Frieze London 2016 Sales Reports

Dealers Report a Flurry of Sales at Frieze London 2016

Despite Brexit-related concerns, dealers sold well in all sections of the fair.

Frieze London 2016. Photo by Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.
Frieze London 2016. Photo by Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.

The 14th edition of Frieze London previewed on Wednesday to what was described by most dealers as a “flurry of sales” and a much more dynamic first day than at the 2015 edition.

This was particularly evident for blue-chip galleries, those occupying the areas near the fair’s entrance, which this year—after yet another re-design by Universal Design Studio—has two different access points instead of just one, preventing the bottle-neck that used to clog the front aisles.

In the first hours, David Zwirner sold a new $1 million painting by Kerry James Marshall that will go to a major American museum, and another work by Marshall for $600,000 to a private collection. A new painting by Yayoi Kusama also sold for over $1 million, while a 2016 Bridget Riley painting worth £700,000 was bought by an Asian collector.

Related: What Sold So Far at Frieze Masters 2016?

Additional sales at Zwirner included two new oil and charcoal on linen works by Chris Ofili, worth $380,000; two new sculptures by Carol Bove for $375,000 each; a Thomas Ruff photograph for €85,000; and a number of photographs by Wolfgang Tillmans ranging from $8,000 to $80,000, which also sold on day one.

View of the Hauser & Wirth booth at Frieze London 2016. Photo by Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.

View of the Hauser & Wirth booth at Frieze London 2016. Photo by Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.

Hauser & Wirth sold a number of works from its eye-catching and crowded (featuring a whopping 46 artists) “L’atelier d’artistes” booth, including sculptures by Fischli / Weiss and Thomas Houseago (for $75,000); a Rodney Graham lightbox; several works by Phyllida Barlow, including a small sculpture for £50,000; and a Jack Whitten work on canvas for $45,000, all of which changed hands on day one, alongside works by Henry Moore and Louise Bourgeois, among others.

Related: Phyllida Barlow to Represent Britain at 2017 Venice Biennale

“It was a great start to the opening,” Neil Wenman, senior director at Hauser & Wirth told artnet News on Thursday morning. “I think the thematic booth got a lot of attention which drew lots of people in, and we did make quite a lot of sales. The atmosphere is really different this year, it was really jovial, also because our booth had such a strong theme, and even music.”

Overall, this year’s edition felt more pared down and elegant, with more galleries choosing to show modern artists. Could this be influenced by Frieze London’s successful younger sibling, Frieze Masters, also evidenced in the higher number of curated booths and throwback presentations?

“I think so,” said Wenman. “I think The Nineties section was a great example of that cross-historical look. There’s definitely a sense of contemporary art galleries looking back, but questioning it through a modern lens.”

Related: Frieze London Is All Grown Up This Year

Contemporary works, however, were high in demand. Over at Timothy Taylor, the London-based gallery reported strong sales at its solo booth of work by Brooklyn-based artist Eddie Martinez, selling 14 sculptures on the first day for prices ranging from $12,000 to $15,000.

Maureen Paley sold a £150,000 sculpture by Rebecca Warren, dated 2005-2016, to a British collector, as well as an installation by Paulo Nimer Pjota, titled Vaporware, some samples (2016), to a New York-based collector for $24,000. On the first day, Wolfgang Tillmans’s photo Kleine Welle (2015) sold to a US collector for $120,000.

Grayson Perry poses in front of one his works at the Victoria Miro booth at Frieze London 2016. Photo by Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.

Grayson Perry poses in front of one his works at the Victoria Miro booth at Frieze London 2016. Photo by Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.

Victoria Miro reported strong sales in the very first hours, during which a number of works by Grayson Perry, including sculptures and tapestries changed hands for prices ranging from £50,000 to £450,000. A series of recent paintings by Yayoi Kusama (with prices ranging $400,000 to $1 million) were also a hit with collectors, as were a series of paintings by Chantal Joffe depicting strong Jewish women, including Betty Friedan, Hannah Arendt, Claude Cahun, and Gertrude Stein, with prices between £10,000 and £30,000, a number of which sold in the first morning.

Related: See the Top 15 Booths at Frieze London 2016

Over at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, the first day brought sales of blue chip works by Robert Longo, Tony Cragg, Daniel Richter, Sigmar Polke, and two paintings by Georg Baselitz. Nearby, Berlin’s Peres Projects had sold all its paintings by Donna Huanca, priced between $17,000 and $22,500.

Pace Gallery sold a new LED light work by Leo Villareal entitled Radiant Wheel, (2015) for $100,000. The gallery also sold a new marble bust by Kevin Francis Gray for £80,000; a small minimalist painting made of copper wire and gesso by Prabhavathi Meppayil for $20,000; and two life size works by Kohei Nawa priced at $380,000 and $230,000.

Ryan Gander’s bronze sculpture Elevator To Culturefield (2016). Photo ©Andrea Rossetti, courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin.

Ryan Gander’s bronze sculpture Elevator To Culturefield (2016). Photo ©Andrea Rossetti, courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin.

Simon Lee sold works by Hans-Peter Feldmann between €50,000 and £90,000 on day one, and paintings by Paulina Olowska for around $80,000 on day two. Meanwhile, Berlin’s Esther Schipper reported a number of sales, including Ryan Gander’s bronze sculpture Elevator To Culturefield (2016) which sold for well over £80,000.

Related: Ryan Gander Talks Art, Curation, and Politics for His ‘Night in the Museum’ Exhibition

“The fair has been great to work with as every year and has managed to attract more collectors from Asia and Middle East than previous editions. First day sales have been very strong and I am particularly happy to present Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s historical work R.W.F. in The Nineties section,” Schipper told artnet News.

Meanwhile, Sprüth Magers sold two 2009 Craig Kauffman acrylic and glitter sculptures for $125,000 each on the first day, while the second day brought the sale of the seminal Sylvie Fleury at its booth over at The Nineties section, presented in collaboration with Salon 94 and Mehdi Chouakri.

Sylvie Fleury, A Journey to Fitness or How to Lose 30 Pounds In Under Three Weeks (1993) ©Sylvie Fleury. Photo Kris Emmerson. Courtesy of the Artist and Mehdi Chouakri, Salon 94, Sprüth Magers.

Sylvie Fleury, A Journey to Fitness or How to Lose 30 Pounds In Under Three Weeks (1993) ©Sylvie Fleury. Photo Kris Emmerson. Courtesy of the Artist and Mehdi Chouakri, Salon 94, Sprüth Magers.

New York galleries also did extremely well. Casey Kaplan sold out the majority of its stand in the first hours, including works by Kevin Beasley, Giorgio Griffa, Garth Weiser, N.Dash, and Sarah Crowner, while P.P.O.W. reported strong sales including several Betty Tompkins paintings for $3,000 to $3,500; photographs by Portia Munson at $15,000; and works by Martin Wong, ranging from $25,000 to $200,000.

Related: Portia Munson Talks Color and Empowerment at Frieze

David Kordansky Gallery sold the majority of its booth in the first hours, with most of the interest coming from non-British collectors. A new painting by Harold Ancart sold for $85,000 to an American collector. Mary Weatherford’s Spike Driver’s Moan (2016) sold to an Asian collector for $185,000, and Kathryn Andrews’s Black Bars (Dejeuner No. 1) from 2016 sold for $68,000 to an American institutional collector.

South Africa’s Goodman Gallery also reported a strong start, with early sales including William Kentridge’s drawing Observer (2016) for $450,0000; a Mikhael Subotzky photo from 2006 for $15,000; and a recent work by ruby onyinyechi amanze on graphite, ink, and photo transfers, for $8,000.

William Kentridge, Observer (2016). Courtesy Goodman Gallery.

William Kentridge, Observer (2016). Courtesy Goodman Gallery.

The top galleries from São Paulo couldn’t complain either. Galeria Fortes Vilaça sold two new works by Erika Verzutti, with prices ranging from $45,000 to $50,000; and two new works by Leda Catunda, for prices ranging from $25,000 to $60,000. Galeria Luisa Strina sold three works by Leonor Antunes, acquired through the Frieze Tate Fund to join the Tate collection, as well as works by Fernanda Gomes, Laura Lima, Marcius Galan, Tonico Lemos Auad, and two drawings by Anna Maria Maiolino.

