Art Fairs

Celebrities, Collectors, and A-List Artists Turned Out in Force for the City’s First Art Basel Since 2019

Pharrell Williams was spotted at this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong. Artist Rashid Johnson posed with fans, as did Beeple and Takashi Murakami. Qatar Museums chair Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani was out on the event circuit. Not to mention a number of top collectors from around the globe: London-based Saudi-born Abdullah AI-Turki, Switzerland’s Uli Sigg and Maja Hoffmann, and Mima Reyes from Puerto Rico.

Despite reports of the city’s decline in recent years, Hong Kong remains one of the most convenient places for the art world to conduct business. Its unique geographical location makes it an ideal place for dealers and clients to connect, particularly those from across Asia, and, of course, there’s the high concentration of wealth.

This year, some visitors reported attending upwards of two-dozen events, from gallery openings to parties and dinners—and few complained about their hectic schedules.

“It feels like there are more events and things are a lot more elaborate this year than the pre-Covid times. So many art world stars are here in Hong Kong,” curator Wong Ka Ying, who is also an artist, told Midnight Publishing Group News.

Art advisor Thomas Stauffer, co-founder of Gerber and Stauffer Fine Arts in Zurich, shared a similar view. This was the first time he had returned to Hong Kong since the last Art Basel in the city in March 2019. “It’s a packed week and many galleries and luxury brands compete with each other to get the attention of the Hong Kong art crowd. It’s been a fruitful and rewarding trip to re-engage and continue the dialogue about collecting art with our Asian clients after not being able to meet in person for more than three years,” he told Midnight Publishing Group News.

The ecstatic atmosphere felt by both the international art crowd and local players on the ground, whether at fairs like Art Basel or Art Central, dinners and parties at M+ or the HKGTA Town Club, a new hotspot right in the heart of the city’s Central district, is an important statement that the city is ready to re-emerge onto the global scene after years of the pandemic and political unrest.

“Hong Kong is back,” as many collectors visiting the city told Midnight Publishing Group News.

art basel hong kong 2023

An art installation called ‘Solitude of Silences’ by South Korean artist Gimhongsok is displayed at Art Basel in Hong Kong on March 23, 2023. Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images.

A star-studded, international week

The return of prominent mainland Chinese collectors such Qiao Zhibing, founder of Tank Shanghai; entrepreneur Chong Zhou; Lu Xun, co-founder of Nanjing’s Sifang Art Museum; and fashion entrepreneur Li Lin have delighted a lot of gallerists. Many Mandarin-speaking tour groups packed the aisles during the first VIP day, and there was no lack of a well-dressed Gen-Z crowd.

Stauffer observed that works by Western artists such as Emily Mae Smith, Derek Fordjour, and Bernard Frize have been popular among the Asian crowd, and sales are moving quickly. Many dealers have noted  throughout the fair week, particularly for artworks in the price range of $100,000 to $500,000.

“We see less Europeans and Americans coming to the fair. It’s a very cultured scene, mostly dominated by the mainland Chinese, who are able to travel for the first time since Covid, as well as South Korean collectors. There are some Japanese and Southeast Asians too,” Tian Liang, director of Asia at Timothy Taylor, told Midnight Publishing Group News.

This is the London-headquartered dealer’s first show with Art Basel Hong Kong since 2018. The gallery has so far sold works to institutions in Asia and private collectors in the range of $50,000 to $1 million, including an Alex Katz portrait to a museum in the region, Liang noted. The gallery also brought British painter Leon Kossoff to Asia for the first time, and successfully sold the work to private collectors in the region.

“There’s so much energy, and there are so many young, educated, strong collectors who really know what they’re looking for and are deeply engaged with art history,” she said. “Art Basel Hong Kong is the future; I think it’s going to be the most important fair in the world in five years.”

Hong Kong 2023 M+

HONG KONG, CHINA – MARCH 21: Guests attend Prada Frames Hong Kong at M+ Museum, on March 21, 2023 in Hong Kong, China. (Photo by Keith Tsuji/Getty Images for Prada)

“M+ is A+”

Among those who traveled from across Asia include collectors Marcel Crespò and Timothy Tan from the Philippines. Sources on the ground also spotted Korean collectors such as SM Entertainment founder Sooman Lee, JaeMyung Noh, and So Young Lee. There’s also a prominent presence of Taiwanese collectors including Leo Shih, Jenny Yeh, and Vickey Chen.

