Who Bought What And For How Much? Read The Definitive Frieze New York 2015 Sales Report

Sales were fast and furious this year.

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Connect) (2015


Frieze New York threw open its doors to VIPs and press this past Wednesday, and reports of brisk sales started rolling in soon after. The fair continued through Sunday, May 17, amid a packed week that saw no fewer than five evening auctions and roughly a dozen satellite fairs throughout Manhattan. Organizers recorded attendance of 40,000, which was roughly even with last year, and some 130 museum groups from around the world attended (see Top Ten Booths At Frieze New York and Victoria Siddall’s Guide to Frieze and What Not To Miss).

“Galleries at all levels reported strong and consistent sales starting from the moment the fair opened,” a fair representative told artnet News, “with many selling out their booths in the first day, and a number of significant international museum placements being made.”

Here are some of the reported sales so far:


Cady Noland, Untitled (Walker) (1989) sold for $1.5 million at Skarstedt Gallery.
Image: Courtesy of Skarstedt Gallery.

By the end of the preview day, Skarstedt Gallery had sold Cady Noland’s Untitled (Walker)( 1989) for $1.5 million: Richard Prince’s Untitled (Cowboy) (1987), an ektacolor print, for $600,000; and Thomas Schutte’s Wicht (2), a patinated bronze with steel base, for $500,000.

Tina Barney,

Tina Barney, Family Commission With A Snake (2007), sold at Paul Kasmin’s booth at Frieze.
Image: Courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery.

At Paul Kasmin Gallery, sales included Robert Motherwell’s, Open #130, (1969), one of the increasingly popular series he executed in classic gestural strokes in a tranquil color palette (see Is Robert Motherwell Poised To Catch Up to His Abstract Expressionist Peers?). The gallery also sold Simon Hantaï’s Étude, (1969), a rare medium-format in dark blue, as well as a large-scale color photo by Tina Barney, titled, Family Commission with a Snake, (2007).

Blum & Poe, a first time exhibitor at Frieze New York this year, sold a painting by Carroll Dunham, titled, Solar Eruption, (2000–2001), for $550,000.

Carroll Dunham, Solar Eruption (2000–2001) was sold at first time exhibitor Blum & Poe.  Image: Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.

Carroll Dunham, Solar Eruption (2000–2001) was sold at first time exhibitor Blum & Poe.
Image: Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.

Sprüth Magers reported about half a dozen sales, including an aptly titled, Untitled (Connect) (2015), archival print by Barbara Kruger featuring a hand clutching an iPhone with unorthodox app icon labels (like “Text,” “Sext”, “Shame,” and “Control”. This sold to a US buyer for $150,000. Other sales included an inscribed marble sculpture by Jenny Holzer, titled, Selection from Truisms: It is Crucial (2015), that reads, “It Is Crucial To Lead An Active Fantasy Life.” This was also priced at $150,000. George Condo’s In Out (Component Painting) (2001), also sold, for an undisclosed sum. Sprüth Magers also sold a selection of silkscreens by Walter Dahn at prices ranging from €8,000 to €14,000 ($9,000–16,000), and a selection of works on paper by Karen Kilimnick at $15,000 each. Additonally, two works by Cyprien Galliard, both graphite on paper, also found buyers including: Gate City of Santa Monica Sewer (2014), a graphite on paper work, and Gate, Passaic (2013). The prices for both were not disclosed.

Spencer Finch,

Spencer Finch, Color Test 210 (9 Permutations) (2015).
©The Artist Image: Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York and Shanghai.

Jane Cohan, of James Cohan Gallery told artnet News, the gallery had “a tremendously successful fair, especially highlighting artists whose work is on exhibition at NYC institutions.” These included a new series by Spencer Finch of nine lightboxes which sold out quickly. An anonymous museum trustee from the Midwest bought one set for $375,000, and the second set was sold individually to private clients. “It is an amazing moment in New York for Finch right now,” said Cohan. “He designed a solar-powered ice cream truck in the Creative Time’s Drifting in Daylight outdoor exhibition in Central Park, and his exhibition, ‘Certain Slant of Light,’ is at The Morgan Library.”