Related: Participants in Laura Lima’s Controversial Show at ICA Miami Claim Abuse

Mendes Wood, also from São Paulo, sold works by Lucas Arruda, Sonia Gomez, Patricia Leite, Luiz Roque, Daniel Steegmann Mangrane, and Mariana Castillo Deball, while Galeria Vermelho sold a 2014 work by Dora Longo Bahia for $25,000.

A piece by Leonor Antunes. Photo Nick Ash. courtesy the Kunsthalle Basel.

A piece by Leonor Antunes. Photo Nick Ash. courtesy the Kunsthalle Basel.

The works by Leonor Antunes sold at Luisa Strina weren’t the only pieces that have been bought through the £150,000 Frieze Tate Fund, supported for the first time by WME | IMG. The six-person international jury, composed of four Tate curators and two guest curators, also selected six artworks by the Turkish artist Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, acquired from Rampa, Istanbul; and one work by the Malaysian artist Phillip Lai, acquired from Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London.

Related: Frieze Tate Fund Announces 2016 Acquisitions

London’s Laura Bartlett sold a unique photograph by Elizabeth McAlpine for £15,000, as well as two works by Lydia Gifford for £6,200, a painting by Sol Calero for £11,000, and a wall-based work by Maria Lund for £5,200.

Younger galleries, those located more towards the back of the tent, also had an exciting start. Vienna’s Galerie Emanuel Layr sold a number of paintings by Nick Oberthaler, priced at €20,000. Athens’ The Breeder sold a brilliant installation by Angelo Plessas, who’s participating in the forthcoming Documenta 14, for $34,000 to a European collector; as well as a delicate bead curtain by Zoë Paul to a London-based collector, for $15,000.

Works by Angelo Plessas and Zoë Paul at the booth of The Breeder at Frieze London 2016. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso.

Works by Angelo Plessas and Zoë Paul at the booth of The Breeder at Frieze London 2016. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso.

So what about the dreaded Brexit and the depreciation of the pound? Has the uncertainty been harmful for the British art market at all, as speculators were quick to predict?

“I think it might have come out as a positive at the moment,” Neil Wenman, senior director at Hauser & Wirth, told artnet News. “Sales have been really strong at Frieze London but particularly strong at Frieze Masters this year, with some of the really high value works we’ve put on display selling, so perhaps this is a particularly strong time for works priced in pounds, as the currency is weak at the moment. If you are an international collector, the pound is weak, so things are cheaper. We’ve definitely seen a strong start to the season. It was a very long summer with lots of uncertainty, politically, with terrorism, Brexit… But now we are up and running, and we are excited,” he added.

Related: Christie’s London Contemporary Art Sale Soars Over Estimates to $42.5 Million Thanks to Ghenie, Schütte

Although it’s too early to say, judging by the excitement of dealers across the fair and the encouraging results of the London auctions this week, it might seem as if, after the doom and gloom of previous months, the market could be perking up again. All eyes will now be on the sales results at Paris’ FIAC and Art Basel Miami.

Follow artnet News on Facebook.

a

Features

London still leads the way – for now

The rich legacy of Leslie Waddington | Solo booths set the tone | New galleries in London | Adrian Ghenie and Pino Pascali lead at Christie’s | Frans Hals forgery sets tongues wagging

9 October 2016

Apollo’s regular round-up of art market headlines and comment. Visit Apollo Collector Services for expert advice on navigating the art market.

The rich legacy of Leslie Waddington | Amid talk that market contraction and post-EU referendum jitters would hit London’s autumn season, Frieze Week kicked off in confident style with a white glove sale of the Leslie Waddington Collection at Christie’s. The 100 per cent sold rate and £28,285,525 total was testament to the late art dealer’s reputation as tastemaker and collector in his own right. It started with a portrait of Waddington by Peter Blake, which sold for double its estimate at £81,250. The plum lot, as expected, was Jean Dubuffet’s Visiteur au chapeau bleu (‘Visitor with Blue Hat’) from 1955, which also doubled its estimate and sold for £4.81 million.

Meanwhile, Waddington Custot gallery (which Waddington Galleries became in 2011 when Stephane Custot bought the late Lord Bernstein’s share) exhibited at Frieze Masters for the first time, its stand hung with the raw, ravaged canvases of the Spanish painter Manolo Millares (1926–72). The abstracts, dating from 1956 to 1970, were priced between £170,000 to around £900,000, and the earliest, Composición con dimensión perdida, sold on preview day. Other early sales at the fair included Elements V (1984) by Brice Marden, which had an asking price of $5 million, and a painting by Wayne Thiebaud (asking price £1.5 million), both at Acquavella Galleries (New York).

Solo booths set the tone | ‘Our artists love this fair. Lots of them visit, because they all collect, but not the obvious things. You find the unusual here’. So said David Cleaton-Roberts, director of Alan Cristea Gallery, sitting on the gallery’s stand at Frieze Masters devoted to the prints of Anni Albers, one of numerous stands at both this fair and Frieze London to concentrate on female artists. Solo artist presentations, traditionally seen as putting all one’s eggs in one basket, are increasingly popular and Cleaton-Roberts is pleased with the gallery’s single-artist format; last year it presented Richard Hamilton; in 2014, Josef Albers. By Friday afternoon of this year’s fair, it had sold more than 20 Anni Albers prints, priced between £2,000 and £6,000. At the moment they’re still affordable,’ Cleaton-Roberts said, adding that the artist will be the subject of a major exhibition in the UK, yet to be announced, in the next few years. She may not be so cheap for long.

New galleries in London | Alan Cristea Gallery also opened a large new space on Pall Mall last week, one of a gaggle of new galleries to open spaces in London during, or in time for Frieze Week. Others included Cabinet Gallery in Vauxhall and, in St James’s and Mayfair, Colnaghi, Skarstedt Gallery, Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery, Limoncello, Cardi Gallery, and Almine Rech Gallery, which opened with a divisive Jeff Koons show. Brexit or not, London seems only to gain in appeal as an essential gallery hub.

Adrian Ghenie and Pino Pascali lead at Christie’s | This has been Adrian Ghenie’s year; the 39-year-old Romanian painter is the market darling of 2016. At Christie’s 6 October evening sale of post-war and contemporary art, which totalled just shy of £34.3 million, the vast, brooding Nickelodeon (2008) made an artist record at £7.11 million, four times the £1.5 million estimate.

(2008), Adrian Ghenie.

Nickelodeon (2008), Adrian Ghenie. Image courtesy Christie’s

‘The Ghenie market had been growing, growing, growing,’ said Francis Outred, European head of post-war and contemporary art. ‘This was the culmination, and it is widely acknowledged as one of his best works.’ Nickelodeon was guaranteed by a third party who ‘proactively approached’ Christie’s, said Outred, a phenomenon they find is ‘increasingly common’ on desirable high-value works.

A sign of a contracted but hardened market, this was another ‘tightly curated’ (or small) auction of 41 lots, more conservative in content than the larger, more speculative contemporary sales of old. However, Christie’s sale did offer works by several up-and-coming artists under 40; alongside Ghenie, records were set for Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Lucy McKenzie, and Henry Taylor.

(1966), Pino Pascali.

Coda di delfino (Tail of a Dolphin) (1966), Pino Pascali. Image courtesy Christie’s

Immediately afterwards, in the 59-lot Italian sale, seven new artist records were set, including for the Arte Povera artist Pino Pascali, whose joyful Code di Delfino (‘Tail of a Dolphin’) sold for £2.7 million.

Frans Hals forgery sets tongues wagging | Art fairs love a scandal. After all, what better way to fill those long dull hours on a stand than with a little gossip. Talk of Frieze Masters has been the story of a fake Frans Hals , following Sotheby’s revelation that a portrait by the Dutch artist that was sold to a US buyer by private treaty for £8.4 million in 2011 has been reassessed as a fake (as reported in the Financial Times). Sotheby’s refunded the buyer in full for the work after pigment tests showed the work was ‘undoubtedly a forgery’. A forger of exceptional talent, it seems – and other works are now under suspicion.

