A stunning fair with style and substance opens on Randell’s Island
Frieze is just what the doctor ordered to reinvent the lackluster New York fair scene, which has spent many years in the doldrums. New York has needed a fair of this scale and calibre in order to reclaim its rightful place as market leaders. In an ever expanding market that has seen China overtake the US as the art market leader, for art sales, it has been a reality check for the New York art scene. In my estimation it has now succeeded in pushing the ranks up a notch. But we will only know when the sales figures are in next Monday. Frieze notoriously doesn’t publish these figures and it is up to the press to calculate the final tally, by surveying the individual dealers.
It has already been reported that the first day of sales has been buoyant. With many galleries reporting strong sales in both painting, and sculpture but I have also noticed photography selling well with a number of installation pieces also on reserve. Art Info reported sales at “Cheim & Read’s booth, partner and sales director Adam Sheffer was practically giddy. “It feels like 2007 all over again!” he exclaimed. The booth sold several Jenny Holzer pieces — an LED sign for $175,000, a bench for $100,000, as well as a work via JPEG — as well as a Chantal Joffe painting for $65,000, a Louise Fishman work for $125,000, and a Bill Jensen for $25,000. Reportedly on reserve was the 2,000-pound Lynda Benglis sculpture oozing out of the corner of the booth, which required the gallery to reinforce the floors underneath in advance of the opening.
Within the first eight minutes of the fair, Lisson Gallery sold a sculpture by Haroon Mirza, the young British sound and installation artist who won the Silver Lion at last year’s Venice Biennale, for $40,000, and proceeded to sell a bronze mirrored disk by Anish Kapoor for £500,000 ($809,100). London’s Victoria Miro sold several recent works “in the low to mid-six figures” by Yayoi Kusama, who has seen a rush of fresh interest on the heels of her Tate retrospective”. With over a billion dollars worth of art on offer this fair is set to raise the goal posts and set a bench mark for future New York fairs.
Photo/Words Paul Carter Robinson 2012