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Frieze Art Fair 2011: High-quality works and confident mood make for strong sales
Frieze Art Fair 2011, Main Photo by Linda Nylind Courtesy of Frieze/ Linda Nylind.

LONDON.- At the close of the ninth edition of Frieze Art Fair, sponsored by Deutsche Bank for the eighth-consecutive year, galleries reported strong sales and market confidence.

Fair directors, Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover were delighted with reports of significant sales both in the main section of the fair and in Frame. 173 galleries exhibited over 1,000 artists at Frieze Art Fair 2011. 33 countries were represented – making this year’s fair the most international selection of galleries to have shown in London. Over 40 museum groups, representing the world’s major institutions, visited Frieze Art Fair 2011. Collectors from Europe and the USA were joined by a strong showing of Asian, Latin-American, Middle-Eastern and Russian collectors.

Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover commented, ‘The quality of the galleries’ presentations – with elegant installations and significant works – translated into substantial sales, to both public and private collections, calming nerves that might have been felt before the fair’s opening. With collectors attending from Europe and the US but also, increasingly, from the rest of the world, it is thrilling to see how the ninth edition of Frieze Art Fair is a truly global event.’

Over 60,000 visitors were welcomed to the fair during the five-day professional and public event.

Strong sales were reported at every level. Significant sales included a new work by Gerhard Richter, Strip (CR921-1), for £1.5 million, at Marian Goodman; a Neo Rauch painting for $1.35 million at David Zwirner; and a Takahashi Murakami carbon-fibre sculpture for $900,000 at Emmanuel Perrotin. Hauser and Wirth sold all editions of their Thomas Houseago sculpture park inclusion, Hermaphrodite for $425,000 each, and Thomas Dane Gallery placed Glenn Ligon’s neon Warm Broad Glow (2011) with an overseas foundation for $200,000.

In Frame, the section in the fair for young galleries showing solo artist presentations supported for a second year by Cos, sales were also substantial. François Ghebaly sold out their Patrick Jackson booth, selling Dirt Pile on Table (roots&glass) (2011) priced at $9,000; two versions of Heads, hands and feet (2011) for $15,000 and 3 dirt pile sculpture for $20,000 all to significant international collectors. Bischoff/Weiss sold two Raphael Zarka videos, priced at £11,300 and £7,000 respectively, both to museum buyers. Maisterravalbuena sold all five editions of Paloma Polo’s The Path of Totality (2010) for €9,000 each. Further sold-out stands in Frame included RaebervonStenglin and Ignacio Liprandi.

Cecilia Alemani and Rodrigo Moura, advisors to this year’s Frame section, commented: ‘Frame was a success in establishing a platform for young galleries to show their artists to a high-level audience at Frieze Art Fair. The section has confirmed its potential as a research platform, attracting interest of curators and institutions and helping to create a network between professionals. The wide range of artistic voices in the section is also resonant in the international diversity of the galleries. The quality of the Frame galleries’ presentations has been rewarded by good sales with several galleries selling out their stands.’

There were more solo presentations in the main section than ever before: Guido W Baudach featured Erik van Lieshout; Marianne Boesky with Adam Helms; Eigen + Art with Carsten Nicolai; Galerie Frank Elbaz with Mangelos; Stephen Friedman Gallery with Huma Bhaba; Gagosian Gallery presented a stand selected by Franz West; Casey Kaplan showed a solo presentation by Matthew Brannon; George Kargl Gallery with Muntean Rodenblum; Johann König with Jordan Wolfson; Tomio Koyama Gallery with Yuko Someya; Michael Lett presented Dan Arps; Gio Marconi with Nathalie Djurberg; Raster with Rafal Bujnowski; and Galeria Zero with Michael Sailstorfer.

Gallery response
Leslie Waddington of Waddington Custot Galleries declared the fair his best Frieze ever, ‘It has certainly been our best ever fair in the UK, and one of the best in the world.’

Niklas Svennung of Galerie Chantal Crousel said, ‘We missed out not being here last year as Frieze Art Fair is one of the best moments in our calendar. We always see people here that we don’t see anywhere else, in particular collectors from the Middle East and Asia. This year we didn’t know what to expect of the market but have had particular success with Wade Guyton, Anri Sala and Wolfgang Tillmans.’

Iwan Wirth, President, Hauser & Wirth: ‘A great success! Within minutes of the opening we had strong sales, particularly from Thomas Houseago, whose bronze sculpture Hermaphrodite completely sold out all editions, and Rashid Johnson and Matthew Day Jackson, whose work also sold out on the first day. Works by Roni Horn, Wilhelm Sasnal, Pipilotti Rist, Phyllida Barlow and Anri Sala all being placed in museums and private collections, has led to a fantastic week and perhaps our best Frieze Art Fair ever.’

Akio Koki of Vermhelo said: It was perfect. People at Frieze Art Fair are always searching something very new, and the work here is always fresh. We’ve seen lots of American collectors and more Brazillians than ever. We’ve had success with Jonathas de Andrade and sold all six editions of his work Hoy Ayer.’

Millicent Wilner, Director of Gagosian Gallery London was also pleased: ‘After nine years of exhibiting at Frieze, we wanted to take a more curated approach to the booth and asked Franz West to come up with a selection of artists. For "Franz West Selects: The Altitude of Art", the artists in most cases made work specifically for the occasion, often inspired by Franz and his work, such as Rudolf Stingel's portrait of a young Franz West. The response to our booth was fantastic, both from the public as well as commercially.’

