Here is the highly anticipated Frieze London report from the London fair which closed on Sunday 6 October. The fair brought together more than 160 galleries from 35 countries, representing the fair’s most international edition to date and driving excellent sales across the fair. Frieze London 2019 saw record numbers of museum groups and curators from Europe, the US and beyond. Presented 3-6 October 2019 in The Regent’s Park, Frieze London continued to expand on its position as a vital platform for international contemporary art. Frieze London coincides with Frieze Masters and is supported for the 16th consecutive year by global lead partner Deutsche Bank.
The atmosphere in London this week has been electric – Victoria Siddall
This year saw the return of two major acquisition initiatives, the Frieze Tate Fund supported by Endeavor and the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund at Frieze, and the second edition of the Camden Arts Centre Emerging Artist Prize at Frieze, continuing Frieze’s enduring institutional relationships. Following its celebrated launch last year, Frieze and BBC Radio 3 presented the Frieze BBC Museum Debate & Keynote.
Frieze London showcased innovative practice and global artists, from the new themed section Woven, curated by Cosmin Costinas, exploring indigenous traditions and colonial legacies, and LIVE, curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt, showcasing performance, to Focus, supporting ambitious projects by galleries under 15 years old, and Frieze Talks which this year looked at the Bauhaus and art’s role in society.
Victoria Siddall, ‘The atmosphere in London this week has been electric and visitors from all over the world have really seen it at its best Frieze London this year was the most international fair we have ever staged, with galleries from 35 countries and visitors from all over the world, including a record number of curators and museum groups. This global spirit was further strengthened at Frieze London by curated sections Woven and Live, as well as by Frieze Sculpture. This strong international presence, coupled with major sales across both fairs, once again attests to London’s importance as a global centre for art and culture. It has been a fantastic week in the city and I am enormously grateful to everyone who contributed to its success.’
Galleries at all levels of the market saw strong sales across the week, with sales reported from USD 5,000 to 5,000,000, placing artworks with both important private collections and international institutions.
Sold out booths included Lisson Gallery, which placed all works within the first two hours of the fair, including pieces by Stanley Whitney which were sold to two Middle Eastern institutions, one Norwegian institution and an important private collector. Simon Lee Gallery’s booth garnered successful sales of works by Donna Huanca with prices ranging from USD 50,000 – 80,000. David Kordansky Gallery also found success with their solo presentation by Los Angeles-based artist Ivan Morley, with all works selling for USD 40,000–85,000. Gagosian Gallery placed all paintings by Sterling Ruby, priced at USD 325,000 in the opening hours of the fair. Galeria Nara Roesler sold out their booth of works by Raul Mourão on the first day of the fair: three large scale sculptures (price range: USD 90,000); one medium size sculpture (USD 70,000); four small scale sculptures (USD 10,000); and one video (USD 7,000); Tiwani Contemporary, new to the fair in the Focus section, sold out their solo booth by Joy Labinjo within two hours of the fair opening, with work sold for GBP 10,000 to a mix of museums and private collections. Galerie Sultana, also in the Focus section, also sold out their booth of works by Paul Maheke and Jean Claracq.
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac sold several works by Georg Baselitz and Elizabeth Peyton to a private Asian collection. Hauser & Wirth reported record opening sales across both fairs, including a work by Philip Guston sold in the range of USD 5,000,000 and a Mark Bradford work, sold for USD 3,400,000. David Zwirner sold manifestation (2018-19) by 2019 Turner Prize nominee Oscar Murillo for USD 400,000, and a work by Kerry James Marshall for USD 3,800,000 to an American museum, alongside sales of works by Neo Rauch for USD 1,500,000, Isa Genzken for EUR 200,000, Francis Alÿs for USD 180,000 and Lucas Arruda for USD 75,000. Pace Gallery sold several works in the first few hours of the fair by artists including Adrian Ghenie, Loie Hollowell, Adam Pendleton, Nina Katchadourian, Nigel Cooke and Song Dong, Brent Wadden, Yoshitomo Nara, Prabhavathi Meppayil and Kevin Francis Gray.
