Fresh talent attracts a lot of attention at London’s Frieze Art Fair – WWD

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LONDON – This year’s Frieze art fair, which ended on Saturday after five days in London’s Regent’s Park, was a hot ticket.

On Wednesday, people waited in a 30-minute queue for the VIP preview, which was attended by guests including Princess Beatrice of York and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and Rishi Sunak, Britain’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer and candidate for Prime Minister earlier this year . Sunak attended with his wife Akshata Murthy.

Maria Sharapova was spotted at The Modern Institute’s stand with her husband Alexander Gilkes, while pink-haired Jared Leto showed keen interest in Andy Warhol’s Electric Chair from the Death and Disaster series the artist began in 1962.

According to Robert Diament, director of Margate-based Carl Freedman Gallery, this year’s Frieze was the busiest he had ever seen. The fair hosted more than 280 galleries from 46 countries.

“On Wednesday there were about four times more people than normal and the next morning it was the same. Usually a Thursday morning might be a bit quieter, but it’s just so busy. I’ve never seen so many people at Frieze and there’s a real passion for collecting at the moment,” he said.

Works by Lindsey Mendick in the Carl Freedman Gallery at London’s Frieze art fair.

Linda Nylind/Courtesy

His gallery featured new work, ranging in price from $15,000 to $20,000, by artists such as Lindsey Mendick, Billy Childish, Jon Key and Benjamin Senior.

The gallery also premiered works by emerging artists such as Bianca Fields and Novot Miller. Diament said everything sold out on the first day.

“Even before the trade fair started, we had a huge interest, I would say twice or three quarters more than usual. There is definitely this hunger to buy art, especially from emerging to mid-career artists. Most of the collectors we sell are very interested in the stories behind the work.”

He added: “Perhaps people are also worried about the money they have in other markets. Art is more of a safe place to put your money right now.”

A work by Sahara Longe, presented by Timothy Taylor, shown at Frieze London.

A work by Sahara Longe at Frieze London.

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Timothy Taylor, owner of his eponymous galleries in London and New York, said this year’s fair is more international than ever.

“Visitor numbers were very strong this year. Collectors from Asia, America and Europe have returned in droves and we are delighted to see so many familiar faces as well as visitors we are meeting for the first time. London is buzzing and you can feel the pent-up energy of the people – some of whom are returning to our museums and galleries for the first time in three years,” said Taylor, adding that visitors were particularly interested in new work by emerging painters.

“Our Frieze presentation of lush, figurative paintings by artist Sahara Longe sold out on the first day of the show,” added Taylor.

He said he’s not overly concerned about the impact on the art market of the shrinking global economy, the weak pound, the rising cost of living or the war in Ukraine. He said the art market has proven resilient over the past decade.

“Many collectors see art as a relatively stable and safe store of value in the face of rising inflation. Sanctions and the war in Ukraine have certainly affected Russian purchasing power, but the Russian collection base was practically gone by 2014,” he said.

A work by Rachel Jones, presented by Thaddaeus Ropac, shown at Frieze London.

A painting by Rachel Jones at Frieze London.

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At Thaddaeus Ropac, works by emerging talent such as Alvaro Barrington and Rachel Jones have garnered as much attention as a rare piece by Robert Rauschenberg. Barrington’s Change the Game play sold for $145,000, while a play from Jones’ Mike’s Tooth series fetched £120,000.

A spokeswoman for the gallery, which has locations on London’s Dover Street, Paris, Salzburg and Seoul, said Jones, 30, is “one of the hottest young artists of our time” and that her prices have risen over the past year.

For Dustyn Kim, Chief Revenue Officer at New York-based online art education platform Artsy, this year’s Frieze sparked “a definite sense of excitement in the collecting community.”

The platform, which includes more than a million works of art from more than 4,000 galleries, auction houses and institutions, will celebrate its 10th anniversary later this year. It also plans to announce Artsy Vanguard, an annual list recognizing some of today’s most promising young artists.

A work by Jadé Fadojutimi, presented by Gagosian, shown at Frieze London

A work by Jadé Fadojutimi, presented by Gagosian, shown at Frieze London.

Gagosian

Kim said that one of the busiest shows during Frieze Preview Days was Gagosian’s immersive solo exhibition by young British artist Jadé Fadojutimi. It was already sold out before the end of the VIP opening of the fair.

“It was also great to see Ethiopian artist Selome Muleta make her international fair debut this week with her stunning works. We also continued to see exceptional works by artists such as Niki de Saint Phalle, Sahara Longe, Cecilia Vicuña, Teresita Fernández and Ilona Keserü,” Kim added.

While the art market as a whole is thriving, Kim noted that some collectors are “taking a slightly more cautious approach — particularly those who are new to collecting or have less disposable income.”

According to data compiled by Artsy, “Collectors pay close attention to price points and [how] An artist’s work is trending amid macroeconomic uncertainty.”

Louise Bourgeois’ “Untitled” 2002, shown at the Hauser & Wirth stand at Frieze London.

Young collectors were out and about in droves and lingered at stands such as Hauser & Wirth, White Cube and Galerie König.

Hauser & Wirth showed Bourgeois’ work Untitled from 2002. It was made of striped fabric and aluminum and appealed primarily to fashion designers.

Simone Rocha said the “caged tapestry head and how it represents the inner psyche is constantly inspiring,” while Self-Portrait’s Han Chong said he was interested in adding the piece to his private collection.

There were many highlights for jeweler Nadine Ghosn, who designed a limited bracelet for VIPs in the “Frieze 91” membership program.

“I almost bought a Tracey Emin neon light that just became available, ‘I want my time with you,'” Ghosn said.

“The most surprising piece I came across – and fell in love with – was Claudia Comte’s marble can sculpture presented by the König Gallery. It reminded me of a pop-up I created a long time ago using spray painted tins to display my jewelry,” Ghosn said.

Tiwani Contemporary stand at Frieze London

Tiwani Contemporary stand at Frieze London.

Linda Nylind/Courtesy

Frieze was the cornerstone of a busy week of art exhibitions in London.

At the Saatchi Gallery, Irish-born urban artist Fin DAC participated in a group exhibition, showing works such as Punk Princess, an interpretation of early designs by Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.

The overall exhibition featured sculpture, urban art, painting and mixed media by four UK-based artists – including Lauren Baker, Beth Cullen-Kerridge and Alexander de Cadenet, and Fin DAC.

The National Gallery unveiled the first major exhibition of Lucian Freud’s work in 10 years, showcasing paintings spanning more than seven decades. Lucian Freud: New Perspectives runs through January 22nd.

The Royal Academy of Arts organizes a retrospective of the South African artist William Kentridge. The Kentridge show is the latest in a series of blockbuster single artist events at the Academy’s main galleries. Other artists on display included Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley.

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