After a hiatus in 2020 because of the pandemic, Frieze London, along with its counterpart Frieze Masters, opened its 2021 edition on Wednesday, and several top dealers reported strong sales. For this edition, which runs until October, the fair has lined up 276 galleries from 39 countries. Though international travel restrictions may have prevented the usual large crowds that descend on the British capital for the fair, several dealers told ARTnews that a number of top collectors from around the world—not just Europe but also Asia and the United States—had made the journey and were looking to make purchases.
Below a look at what has sold on the first two days of Frieze London.
Günther Förg at Hauser & Wirth
International powerhouse Hauser & Wirth said it sold 17 works during the opening hours of both Frieze Master and Frieze London, with a 1953 David Smith hanging sculpture going for $1.5 million at the former and a Günther Förg’s Untitled (2007) for €1.5 million ($1.7 million), shown above, at the latter. Pieces by François Morellet, Marlene Dumas, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Dieter Roth, Louise Bourgeois, Charles Gaines, Gary Simmons, and others at both fairs. “The buzz at Frieze shows the indomitable resilience and vibrancy of London as an art capital,” Iwan Wirth, the gallery’s president, said in a statement.
Kerry James Marshall at David Zwirner
Zwirner has a bevy of works on offer, many of which sold on the first day including five paintings by Michaël Borremans ($180,000–$600,000), four sculptures by Carol Bove ($300,000–$450,000), three paintings by Oscar Murillo ($300,000 each), and a painting and a sculpture by Rose Wylie ($250,000 each). The highest-priced work at Zwirner’s booth to sell so far, however, was Kerry James Marshall’s 2021 painting Black and Part Black Birds in America: (Pigeon and Black Capped Chickadee no 2), shown above, which went for $2.2 million to a U.S.-based collection. At Art Basel in Switzerland last month, Zwirner sold a similar painting from this series for $2.8 million, and Jack Shainman Gallery, which also represents Marshall, sold another new work by the artist for $5 million.
Antony Gormley at Thaddaeus Ropac
With locations in London, Paris, Salzburg, and Seoul, Thaddaeus Ropac, one of Europe’s top galleries, made a number of sales on the opening day of Frieze London, including Antony Gormley’s WATER II (2018), which sold for £400,000 ($546,000), shown above. Also sold by the gallery were Alex Katz’s Night House 2 for $950,000, Martha Jungwirth’s Der Reiter (2021) for €130,000 ($150,000), and four works by Georg Baselitz, including his 2021 painting Zimmer mit Dusche, which went to a private museum in Berlin for €1.2 million ($1.4 million).
Park Seo-Bo at White Cube
For its booth, London-based White Cube gallery had a wide-ranging display of work on offer from an array of pieces by artists on its roster, including new works on paper by Julie Mehretu ($60,000), a new sculpture by Mona Hatoum titled + = – (£175,000 or $239,000), and Antony Gormley’s DOUBT II (2020), which found a buyer for £400,000 ($546,000). The gallery also had an elegant and understated abstract work, No. 110222 (2011), by Park Seo-Bo, which went for $360,000. Leila Alexander, a sales director at White Cube, said in an email that the gallery’s booth presents “a special curated booth focusing on artists with a relationship to Eastern aesthetics or philosophy as explored through gesture, material and process.”
Kim Yong-Ik at Tina Kim Gallery
Work by Park Seo-Bo were also on offer by the artist’s New York gallery, whose booth included his his purple and gray Ecriture No. 021009 (2002) sold for $400,000–$500,000. The gallery also sold work Kim Yong-Ik’s Untitled (1990-2012), shown above, for $200,000–$300,000, as well as pieces by Ha Chong-Hyun, Kibong Ree, Ghada Amer, Tania Pérez Córdova, and Kim Tschang-Yeul, who is currently the subject of a solo show at the gallery on view through October 16.
Loie Hollowell at Pace Gallery
Pace Gallery, which is also participating concurrently in Seoul’s Korean International Art Fair this week, made a few sales at Frieze London, including Robert Longo’s Untitled (Arctic Wolf), 2019, which was bought by a U.K.-based collector for $650,000. The gallery also placed works by Torkwase Dyson, Latifa Echakhch, and Marina Perez Simão, among others, but the real standout in the booth was Loie Hollowell’s eye-catching, semi-abstract painting of four breasts emerging from a gradient gray canvas around a deep red circle, titled The breastfeeding talk (Cambria and Loie), 2021. It sold for $175,000 to a U.S. museum.
Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe at Almine Rech
With a booth focusing on presenting never-before-exhibited works by artists from its extensive stable, Almine Rech made a number of sales in its booth, all in the range of €50,000–€250,000 ($58,000—$290,000), including Alexandre Lenoir’s mostly green abstract Autoportrait; Kenny Scharf’s Bludreem, featuring his signature figures in blue; Marcus Jansen’s painting of British redcoat solider, titled King’s Guard in Black; Javier Calleja’s portrait of a young girl titled Really?; and Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe’s striking painting of a Black woman at leisure on the grass titled Sagnsé, shown above. In an email, gallery director Thibault Geffrin said, “With our return to Frieze London, we are pleased to see a largely European and American crowd of collectors back exploring the fair. It has been exceptionally busy, and the mood of the fair is full of excitement for the week ahead.”
Honor Titus at Timothy Taylor
The London- and New York–based gallery Timothy Taylor used its booth to stage a solo presentation for Los Angeles–based artist Honor Titus, whose nine new paintings aim to capture “the visual language of leisure and sport, which he considers a close relative of more sacred forms of choreography,” according to a press release. The gallery sold out its booth, with prices in the range of $25,000 to $45,000, to European and U.S.–based collectors. Shown here is his painting Sunset at Utica (2021).
Lucy Bull at David Kordansky Gallery
Los Angeles’s David Kordansky Gallery, which recently announced an expansion to New York, presented a solo booth of new painting by Lucy Bull, who joined the gallery’s roster in March. All seven of the paintings on offer sold for prices between $25,000 and $85,000 to private collections and museums in Asia, Australia, and North America. In an email, gallery director Kurt Mueller said, “These immersive canvases include the artist’s largest to date, and they received an overwhelming response on the first day of the fair. … Bull’s sensorial paintings speak to the chaos and anxieties—and escapist fantasies—of our current times, captivating audiences who are drawn to the works’ visceral complexities.”
Tracey Emin at Xavier Hufkens
After posting a number of sales on the first day of Frieze London, including works on paper by Louise Bourgeois ($100,000–$250,000), a painting by Ugo Rondinone ($125,000–$150,000), a Lynda Benglis sculpture ($100,000), a painting by Huma Bhabha ($50,000), and a photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe ($15,000–$20,000), Xavier Hufkens made another big sale on the morning of Day 2. It sold Tracey Emin’s 2019 large bronze sculpture, titled There was so much more of me (shown above), for £350,000 ($478,000). The gallery had also sold neon works and gouaches by Emin on the first day. In an email, the gallery’s owner Xavier Hufkens said, “Collectors have returned to London with an appetite for premier art. We have seen great demand for our artists from far and wide, and the turnout by American and Asian collectors has been especially strong.”