Goodman Gallery sold four bronze sculptures by William Kentridge to a European collection, totalling USD 1.2 million. Maureen Paley sold Paulo Nimer Pjota’s Opium poppies for 12:00 (2019) for USD 35,000; Max Hooper Schneider’s Fresco (2019) for USD 35,000; and Michaela Eichwald’s Theater (2019) for EUR 30,000. kamel mennour sold a new large-scale work by Neil Beloufa for EUR 80,000 as well as some of the smaller works, each for EUR 20,000. Pilar Corrias sold a triptych of portraits by Tschabalala Self on the first day for GBP 75,0000. Grimm sold work by another painter to watch, Loie Hollowell, for USD 75,000.
Kukje Gallery sold over ten works on the first day after which they rehung over half of the booth. Sales included Dialogue (1936) by Lee Ufan for price range USD 260,000 – 300,000, Conjunction 17-99 (1935) by Ha Chong-Hyun for price range USD 130,000 – 150,000 and two Julian Opie works in the range of USD 40,000 – 85,000. 1335 Mabini in the Woven section sold four works by Cian Dayrit, at GBP 7,200. Mendes Wood DM sold two paintings by Lucas Arruda to a European institution, a significant light installation and several photographs by Paulo Nazareth to a European museum, a Paulo Nimer Pjota installation, three paintings by Patricia Leite, one painting by Rubem Valentin and another by Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato.
Frieze Tate Fund supported by Endeavor
The 2019 Frieze Tate Fund, supported by Endeavor, acquired works from Frieze Masters and Frieze London by the following artists as gifts to the Tate collection: Marc Camille Chaimowicz at Andrew Kreps Gallery and Paulo Nazareth at Stevenson Gallery in the main section at Frieze London; Patrick Staff at Commonwealth & Council in the Focus section; and Jagoda Buić from Richard Saltoun Gallery in the Spotlight section at Frieze Masters.
Contemporary Art Society Collections Fund at Frieze
The Contemporary Art Society acquired 11 works from the renowned living archive of photographs that commemorates and celebrates Black lesbians, trans and gender non-conforming individuals in South Africa for Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery. When Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery re-opens in Spring 2021 following a GBP 30,000,000 redevelopment project, the eleven photographic portraits by South African artist Zanele Muholi will be a central part of the new displays.
Museums and Curator Attendance
In addition to major UK institutions, more than 200 international museums and other arts groups attended the fair, including trustees and patrons from: Albertina, Baltimore Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation, Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), Dia Art Foundation, Fondation Cartier, Gallery Weekend Beijing, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, New Museum, Musée d’Orsay, Palais de Tokyo, Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), Perez Miami Art Museum (PAMM), Stedelijk Museum.
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International directors and curators who attended included who attended included Tanya Barson (MACBA Barcelona) Naomi Beckwith (Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago), Klaus Biesenbach (MOCA LA), Katherine Brinson (Guggenheim), Anna Katherine Brodbeck (Dallas Museum of Art), Vincenzo de Bellis (Walker Art Center), Connie Butler (Hammer Museum), Michael Govan (Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Eungie Joo (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), Pablo Leon de la Barra (Guggenheim), Courtney J. Martin (Director, Yale Center for British Art), Lisa Phillips (New Museum of Contemporary Art), Franklin Sirmans (Pérez Art Museum Miami), Eva Respini (ICA Boston), Kitty Scott (Art Gallery of Ontario), Sheena Wagstaff (The Met) and Moritz Wesseler (Fridericianum, Kassel).
The Camden Arts Centre Emerging Artist Prize at Frieze
Julien Creuzet (High Art, Focus) was awarded the Camden Arts Centre Emerging Arts Prize at Frieze. Creuzet will realize a significant exhibition at Camden Arts Centre on October 2020. This annual Prize – unveiled for the first time at Frieze London 2018 and now in its second year – offers invaluable critical exposure to an emerging artist, that goes with having their first show at a London institution.
The 2019 Prize was selected by a panel chaired by Martin Clark, (Director, Camden Arts Centre), with Gina Buenfeld and Sophie Williamson (Exhibition Curators, Camden Arts Centre) and Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey, (Acting Head of Programme at Kettle’s Yard). A group of UK and international patrons have generously supported the Prize, including Lead Supporters Alexandra Economou, Noach Vander Beken, and Georgina Townsley. These patrons share an interest in supporting the work of emerging artists and the economy of younger galleries within the contemporary art scene.