Art Central’s director, Corey Andrew Barr, noted that the prominence of young collectors in their 30s to 40s speaks volumes about people’s interests in Hong Kong. “There’s been a great anticipation for finding out what’s been going on in Hong Kong, like M+ and other institutional developments in the city since they were last here in 2019,” he told Midnight Publishing Group News. “They will certainly have the experience to connect with Hong Kong art and Hong Kong artists more intimately.”

Indeed, art fairs are not the only attractions of the art week. Many have praised the art programs the city has to offer, particularly at M+, which only just welcomed international visitors for the first time since it opened in 2021. “M+ is A+,” remarked Noh.

Seoul-based dealer Jason Haam, who sold out four works by Korean rising star Moka Lee, priced between $43,000 to $60,000, to collectors from Hong Kong, Korea, and Belgium, said he did not go to the parties but he was impressed with the museums. “M+ is the very first, really top-notch, serious institution in Asia. It makes me so proud to be in this part of the world,” the dealer said.

He urged the West to rethink one narrative about the Asian art market. “It’s really upsetting for me to hear people pit Hong Kong against [other Asian cities]. Hey, Europe has Paris, Berlin, and London. The U.S. has Los Angeles and New York. There are many hubs in the West.”

Hong Kong veteran gallerist Catherine Kwai of Kwai Fung Hin, which sold paintings by Li Huayi and Lalan in the region of HK$5 million to HK$6 million ($636,955 to $764,346) to new Asian clients, noted that she felt Hong Kong has transformed, and M+, together with other new institutions, including the Palace Museum and the revamped Museum of Art, have played a key role in drawing a serious international art crowd to Hong Kong.

Kwai also praised the government’s effort in staging the Museum Summit on March 24 and 25, which brings global museum leaders such as Michael Govan, CEO of LACMA, Klaus Biesenbach, director of Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, and Gallerie degli Uffizi’s director Eike Schmidt, as well as museum directors from Thailand, Singapore, and mainland China.

“For a few years Hong Kong was very quiet and people did not visit. Now people are returning, and we are very happy,” Kwai told Midnight Publishing Group News. “The past few years have taught us that we must not take things for granted. Everyone is trying very hard this time.”

Tsang Kin-Wah

Freezing Water: Between Here and There (2023) by Hong Kong artist Tsang Kin-Wah, a new work on show at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Courtesy of the artist.

Breathing room

To a younger Hong Kong generation emerging from the trauma of the political turmoil after the 2019 pro-democracy protests and the imposition of the national security law the following year, the vibrancy of the art week gives provides a breath of fresh air away from  it all. Persecution of dissidents, a crackdown of civil society, and censorship of creative expressions continue to operate in the backdrop, but many appreciate the opportunity for to feel “normal” again.

Stanley Wong, 32, a finance columnist who writes under the pen name Muddy Water, started collecting three years ago, while stuck in Hong Kong, and has already assembled a collection of some 200 works mostly by homegrown artists. This year’s art week is his first as a collector. He already acquired at least five artworks this week.

“It feels like things are back to normal this week, reminding me of the good old days,” Wong told Midnight Publishing Group News.

He noted that some people’s feelings of helplessness have pushed them to adopt a more pleasure-seeking attitude towards life. The past two years saw the rise of the local Canto-pop culture and fine dining when restaurants re-opened, and the new focus on contemporary art is also a result of that, he added.

”Art becomes an avenue of emotional release,” he said. “But this also gives us an opportunity to discover the many great artists from Hong Kong.”

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Here Are 9 Treasures That Caught Our Eye at TEFAF Maastricht—From Antique Playing Cards to a Rediscovered Ambrosi Sculpture

One of the biggest art fairs in the world, TEFAF Maastricht, in its 2023 edition, brought together some 270 dealers from around the world, collectively offering 7,000 years of art history in nearly every conceivable medium, from grand Old Master paintings to African tribal art to fine jewelry. Sifting through the countless gems is an overwhelming proposition, with treasures everywhere you turn your head.

Here are nine of our favorites.


