CNN on Frieze:
the fair showed that the larger public’s interest in contemporary art remains robust. Frieze brought in thousands of visitors from around the globe and most gallery owners seemed content with sales.
Roger Tatley from the Houser and Wirth gallery, based in Zurich and London, told CNN: “We were a little anxious, but this fair turned out to be the best we’ve had.” Houser and Wirth sold almost all its works in the booth including a Henry Moore piece for $2.7 million. Whilst Moore’s art represents the higher end of prices at Frieze; most works at the fair are cheaper than at auction houses, therefore reflecting a wider art-buying audience.
The Scotsman has this morsel:
Elena Silena, from Moscow’s XL Gallery, says the Russian market has just stopped. “This market will stop for maybe half a year,” she says. “People have money but they have stopped buying. They are thinking about the crisis.”
(many more quotes after the jump)
Another pair of collectors seizing the day: Susan and Michael Hort, who hit the main fair at 11 a.m. — hours after flying in from New York–and didn’t leave until after 8:30 p.m., when they completed a deal to buy a Stan Douglas photograph, “Hastings Park,” from New York dealer David Zwirner. By then, the fair was packed with London hipsters in party attire. Mr. Hort says he was tired but glad he put in the effort. “At least it’s happy in here now. It’s all doom and gloom out there,” he said, nodding toward the fair exit.
Maureen Paley, whose East London gallery represents artists including Wolfgang Tillmans, Gillian Wearing and Banks Violette, also said buyers were in a reflective mood — but that didn’t mean they were only gravitating toward commercial pieces. “People need still to dream,” said Paley, adding she’d recently sold a piece of video art by Violette which depicts a galloping horse. “You might say people would [buy] something substantial and sculptural…but people need to preserve the poetry and lightness in their lives.” Paley said that it would be “wrong to make predictions too early” about how the financial crisis would affect the art market. “We’re on a little roller coaster,” she said.
Bypassing Wednesday’s VIP preview, I draped myself over a piece of overstuffed chintz at Aspinalls in Mayfair [ . . . . ] The “swellegance” of the venue thumbed its gilt nose at budget cuts and plummeting pensions as guests began filtering in, offering their first impressions of the fair. Grabbing a champagne flute from the first available tray, thirsty consultant Raphael Castoriano confirmed speculation that this year was a bit quieter, then added, “Thank God the fakers are finally gone.” Later, jovial curator Jan Debbaut predicted a “return to family values”–style shift in the art market.
The National in Dubai takes it from this perspective:
“This has been an extraordinary week,” said Art Dubai’s John Martin. “One of the things that has happened – and it’s been something entirely unplanned – is that a number of events have focused on Middle Eastern contemporary art. This represents a real change in attitudes. People are getting excited about what is coming out of the region. [ . . . ] “The museums that will open in Abu Dhabi will offer a platform for artists in Iran, Beirut, Jordan and Palestine; they will have a significance right across the Middle East. As the quality of our events grows, more artists will use them as a platform for their work. At Art Dubai, we aim to attract an international audience that will use the fair as a way of finding out what is going on in the region. That’s what Frieze provides in London.”
Market Frieze? More Like Slow Cooling (The Scotsman)
Frieze Art Fair Sees Thinner Crowds and Better Bargains (Wall Street Journal)
Gilt by Association (ArtForum)
International Audience (The National)