What Sold at Frieze London and Frieze Masters

Installation view of Lisson Gallery’s booth at Frieze London, 2016. Photo by Benjamin Westoby for Artsy.

Uncertainty has been the chorus to each of this year’s major art market events—and the pervading sentiment across the wider economy as well. Brexit, the U.S. election, and concerns about the underlying fundamentals of a global economy propped up by low, and in some cases negative, interest rates have weighed on collectors’ minds and lightened dealers’ wallets. As Frieze London and Frieze Masters readied to kick off this week in tandem with London’s major fall auctions, the political and economic climate got a bit more certain—but not in the way many had wished.

At the U.K.’s Conservative Party conference this week, Prime Minister Theresa May quashed any lingering hopes among Londoners that their government would simply never invoke Article 50, the provision of the Lisbon Treaty that starts a two-year clock for Britain to officially leave the EU. That process, the PM declared, would begin in March 2017. Next on the list of crushed dreams was the prospect of a so-called “soft Brexit,” in which the U.K. government would aim to negotiate lenient immigration policies with the EU in order to be able to more greatly benefit from the Union’s single market. No, May’s statements suggest, immigration restrictions outweigh the importance of low-friction trade with the EU, where 44% of British exports are currently sent.

Both moves have been cast by business leaders, collectors at Frieze among them, as yet another indication that the British political apparatus is more interested in populist sentiment than in the fundamentals of its economy—and intends to continue to enact policies anathema to the business and financial community at large. This populism is of course rife across the political scene of the world’s major economies and art market behemoths at present, from the rise of Germany’s Frauke Petry-led far-right party, AfD, to the potential U.S. presidency of Donald J. Trump. In the U.K., concerns about the implications of May’s comments caused the pound to plunge to a new 31-year low. It closed out the week at just $1.24, after recovering from a flash crash early Friday morning when the pound was priced momentarily for as low as $1.18. By some measures, this now places Britain’s economy behind that of France.

To the credit of Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips, London’s auctions succeeded in painting a picture of the market in rebound against this backdrop, thanks to a handful of record-setting sales and many more above-estimate results. But, in many cases, those estimates were set very low. And it would be premature to make too much of a connection between what happened in the secondary market this week and the current state of play for gallerists and dealers like those exhibiting at Frieze.

Installation view of Kujke Gallery / Tina Kim Gallery’s booth at Frieze London, 2016. Photo by Benjamin Westoby for Artsy.

For example (at the risk of being overly didactic), when a work hits the auction block, you have a few minutes to purchase it, locking in what might be a favorable price and, in the case of this week, a very low exchange rate. In most cases at a fair or in a gallery you have days, if not months, to pull the trigger on a purchase—particularly in the current climate. And with these prices negotiable, it’s less likely the pound’s sway one way or another will end up strongly affecting your outlay. Spot a painting you love along Frieze’s aisles? It can probably wait until November 9th. Better yet, hold up until Q2 of next year when we have a clearer picture of how well the global economic engine is actually purring along.

At Frieze, Women Artists Benefit from Art Market Woes
Read full article

There is little debate that serious collectors were still buying at Frieze, and that many dealers made out quite well. But there is equally little debate that this is a very different market than we’ve experienced in the past few years. A number of dealers typically eager to publically report sales were mum this year. According to both major blue-chip players and young gallerists, this is due in part to pressure being placed on them by artists whose works traveled to the fair and haven’t sold—more so than to increased confidentiality around actualized transactions. That should give some indication of a financial squeeze being felt not just by some gallerists but by artists, too.

Like many markets at this moment of unsteadiness, the art market is heavily focused on underlying fundamentals. That means scrutiny of an artist’s CV, the collections in which his or her work is held, and, for secondary market pieces, provenance. And it’s good news for certain sectors of the market that had more recently languished while attention focused only on the new and young. “It’s great to see artists getting attention like Steven ClaydonEvan Holloway, and Kathryn Andrews,” said David Kordansky Gallery partner and director Mike Homer. “They’re mid-career artists and have the critical support and the CV to back it up but are also at a reasonable price point; the market is not inflated.” He cited sales of a new painting by the London-based Claydon for $30,000, three sculptures by Holloway for $50,000 apiece, and two paintings from Andrews’s “Black Bars” series, selling Black Bars: Dejeuner No. 1 (Girl with Napkin, Visor, Lemon, Lighter and Shuttlecock) (2016) for $68,000.

“Considering the turbulent economic climate, especially here in London, we didn’t know what to expect going in,” said Homer. The Los Angeles-based director added that while that climate means people were by no means clamoring to buy work in the first few minutes and hours of the fair, the outing could still be considered a success. Kordansky further sold an untitled Harold Ancart painting from this year for $85,000, Mary Weatherford’s Spike Driver’s Moan (2016) for $185,000, and one edition of Torbjørn Rødland’s Cake (Studio 798) (2008–16) for $13,000.

Installation view of Hauser & Wirth’s booth at Frieze London, 2016. Photo by Benjamin Westoby for Artsy.

Collectors’ increasing desire to buy works with a proven track record continues to push dealers to acquire more artists’ estates. And even at Frieze London, technically meant to be a fair for contemporary art, historical work cropped up in a number of booths. By far the most prevalent—indeed, almost overflowing—with works sourced from estates was Hauser & Wirth’s stand, modeled after a fictional artist’s studio and hung with some 140 works by 47 artists, priced between $3,000 and $3.5 million. According to senior director Neil Wenman, who curated the booth, around half of those works are from estates. “Because the concept is contemporary, it allowed us to pull out works from the ’40s and ’50s to add fuel to the fire,” he said.

The 20 Best Booths at Frieze London
Read full article

Among the gallery’s sales made at Frieze London were a Francis Picabia work on paper; a Henry Moore bronze maquette for CHF 48,000; sculptures by Phyllida BarlowBerlinde De Bruyckere, and Thomas Houseago for £50,000, €130,000, and $75,000, respectively; and two Richard Jackson neons for $20,000 apiece. “It’s important to let people understand the similarities between older art and contemporary,” Wenman said of the idea behind the booth, pointing to a pair of David Smith works on paper, which flanked a Moore work and a drawing by a gallery technician named Gary McDonald. “Of all of them, Gary’s sold. He’s an artist in his own right, just not the stature of David Smith or Henry Moore—yet.” The director said that “sales, especially at Masters, have been very high,” the gallery having placed a number of works—including an over half-million-dollar Dieter Roth cheese painting, a $600,000 stabile by Alexander Calder, a Fausto Melotti sculpture for €300,000, and a Picabia painting for $220,000—early in the fair.

The blurred lines between modern and contemporary could be seen at the number of dealers like Hauser & Wirth with stands at both Frieze fairs this week. Another was London’s Timothy Taylor. “Over the last 18 months there’s been a movement away from the new, fast, and young and onto great modern artists who, when seen in the right light, look contemporary and relevant. Maybe there’s an inherent value in that maturity and a conservatism creeping into the market,” said Taylor, who pointed to the wall of works by Hans Hartung that make up the back of his stand at Masters but could just as easily have been made by a young artist showing at Frieze London’s Focus section.

Installation view of David Kordansky Gallery’s booth at Frieze London, 2016. Photo by Benjamin Westoby for Artsy.

Taylor nonetheless reported having sold best thus far from his solo booth of Eddie Martinez’s bronze sculptures at Frieze London. (Frieze Masters is a longer game, the dealer noted.) Around three-quarters of the sculptures, which were made in an edition of five but are individually painted, had sold by Friday evening for between $12,000 and $15,000. Martinez was one who gained particular prominence during the speculative boom of 2013 and 2014 but has been able to maintain his presence, according to Taylor, because “he’s handled himself very well. He’s been very careful about what he’s released.”