Dummy Board (17th century)
Jaime Eguiguren Art and Antiques, Montevideo, Uruguay
€65,000 ($70,000)

Dummy Board (17th century) from Jaime Eguiguren Art and Antiques, Montevideo, Uruguay, at TEFAF Maastricht, 2023. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Dummy Board (17th century) from Jaime Eguiguren Art and Antiques, Montevideo, Uruguay, at TEFAF Maastricht, 2023. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Jaime Eguiguren Art and Antiques has a cardboard cut out at its booth as some kind of Instagram-friendly photo-op.

But instead of a cheap celebrity photo-op, it’s a charming Old Master painting of a young woman clad in an elaborate dress and head garb, carrying a basket full of flowers. If you walk around the figure, you can see the wooden support for the antique work, which is actually a 17th-century French dummy board.

“They were popular in Poland and France,” the gallery’s Vivian Velar told Midnight Publishing Group News. “They were used as decorative motifs in the home, often in front of the fireplace.”


Emma Schlangenhausen and Hilde von Exner, Two Secessionist Panels/Adolescence (1904)
Bel Etage, Vienna
€280,000 ($300,000)

Emma Schlangenhausen and Hilde von Exner, <em>Two Secessionist Panels/Adolesence</em> (1904). Photo courtesy of Bel Etage, Vienna.

Emma Schlangenhausen and Hilde von Exner, Two Secessionist Panels/Adolescence (1904). Photo courtesy of Bel Etage, Vienna.

A pair of striking copper panels in wrought iron frames represent an intriguing turn-of-the-century collaboration by a pair of women artists, Emma Schlangenhausen and Hilde von Exner.

“They were students of Kolomon Moser,” Christiane Gastl of Bel Etage in Vienna told Midnight Publishing Group News. The two created the pair of artworks at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, for the institution’s room at the Austrian pavilion at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

Both panels depict a young woman, featuring gilding and silver plating adorned with opalescent glass and enameled cabochons.

Tantalizingly, little is known about either artist. Schlangenhausen went on to work as a graphic artist, but Von Exner died fairly young, at just 42, leaving behind few known works.


Gustinus AmbrosiPromethindenlos or The Eternal Longing (1928)
Bowman Sculpture, London
€395,000 ($420,000)

Gustinus Ambrosi, Promethindenlos or The Eternal Longing (1928). Photo courtesy of Bowman Sculpture, London.

Gustinus Ambrosi, Promethindenlos or The Eternal Longing (1928). Photo courtesy of Bowman Sculpture, London.

TEFAF is full of showstoppers, but one of the servers actually paused in her tracks and asked me if I could read her the label for this large-scale marble work, as she wasn’t able to step inside the booth with her tray of empty wine glasses. Instead, I offered to hold it for her, so she could experience the piece in the round—Prometheus arching backwards to give a naked woman a passionate kiss, both bodies partially embedded in the Carrara marble as if struggling to break free.

“I love Prometheus with his chains, and I love the fact that here, she is the chain. It’s just the most romantic piece,” Michele Bowman of London’s Bowman Sculpture told Midnight Publishing Group News.

The gallery recently restored the awesome work, which was discovered hidden in a cellar for safekeeping from the Nazis. It’s a smaller version of a sculpture Ambrosi carved from 31-ton block of marble that is in the collection of the Belvedere in Vienna. It’s on public view at the fair for only the second time, following a recent exhibition at Bowman.

The artist, known as the Austrian Rodin, was a former child prodigy in music who turned to sculpture after a bout of measles left him deaf. “Being an artistic soul, he started to sketch and draw and moved on from there,” Bowman added. “So little of his work comes on the market, so when it does, normally we buy it.”


Boris AldridgeThe Green Forest Panel No. 1 (2022)
Amir Mohtashemi, London
£50,000 ($60,000)

Boris Aldridge, <em>The Green Forest Panel No. 1</em> (2022). Photo courtesy of Amir Mohtashemi, London.

Boris Aldridge, The Green Forest Panel No. 1 (2022). Photo courtesy of Amir Mohtashemi, London.

The juxtaposition of contemporary works with TEFAF’s legendary antiques can yield some of the fair’s brightest moments, such as a large ceramic wall panel by Boris Aldridge amid the historic Indian and Islamic art at the booth of London’s Amir Mohtashemi.

