High-Quality Gallery Presentations and Specially Curated Sections Inspire Strong and Consistent Sales Across Frieze London 2016
The 14th edition of Frieze London closed on Sunday 9th October, having seen major acquisitions by international institutions and significant sales to private collectors.
The fair, which brought together over 160 galleries from 30 countries, attracted a record number of collectors with a 30% increase in attendance on preview day and increased collector numbers throughout the week. Frieze London is supported for the 13th consecutive year by main sponsor Deutsche Bank.
Building on Frieze’s enduring institutional relationships, this year saw a 20% increase in museum groups across Frieze fairs. In 2016, Frieze also partnered with two major acquisition funds for national museums: the Frieze Tate Fund, now supported by WME | IMG, and the launch of the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund at Frieze in support of a regional museum in the UK: Middles- brough Institute of Modern Art.
Frieze London welcomed back several galleries for 2016 as well as new additions. Participants across the main fair were commended for outstanding presenta- tions with much enthusiasm for the fair’s bespoke design, and the quality of work presented. Strong business was conducted with sales reported to institutions and collections daily.
The Nineties, a new section curated by Nicolas Trembley, was an immediate success, with 14 galleries selected to restage seminal shows of the decade. Lead- ing international curators and participating galleries praised the section’s energy and innovation, which celebrated longstanding artist relationships and under- scored the critical role of galleries in recent decades.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of The Serpentine said ‘Nicolas Trembley’s wonderful Nineties section was a great highlight - a portrait of a decade through the remaking of exhibition history. As Eric Hobsbawm said, ‘a protest against forgetting.’
Young galleries this year offered a range of ambitious presentations across the Focus section, which attracted significant institutional attention and resulted in acquisitions from international institutions and private foundations. Cura- tors for this year, Fabian Schöneich (Portikus, Frankfurt) and Jacob Proctor (Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, University of Chicago), ensured that the section remained the definitive destination to discover emerging talent; whilst Live continued to develop into a section recognised and admired as an important platform for international performance art.
Victoria Siddall, Director of Frieze Fairs, said: ‘The high quality of work and confident atmosphere at Frieze London this year translated into substantial sales at every level, and on every day of the fair. London continues to be one of the most important cultural centres in the world, with Frieze Week drawing an in- creasing number of both established and new collectors each year. The contri- bution of curators to the quality and ambition of presentations was a highlight of this year’s Frieze, across The Nineties, Live and Focus sections as well as with our non-profit programme of projects, films and talks. Frieze is the place to meet curators and exchange ideas, as well as to buy art - something which was particularly apparent this year.’
Iwan Wirth, President and co-founder of Hauser & Wirth, commented: ‘We have had a thoroughly enjoyable week at Frieze! The fair’s vivacious spirit and forward-looking attitude encourages us to be more playful with our presentations and to offer something a bit different for collectors – this year with our eccentric ‘L’atelier d’artistes’ and Luis Laplace’s beautifully designed booth at Masters. This approach paid off in spades; we placed numerous important works and experienced consistent sales throughout the week, sev- eral in excess of a million dollars, by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Cy Twombly, Alexander Calder, Francis Picabia, Dieter Roth, Takesada Matsu- tani and Fausto Melotti, in addition to having built relationships with collec- tors new to the gallery.’
Angela Choon, Senior Partner, David Zwirner, London, said ‘Frieze Week brings an incredible energy not just to the art world, but to the city, too. We absolutely thrive in our Mayfair gallery during this time. We see a tremendous increase in visitors making the rounds between the fairs, the galleries, and the museums, and we most certainly appreciate that.’
Stefan Ratibor, Director at Gagosian London, said: ‘It has been a week of two very successful fairs at Frieze and Frieze Masters and many visitors to our shows in the galleries. We are really happy with the results of the week and consider this to be a great sign for the health of the market in general and for us in Lon- don in particular.’
David Maupin of Lehmann Maupin, New York commented: ‘Frieze London consistently remains one of the top art fairs, with new additions like The Nine- ties section continually adding fresh content. This past week our booth has seen steady sales and visits from international collectors and curators. I think that the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund’s initiative is an important cultural contribution to a commercial art fair, and we are delighted with their acquisition of Kader Attia’s work for the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.’
Liza Essers, Owner and Director of Goodman Gallery: ‘We had great success at Frieze this year, and we are delighted to confirm the sale of three films by Tracey Rose to important collections. Tracey has had an important year. Her work is currently in the São Paulo Bienal, and next year she will be in Docu- menta so we could not be happier about these acquisitions.’
Bill Griffin, of Kayne Griffin Corcoran (Los Angeles) participated in Frieze for the first time and commented: “This fair has a non-stop flow of high-calibre, well-informed, serious collectors and curators. The editorial heritage of Frieze is evident here through the atmosphere of high-level contemporary cultural dialogue at the fair which is refreshing and the perfect context for our solo pres- entation of James Turrell.“
Philomene Magers, Co-Owner, of London’s Sprüth Magers said: ‘We are al- ways impressed with Frieze’s ability in keeping things fresh and innovative. This year, we were pleased to take part in the new Nineties section and jointly pre- sented an installation by Sylvie Fleury with Mehdi Chouakri and Salon 94. At Frieze London we sold two very rare sculptures by Craig Kauffman..’