The conservative market has also led dealers and collectors alike to comb back through art history to look for artists who have enduring relevance and touchpoints to major art-historical moments but haven’t yet fully made it into the market. “Our goal is to discover artists who have been overshadowed or forgotten in the same way that a young gallery looks to find a new emerging artist,” said Roxana Afshar of Waddington Custot. Late gallery founder Leslie Waddington’s collection was the talk of the start of Frieze Week when it achieved a white glove sale (or 100% sell-through rate) at Christie’s on Tuesday night.

At the fair, Waddington’s gallery, now run by Stephane Custot, was presenting a solo booth of work by Manolo Millares. His Composición con dimensión perdida (1956) sold on day one of the fair. “He’s an artist that we’ve been following and gathering work from for two years now,” said Afshar. “We just think he’s completely underrated, but we see that things are shifting slowly.” The market seems to agree, with a work from 1959 having sold at Christie’s in June for £842,500 (est. £300,000–400,000) and another,  at double the low estimate, for £605,000 on Thursday night.

Installation view of Cardi’s booth at Frieze London, 2016. Photo by Benjamin Westoby for Artsy.

As the week began to wind down, Adrian Ghenie’s £7.1 million record-setting result for Nickelodeon (2008) at Christie’s on Thursday night was a hot topic of conversation—and another data point being put forward for the case of a market rebound. According to Ghenie’s gallerist Mihaela Lutea of Galeria Plan B, the result is perhaps not so surprising, given her estimation that Nickelodeon is among the artist’s three most iconic works, and the fact that the artist, who only ever produced a handful of works each year, has cut back even further on his production. At Frieze London, Lutea was particularly enthusiastic about the reception she had received for the paintings by new artist to the program Iulia Nistor, all three of which had sold for €4000–10,000, along with others back in Berlin. Two drawings on the stand by Achraf Touloub had been purchased by the Deutsche Bank Collection (clearly undeterred by worries last week that Germany might have to step in to bail it out amid a regulatory settlement in the U.S.) and a third went to a Chinese collection.

Today’s Young Dealers Could Learn a Lot from the ’90s
Read full article

Lutea’s take was that of most galleries I spoke with this week. “The times are difficult,” she said. “You have to invest a lot of money in the gallery and traveling. But you also need time to go and discover new artists.” She suggested, as had been a takeaway from Frieze London’s newest section The Nineties, that galleries need to be more rigorous in defining a model that works for their particular program and goals. To the extent that they haven’t yet accomplished that, it may explain some of the dissonance currently felt on the primary side. As market commentator Josh Baer put it particularly well, “Business here and [in] general is “normal”—neither fast and furious nor cowardly. ‘Normal’ just feels different.”

Part of that sentiment, I’d venture, is that the expectations built up over the past few years—whether of gallerists, artists, collectors, or fair directors—don’t quite work when things are “normal.” One hopes that the uncertainty clouding U.S. politics will soon wane, that a dose of reality will hit the rhetoric cleaving the U.K. from the continent, that the central banks can agree on measures to make our markets and underlying economic indicators better match up, and that this “different”-feeling “normal” can subside. In the art market, collectors returning to spend from their current respite would then find a more equally distributed—and frankly more interesting—group of artists leading the conversation. In the meantime, it’s a good occasion for the art world to sit back and make sure its structures and conventions are all currently to the benefit of the end goal here: facilitating the creation and propagation of culture.
—Alexander Forbes

Simon Fujiwara’s Latest Film Draws Attention to the Crucial Mentorship Art Teachers Provide

Simon Fujiwara, Joanne, 2016. Image courtesy of FVU and The Photographers’ Gallery.

A woman, supine, her face partially concealed by her pillow, stares intensely at the camera. Wearing little or no makeup, her hair is brushed back, unkempt. As this 12-minute film plays out, we see the woman, Joanne Salley, tell her story. She has been the victim of a scandal in the press, and she is concerned it portrays her unfavorably. This film by Simon Fujiwara, we are told, will redress this balance—and that it does. It follows her as she discusses her childhood, her personality, her weaknesses, and her brand. The hope is that we see her as an empowered, multifaceted personality, as she twirls in couture, rips up flowers, and films herself through her daily routine.

Within days of the initial publicity material appearing for Fujiwara’s “Joanne,” debuting October 7th at The Photographers’ Gallery, London, the battle Salley faces for a nuanced depiction in the public sphere was thrown into relief. “Joanne Salley sets pulses racing with shower trailer for film,” ran the headline in the Belfast Telegraph.

Such British tabloid-style journalism on Salley began several years ago, due to a scandal that erupted while she was teaching art at the elite Harrow School in north-west London, around a series of private photographs that students stole and distributed. Now Fujiwara, who was taught by Salley several years before the incident—and whose work often draws on biographical themes—hopes to depict a more complex truth about his former teacher, revealing the artificiality of her portrayal in the media. In doing so, he sheds light on themes including the multifaceted relationship between artist and mentor, one of the oldest and most profound pairings in artistic history.

The artist met Salley when he was a 17-year-old scholarship student. “My refuge was the art department,” he says. “Joanne arrived in my final year.” He adds that part of what drew him to her was that “she had come from a completely different system as well”—she had trained as a ballet dancer, and was a former beauty contest winner, which informed her art practice’s obsession with aesthetics, surface, and skin. “We connected,” he says. “I was one of these teenagers who wanted to explore his sexuality, and she was one person who’d had some life experiences that weren’t just ‘I’ve been to another boarding school.’ It was encouragement from a voice that I valued.”

Simon Fujiwara, Joanne, 2016. Images courtesy of FVU and The Photographers’ Gallery.

The resultant work allows Salley the chance to recount her experiences of the aftermath of her scandal in her own words. In the film, Fujiwara and Salley are shown meeting professionals from public relations, advertising, and fashion companies as they seek to construct a new public image for her. Alongside the film, light boxes display fashion photographer Andreas Larsson’s pictures of Salley, which were taken as part of the project to rebuild her profile. While the show tackles public identity, female iconography, and Salley’s voice as an artist, the pair’s close working relationship—one in which the conventional power relationship has been overturned—no doubt aided their collaboration.

Necessarily, such teamwork between artists and teachers has a long, storied presence in art history, from Classical apprenticeships, to European academies of art, and the artist-teachers of the 19th century in Britain such as George Wallis, to this century, where there have been a plethora of successful artists spawned from successful teachers. In British art colleges, for example, there’s Michael Craig-Martin teaching at Goldsmiths, and Frank Martin at what is now Central St Martins School of Art and Design.

If we track back earlier in an artist’s career, the condition of arts education in the state school sector has been a common source of criticism in Britain, and is one of the reasons why Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s recent proposals for an “arts pupils premium”—extra funding for arts in state schools—was so popular. In a cash-strapped state education context, artistic mentoring might depend on class size. Harrow’s average is 13 students per class, under half the local average. There, at A-Level, when Salley and Fujiwara met, the student-teacher ratio was even better. Such conditions are perfect for artistic mentoring relationships to thrive.

“Harrow’s a boarding school, you’re with your teachers all the time,” says Fujiwara. “But it was more that the art that she had made herself was more interesting than what the other teachers had done.” He describes some of Salley’s work as resembling that of British painter Jenny Saville. “She introduced me to Cindy Sherman and the idea of taking on characters and roles. She was the most inspiring voice around me at the time.”

Simon Fujiwara, Joanne, 2016. Image courtesy of FVU and The Photographers’ Gallery.

Fujiwara says his school’s all-boy environment meant an attractive woman appearing was a “gift,” though Salley tried hard to undermine her image as a “beauty queen” at the school. “She’s never really been the caricature of a beauty queen, she’s very active and very sporty,” he adds. “I know the male students in the art department respected her a lot and it was a very difficult position to get.”

While the show specifically tackles the reconstruction of Salley’s identity, it seems as though the seeds for its obsessions with beauty and the image might have been sewn when the pair first met. In that sense, it is as much about how artist-mentoring relationships provide inspiration, as it is about the pair’s longstanding friendship.

“I’ve always wanted to be an artist, so it was about having someone who was encouraging who could introduce me to other artists who I hadn’t discovered,” concludes Fujiwara. “To help me focus my interests. In that sense, all of my art teachers have been more mentors than technically teaching me. Everyone has one or two amazing teachers when they grow up and they are the people they remember forever. There’s always in that a feeling of connection.”