“Boris is a British potter influenced by Persian art,” the dealer told Midnight Publishing Group News, pointing to the artist’s own poetry lining the glistening green and gold tiles, which are painted with intricate animal designs.

Alridge is the only contemporary artist that the gallery works with, but Mohtashemi sees plenty of overlap with their other holdings.

“We really look at him as the continuation of the arts and craft movement in the U.K.,” he added.


Giuseppe Viner, Divisionist Triptych (1902)
Oscar Grant, Paris and London
Around €250,000 ($265,000)

Giuseppe Viner, Divisionist Triptych (1902). Photo courtesy of Oscar Grant, Paris and London.

Giuseppe Viner, Divisionist Triptych (1902). Photo courtesy of Oscar Grant, Paris and London.

An especially stunning and unique work at the fair is the wooden room divider by Giuseppe Viner, painted with a gorgeous sunset view of the Tuscan countryside and the Mediterranean coast as seen from the artist’s villa outside Sienna.

Dealer Oscar Grant doesn’t sell paintings, but this work neatly bridges the divide between furniture and the canvas, with the two outer panels of the triptych folding in to reveal painted doors on the back side.

“This is what we call artist furniture—what painters and sculptors would make for themselves, not as part of their regular practice,” he told Midnight Publishing Group News. “And this is 10 or 15 years ahead of its time—we’re on the way to Futurist and Divisionist Italian painting.”


Playing Card Collection (1680–1975)
Daniel Crouch Rare Books, London
€600,000 ($638,000)

Selections from Frank van den Bergh's playing card collection. Photo courtesy of Daniel Crouch Rare Books, London.

Selections from Frank van den Bergh’s playing card collection. Photo courtesy of Daniel Crouch Rare Books, London.

A substantial portion of Daniel Crouch Rare Books’ booth was dedicated to 157 decks of cards owned by Frank van den Bergh. He has been perhaps the world’s leading collector of playing cards since 1990.

“It’s 30 years of work, but my children don’t want to continue the collection so what do you do?” Van den Bergh told Midnight Publishing Group News.

The asking price for the collection, which Crouch has packaged in attractive matching boxes for the occasion, comes out to about $75 a card—but that average includes much more valuable decks, like an embroidered one from 1680 that alone would cost €75,000. (The gallery has released a catalogue, titled The Art of the Deal, detailing the collection.)

There are also a few single cards, such as a 1795 “foundling card” that Van den Berge dubbed the “most emotional” of the collection.

“If a mother abandoned a child, she left a playing card and she cut off a corner of the card. She would keep the other part so she could prove that it was her child,” he said. “Here, she writes on the back ‘my burden is heavy. Goodbye my dear Famke,’ which is a Dutch name meaning ‘little girl.’ It’s just a single card, it’s dirty, but it has a very emotional background.”


Joachim Tielke, Collectors cabinet (ca. 1700)
Kollenburg Antiquairs, Oirschot, the Netherlands
€2.5 million ($2.65 million)

Joachim Tielke, Collectors cabinet (ca. 1700). Photo courtesy of Kollenburg Antiquairs, Oirschot, the Netherlands.

Joachim Tielke, Collectors cabinet (ca. 1700). Photo courtesy of Kollenburg Antiquairs, Oirschot, the Netherlands.

This is the only known cabinet by Joachim Tielke, who is recognized as one of the 17th and 18th century’s greatest instrument makers. Assembling the intricate piece, carved from solid ivory and inlaid with ornate designs in tortoiseshell and mother of pearl, would have served as an advertisement of the artist’s skill as a craftsman—and a showpiece in his Hamburg shop.

The work was identified thanks to the diary of a book collector, in which he described visiting Tielke and being impressed by the cabinet, with its many drawers and hidden compartments.

Finding the right collector to take home this unique piece, Renee Louwers of Kollenburg Antiquairs told Midnight Publishing Group News, could be a challenge: “The people who collect Tielke’s guitars, they are not usually looking for an expensive piece of furniture!”


