ArtInfo’s Oliver Basciano reports on the mood and some sales at the London Art Fair last weekend:
“It’s not the best year, but it’s not the worst, which is all you can ask for given the economy,” said prints dealer David Cleaton-Roberts, director of Alan Cristea Gallery, which enjoys a prominent position near the entrance of Business Design Centre in north London. “We’ve sold across the board. A couple of Julian Opie editions — This is Shahnoza in 3 parts (2008) — which were priced at £10,350 [$15,180] have gone, as have a couple of original works.”
Anthony Hartley, manning the James Hyman Gallery stand, agreed. “We’ve done surprisingly well so far, better than last year, which itself was a success. We’ve sold several paintings by both Hughie O’Donoghue and Frank Auerbach — I can’t tell you for how much, but they are certainly some of the more expensive works we brought.” The gallery was also drawing a lot attention for a display of photographic works by the late Linda McCartney, wife of the former Beatle, priced at £5,500 each; and a Lucian Freud etching on paper, Head of Bruce Bernard (1985), priced at £25,000.
While Cleaton-Roberts commented that there was a “very local audience of North London collectors,” Julia Alvarez, director of South London’s Bearspace gallery, noted that there were some serious buyers among them nonetheless. “I saw some big names on the preview night, and we’ve sold some of our most expensive works, like Isabel Rock’s Ladder of Virtue (2008) at £1,550.”
Paris dealer Olivier Waltman, one of the few foreign exhibitors, was pleased that the attendees were mostly locals. “It’s nice to meet our London collectors and showcase what our artists have been up to and how their careers are progressing. It’s always hard to say how a fair has gone until the end, but we’ve sold three works, which is good: two by 3-D pop artist Charles Fazzino and a photograph by Aleix Plademunt for £3,900.”
London Art Fair Comes of Age (ArtInfo)