—Rob Sharp

London Auctions Bound Past Expectations—But Is the Art Market Really Back?

Photo courtesy of Christie’s.

The white glove sale at Christie’s of 44 works from the personal collection of the respected art dealer Leslie Waddington on Tuesday set the pace for a successful week of contemporary sales in London. After a difficult summer consigning works against a backdrop of Brexit, a tumbling pound, and uncertainty over the impending U.S. presidential election, the auction houses approached the season with caution—in many cases offering works with enticingly low estimates.

For the most part, the move paid off. Specialists at Christie’s said that 80% of works in the Waddington auction sold above their estimates, something that had not been witnessed since the single-owner sale of another legendary art dealer, Ernst Beyeler. Bidders from 37 countries pushed the total well above the pre-sale estimate of £11.9–£18.5 million to fetch £28.3 million (all prices and totals include buyer’s premium).

Conservative estimates also lured bidders at the auction house’s contemporary evening sale two days later. Last October’s sale at Christie’s carried double the estimate of this year’s auction, but achieved a very similar result. “We were chasing unusual material during a difficult summer and we always felt we had to keep the estimates attractive to galvanize bidding,” said Francis Outred, the house’s head of post-war and contemporary art, Europe. The auction flew above its estimate (£14.9 million–£21.8 million), making £34.3 million with fees, and sported a robust sell-through rate of 90%.

Adrian Ghenie, Nickelodeon, 2008. Image courtesy of Christie’s.

Rebuffing speculation that the bottom has dropped out of the market for young and emerging artists, two of the seven records at Christie’s were for artists under 40: Adrian Ghenie and Lucy McKenzie. Ghenie’s Nickelodeon (2008) sparked a bidding contest among at least six hopefuls, rising to almost five times its high estimate of £1.5 million to sell to a European buyer for £7.1 million, a new record for the artist. The Austrian dealer Thaddaeus Ropac was an underbidder. Outred says the key with young artists is to keep the estimates attractive. “People have got tired of the estimates for some of the young and more fashionable names,” he says.

Speculation continues as to whether Brexit will harm or help the London trade, but the consensus is that foreigners were incentivized to bid at this week’s auctions as the pound slumped to a 31-year low. “If the Ghenie had sold last year for £7 million, it would have converted to $12 million; this year it was $9 million,” Outred points out. Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips all noted strong bidding from Asia, the U.S., and Europe.

Damien Hirst was one of the hits of the week; some in the trade have predicted that his market is poised for a comeback. Prices for the YBA’s works hit rock bottom during the recession, but the opening earlier this year of Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in south London to display works from his collection appears to be boosting his own career.

Two Hirst canvases—one, Salvation (2003), covered in butterflies, the other, Damnation (2004), covered in flies—both doubled their estimates at Christie’s to sell for £665,000 and £485,000, respectively. The Los Angeles-based dealer and artist agent Stefan Simchowitz bought both works on behalf of a client. “Damien’s market has found its bottom as people have had the opportunity to collect him at more affordable prices, as it should be,” Simchowitz says. “It can now stabilize and regain its strength.” An early spot painting from 1992, painted by Hirst himself rather than one of his assistants, sold at Phillips on Wednesday for £509,000 (est. £300,000–500,000).

Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Further boosting market confidence, Sotheby’s contemporary evening sale also vaulted over its pre-sale estimate of £24.1–32.7 million to fetch £48 million with fees on Friday. The sell-through-rate was a strong 91%. The result was largely buoyed by a trio of high-flying paintings, including a garish oil stick and acrylic canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat that failed to sell at Sotheby’s in New York 11 months ago. Hannibal, painted in the artist’s golden year of 1982, was the most expensive work sold at auction this week, going to a telephone bidder for £10.6 million (est. £3.5–4.5 million). Dealers said the work was around 25% cheaper in sterling than it was six months ago.

The other two paintings to soar above estimate on the night were Peter Doig’s Grasshopper (1990), which sold on the telephone to Sotheby’s Asia-based specialist Jasmine Chen for £5.9 million (est. £2.8–3.5 million), and an early and unusual Gerhard Richter painting in two parts, Garten (1982), which went for £10.2 million (est. £3–4 million). Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art for Sotheby’s in Europe, says there are pocket of Richter’s oeuvre, such as works from the early 1980s, that are still undervalued. “Garten found the right level on the night,” he says.

Phillips was the only auction house to not surpass its upper pre-sale estimate. Its Wednesday sale mustered a decent total of £17.9 million (est. £14.2–20.5 million), with 94% sold by value. The result represents an almost 50% drop in value from last year’s sale. Phillips is known for specializing in emerging art, but the market for a type of quasi-minimalist abstract art—coined “zombie formalism” by the critic Walter Robinson—dried up towards the end of last year when prices, which had been astronomical in 2014, crashed back down to earth. The auction house has followed suit and artists such as Dan Colen and Lucien Smith have duly dropped off its books.

Photo courtesy of Phillips.

Indeed, there were few emerging artists in this week’s sale at Phillips. A 2004 work by Alex Israel was withdrawn prior to the auction, while a 2008 spray painting by Sterling Ruby was bought in at £340,000 (est £400,000–600,000). The top lot was Andy Warhol’s 20 Pink Mao’s (1979), which sold for £4.7 million (est £4–6 million). The work was one of four in the sale to be backed by an anonymous third party guarantee. “The froth that was in the market that was driving optimistic estimates has gone,” said Ed Dolman, the chief executive of Phillips.

Meanwhile, the Italian sales declined dramatically at both Christie’s and Sotheby’s this year. Christie’s had a tough act to follow after a record auction last October, when 90% of lots sold for £43.2 million including premium, the highest-ever total for an Italian sale and £7.6 million more than the post-war and contemporary evening sale the same night. This year’s 59-lot sale achieved a total of £18.7 million. The equivalent sale at Sotheby’s made £23.3 million (est £19.7–27.9 million).

All in all it was a reassuring week for the trade in London, with many noting the market is moving in the right direction. “The market is healthy and no longer overweight. It was back to business as usual under more normal conditions,” Simchowitz says.

—Anny Shaw

What It Takes to Recover a Stolen Work of Art

ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

Last week’s highly publicized announcement that two stolen van Gogh paintings had been recovered after 14 years was a welcome surprise. Axel Rüger, director of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museumwas ebullient in a statement, saying, “The paintings have been found! That I would be able to ever pronounce these words is something I had no longer dared to hope for.” He had reason to be joyous: According to the FBI, fewer than 10% of stolen works are estimated ever make it home safely. And while it may have seemed shocking that the works turned up during an Italian police raid on a Mafia-affiliated safehouse, this link to organized crime actually fits with who it is that steals art. Unlike Hollywood’s dramatic portrayals, art thefts are generally not commissioned by wealthy art patrons with a penchant for the finer things in life. Rather, art is stolen by people already involved in petty criminal enterprises or with organized syndicates such as the Mafia.

So how do thieves make off with a painting? And what should a victim do after realizing they’ve been robbed? Why are only a tiny percentage of works recovered?

Simple Theft, Difficult Sale

At its origins, art theft is primarily a crime of opportunity and simple burglary. To steal the two van Gogh paintings, a pair of thieves used a ladder to climb up to the roof of the Van Gogh Museum and broke into the building. The 1911 theft that rocketed the Mona Lisa (1503–19) to international fame involved a Louvre employee hiding in a closet overnight, then taking the painting off the wall when no one was around and walking out of the museum. In 1994, two thieves broke into the National Gallery in Oslo, nabbing Munch’s Scream (two different versions of which have been stolen.) An alarm that went off was ignored by a guard, and the grateful criminals left a note stating, “Thanks for the poor security.”

