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Frieze London Art Fair 2017 closed with great success. At its 15th edition, Frieze London Art Fair 2017 could attract more than 160 art galleries from 31 countries and it reached strong sales. Throughout the fair, Frieze London 2017 boosted VIP presence. It also recorded an excellent rise in international major collectors, a record presence of 230 groups from around the world, including the return of two significant acquisitions funds supported by major institutions.
The programme of Frieze London 2017 included Frieze Art Fair Stand Prize and Frieze Focus Prize. It also included Frieze Projects and the Frieze Artist Award, presenting new site-specific works by contemporary artists; new film commissions premiered at Frieze Film; an off-site fair programme by Frieze Music; and Frieze Talks a dynamic series of panel discussions, conversations and keynote lectures.
The curated gallery sections included: Focus (presentations by galleries max aged 12 years); Live (a space for performance and participation works); and new for 2017, Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics (female artists working at the extreme edges of feminist practice since the 1970s.)
Victoria Siddall, Director, Frieze Fairs said: “The 15th edition of Frieze London further established the city’s importance as both a leading commercial market hub and cultural platform”.
Galleries across the fair’s main and specially curated sections – Focus, Sex Work, Live – enjoyed strong sales throughout the whole week, placing artworks across all levels of the market. Select highlights included: David Kordansky Gallery with works by Will Boone in the range of USD 25,000 to 55,000; David Zwirner’s sale of a Jeff Koons for USD 2.75 million and a new work by Kerry James Marshall to an important European Foundation; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac’s sale of a Robert Rauschenberg for USD 1.5 million; Matthew Marks sale of a Jasper Johns for USD 1.5 million; Hauser & Wirth’s sale of a major sculpture by Hans Arp for USD 1.1 million to a private collection in Los Angeles, from their ‘BRONZE AGE’ presentation. Goodman Gallery sold out over half the booth on preview day, including a work by William Kentridge for USD 385,000 and three works by David Goldblatt ranging from USD 15,000-50,000 and The Sunday Painter in the Focus section sold many of their works by Emma Hart on Preview Day, ranging between GBP 10,000-12,000.
Frieze London 2017 have seen a 230 record presences of directors, curators, trustees and patron groups from
international museums and other arts organizations, including Carnegie Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Moderna Museet, MAMCO, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Whitney Museum of American Art and WIELS.
Frieze this year partnered with two main acquisition funds for national museums: the Frieze Tate Fund, supported by WME | IMG, and the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund at Frieze in support of a regional museum in the UK: Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne.
Maria Balshaw, Director, Tate commented, ‘The Frieze Tate Fund has made an important contribution to the national collection of contemporary art at Tate. We are once again excited to be able to select work from Frieze so that a broad public at Tate can experience new art as it emerges. We are extremely grateful both to WME | IMG and to Frieze for their support.’
Balshaw also commented on the successful new section for 2017, Sex Work, curated by independent curator and scholar Alison M. Gingeras which featured nine solo presentations of women artists working at the extreme edges of feminist practice: ‘As a woman born in 1970 raised by a tribe of feminist aunts, I find it tremendously exhilarating to see the women artists in Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics included in the context of an art fair.’
(This article firstly published on 25 October 2017)