Marcio Botner, Founder of A.Gentil Carioca said: ‘We’ve been doing Frieze London since 2008 so it’s something really important to us - coming here and seeing the development from one year to another. It’s getting more and more solid; as is the popularity of South American artists - you can see this in the shows put on by international institutions, and Frieze is part of this push. It’s been a good fair. We are very happy as all four works by Operavivara! are stay- ing together; they’ve been acquired by a Swiss institution.’
Simon Lee Gallery, London said: ‘Frieze is not one of those fairs where you only have clients on the first day. We did a show a day and people came back. Many affluent and important European and American collectors attend Frieze, which is great.’
Lisa Spellman, Founder and Director of 303 Gallery said: ‘Frieze this year has felt so light and energetic with both its architecture and atmosphere. We’re very happy; we’ve seen everyone we wanted to see, and we’ve made great sales.
Something we’ve noticed is the number of fantastic curators - we took part in The Nineties section with Fountain ofYouth by Karen Kilimnik. It received a wonderful response - this year has been one of the best for us. And happy to be witness to such an historic moment - the 25th anniversary for frieze magazine!’
Wendy Olsoff, co-founder of P.P.O.W. said: ‘The fair went extremely smoothly and as soon as the doors opened our booth was buzzing - and it gained in mo- mentum with each day. P.P.O.W. has been showing feminist work for decades, and it felt timely to bring these artists’ works together and to have an inter- national platform to celebrate our artists’ achievements. The entire booth felt appreciated by collectors, curators and the viewing public, and we were over- whelmed with the positive attention both from people who knew the work, and from those who were encountering it for the very first time. I am wondering what we can possibly follow up with next October!’
Stuart Shave said: ‘I am delighted to have placed the work of Phillip Lai with the Tate collection thanks to the 2016 Frieze Tate Fund, and also to have had the opportunity at this fair to place the work of a number of the gallery’s artists with the collections of prominent museums in Britain, the United States, and China.’
Metro Pictures, New York said: ‘We’re happy with sales and excited to see so many museum curators. The fair was good this year and we sold well so we’re happy.’
Matthew Marks gallery, New York said ‘We’ve had lots of interest in our booth this year and are particularly proud to bring a new Ellsworth Kelly work to London. We’re particularly pleased with the interest in the Ken Price sculptures. We’ve been bringing his work to fairs for a number of years and feel that at Frieze we’ve found an audience who is really responding to it.’
Francesca Boenzi of Supportico Lopez said, ‘We are really happy with how things have been going this year - and similarly with the way everything has been managed. We had a great, constant influx of people, in terms of both col- lectors and the general public. Frieze is always a more than meaningful fair for us, which we always look forward to!’
The Focus section
Esperanza Rosales, founder and director of VI, VII said: ‘This was our first time participating in the Focus section, and we’ve enjoyed it. There are lot of discov- eries to be had here. It’s not at every fair that you feel the need to slow the pace of getting to your own booth down to stop and see others. It’s been a great audi- ence and a great crowd; a lot of institutional contacts to build upon, a lot of press attention and in terms of sales we’ve done well so I’m happy. The visibility of the platform is tremendous. To bring lesser known artists to frieze where the audience is so large is incomparable.’
Leo Xu, founder of Leo Xu Projects, said: ‘We have met new people; exciting people from different regions - from the Middle East, from Russia, from Turkey and South America - and people from different generations. I love the diversity. We’ve sold quite a few editions, and we’re selling every day, so it’s very exciting.’
Kendall Koppe and Emma Astner of Koppe Astner, Glasgow, said: ‘It’s been a really strong Frieze for us, with strong sales for both our artists, Laura Aldridge and Grace Weaver. Focus looks great this year - people have been willing to take a risk and have brought their best.’
David Lewis of David Lewis said: ‘Frieze London was outstanding. The fair has done a tremendous job on all levels. Their team is fantastic. They bring excep- tional intellect, attentiveness and energy to every aspect of the fair experience, resulting in a week of productive and often quite thoughtful interactions for the gallery. We are pleased and proud to have participated in Frieze London and look forward to growing with the fair in the years ahead.’
Olivier Babin, Founder and Director of Clearing Gallery said: ‘Thank you Frieze for another great week in the park. We were so proud to stand for Mar- guerite Humeau. She gave us the best booth and we were thrilled to place the work with great public and private institutions. It was fruitful and fun!!’
The Nineties section
Marie-Christine Molitor, Director of Galerie Neu, Berlin commented: ‘The general response to the nineties section has been really good. It gave us the opportunity to show Daniel Pflumm’s work in a new setting. Frieze is strong with its curated sections - with the Live section as well, and with helping young galleries - giving them a chance to be seen. We’re very happy about the positive experience this year.’
Galerie Mehdi Chouakri commented: “For us it’s the first time exhibiting at Frieze London. We have presented this wonderful project by Sylvie Fleury which has been exciting. We’ve met a couple of collectors that we don’t meet in other fairs, especially London based collectors, and curators as well, so its’ been a good fair. We’ve sold Sylvie’s video work to a European collection and we’re very happy for the artist. It’s been a great fair.”