8 Art Thefts That Went Wrong
Read full article

After a theft, artworks typically enter the black market. But criminals looking to cash in will likely experience some difficulty. Generally under U.S. law, neither the thieves nor anyone they subsequently sell the work to can acquire good title. This means illicit owners can admire the piece in private, but they cannot truly own the work in the eyes of the law or sell it again in a legitimate marketplace since it remains perpetually vulnerable to seizure. In fact, even if the buyer of a stolen painting is acting in good faith, believing their transaction totally above board, authorities may seize ill-gotten property from thieves and unsuspecting purchasers.

The challenges associated with selling looted art can diminish the work’s value, to the point it drops so low that thieves abandon the piece. In some cases, the works are so famous that they become entirely impossible to sell at full value or on the open market. But this doesn’t prevent art from acting as a kind of currency within organized gangs. Indeed, one expert noted that the two recovered van Gogh paintings “were most likely used in what we call ‘art-napping’ — the Mafia often steals work of art and uses them as a kind of payment within their own families.” And despite publicity, a stolen work can find an unscrupulous or unknowing buyer.

What To Do after a Theft

When art is stolen, victims should first report the theft to law enforcement authorities, including local police and the FBI (if you’re American) which has an art crime team. By reporting the theft, international law enforcement agencies like Interpol can work to recover the object no matter where in the world the thief tries to sell it. Second, victims should report thefts to a stolen art database, such as Art Recovery Group’s database, Art Claim. Reputable private buyers, museums, and auction houses search stolen art databases when completing their due diligence before purchasing a work of art. If a piece appears on a registry such as Art Claim during this process, then the buyers are notified that it is stolen or has a disputed title. Buyers may refrain from purchasing the art, or in some cases, government authorities may be able to seize the property and return it to the rightful owner.

This happened in a recent case, in which I represented the rightful owners of a stolen 13th-century Italian painting by a follower of Duccio (although some believe it was by the master himself). The Madonna and Child was stolen in 1986 and went missing for over two and a half decades. Then, in early 2014, it appeared at Sotheby’s. The sale of the work was halted by the auction house after the Art Recovery Group matched the painting to an item on its database. The work was then pulled from the auction catalog, and federal authorities seized the panel and initiated a legal proceeding for its return. I represented the owners, filing an ownership claim such that my clients eventually succeeded in regaining their property. Reporting thefts and diligently seeking restitution often allows victims to more easily claim title to property in a lawsuit.

As is typical in stolen property matters, looted items sometimes disappear as time passes. The trail goes cold as thieves and black market buyers lay low, hoping that the crime is simply forgotten and that they might resell the work once that happens. And indeed, it can be more difficult to prosecute art thefts as the years tick on, as witnesses may pass away and evidence of the crime is lost. This is why reporting a theft is so important: It prevents works from ever being sold on the legitimate market (such as at a major auction house or gallery) by creating a record of the theft that follows the art.

The Risks and Rewards of Going Public

Hard work and perseverance are often required for the lengthy hunt that can follow a theft. A well-known restitution case involved 6th-century Cypriot mosaics. The rightful owners were the Autocephalous Greek-Orthodox Church of Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus. The nation was able to recover the looted mosaics from an American dealer, Peg Goldberg, in 1990 because it contacted numerous international cultural heritage organizations and informed museums, auction houses, universities, and research institutions about the missing pieces. Well-known Cypriot antiquities experts also disseminated information about the mosaics to their colleagues and scholars throughout the world. In addition, the Embassy of Cyprus in Washington, D.C., distributed press releases and information to journalists, Members of Congress, legislative assistants, and heritage professionals. As a result, the Republic of Cyprus located the mosaics when Goldberg tried to sell the works to some of the same people who knew they were missing. After a legal process, they were eventually returned.

Sadly, the number of successful restitutions is low because there are many challenges facing rightful owners—some even created by the very attempts to recover the work. Some victims broadcast the theft more publicly, hoping that a subsequent owner may return the stolen goods. But publicizing a theft can cause the value of stolen works to plummet to zero or cause a sale to carry too many risks. In such instances where profit is impossible, the thieves and their associates may choose to dispose of the evidence by destroying the works (though that is a rare occurrence). In the case of prolific art thief Stéphane Breitwieser, his mother destroyed paintings by old masters including Lucas Cranach the ElderPieter Brueghel the Younger and other artists by cutting them up and forcing them down a garbage disposal. She threw other art objects into a river. The mother of one of the gang members involved in the Kunsthal Rotterdam theft of 2012  also destroyed evidence—she incinerated the stolen paintings from the museum. This didn’t prevent some of the criminals involved with the thefts from being caught, however.

Facing all these challenges, recovering a work can sometimes be a badge of honor. The publicity surrounding international restitution cases can even cause the piece in question to rise in notability and potentially even in price. The Mona Lisa, although valuable before the theft, became the most famous painting in the world only after it was snatched. But when a work is stolen from a museum, it is the public who benefits from a recovery. After criminal proceedings end, the recovered van Gogh paintings will go back on view (hopefully with a little better security) for all to see and enjoy.

—Leila Amineddoleh

Today’s Young Dealers Could Learn a Lot from the ’90s

Wolfgang Tillmans with his work at Buchholz & Buchholz, The Nineties, Frieze London, 2016. Photograph by Linda Nylind. Courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.

Whispers have turned to shouts around the doom and gloom of the art market following a period of rife speculation. Galleries are closing their doors; others contemplate calling it quits. Artist prices are plummeting. Buyers from emerging markets are disappearing from auction salerooms.

This situation could be a dramatized snapshot of 2016—but the year is actually 1991. The bubble of the late ’80s has burst; the art market is reeling. But, in the midst of this chaos, a group of dealers who now dominate the discourse around contemporary art are getting their start. “The ’90s was the decade which really created the environment we find ourselves in now,” said Jo Stella-Sawicka, artistic director of Frieze, which launched a new section this week, The Nineties, recreating 11 seminal exhibitions from this era under the curation of Nicolas Trembley.

The 20 Best Booths at Frieze London
Read full article

“We had no money at the time. Young people keep asking if this was my office—no, it was my gallery,” laughed Daniel Buchholz in the 3-by-3-meter gallery space he’s recreated for Wolfgang Tillmans’s first-ever solo in 1993. At Frieze, some 70 photographs and magazine spreads are scattered across the walls of a replica of the tiny space behind Buchholz’s father’s Cologne bookshop where the show was originally mounted. For the now hugely influential German dealer, who keeps galleries in Cologne, Berlin, and New York, it’s a reminder of an era when fewer funds meant fewer expectations. “It’s good to remember that it’s not necessary to have a $20,000 production,” he said. (Though he noted this install wasn’t cheap.) “It’s not always about the money.” In its original installation the photographs sold for £200 a pop. As of Thursday afternoon, the photographs at the fair, now on offer as a single work (Buchholz & Buchholz Installation), were on reserve with a German museum.

Installation view of work by Pierre Joseph at Air de Paris’s booth, The Nineties, Frieze London, 2016. Photograph by Linda Nylind. Courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.

“There was certainly a different type of relationship between artists and galleries at the time,” said Florence Bonnefous, founder of Air de Paris, who noted that galleries didn’t need to put the same pressure on artists to make the right number of works—or the right type of works—for art fairs. Perhaps in a nod backward for the French gallerist, her presentation at Frieze is not so much monetarily driven: two of the three “living sculpture” works on view by Pierre Joseph had sold in the ’90s. (Characters portrayed by actors in the booth include a policeman, a leper, and a Cinderella.) “It allowed some kind of liberty,” Bonnefous continued. “We didn’t have much but we didn’t need much. It was not about making big objects that are very expensive to produce, it was about producing ideas.”

In this spirit, Bonnefous recalls the gallery’s first show in 1990, “Les Ateliers du Paradise,” where Philippe Perrin, Philippe Parreno, and Pierre Joseph turned a summer holiday into a month-long live-in exhibition, with chefs, artists, and writers passing in and out—now considered a key moment in the start of relational aesthetics. “The gallery was open when we didn’t want to go for a swim at the beach,” she recalled. “But we could also go swim for a couple of hours.”

There were of course two schools of thought here, as alongside the gallerists carving out their programs, New York’s mega-dealers began to build up stables and commercial brands marked by high production costs and the emergence of art-world stars, YBADamien Hirst being the poster child. But Frieze, a fair famed for its support of artists and gallerists, appears to have focused its gaze for The Nineties on the former.