Kazari Zame (19th century)
Galerie Jean-Christophe Charbonnier, Paris
€40,000 ($42,000)

Kazari Zame (19th century) from Galerie Jean-Christophe Charbonnier, Paris, at TEFAF Maastricht 2023. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Kazari Zame (19th century) from Galerie Jean-Christophe Charbonnier, Paris, at TEFAF Maastricht 2023. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

In a fair full of rarities, a 19th-century Japanese Kazari Zame, a decoratively bound roll shagreen, or ray skin, stood out. Traditionally given as gifts among the daimyô, or Japanese feudal lords, these luxurious packages could have been displayed—or opened so the skin could be applied to a sword hilt.

“When you are packing something like this, it’s really, really precious,” gallery owner Jean-Christophe Charbonnier told Midnight Publishing Group News. “This one, we are very lucky that it hasn’t been unpacked.”

Only two other intact versions are known to survive, one of which is in the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The other has been in private hands since being auctioned at Christie’s in 1992. The ray skin is mounted in high quality brocade, with several openings to show off the grain of the skin within.


Maddalena Corvina, Portrait of a Lady of High Standing (ca. 1635–1645)
Miriam di Penta Fine Art, Rome
€100,000–150,000 ($106,000–160,000)

Maddalena Corvina, <em>Portrait of a Lady of High Standing</em> (ca. 1635–1645). Photo courtesy of Miriam di Penta Fine Art, Rome.

Maddalena Corvina, Portrait of a Lady of High Standing (ca. 1635–1645). Photo courtesy of Miriam di Penta Fine Art, Rome.

This is a newly discovered painting by the obscure 17th-century Italian miniaturist Maddalena Corvina.

“She was well-known in her time. We have portraits of her, and 17th-century historians talk about her work,” dealer Miriam di Penta told Midnight Publishing Group News. “She never married, in order to continue her profession.”

Corvina was successful, too—her mother’s will lists jewelry and other valuables purchases as being made thanks to her daughter’s career as an artist.

The gouache on paper work on view at TEFEF, which hails from a private collection in France, joins only two or three known works by the artist. Likely painted for a betrothal, it is also in the best condition of any extant Corvina.

“The others are more faded; they’ve suffered from light,” Di Penta said.

The only previous auction results from the artist, according to the Midnight Publishing Group Price Database, were in 2019, for €12,260 ($13,596) and in 1998, for £2,760 ($4,519)—but an eagle-eyed buyer still snapped up this much more expensive example day one of the fair.

TEFAF Maastricht is on view at the Maastricht Exhibition and Conference Centre (MECC), Forum 100, 6229 GV Maastricht, Netherlands, from March 9–19, 2023.

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Art Basel Has Unveiled the Exhibitors for Its 2023 Flagship Swiss Fair—Find Out Who’s Been Welcomed In and Who Is Missing Out

Art Basel has named the 285 galleries that will line the corridors of its marquee June fair in Switzerland. The upcoming event, which will have its preview days on June 13 and 14, will be the first Swiss edition steered by new CEO Noah Horowitz, who took over the helm from longtime global director Marc Spiegler at the beginning of the year.

On the roster are few surprises and many of the usual suspects: mega-galleries Hauser & Wirth and David Zwirner are all attending, surely with sprawling real estate, alongside Goodman Gallery, Jeffrey Deitch, James Cohan Gallery, which are all returning.

The fair is welcoming 21 first-timers to its main sector, including blank projects from Cape Town, South Africa, Empty Gallery from Hong Kong, and Offer Waterman from London. A little room was made—notably, Galerie König, a mainstay at the fair is absent this year. The gallery did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Clearing, which had participated in Paris+ by Art Basel, the new Paris art fair which kicked off in October with a formidable debut, is graduating to the main sector from the Feature sector in 2022; as is Vienna’s Croy Nielsen, which had also shown Nina Beier as part of Paris+ off-site sector—their presence suggests that a new corridor to get coveted spots in Basel has been opened. Jan Kaps from Cologne, mor charpentier from Paris and Bogota, and Deborah Schamoni from Munich are also graduating from Features and Statements to the main sector.

Another change comes to the format. Art Basel’s Feature sector, which has typically been host to tightly curated booths (no salon-style group hangs here) will be even further honed to officially focus on “art-historical” projects. There will be a re-staging of Colette Lumiere’s 1977 performance sleep, presented by Company Gallery, where the artist embodies a tragic heroine in a state of rest within her fantastical built environments—these radical living art pieces will likely be a crowd-favorite. A survey of works on paper spanning from 1915 to 1979 by artist Sonia Delaunay, co-founder of the Orphism art movement and a pioneer of geometric abstraction, will be presented by Galerie Zlotowski, from Paris.