Andrea Caratsch, founder and director of Galerie Andrea Caratsch said: “The fair was dynamic and The Nineties section a great addition to it. I hope that this special section will return next year. We were happy to see new people coming to the stand as well as long standing clients. I was pleased to sell two Steven Par- rino works; one to a new collector and one to a seasoned collector.”
Frieze Stand Prize
The Frieze Art Fair Stand Prize recognises an outstanding gallery presentation at Frieze London. This year’s jurors included Martin Clark, Director, Bergen Kunsthall; Dr. Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Con- temporary Art Chicago; and Helen Molesworth, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
The prize of was awarded to kurimanzutto, Mexico City for their outstand- ing presentation of works by Leonor Antunes, Roman Ondak, and Gabriel Orozco. Kurimanzutto said: ‘We are delighted and honoured to have received the prize for the best stand - Monica and Jose have decided to donate the prize money to a charity in Mexico, dealing with refugees. A lot of people who’ve come to the booth have spoken positively about the fair this year - it feels super vibrant with The Nineties and Focus sections. And the Frieze team have been great at introducing us to new collectors that we didn’t know, people from Latin America but also Europeans who are discovering galleries from elsewhere. We’re very pleased with sales this year - we’ve sold Leonor Antunes to a private foundation.’
The jury for the inaugural Focus Stand Prize included Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator, New Museum; Yung Ma, Curator, Service Création Contemporaine et Prospective, Centre Pompidou; and Judith Welter, Director, Kunsthaus Glarus. It was awarded to Proyectos Ultravioleta, (Guatemala City). Stefan Benchoam, co-founder said: ‘The fair this year has been really incred- ible for us - the perfect first experience - and we couldn’t have expected more. We were pleasantly surprised to receive the stand prize - the jury who give prizes here are such recognised curators so it’s great to have the validation from them. We’ve had great sales and are really happy.’
This year saw the realization of two acquisition funds for national museums at Frieze London; the return of the Frieze Tate Fund, this year supported by WME| IMG, and the launch of the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund at Frieze, supporting a regional museum in the UK.
These initiatives resulted in the acquisition of major works. The Contemporary Art Society purchased moving image works by John Akomfrah (Lisson Gallery) and Kader Attia (Lehmann Maupin) for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, which both address themes of colonisation and migration.
The Frieze Tate Fund saw a six-person international jury, composed of four Tate curators and two guest curators, select six artworks by the Turkish art- ist Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, acquired from Rampa, Istanbul; three artworks by Portuguese artist Leonor Antunes, acquired from Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo; and one work by the Malaysian artist Phillip Lai, acquired from Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London.
Groups – 17.5% Increase in Attendance
The fair had record institutional attendance, with more than 228 groups includ- ing acquisitions groups from the world’s major museums, visiting from ter- ritories including Austria, Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Peru, Russia, Switzerland and the USA. Visiting museum groups included tBelvedere Museum (Austria), The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (Canada), Centre Pompidou (France), Musée d’Orsay (France), Palais de Tokyo (France), Pinakothek der Moderne (Germany), Stedelijk Museum (Netherlands), Mu- seo de Arte de Lima (Peru), Zaçheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), Ser- ralves Museum (Portugal), Hermitage Museum Foundation (Russia and UK), Kunsthalle Zürich (Switzerland), Albright Knox Art Gallery (USA), Hammer Museum (USA), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (USA), Metropoli- tan Museum of Art (USA), MoMA PS1 (USA), Museum of Modern Art (USA), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (USA), New Museum of Contem- porary Art (USA), Peabody Essex Museum (USA), Walker Art Center (USA), Whitney Museum of American Art (USA).
Tate Director Nicholas Serota emphasized that the support of the entire art community plays a key role. He went on to thank ‘the galleries and the artists who have been so generous in helping to make it possible for works of this cali- bre to enter a public collection.’
Gregor Muir, Executive Director of the ICA, London and incoming Director of Collection, International Art at Tate, said: ‘This year’s Frieze Art Fair contin- ued to stimulate the imagination with a reassuring degree of certainty, proving once again how London is a world-class centre for contemporary art.’
Dr Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, enthused: ‘Frieze 2016 presented me as a curator with a wonderful opportunity to not only get a snapshot of what was happening in art globally but also to see different kinds of experimentation happening at the edges of film and performance, which were so evocatively provoked through the Frieze Live and Film programmes. Although many over emphasize the social aspects of such an event, I found the most stimulating conversations I’ve had in years happening in the auditorium tent where borders – political, spatial, ideologi- cal and imagined – were debated and stretched to their limits through heady discussion from artists and the public alike. It was an honour to be so involved with the fair this year - from judging the Stand Prize which so moved me – kurimanzutto from Mexico and Tillmans in The Nineties both brought tears to my eyes – to having the opportunity to moderate two events; Frieze extends its generosity through its conversations outside of the pure limits of the art market and into the wider world of art and culture: viva Frieze 2016! Here’s to many more to come…’