With this year’s edition of Frieze London opening on Wednesday ahead of Art Basel’s new Paris fair next week, speculation circulated that the timing may force collectors and art world figures to choose between the two. But any concerns were alleviated when some galleries said this week that they had still made big sales at Frieze.
Dealers reported robust attendance from collectors and museum groups hailing from Aspen to Paris to Sharjah, as well as sales of works valued as highly as $5 million. (Sales are self-reported by galleries, making the data difficult to confirm.)
Iwan Wirth, Hauser & Wirth’s president, described the fair’s lively energy, calling the London enterprise “a vivid reminder” of the city’s enduring status as an epicenter of art and commerce. “We’ve felt this on the ground on the first day of the fair. The city is buzzing.”
Below, a look at six works that galleries said sold during Frieze’s opening days.
Kerry James Marshall at David Zwirner
Photo : ©Kerry James Marshall/Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, London
Sold for: $6 million
Kerry James Marshall’s Black and Part Black Birds in America: (Yellow headed Black bird; Black Chinned Hummingbird; Ruby Throated Hummingbird, male and female), 2022, made its debut at Frieze this week, and it was immediately snapped up by a museum that paid $6 million for it. (David Zwirner didn’t say which museum it was, only that the institution was in the U.S.) The piece is from a series dealing with Blackness in relation to the paintings of John James Audubon, whose images of birds have proven insightful for artists and scientists alike. There are theories that Audubon’s mother was a biracial Creole woman; some historians have disputed them. Marshall found himself struck by that theory, as well as another that Audubon may have relied upon the labor of enslaved people to help classify birds. While this painting is now only worth a third of the one that set his auction record, it is still among his most expensive works.
Philip Guston at Hauser & Wirth
Photo : Photo Genevieve Hanson/©Estate of Philip Guston/Courtesy the estate and Hauser & Wirth
Sold for: $4.8 million
At Frieze Masters, the fair dedicated to works by artists of the 20th century, Hauser & Wirth sold Phillip Guston’s 1964 oil painting on paper Looking, which features a semi-abstract black figure painted against a grey-scale background. A European museum bought the piece for $4.8 million, the gallery said. The sale came amid the tour of a controversial Guston retrospectivethat is now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Meanwhile, the gallery sold a Hans Arp painted board piece for $1.2 million and a George Condo work on paper for $900,000. Pieces at Hauser & Wirth’s booth by Jack Whitten, Rita Ackermann, Pipilotti Rist, Lee Lozano, Louise Bourgeois, and Maria Lassnig went to collections in Europe and the U.S.
Robert Rauschenberg at Thaddaeus Ropac
Photo : Photo Ronald Amstutz/©Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/
Sold for: $1.8 million
The London-based dealer Thaddaeus Ropac sold a 1988 metal sculpture by Robert Rauschenberg for $1.8 million. Having come to sale from the Rauschenberg Foundation, Bird Watch, a collaged diptych piece featuring wildlife imagery, is from a series of metal works that the artist began during a stint in Chile when researching for a cultural exchange program founded in his name. Ropac also sold paintings by Sturtevant and emerging artist Rachel Jones, for prices between £120,000 ($134,250) and £900,000 (just over $1 million).
Tracey Emin at Xavier Hufkens
Photo : Courtesy the artist and Xavier Hufkens
Sold for: $1.06 million
At Xavier Hufkens’s booth, a large-scale painting by Tracey Emin, Leave me in my Own Space (2022), sold for just over £950,000 ($1.06 million). Also at the booth, works on paper by Emin went for prices between £20,000 ($22,400) and £45,000 ($50,300), and four of her neon works sold for around £60,000 ($67,000) each, Hufkens said. The sales came ahead of a Christie’s auction of an Emin painting that went for £2.3 million ($2.57 million), falling just below her current auction record. Proceeds from that painting’s sale will go toward a new art school Emin is launching at her coastal hometown of Margate.
Jadé Fadojutimi at Gagosian
Photo : ©Jadé Fadojutimi/Photo Mark Blower/Courtesy Gagosian
Sold for: A price around $558,700
Gagosian reported that it sold a suite of large-scale paintings by Jadé Fadojutimi, who is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at West Yorkshire’s Hepworth Wakefield and whom the gallery announced added to its roster of artists in July. Though the dealer did not publicly disclose the sale prices, but Artnet News reported that each work was listed for £500,000 ($558,700). While that number is below her auction record of $730,000, the sales are further evidence that market momentum surrounding the young painter has not yet died down.
Daniel Richter at Grimm
Photo : Courtesy the artist and Thaddaeus Ropac
Sold for: $330,000
Grimm featured a new work by German artist Daniel Richter, barbarischer Frühling (2022), which depicts a yellow-outlined figure caught mid-movement. The piece sold to a foundation for €340,000 ($330,000), making it one of the most expensive works by a living artist at Frieze. Grimm also sold two large paintings by Francesca Mollett for prices between $21,000 and $23,000, with one going to a museum in Asia, as well as works by Caroline Walker, Arturo Kameya, Gabriella Boyd, Rosalind Nashashibi, Matthias Franz, Anthony Cudahy and Angela Heisch.
Cinga Samson at White Cube
Photo : Courtesy the artist and Perrotin
Sold for: $325,000
Fast-rising South African painter Cinga Samson’s Onjalo Umhola, Onjani Umhola (2022), a two-part piece featuring sleek figures huddled in a dark field, sold for $325,000. The dealer brought Samson onto the gallery’s roster in 2021, following a solo exhibition at the Flag Art Foundation in New York. Samson’s paintings have drawn fierce competition among collectors, with his auction record having been set at $453,000 last year.