We’ve Got the Scoop on What’s Selling At Frieze Masters 2015

Bridget Riley is leading the sales at this halfway point.

Photo: Joshua White courtesy of the artists and Almine Rech Gallery

Frieze Masters has built on its momentum each year and now, in its fourth edition the fair’s identity seems stronger and more confident, as do the sales with Bridget Riley leading the sales at this halfway point in the proceedings.

Although there was much audible discussion of sales, many galleries were tight-lipped about whether they had sold anything at all, let alone confirming what works had sold for.

In terms of trends, not only did Frieze Masters see many more highly curated booths, but it also saw many contemporary and classical galleries teaming up—with great results.

There was a huge amount of fuss surrounding the Entwistle stand—who brought mostly tribal works—on preview day, selling Group of Masks for €195,000 ($221,606), Malian Dance Crest for €55,000 ($62,498) and their star piece, Djene terracotta figure, sold for an undisclosed sum. The stand was crammed at the start of preview, which goes to prove that the rumored growth in the African art market is more than just an industry whisper.

Milan based Cardi Gallery also got two great sales on preview day, selling Weiße Spirale by Günther Uecker for €2 million and an undisclosed Enrico Castellani for €600,000 ($681,798).

Dealers were in agreement that buyers are more confident this year, and are faster to jump in and buy rather than simply look at the wide array of works on display.

Almine Rech Gallery sold three bright Perspex sculptural works by DeWain Valentine for between $300,000 and $450,000. The uplifting works really stood out from everything else at the fair, if only for being so visually different.

Although the cut-off point for Frieze Masters is the year 2000, much of the work well predates. This year there seemed to be a number of living artists from Frank Auerbach to Carmen Herrera. Bridget Riley also sold incredibly well.

Bridget Riley <i> Vapour 3 </i> (2009/1970) sold for $1.4 million <br> Photo: Amah-Rose Abrams

Bridget Riley Vapour 3 (2009/1970) sold for $1.4 million
Photo: Amah-Rose Abrams

David Zwirner sold Bridget Riley’s dreamy Vapour 3 (2009/1970) for an equally dreamy $1.4 Million. Karsten Schubert were also rumoured to have sold an entire stand of Bridget Riley works, although—despite the highly relaxed atmosphere at the stand—this was unconfirmed.

Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, however, confirmed selling Roman, 2nd Century AD Marble head of Dionysus (2nd century AD) for around £500,000 ($772,824).

Arte Povera has been big again this year so it’s not surprising to know that Skarstedt sold an Alighiero Boetti, 841/ Beige Sahara (1967) for $650,000 and they also found a new home for Albert Oehlen’s Untitled (1991) for $700,000.

Melvin Edwards ‘Untitled’ (1970) Photo: Photograph by Mark Blower. © 2015 Melvin Edwards

Melvin Edwards Untitled (1970)
Photo: Photograph by Mark Blower. © 2015 Melvin Edwards

Stephen Friedman, who was showing in the spotlight section for solo presentations, sold two works by Melvin Edwards: a large sculpture Untitled (1970) which sold for upwards of $300,000, and a work on paper, for $25,000.

David Kordansky sold a range of Sam Gilliam works, fetching prices ranging from $225,000 to $500,000.

Also in the preview section were Japanese Gallery Nanzuka who sold six collages and two silk screens ranging from $15,000 – $20,000 each by Keiichi Tanaami, famous for providing the bright, trippy artwork for Welsh pop band Super Furry Animals.

Keiichi Tanaami <i> P>B Grand Prix</i> <br>Photo: Amah-Rose Abrams

Keiichi Tanaami P.B Grand Prix
Photo: Amah-Rose Abrams

Along with the discussions of Arte Povera and Italian Spatialism works, there has been much talk about Korean artists as well, which paid off for Dominique Levy who sold a Chung Sang-hwa work, 87-12-7 (1987), for $540,000.

Wienerroither & Kohlbacher sold two of the lovely Egon Schiele drawings they had on display and shared a range of from $200,000- $500,000 for the selling price.

In addition, there were many sellers of rare books and works on paper including Andrew Edmunds and Daniel Crouch. Crouch reported sales of two maps with Williem Blaeu’s Wall Map (1646) selling for £400,000 ($618,282) and a Richard Harwood Map of London (1799) selling for £40,000 ($61,825).

Of the highly curated booths, Richard Feigen reported sales from their classical to modern presentation with a Ray Johnson going for $42,000 and a James Rosenquist for $75,000. Helly Nahmad had clearly sold some of the Art Brut works they had on display, although prices were not openly discussed.

Hauser & Wirth confirmed the placing of major works in collections in Europe and South America. Highlights were a gold porcelain sculpture by Louise Bourgeois; a 1937 Francis Picabia painting; a Marlene Dumas work on paper; a Fausto Melotti from his Teatrini series; and multiple drawings by Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore, according to a statement from the gallery.

For more on Frieze Week, see our Top 10 Booths at Frieze London 2015, Top booths at Frieze Masters, and What Sold on Day One at Frieze London 2015. Also, see photos from Ken Kagami’s saucy fair interventionAmalia Ulman Strips Visitors of Shoes and Phones At Frieze London and Take Our Instagram Tour of Frieze London 2015.

For gallery shows during Frieze week, see our Must-See Art Guide: London

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