work of Barbara T. Smith, a female artist in her early 80s who is brilliant and has been long overlooked. Here in London, this historical Xerox work(1965/66) has been loved and discovered by many.’
Tate has acquired the following works through the Outset/Frieze Fund: General Idea, AIDS (Wallpaper installation), 1988; Harun Farocki (1944 – 2014) Parallel I-IV, 2012-14; Harun Farocki (1944 – 2014), Workers leaving the factory in 11 decades, 2006; Lubaina Himid, The Carrot Piece, 1985; Slavs and Tatars; Love Letters (No. 7), 2014 and Bernardo Ortiz, Untitled, 2014. This year’s fund brought the total number of works acquired by Tate at the fair to 100, by 69 artists, since 2003. Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: ‘Since 2003 the Outset/Frieze Fund has made a decisive contribution to the national collection of contemporary art at Tate. In recognition of this unique initiative, Frieze has made a generous donation which has enabled Outset to acquire its hundredth work for Mu- seum Groups Tate. We are hugely grateful both to Outset and to Frieze for a unique partnership over the past twelve years.’
Photo: © P C Robinson 2014