Frieze parties are in full swing with heavyweight openings by Hirst and Ruscha drawing the boldfaced names out to dinner. Here’s Spear’s gossip column Hedgehog on the action so far. They begin with Laurence Graff’s African charity auction at Christie’s. Africa is the source of much of Graff’s diamond supply:
The actual auctioneer was Jussi Pylkkänen, president of Christie’s Europe. At the afterparty at Sketch, Jussi told Spear’s: ‘The crowd here is a testament to the pulling power of Laurence Graff, not just with serious collectors but more importantly with artists, who he’s been a big supporter of, hence all their donations.’ […] The biggest surprise of the evening was that Raqib Shaw‘s ‘Mild-Eyed Melancholy of the Lotus-Eater’, an oval of delicate flowers and Hindu symbols rendered in acrylic, enamel, rhinestones and glittery, went for £200,000, well above its £80-120,000 estimate.
Afterwards, to the Anish Kapoor after-party at the Royal Courts of Justice. Oh yes, art has invaded the law. (Only a matter of time before there’s an art gathering in the PwC boardroom.) Anish had been showing new work at the Lisson Gallery, but many people went straight to the Royal Courts, which looked more like Cannes in July than the Strand in October. There was gentle orange lighting, plenty of trees and sofas, and so many cocktails it gave new meaning to ‘being called to the bar’.
The crowd was mainly collectors early in the evening and gallerinas later on. Plenty of people made a beeline for Nick Hackworth of Paradise Row, but there were also notable spots from Sotheby’s, Sky Arts and almost every gallery north of the river.
Hedgehog (Spear’s Wealth Management Survey)