Last year, Art Basel applied a more relaxed policy on fair applicants to its flagship art fair, which is notoriously tough to get into (once you are in, there are also no promises that you will be welcomed back the following year). The fair reduced the minimum number of exhibitions a gallery must hold per year, the number of years the gallery must have been in operation, and the prerequisite of having a permanent gallery space. LC Queisser from Tbilsi, and Paris’s sans titre, will debut there after stints at the emerging art fair Liste next door.

The main concourse will be taken over with a site-specific installation by Latifa Echakhch, whose work was on view at the Swiss Pavilion at the 59th International Venice Biennale—an atmospheric, post-apocalyptic installation. The artist is represented by Pace Gallery and Kamel Mennour, who are both in the main sectors at Art Basel. The still-under-wraps project will, according to Vincenzo de Bellis, Art Basel’s director of fairs and exhibition platforms, invite fair-goers “to rediscover the public dimension of the square.”

See the full list of 2023 exhibitors at Art Basel, Basel below.

Galleries Sector

303 Gallery, New York
47 Canal, New York
A Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York
Acquavella Galleries, New York, Palm Beach
Air de Paris, Romainville
Galería Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid
Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Paris, Stockholm
Antenna Space, Shanghai
Applicat-Prazan, Paris
The Approach, London
Art : Concept, Paris
Alfonso Artiaco, Napoli
Balice Hertling, Paris
von Bartha, København, Basel
galería elba benítez, Madrid
Bernier/Eliades Athens, Brussels
blank projects, Cape Town
Daniel Blau, Salzburg, Munich
Blum & Poe, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York
Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Los Angeles, New York
Bortolami, New York
Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin
BQ, Berlin
The Breeder, Athens
Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong, London, Palm Beach
Galerie Buchholz, Berlin, Cologne, New York
Cabinet, London
Campoli Presti, Paris, London
Canada, New York
Galerie Gisela Capitain, Berlin, Cologne
Cardi Gallery, Milan, London
carlier gebauer, Berlin, Madrid
Carlos/Ishikawa, London
Casas Riegner, Bogota
Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon
Cheim & Read, New York
Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai
ChertLüdde, Berlin
Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
Clearing, Brussels, Los Angeles, New York
James Cohan Gallery, New York
Sadie Coles HQ, London
Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin
Galleria Continua, São Paulo, Beijing, La Habana, Boissy-leChâtel, Paris, Roma, San Gimignano
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, Palm Beach
Pilar Corrias, London
Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan
Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
Croy Nielsen, Vienna
Thomas Dane Gallery, London, Naples
MassimoDeCarlo, Hong Kong, Paris, Milan, London
Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, New York
dépendance, Brussels
Di Donna, New York
Ecart, Geneva
Galerie Eigen + Art Berlin, Leipzig
galerie frank elbaz, Paris
Empty Gallery, Hong Kong
Essex Street/Maxwell Graham, New York
Experimenter, Kolkata
Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin, Düsseldorf
Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw
Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
Peter Freeman, Inc., New York
Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
Frith Street Gallery, London
Gagosian, Hong Kong, Paris, Athens, Rome, Basel, Geneva, London, Beverly Hills, New York
Galerie 1900-2000, Paris
Galleria dello Scudo, Verona
gb agency, Paris
Gladstone Gallery, Brussels, Roma, New York
Gomide & Co, São Paulo
Galería Elvira González, Madrid
Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, London
Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris, London, New York
Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt
Gray, Chicago, New York
Alexander Gray Associates, Germantown, New York
Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Greene Naftali, New York
greengrassi, London
Galerie Karsten Greve, St. Moritz, Cologne, Paris
Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon
Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin
Hamiltons, London
Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Ciutadella de Menorca, Gstaad, Sankt Moritz, Zurich, London, Somerset, Los Angeles, New York
Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert, London
Herald St, London
Galerie Max Hetzler, Paris, Berlin, London
Hollybush Gardens, London
Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
Gallery Hyundai, Seoul
