At the opening of Frieze Los Angeles on Thursday, collectors and museums appeared especially keen to acquire art, with dealers reporting success in placing works in institutional collections based in the U.S. and Europe.
In their sales reports, dealers said that the return to Los Angeles for this year’s edition of the heralded fair was fruitful. Works valued as high as $3.5 million landed buyers, signaling that business was taking place at a steady pace on opening day.
A few dealers said this opening outpaced expectations. “The energy both at the fair and beyond has been contagious,” Lehmann Maupin partner Jessica Kreps said in an email to ARTnews. “My conversations with curators and collectors seem deeper and much more calculated this year. People are interested in learning more about long-lived and established careers, rather than looking out for the next best thing.”
Gagosian reported that its entire booth of nine works on paper and painting by Rick Lowe sold within the fair’s opening hours. Antwaun Sargent, a director at the gallery’s New York locations, told ARTnews that the fair’s results indicate that excitement over the artist “only continues to grow.”
It was not just mega-dealers who saw multiple works by attention-grabbing artists sell out in the early hours. London’s Victoria Miro reported that 18 paintings, each priced at under $80,000, sold from its solo booth of new work by Doron Langberg.
Below, a look at eight of artists whose works dealers said were sold during the fair’s opening days.
Among the top sales made during the Los Angeles fair’s opening days was Mark Bradford’sShall Rest in Honor There(2023), an abstraction that went for $3.5 million. Though it was the only work in the dealer’s booth to achieve a price above the $1 million mark, it was not the only one by an in-demand artist from the gallery’s roster to see high figures. Works by Henry Taylor, Luchita Hurtado, and Charles Gaines were among the others. Their works sold for prices between $45,000 and $450,000.
Within the first few hours of the opening day of the Los Angeles fair on Thursday, Gladstone Gallery made multiple sales, according to representatives for the enterprise. One of its top deals included the 1998 photograph Untitled (cowboy) by Richard Prince. The work sold for $3 million. Also at Gladstone’s booth, a bronze, wall-mounted Keith Haring work sold for $500,000. Pace also said it made sales for works by Rosemarie Trockel, Arthur Jafa, Philippe Parreno, Amy Sillman, Jill Mulleady, David Rappeneau, and Shahryar Nashat. These works all sold for prices between $20,000 and $475,000.
At Pace’s booth, the dealer sold a range of works at prices between $45,000 to $2 million, among them pieces by Adrian Ghenie, Yoshitomo Nara, and Matthew Day Jackson. Paintings by Thomas Nozkowski and LA-based Maysha Mohamedi also sold, as did a small-scale edition of The Embrace by Hank Willis Thomas, his controversial public sculpture recently unveiled in Boston that pays homage to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
On the opening day of Frieze Los Angeles, David Zwirner sold multiple works by gallery artists including Lisa Yuskavage, Michaël Borremans, Dana Schutz, Oscar Murillo, and Raymond Pettibon. Among the top works by Schutz’s oil on canvas The Encounter from 2022. Measuring at 108 by 140 inches, the work, depicting two figures wielding weapons and appearing to face-off against a dark brown background, sold for $1.2 million to a museum in Europe. Other sales made at the mega-dealer’s booth include Lisa Yuskavage single-figure painting from 2015 titled Sari for $1 million, also to a European museum, alongside others by Michaël Borremans and Oscar Murillo.
New York’s Lehmann Maupin reported strong sales on the fair’s first day, selling six works by London-based artist Chantal Joffe. The grouping went for a combined total of £200,000 ($241,000), with works having been placed with collectors in New York and California, along with a Midwestern museum. Meanwhile, sculptures, paintings, and works on paper by Japanese artist Mr. reportedly sold to trustees of several US-based institutions, including the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. The sales coincide with the artist’s showcase at the Phoenix Art Museum. The gallery also sold works by Billie Zangewa and Loriel Beltrán, who will have an upcoming solo presentation with the gallery in New York this March.
Some dealers, like the Los Angeles–based David Kordansky, saw big sales with solo presentations by artists on the rise. Chase Hall showed a new body of work that sold out within the first few hours of the fair, going to “major” international institutions and collectors, the dealer reported. The sales come just ahead of Hall’s first solo museum show, opening on February 28 at the SCAD Art Museum in Savannah, Georgia. Though the exhibition will be staged far away from LA, the gallery’s senior director, Kurt Mueller, reported an “incredible response” from institutions and collectors.
Ortuzar Projects and Andrew Kreps Gallery’s joint presentation of paintings and works on paper by Ernie Barnes at Frieze LA continued market momentum being felt for the artist right now. During the first hours of the VIP preview, the galleries reporting selling works by Barnes for over $1 million: three paintings for $500,000 each and an additional eight priced between $60,000 and $100,000. Meanwhile, at press time, the galleries, which co-represent Barnes, said that a museum held a reserve on one painting around $1 million. Beyond Frieze, those in LA looking to find see more Barnes can currently do so at the UTA Artist Space.
In the fair’s opening hours of the fair, San Francisco–based dealer Jessica Silverman said she sold two works by Woody De Othello: a large-scale sculpture for $225,000 and a painting for $55,000. Two oil paintings by Julie Buffalohead went for $35,000 each; one was reportedly placed in an institutional collection on the East Coast. Works by Loie Hollowell, Rebecca Ness, and Rose B. Simpson went for prices between $35,000 and $95,000. At the lower end of the gallery’s sales were works by Pae White, Hayal Pozanti, and Chelsea Ryoko Wong that sold for prices below $50,000 each. “We put forward some of the most ambitious works by the artists we are showing at Frieze LA this year,” Silverman said.