Installation view of work by Sylvie Fleury at Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin/Salon 94, New York/Sprüth Magers, Berlin’s booth, The Nineties, Frieze London, 2016. Photo by Benjamin Westoby for Artsy.

With the route to market for work not always so pronounced, when collectors did buy, they bought with passion, not speculation. “There was never a question of price and value, is the price going to double soon—auctions didn’t play a role at all,” said Mehdi Chouakri, standing amongst 14 ’80s–’90s-era television sets broadcasting aerobic lessons by Cindy Crawford, Jane Fonda, and Raquel Welch. The work, A Journey to Fitness or How to Lose 30 Pounds In Under Three Weeks (1993), restages Sylvie Fleury’s pioneering installation from Aperto ’93 at the Venice Biennale and sold on Thursday to a European collection. It sits within the artist’s wall painting, Modulateur Ombres et Lumières, Welcome to the World of Chanel Beauty (1993), which sees three hues of Chanel makeup cover the booth’s respective walls. This sounds eerily similar to the trend we’re seeing amid today’s softened art market: Across Frieze, dealers have reported that when people are buying, they are spending more time researching and contemplating the artists they want to support.

According to Chouakri, the more thoughtful pace seen amongst collectors was also a tenet of the era’s artistic production. “A young artist of the ’90s was perhaps older than 30, while a young artist nowadays is 23 or 24,” he said, noting that Pierre Huyghe and Parreno, while both extremely active in the ’90s, took some 20 years to reach the success they’ve seen today. The dealer attributes this rhythm to the early stages of the Information Age—with limited access to email and internet—when a letter between the United States and Europe would easily take a week and FedEx was still on the rise. “Even within the velocity in our time, sometimes stepping back and thinking, being more careful in doing things is in fact much better whether you are an artist or a gallery,” he said.

In 2016, it’s hard to imagine a gallery or artist possibly surviving without email. (Even Buchholz, who famously writes all communication by hand, still has his assistant type up his notes and hit send.) The quickened pace of commerce afforded to galleries by technology and globalization allows more to thrive—and more artists to show. But considering the similarities of our current times to those of the groundbreaking era The Nineties encapsulates, it’s instructive to dig deeper about what may be more easily applied.

Installation view of work by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at Esther Schipper’s booth, The Nineties, Frieze London, 2016. Photograph by Linda Nylind. Courtesy of Linda Nylind/Frieze.

How could young galleries today find themselves in the shoes of dealers like Esther Schipper, who some two decades after mounting Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s solo exhibition R.W.F. in 1993 (an apartment-turned-film set which is restaged at Frieze) ushered her roster to stardom? (This week in London sees no fewer than five of her artists open major exhibitions: Roman Ondák at South London GalleryMartin CreedUgo Rondinone, and Gonzalez-Foerster at the Hayward Gallery; Philippe Parreno at the Tate’s Turbine Hall.) These dealers emerged during a difficult market, and amid social and political upheaval—the AIDS crisis and the Gulf War playing no small part. But our decade has its own set of issues. What could we do to be able to look back in 25 years time and recall the 2010s as the time when art once again took a new and groundbreaking tack?

Ultimately, it seems clear that galleries are in need of greater opportunities to define what works for their own businesses in regards to output, programming, and fair participation. “I’m not sure [today’s] young galleries know much about this time, because they’ve started out with a series of constraints and rules which are so firm,” Bonnefous said. We’re just starting to see these rules be broken: Last year, younger galleries diverted from FIAC initiated Paris Internationale; others, rumored to have been displeased with their performance at Frieze and other fairs began the online-only Dream art fair, put forth as a free-of-charge platform for small, young galleries unable to afford the hefty overhead of the top-tier fair circuit. Looking at The Nineties, it’s clear that there are benefits for galleries being allowed to chart their own path, whatever that means for each individual gallery.

“It’s just about what you stand for,” said Chouakri. “Quality and good work is the most important thing—and not speed, money, value.” This, he said, is what we learned from the artists of the late ’80s and the ’90s, like the Guerrilla Girls or Fleury. “You stand for your passion. It’s your life. And you’ve got to be able to do it over years and years and years. And the ’90s were for that.”

—Molly Gottschalk

===

=====

FINANCIAL TIMES LONDON

The Art Market: London hosts Frieze and 1:54 African art fair

Buyer found for Zak Ové’s masked men installation; Ordovas expands in New York

The Art Market
Zak Ové’s ‘Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and The Masque of Blackness’ (2016), a courtyard installation made for the third edition of the 1:54 African art fair in London’s Somerset House © Victor Jules Raison

The 14th edition of Frieze London and fifth outing of Frieze Masters opened in an uncomfortable economic environment — a situation made stark by the coinciding turmoil surrounding the fairs’ lead sponsor, Deutsche Bank. While the mood was yet upbeat at the busy VIP openings on October 5, the optimistic thirst for cutting-edge contemporary works has given way to a more sober environment.

New this year at Frieze London is a minimal and largely conceptual section dedicated to works from the 1990s. Not so long ago, perhaps, but the new focus contributes to a different, gentler feel in a tent that previously stipulated that works had to be made after 2000.

Other works from the 1990s feature in the main sections of the fairs. “People now want to look back a bit,” says Wendy Olsoff, the co-founder of New York’s PPOW gallery. At the Frieze London opening, crowds were circling around a striking table of pink plastic goods by the feminist artist Portia Munson on the PPOW booth (“Pink Project: Table”, 1994, $225,000). Early sales at the fair included some of Munson’s accompanying photographs ($15,000 each, edition of six). Newer works also sold on the first day, including a 2016 painting by one of this year’s hot names, Harold Ancart, for $85,000 (David Kordansky gallery).

The Frieze fairs are open until Sunday evening.

A buyer quickly emerged for Zak Ové’s impressive site-specific courtyard installation made for the third edition of the 1:54 African art fair in London’s Somerset House this week (“Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and The Masque of Blackness”, 2016). Modern Forms, a contemporary art platform founded by Hussam Otaibi, managing partner of the investment group Floreat, and Nick Hackworth, the curator who previously ran London’s Paradise Row gallery, bought one of three editions of the 40 identical, life-size sculptures of Nubian masked men, priced at £300,000, through London’s Vigo gallery. The plan is for Ové’s installation to be part of a sculpture park that Modern Forms is creating at a property in Berkshire. Modern Forms was founded this year and draws on Otaibi’s 500-plus collection of mostly emerging art. Floreat is also sponsoring the fair (open until Sunday).

The modern and contemporary art dealer Pilar Ordovas has proved that art fairs are not the only way to succeed in today’s market. She instead focuses much of her creative energy on mounting three high-quality exhibitions a year in her London space, while dealing privately. Now Ordovas has decided to commit to an additional exhibition a year in New York, having tested the waters with an Eduardo Chillida exhibition last year. Rather than open a dedicated space stateside, Ordovas plans to choose a different venue for each show. “We are the opposite of a supermarket for art, one space doesn’t fit all,” she says. The first formal pop-up is in a townhouse on the Upper East Side, near the Mark Hotel, for which she is taking the Artists and Lovers exhibition currently on show in London. She opens in New York on November 7 (until January 7).

The Fine Art Group, previously known as the Fine Art Fund Group, has become the latest business to launch an art loans operation. Founder and chief executive Philip Hoffman says that the rebrand reflects the firm’s broader offering, including the seven investment funds that he continues to manage. The group has also been running an art advisory service for the past few years. The new art lending business is headed by Freya Stewart, who has worked as a finance lawyer, and as senior legal counsel at Christie’s. Stewart says she expects to offer relatively low rates — and a loan-to-value level of up to 50 per cent, which is high for the art market — because the group will be using its own invested equity capital, and because it already has an in-house team of art experts. She expects to lend against works valued between $250,000 and $20m.

Hoffman would not comment on the individual performance of his funds (two of which provide third-party guarantees to auction houses), but says that his company has been involved in transactions worth $325m at Christie’s and Sotheby’s over the past two years.

