The new-look summer instalment of London Art Week
concluded on the 7th July, during which time unprecedented footfall was recorded to the partner galleries across the city. The event attracted visitors from across the globe, with buyers travelling from as far afield as Saudi Arabia and North America, as the art world descended on the capital for the week-long celebration of Old Master art.
Participating galleries reported a strong level of confirmed sales across a broad spectrum of taste and price levels, with a significant number of major works also under reserve. Pieces sold varied greatly in price, starting in the £100s and reaching over £18 million. The diverse range of art at such differing entry points helped to make Julys London Art Week one of the most accessible and successful iteration of the event to date, attracting well-versed art collectors and first time buyers as well as curators and directors from the worlds great art museums.
Participating galleries also reported an increase in footfall throughout the week, compared with other exhibitions across the year, including Tomasso Brothers which revealed a 300% surge in visitors. Benjamin Proust recorded a 70% increase in guests and both Stephen Ongpin and the Weiss gallery each saw a 50% rise in daily visitors. In addition to this, over 500 guests applied for tickets for the London Art Week off-schedule events, which took place throughout the week. These events included a 200-person strong breakfast at The National Gallery, and several Slow Art Workshops, curated to bring admirers of fine art closer to priceless works. These helped open London Art Week up to a new consumer market, with indications showing that this new audience brought many thousands of pounds worth of extra sales to participating galleries during the week.
A staple in the auction house calendar, London Art Week participants Christies, Bonhams and Sothebys recorded sales in excess of £150,000,000. One of the most notable sales included one of the last Turner paintings in private hands, the Ehrenbreistein (1835), which has been described as one of his greatest masterpieces. The painting brought Sothebys £18.5million, assisting in the auction houses achieving a final sale total of £52.5million.
Early reports from participating galleries confirm that Lowell Libson Ltd secured sales of six works priced under £70,000 as well as interest and reserves on several major paintings and drawings from museums globally. Additionally Benappi Fine Art reported the sale of their opening show masterpiece, The Capture of Christ by Matthias Stomer, from their new gallery on Dover Street. Sam Fogg gallery have also reported the sale of three major works alongside Daniel Katz who have confirmed the sale of four pieces.
Visitors were particularly pleased by the new clear branding for the event and the enhanced programme of events. As a result, all participating galleries reported making fresh contacts throughout the event, drawing in potential new clients and contacts from the continent and further afield. Weiss gallery reported this years London Art Week to have brought the highest footfall [they] have ever experienced, resulting in three new walk-in clients over the week.
London Art Week will be hosting its inaugural winter event in December, running from the 1st until the 8th of December, which will continue the same level of consumer engagement, supplemented by an equally exciting events calendar. Participating galleries will be showcasing further Old Master works from through the ages, drawing in private collectors and museum buyers, as well as art enthusiasts from across the globe.