Max Wigram compared his success at this year’s fair to that of his previous best year: ‘I’m amazed. I’ve sold serious works, including installation and film, to serious collectors. We’ve also had a lot of conversations with museums and curators.’

The Pace Gallery, which participated in the Frieze Art Fair for the first time, was thrilled with the warm reception it received from both the public and the press. ‘We are very pleased to report strong sales over the course of the fair, and look forward to our continued presence at Frieze in the future.’

Casey Kaplan said, ‘I think the best thing that we’ve heard about our booth this week is that Sir Norman Rosenthal said that we “presented ideas” and ultimately that was our goal. This was second year in a row that we decided to work closely with one artist and present an exhibition. Usually fairs are about dealers but we wanted our booth to confuse that. As result we’ve had a great response – we’ve sold nearly everything.’

Maureen Paley contributed: ‘I've been delighted this year to be able to present Gillian Wearing's newest self-portrait, which has found its way into wonderful collections, together with work by Wolfgang Tillmans who continues to work with his abstract theme to great effect. It has also been exciting to open our Rebecca Warren show at the beginning of the week from which an iconic work has been sold to a good collection at the fair. A number of other positive things happened this year across a large grouping of the gallery's artists who worked closely with me on their contributions to the fair.’

Andrew Kreps was also positive, ‘It’s been really good. Frieze Art Fair is a great experience and gets better at all the details. All the improvements to the structure this year make it a very pleasant place to be. We’ve done really well, it’s been amazing, to see the response to challenging installation and perfomance work that is not usual for a fair. We’re looking forward to New York!’

Darren Flook of Hotel remarked, ‘We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the level and quality of museums that we’ve met. In particular the interest has been in film work and the primary audience for that is institutions. We’ve had particularly strong interest in Duncan Campbell’s work, selling all six editions of his 16mm film Sigmar (2008), all to museums.’

Mari Spirito of 303 gallery commented: ‘The audience becomes increasingly international. We’ve placed work in collections as far reaching as the Middle East and Latin America: Doug Aitken to Lebanon and Jane & Louise Wilson to Brazil. The events in London throughout the week means that there is a great synergy between the fair and the city’s museums, the fact that this has been initiated by the fair is a positive attribute.’

Manuel Miseur of Johnen Galerie was pleased: ‘It’s been beyond all our expectations, we’re leaving very happy. We’ve had both critical acclaim and very good sales. We chose to show artists that were new to us: Florin Mitroi and Stefan Bertalan both of which attracted significant institutional interest. Also Roman Ondak having won Deutsche Bank’s artist of the year has been an advantage for us. Having not been here for a few years, we’re very happy to be back. There is something about London that works for us, our programme is appreciated here.’

Monika Sprüth & Philomene Magers, Sprüth Magers Berlin London said, ‘We have met really interesting new collectors at the Fair from the Middle East and Russia in particular. We’ve made strong sales, selling work by George Condo, Thomas Demand, Rosemarie Trockel & Barbara Kruger. The Fair also provides a great platform for our younger generation of artists such as Cyprien Gaillard & Thea Djordjadze whose work also sold well.’

Rose Lord of Marian Goodman said, ‘At Frieze this year, we presented artists who currently have, or have recently had, major museum exhibitions in London: Gerhard Richter, Tacita Dean, Anri Sala, Gabriel Orozco and Pierre Huyghe. Frieze has been a very good way to endorse and discuss these artists and their work.’

Emma Dexter of Timothy Taylor was also positive: ‘We have had a brilliant Frieze - wonderful sales, and we've had highly intelligent conversations with literally hundreds of serious collectors and museum curators. Matthew and Amanda have done a fantastic job bringing this energy and focus to the London scene once again. Improvements such as the exclusive VIP hour each day, and the separation of café areas from the art have meant that the environment for showing high quality works in a brilliantly designed structure is better than ever. We look forward to next year's edition!’

Those exhibiting in Frame were similarly pleased.

François Ghebaly: ‘The fair turned out to be very good for us, Patrick Jackson's new work is rather radical, and requires a certain level of sophistication to be understood and appreciated. I guess Frieze brings together this kind of audience, as we sold out our booth. One sale we're excited about it is to Turkish collector Omer Koç, who has a fantastic collection in Istanbul.’

Patrick Lee of One and J Gallery commented: ‘For a gallery like ours, just being in Frieze is a tremendous milestone. It was so nice to see such a diverse array of people visit the fair to see art. I was also very surprised by the appreciation of photography by the collectors at the fair. We were overwhelmed by the response to the works. We had never been so busy at a fair in terms of demand and interest. We sold more here than we had ever in the past. The management of the fair was far and away the most professional of any fair that we had worked with, I was impressed with all aspects of how it was organized and coordinated; the little things and touches made a huge difference.’

Alexander Hahn of Aanant & Zoo was also pleased: ‘It’s been fantastic, both in terms of contacts and in sales. It’s the first time that Channa Horowitz has shown in London and it’s been a great experience introducing her works to many new museums and curators. I’m very happy, as is Channa who was here too. For us it has been great.’

Mike Egan of Ramiken Crucible had similar sentiments, ‘It has been my first time in London and I feel spoiled because it has been such a great experience. It’s a really professional fair and also very focused. There has been such a profound response to the work: people are disgusted but they also love it! I was really excited to show Andra Usuta’s work here because I knew that people in London would have a sense of humour. I’ve sold most of my booth, so I’m very happy.’

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