Cohan Gallery also sold a major painting by Trenton Doyle Hancock—who currently has a retrospective exhibition at The Studio Museum—to a collector from London. Butterfly Boy, a work by Yinka Shonibare MBE, who currently has a solo show at Cohan, sold to a private US buyer for an undisclosed sum. And a major work by Dutch sculptor Folkert de Jong sold to a private collector in Montreal. “Most of our sales were to North Americans, we had some discussions with Europeans and a few from Asia, but mainly it seemed like the attendees were from closer to home,” Cohan told artnet News.

Mariko Mori, Cycloid I (2014)

Mariko Mori, Cycloid I (2014).
Photo: © Mariko Mori, Photography: Jason Wyche. Courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York.

Sean Kelly Gallery reported more than half a dozen sales on the preview day including: Mariko Mori’s whirling sculpture Cycloid (2014), for €150,000 ($171,000): Jose Davila’s Untitled (2014), a set of four framed archival pigments on paper for $40,000; two paintings sold for $30,000 each by Hugo McCloud, From Where I Stand (2015) and 12 days 204 ways (2015). The gallery also sold three works by Cuban collective Los Carpinteros, including Embajada Rusa de Legos (2015), a watercolor, that sold for $27,500, Derrame de Pared ORO seis (2012), a gold-plated brass that sold for €35,000 ($40,000), and Cabilla tres (2014), a watercolor that sold for €22,000 ($25,000). Buyers snapped up two works by Frank Thiel as well, including two framed chromogenic prints, Petito Moreno #11 (2012–2013) for €18,000 ($20,600) and Stadt 10/06/A (Berlin) (2001) for €15,000 ($17,000), and Iran do Espírito Santo’s crystal piece, Bowl (2015), for $15,000.

Richard Tuttle,

Richard Tuttle, Aspect VIII (2015).
© 2015 Richard Tuttle, Courtesy Pace Gallery.

Pace Gallery turned its inaugural edition booth over to artist Richard Tuttle, who transformed it into what he calls a “pavilion,” a design meant to evoke a sealed space that surrounds the viewer. The gallery sold more than half the works on view to well-known US collectors. These included seven drawings by Tuttle from his Aspects series, for $35,000 each, which he completed in Maine in the summer of 2014.

Frieze-LehmannMaupin-Tony Oursler

Tony Oursler, an aluminum panel etched with geometric patterns and embedded with video screen, sold on an asking price around $90,000 at Lehmann Maupin.
Image: Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

Lehmann Maupin also reported brisk sales on the preview day, including by a numbers of artists who are new additions to the gallery roster, such as Kader Attia, Catherine Opie, Nicholas Hlobo, and Roberto Cuoghi. Among the opening day sales reported were an all-white painting titled, Untitled (White Inner Band with Flat White Outer Bands), (2012), by Mary Corse (whose second solo show is on view at the Chelsea branch through June 13). The work sold to a high-level museum trustee for more than $160,000, the gallery reports. A sculpture by Cuoghi, titled, Senza Titolo (Untitled), (2015), comprised of a wooden pile from Venice embellished with white limestone of the Dolomites and various varnishes,  sold for over $100,000. And a first edition of Teresita Fernández’s wall sculpture, Ghost Vines (Yellow Gold), (2015), sold to a private collector for more than $500,000 (see Parkgoers Furious Over Teresita Fernandez Sculpture in Madison Square Park).  Hlobo’s Ulwamvila, 2015, a large work featuring colored ribbons on linen and cotton canvas, sold for over $100,000, and  an oval photograph measuring by Opie, entitled Mary, (2012), was acquired by a prominent foundation in Turkey.

Over the course of the fair, Lehmann Maupin reported additional sales, including a graphite tree drawing by Belgian artist Patrick Van Caeckenbergh, priced around €12,000 to €16,000 ($14,000–18,000), and an  aluminum panel by Tony Oursler (above), etched with geometric patterns evocative of digital mapping technology, revealing isolated eyes and mouths. It was priced in the range of $80,000-90,000.


Jean Dubuffet, Life In The Country (1949).
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Image: Courtesy of Acquavella Galleries, New York.

Last, but not least: Acquavella Galleries sold a painting by Jean Dubuffet for $1 million, a painting by Wayne Thiebaud for nearly $2 million, three works by Jacob El Hanani for $40,000 each, and a gunpowder drawing by Ed Ruscha for over $300,000.

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