2019 Stand Prizes
Frieze London 2019 included two awards recognizing exceptional gallery presentations across the fair.
The Frieze Stand Prize, which acknowledges an outstanding gallery presentation in the central or Woven section at Frieze London, was awarded to Stephen Friedman Gallery (London) for their presentation of two solo projects by Swedish artist Mamma Andersson and Brazilian artist Tonico Lemos Auad.
This year’s jurors included: Courtney J. Martin (Director, Yale Center for British Art); Moritz Wesseler (Director, Fridericianum, Kassel); and Kitty Scott (Carol and Morton Rapp Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Ontario).
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Frieze awarded the Focus Stand Prize to Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala City) for their presentation of Hellen Ascoli in the Focus section, which is for galleries aged 15 years or under.
This year’s Focus Prize jury included: Fatoş Üstek (Director, Liverpool Biennial); Anna Katherine Brodbeck (Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Dallas Museum of Art); and Tanya Barson (Chief Curator, MACBA Barcelona).
Marc Glimcher, CEO and President of Pace Gallery, said: ‘Despite the unsettling and unsettled political situation we all find ourselves in, Frieze proved again the power of art and artists to bring people together. London continues to be a hub for artists and collectors to connect. Our booth was a huge success for us and our first opportunity to show Sam Gilliam and Nina Katchadourian. As always, the dealers brought great work. The toughest thing about Frieze is resisting the urge to go shopping at other booths when you should be working at your own!’
Emma Astner, Co-Director, Koppe Astner said: ‘As a UK gallery Frieze has always been important for us. The fair has been very supportive of our growth and this year, our first in the main section was a great success. We were able to place Charlotte Prodger’s work from the Venice Biennale in a museum collection and we met some exceptional new clients from Korea and China. Frieze is also always an opportunity to reconnect with European clients and curators from the many exciting institutions in London.’
Thaddaeus Ropac, Founder, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac said: ‘This year’s Frieze London was really testament to both the breadth of London’s art scene and its art market, and it’s clear to see why it continues to have such a strong draw for international collectors – even with the backdrop of the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit. The sales were strong, as were the number of collectors in attendance, and we were pleased to have welcomed more Asian collectors, as well as an active museum and curator presence.
Beyond this, Frieze London has really excelled in creating strong synergy between the fair and the array of outstanding exhibitions and events across the city. For us, it was particularly meaningful to have had a connective thread between the opening of our London gallery show and our presentation at the fair, through our co-production of a series of Oskar Schlemmer Bauhaus Dance performances as part of the Frieze LIVE programme. We were able to present a completely different aspect of the artist’s work at Frieze to what we are showing
Rita Targui, Gallery Director of STPI Gallery, Singapore, said: ‘What stood out to us was not only the diversity of fair visitors but also the diversity of collectors with whom we have conducted our sales. While there was an initial apprehension in the art scene towards how the reality of Brexit might impact public interest in the fair and potential sales, the fair has withstood those tensions and provided an excellent platform for us. This is especially significant as it is our first year participating, and the overwhelming reception and favourable support towards the solo presentation of South Korean artist Do Ho Suh has been extremely encouraging.’
Joumana Asseily, Founder, Marfa’ (Beirut) said: ‘This was our first participation to Frieze London, and we were truly impressed by the quality and calibre of the attendees. We’ve had the opportunity to exchange with major institution directors, curators, and passionate private collectors, and have been really pleased with the interest and response the work of Lamia Joreige has received. The general atmosphere at the fair is quite unique and the audience’s enthusiasm highly communicative.’
Alexander Gray, Owner and Principal, Alexander Gray Associates, said: ‘We have enjoyed ongoing curatorial engagement for our artists with UK institutions, which drove our decision to participate in Frieze London. Being at Frieze London has expanded meaningful conversations about the gallery’s program with international institutions, collectors, and colleagues alike. And, in a time of market consolidation and stratification, it is heartening to be side by-side with our gallery peers, with many of whom we enjoy collaborations. In this way, we can message to the public that ours is a unique industry with a common purpose: bringing visibility to the risk-taking, innovative artists of our time.’