The Frieze Week auctions opened in style at Christie’s on October 4 with the sale of works owned by the respected art dealer Leslie Waddington, who died last year. The 44 works all sold — a so-called “White Glove” auction — for a total £23.8m hammer (£28.3m with premium), comfortably ahead of their presale upper estimate of £18.6m.

The sale’s success shows the marked difference between selling a single collection that has been amassed over a lifetime versus the hurried, seasonal gathering of available material. Waddington bought many of the works directly from the artists (including Peter Blake, Michael Craig-Martin and Patrick Caulfield) or their foundations; only two works had been on an auction block before. Several works sold above mostly attractive estimates, including Francis Picabia’s “Lampe” (c1923), which went to a telephone bidder for £3.1m (£3.6m with fees, est £800,000-£1.5m).

It was a rather more hurried auction at Phillips the following night. With two works withdrawn (by Robert Longo and Alex Israel), the 28-lot sale felt thin but managed to squeeze within its revised £14.2m-£20.5m estimate to make a total £15m (£17.9m with fees). High points deservedly included Mark Bradford’s “Rat Catcher of Hamelin III” (2011), which sold for £3.2m (£3.7m with fees, against an estimate of £1.5m-£2m).

Christie’s and Sotheby’s contemporary auctions and Italian sales were still to come as this column went to press.

Photograph: Victor Jules Raison

==

 

 
At Frieze Art Week, All Eyes on the Pound

By SCOTT REYBURNOCT. 7, 2016

NYTIMES

“Nickelodeon” by Adrian Ghenie sold for 7.1 million pounds, or about $9 million. Credit Hannah McKay/European Pressphoto Agency

“Great price, great picture!” exclaimed the auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen, under a screen that showed “GBP 6,200,000” above conversions into a range of currencies that had strengthened against the pound in the last few months — and days.

Mr. Pylkkanen, the global president of Christie’s, had just sold the star lot of his auction house’s Thursday night “Frieze Week” sale of contemporary art. Adrian Ghenie’s almost 14-foot-wide canvas of an octet of sinister figures in an interior, titled “Nickelodeon” and dating from 2008, was pushed by at least six bidders to a final fee-inclusive 7.1 million pounds, or about $9 million. The price, given by an anonymous telephone bidder, was seven times the low estimate and a new salesroom high for Mr. Ghenie, a 39-year-old Romanian artist.

What might be called the “Brexit Discount” was the talk of Frieze Week, the logjam of fairs, auctions and gallery shows clustered around the contemporary Frieze Art Fair in Regent’s Park. (On Tuesday, the pound slumped to a 31-year low of $1.27; on Friday it momentarily fell as low as $1.20.) Christie’s kick-started the week’s auctions on Tuesday with its £28.3 million sale of the private collection of the renowned London gallerist Leslie Waddington, who died in November. All 44 lots sold.

“It’s a dollar market. It has to have an effect,” Mr. Pylkkanen said on Thursday after Christie’s deftly curated sale of 41 lots raised £34.3 million, or $43.5 million, with 90 percent of the works sold. The total at the company’s equivalent sale last year was £35.6 million, which was then $55 million.

This year, because of a lack of growth in major economies and the volatility of geopolitical events, international collectors have been more cautious at auctions and fairs. But the weakness of the pound gave a boost to Frieze Week— certainly at Christie’s, where bidders hailed from more than 35 countries.
Continue reading the main story

Stefan Simchowitz, a collector and adviser based in Los Angeles, was an active bidder, buying about a dozen big-ticket lots for clients over the two evenings of Christie’s sales. These included a 2003 Thomas Schutte sculpture, “Bronzefrau Nr. 13,” which he purchased on Thursday for £3.7 million.

 

“The pound is certainly attractive in these sales to collectors. 100 percent,” Mr. Simchowitz said in an email.

Christie’s was careful to pack its Thursday night sale with fresh works by artists who are now in demand with collectors. The American figurative painter Henry Taylor, for example, is currently the subject of a sold-out exhibition at the Los Angeles gallery Blum & Poe. Mr. Taylor’s 2008 painting “Walking With Vito,” showing two boys walking a dog, was a timely offering at Christie’s. Four bidders pushed the price to £137,000. Gallery prices for paintings at Blum & Poe range from $25,000 to about $100,000.

It had been a rather different story the previous evening at Phillips’s sale of 20th-century and contemporary art, which was weighted with familiar names that have been heavily traded — and speculated — over the last decade. The slender 28-lot auction raised only £17.9 million with fees, 43 percent down on the £31.5 million Phillips achieved at its equivalent London sale last October.

Only two lots sold for hammer prices above their high estimates. Most prominent of these was the large 2011 word-splattered abstract “Rat Catcher of Hamelin III” by Mark Bradford, who will be representing the United States at next year’s Venice Biennale. With a high estimate of £2 million, it was bought by the London dealer Inigo Philbrick for £3.7 million with fees.

Works by reputed contemporary artists whose markets have not been “burned” by speculation was the commodity most in demand at the Wednesday preview of the 14th annual Frieze Art Fair, the centerpiece of Frieze Week.

“It’s the one week of the year in which you get the chance to take the pulse of the whole market,” said Wendy Cromwell, an art adviser based in New York. According to Ms. Cromwell, Frieze, which this year featured 166 international gallerists, has “fallen off the map” for many American collectors, in spite of the falling pound.
Photo
Josef Albers, study for “Homage to the Square.” Credit 2016 the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, via Christie’s Images Ltd. 2016

“I’ve seen a bunch of advisers, but not many collectors,” she said. “The fair has lost its buzzy edge. It’s now a commercial entity, but it still affords opportunities to buy exciting work,” she added, after buying one of two new triangular paintings on linen by the British artist Chris Ofili, priced at $380,000, at the Frieze booth of David Zwirner.

 

The New York dealer David Lewis was among 37 “emerging” galleries in the main Frieze fair’s “Focus” section. Underlining the fair’s commercial maturity, Mr. Lewis was showing nine new abstract paintings and a sculpture by Lucy Dodd, 34, an artist based in New York State, who this year had a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The works ranged in price from $7,000 to $60,000, and all had been sold or on reserve by the end of Wednesday.

Frieze’s sister fair, Frieze Masters, whose fifth edition previewed on Wednesday, remains an enigmatic event. Supremely elegant in design and pleasant to visit, the fair is dominated by fully-priced modern and postwar art, with a shrinking representation of historic material to appeal to “crossover” buyers. Data quantifying whether the fair works commercially for dealers remains fragmentary.

It is a sign of these post-boom times that arguably the commercially “hottest” artist of the moment isn’t a 20- or 30-something in New York or Los Angeles, but the German-born American Josef Albers (1888-1976). The market for his work has been transformed since May, when the New York mega-gallerist David Zwirner took over representation of his estate. Zwirner, who will have solo Albers shows in New York in November and in London in January, sold a gray 30-inch “Homage to the Square” from 1964 to an American collector for $1 million at the preview of Frieze Masters.

The previous evening at Christie’s Waddington auction, Mr. Simchowitz, the Los Angeles-based adviser, had to pay £665,000 each, or about $849,000, for two 16-inch “Homage” paintings, respectively graded in shades of red and orange-to-burgundy and dated 1969 and 1973. Last year, Albers’s 16-inch abstracts were selling for $150,000 to $250,000 at auction.

The London dealer Dickinson was showing a small-scale 1949 version of René Magritte’s painting “L’Empire des Lumières” (The Dominion of Light) at a spectacular booth devoted to Surrealism. Formerly owned by Nelson A. Rockefeller, the Magritte was one of 17 oil versions of the subject and had been consigned for sale by another American private collector with a Rockefeller-size asking price of $25 million. The “Surrealist Revolution” display offered 50 works, starting at $35,000 for an Yves Tanguy ink drawing.

As of Friday morning, the gallery had not reported any confirmed sales.

“Healthy, robust, contracting, healthy, robust and contracting like a lung that breathes in and then out,” said Mr. Simchowitz, describing the current state of the art market. “Sometimes it has oxygen and sometimes not.”

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s