After canceling last year’s fair due to Covid, Frieze Los Angeles roared back to life this week with a VIP opening on Thursday. The scene unfolded with its usual flare, with mega-dealers such as David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, and Pace selling out booths featuring works by artists newly added to their rosters. There were also local spaces on hand, and some brought with them works by L.A.-based artists.
“The fair has created a unique moment for the global art community to gather and experience the city as an international art destination on its own terms,” said Hauser & Wirth’s president, Marc Payot, in a statement to ARTnews. “This year the energy and optimism are especially palpable.”
Other dealers seemed to concur, saying that they made strong sales during the first day of the fair. (Because these sales are self-reported, it can be difficult to verify them.) Below, a look at some of the sales galleries said they made on the preview day of this year’s edition of the Frieze, which runs through Sunday.
Chris Burden at Gagosian
Gagosian trotted out just one work: a monumental installation by Chris Burden. Dreamer’s Folly (2010), which features three conjoined pavilions held up by Greco-Roman-style columns, is one of several works Burden produced as part of his “Folly” series. Meant to mimic structures seen in an English garden, the piece debuted at Gagosian’s Rome outpost in 2010, but had never before been exhibited in the U.S. It sold to an institution in Europe for an undisclosed price.
Paulina Olowska at Pace Gallery
Paulina Olowska, a recent addition to Pace’s roster, had at Frieze the painting Artist’s Flea Market (2021), which sold for $200,000. It was probably not the most expensive work to sell at the dealer’s booth, however. That may have been a “Gazing Ball” sculpture by Jeff Koons that the gallery said sold for “under $3 million.” Pace also sold a group of NFTs by from Leo Villareal’s “Cosmic Reef” series, one of which went to Chicago-based collector Suzanne Deal Booth.
Jordan Wolfson at David Zwirner
At David Zwirner, a new wall-mounted work by Jordan Wolfson that features an aerial photograph of a parade, along frame adorned with the repeated handwritten phrase “God is God” across it, sold for $400,000. Other works from the showcase, including paintings Lisa Yuskavage and Alice Neel, reached prices around $1 million, the gallery said. New paintings by Josh Smith, Katherine Bernhardt and Nate Lowman sold for prices between $150,000 and $220,000
Liza Lou at Lehmann Maupin
Lehmann Maupin sold Liza Lou’s monumental wall sculpture Into the Mountain (2021) for $385,000 to Dallas-based collectors. The New York–based gallery also said it sold works by McArthur Binion, Arcmanoro Niles, Calida Rawles, Helen Pashgian, and Mandy El-Sayegh.
Camille Henrot at Hauser & Wirth
Hauser & Wirth turned over its entire booth to Camille Henrot, who showed 23 new watercolors, drawings, and collaged paintings. The gallery reported that all of them had been bought by the second day of the fair, with each work purchased for a price between $20,000 and $140,000.
Michael Williams at David Kordansky
Los Angeles’s David Kordansky Gallery said it sold out a group of seven works by Michael Williams. These new works, from his “Puzzle Paintings” series, feature sleek abstracted forms in grey and purple palettes, and are first composed on a computer and then printed. Each painting sold for $100,000. On the gallery’s choice to bring Williams’s works to the fair, director Michelle Pobar said, “We wanted to highlight one of our city’s most compelling and rigorous painters.”
Thomas Houseago at Xavier Hufkens
Xavier Hufkens sold out its entire booth of new paintings by Thomas Houseago, an artist whose work has counted at least one Hollywood star among its fans: Brad Pitt, who is a friend of Houseago. Each work came with an asking price around $350,000. One of those paintings, Purple Sunset on the Pool – Early Moonrise (2021), depicts a moonlit sky and was bought by a private collector. It will be loaned to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art following the fair.
Georg Baselitz at Thaddaeus Ropac
At Thaddaeus Ropac, Georg Baselitz’s Eisdiele (2020), featuring one of the artist’s signature upside-down figures, sold for €1.35 million ($1.5 million). An untitled painting from 1998 by Robert Rauschenberg sold for $1.1 million, and one from 2020 by Martha Jungwirth, who joined the gallery last year, went for €190,000 ($215,000).
Woody De Othello at Jessica Silverman Gallery
San Francisco’s Jessica Silverman Gallery sold an artist’s proof of an outdoor bronze by Woody De Othello for $400,000. Also purchased from the gallery’s booth were a painting by Clare Rojas for $150,000, a painting by Dashiell Manley for $75,000, two wall sculptures by Davina Semo, and works by Claudia Wieser, Sadie Barnette, and Catherine Wagner.
Beatriz Milhazes at White Cube
Among the most expensive works sold from White Cube’s booth was an untitled abstract geometric canvas by Beatriz Milhazes made in 2019. It went for $1.2 million. The dealer also said it had found buyers for works by Imi Knoebel, Magnus Plessen, Bram Bogart, Bram Bogart, and Christian Marclay.