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Frieze London 2015: Record collector attendance, strong sales and exceptional presentations
Art Daily

The 13th edition of Frieze London closed on Saturday 17th October having seen major acquisitions by international institutions and significant sales to private collectors. The fair, which brought together 164 galleries from 27 countries, attracted a record number of collectors to the preview. Attendance across both fairs was higher this year at over 105,000, up from 100,000 in 2014, thanks to an uplift in visitors at Frieze Masters - the fair had nearly 50,000 visitors, up from 37,000 in 2014. The Frieze directors warmly welcomed the large number of gallery stand re-hangs, artist signings, talks and tours which created a dynamic environment, drawing collectors to return to the fair throughout the week. Frieze London is supported for the 12th consecutive year by Main Sponsor Deutsche Bank.


Evolving into the definitive destination for young galleries, the Focus section, advised by curators Raphael Gygax (Migros Museum, Zurich) and Jacob Proctor (Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, University of Chicago), offered a chance to discover exciting emerging talents; whilst Live developed from its critically acclaimed debut in 2014, to encompass varied formats and was advised by Gygax and Proctor for the first time.


Victoria Siddall, who in 2015 assumed directorship of Frieze London and Frieze New York, in addition to her role as Director of Frieze Masters commented: ‘The outstanding quality of work on show at Frieze London translated into substantial sales at every level - from the world’s most established galleries to young galleries showing in Focus. I was delighted to hear reports of sales on every day of the fair. London has embraced Frieze Week with enormous energy, with openings and events taking place all over the city during Europe’s busiest art week. We have had more collectors and curators in town than ever before, suggesting that this really is an unmissable week in London.’


Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, co-founders of Frieze, commented: ‘We are thrilled to see the fairs thriving in the hands of the new directors and the energy and innovation brought to both Frieze London and Frieze Masters by the whole team. The buzz the two fairs have brought to London this week has been unparalleled, and we are pleased to have welcomed record numbers of collectors and representatives from major institutions from around the world.’


Frieze London returns in 2016 from 5 – 7 October.


Kamel Mennour, Founder, Galerie Kamel Mennour commented: ‘We are very very happy with this first experience at Frieze London, having enjoyed a fantastic response from collectors, museums directors and visitors. We came here with much curiosity as our Camille Henrot solo is a very special project, the progression of what the artist presented at the Biennale de Lyon in September. Despite this being our first time, we feel as if we have been part of the Frieze family for a long time.’


Angela Choon, Senior Partner, David Zwirner commented: ‘The energy in the city during Frieze Week is palpable. We once again had exceptional experience across both fairs, leading with significant sales on the preview day, including works by Sigmar Polke, Bridget Riley, Chris Ofili, Marlene Dumas, Kerry James Marshall, and Wolfgang Tillmans. There is a sustained presence of quality collectors throughout the fairs, which also reached our Mayfair gallery, resulting in a sold-out Oscar Murillo exhibition. We are also pleased to be able to present Carol Bove’s Open Screen (2014) at Frieze Sculpture Park, which is now extended through January 2016.’


Kurt Mueller, Director, David Kordansky Gallery said: ‘The response to our Frieze London presentation of Mary Weatherford’s new neon paintings was phenomenal. All ten works sold immediately, with five notably joining museum collections. Across the park, sales were also swift, and conversations inspiring, at our first hanging of Sam Gilliam’s historic Drape paintings, which further galvanized overdue recognition, from new collectors, institutions, and an increasingly curious public, for this most seminal postwar artist. Together, the fairs gave us perfectly complementary opportunities to expose two radical painters of different generations to broader global audiences.’


Peter Currie, Director, Galerie Buchholz said: ‘It has been an amazing fair. We had a fantastic opening day, we’ve sold works including Mark Leckey’s Inflatable Felix(2014), and we’ve also seen an influx of great people right through the week’.


Simon Lee Gallery commented: ‘We have had good sales, great conversations with curators and museum directors and are very happy with the week. Our presentation of four consecutive solo booths (each conceived by the artists themselves) this year at Frieze reflects the gallery’s commitment to a challenging programme and our desire to engage collectors and curators in dynamic conversations about artistic practice.’


David Maupin, co-founder, Lehmann Maupin also said: ‘This year’s fair has been incredibly active with clients arriving each day from all over the world. Sales have remained consistent throughout the week, and we have sold important works to new clientele, particularly to collectors from Turkey.’


Daniela Gareh, Partner, White Cube, said: ‘We experienced a strong response and several sales on the first day to the two new bodies of paintings by Damien Hirst. Sales across the board were good throughout the week and we also sold works by Etel Adnan, Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, Mona Hatoum, Darren Almond, Andreas Gursky, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Theaster Gates, Imi Knoebel, Magnus Plessen, Christian Marclay, Cerith Wyn Evans and Eddie Peake (who currently has a major solo presentation at the Barbican).’


Tom Cole from The Sunday Painter, who took part in the Focus section, said: ‘As first-time participants at Frieze the fair has been a great success for both the gallery and artist Samara Scott. As well as generating strong sales it has been particularly successful in terms of introducing the gallery’s programme to a wider audience. Showing a liquid-based installation could have been a risky approach but it was the right decision, enabling us to offer a thorough insight into both the artist’s practice and our approach as a gallery.’


Dawid Radziszewski, who participated in this year’s Focus section commented: ‘We are very happy that we can introduce Maria Pininska-Beres to the world-wide art scene, especially in this different context. This fair is a prestigious place to be and we are delighted to be participating for the first time. Participating at Frieze gives the gallery a new projection. We sold the piece we brought and have made additional sales as well. The interest from collectors, institutions and the public alike has been very positive.’


Leo Xu, also participating in Focus, said: ‘This year we have met quite a few contacts and clients, especially collectors from Asia who are now highly motivated and highly engaged with new art and new forms. We have started long conversations with several institutions. People that visit Frieze are much more open to new, young artists that may not be well-known. It’s been a really productive fair.’


Guillaume Sultana of Sultana said: ‘We are very happy! This presentation has sparked a lot of institutional interest, as we had hoped. When you bring conceptual, performance work to an art fair context you don’t expect it to be very successful commercially. It is more of a long-term strategy and it becomes about the institutions you meet. We have had some very fruitful conversations with various museums and public collections from Europe and the video piece and drawings have sparked interest from private collectors as well. It is really great to see all the institutional representatives under one roof and that is really quite special!’


Michal Lasota from Stereo said: ‘This is the second edition we are taking part in the Focus section of the fair. There are a lot of interesting people around this year. We have made some significant sales including one amazing sale to Saatchi and this is very important for financial reasons but moreover as it will also generate further interest in this artist. Roman Stanczak has just started making work again after a period of inactivity so it’s been a really successful placement for us and him.’


Simon Wang from Antenna Space said: ‘This is the first year at Frieze London, and our project has been really well received. We met several important institutions during the fair and managed to place the only installation piece we showed in an influential London-based collection. The organizing team of the fair has been more than supportive to help us young galleries.’


Simon Preston said: ‘We had an excellent fair and were encouraged by the fact a moving image presentation worked so well in a fair environment. We placed two editions of the project with an institution and a private foundation. The consistent attendance of key curators from international institutions throughout the week from Brazil, USA as well as London was also impressive.’