A arte Invernizzi, Milan
Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
Alison Jacques, London
Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna
Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, San Francisco
JTT, New York
Annely Juda Fine Art, London
Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf
Casey Kaplan, New York
Jan Kaps, Cologne
Karma International Zürich
kaufmann repetto, Milan, New York
Sean Kelly, New York
Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
Anton Kern Gallery, New York
Kewenig, Berlin, Palma de Mallorca
Kiang Malingue, Hong Kong
Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich
Galerie Knoell, Basel
David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
KOW, Berlin
Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna
Nicolas Krupp, Basel
K-T Z, Berlin
Kukje, Gallery Busan, Seoul
kurimanzutto, Mexico City, New York
Labor, Mexico City
Galerie Lahumière, Paris
Landau Fine Art, Montreal, Meggen
Layr, Vienna
Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong, London
Lehmann Maupin, Seoul, London, New York
Tanya Leighton, Berlin, Los Angeles
Galerie Lelong & Co., Paris, New York
LGDR, Paris, Hong Kong, London, New York
Galerie Gisèle Linder. Basel
Lisson Gallery, Shanghai, London, East Hampton, New York
Luhring Augustine, New York
Luxembourg + Co., London
Kate MacGarry, London
Magazzino, Rome
Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich
Gió Marconi, Milan
Matthew Marks Gallery, Los Angeles, New York
Galerie Max Mayer, Düsseldorf
The Mayor Gallery, London
Fergus McCaffrey, New York, Tokyo, St Barthélemy
Galerie Greta Meert, Brussels
Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco
Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, Lucerne
Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, New York, Brussels
Mennour, Paris
Meyer Riegger, Berlin, Karlsruhe
Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia
Victoria Miro, Venice, London
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York
Mnuchin Gallery, New York
Modern Art, London
The Modern Institute, Glasgow
mor charpentier, Bogotá, Paris
Jan Mot, Brussels
mother’s tankstation limited, Dublin, London
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna
Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin, Cologne, Munich
Richard Nagy Ltd., London
Edward Tyler Nahem New York
Helly Nahmad Gallery, New York
Galerie Neu, Berlin
neugerriemschneider, Berlin
Galleria Franco Noero, Turin
David Nolan Gallery, New York
Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin, Mexico City, Stockholm
Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Brussels, Paris
OMR, Mexico City
Galleria Lorcan O’Neill Roma, Rome, Venice
P.P.O.W, New York
Pace Gallery, Hong Kong, Seoul, Geneva, London, East Hampton, New York, Palm Beach, Palo Alto
Maureen Paley, Hove, London
Peres Projects, Berlin
Perrotin, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris, Tokyo,
Seoul, New York
Petzel, New York
Galerie Francesca Pia, Zurich
Galeria Plan B, Berlin, Cluj
Gregor Podnar, Vienna
Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, New York
ProjecteSD, Barcelona
Galeria Dawid Radziszewski, Warsaw
Almine Rech, Brussels, Shanghai, Paris, London, New York
Reena Spaulings Fine Art, Los Angeles, New York
Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Rodeo, Pireas, London
Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Paris, Seoul, London
Lia Rumma, Milan, Naples
Deborah Schamoni, Munich
Esther Schipper, Berlin
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich
Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin
Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut
Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
ShanghART Gallery, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore
Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf
Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
Skarstedt Paris, London, East Hampton, New York
Skopia / P.,-H. Jaccaud Geneva
Société, Berlin
Galerie Pietro Spartà, Chagny
Sperone Westwater, New York
Sprovieri, London
Sprüth Magers, Hong Kong, Berlin, London, Los Angeles
Nils Stærk, Copenhagen
Galerie Gregor, Staiger ZurichStampa, Basel
Standard (Oslo), Oslo,
Galleria Christian Stein, Milan,
Stevenson, Amsterdam, Cape Town, Johannesburg,
Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo,
Take Ninagawa, Tokyo,
Templon, Brussels, Paris,
Galerie Thomas, Munich,
Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin,
Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, Beijing, Tokyo,
Tornabuoni Art, Paris, Florence, Forte dei Marmi, Milan, Crans Montana,
Travesía Cuatro, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Madrid,
Galerie Tschudi, Zuoz,
Tucci Russo Studio per l’Arte Contemporanea, Torino, Torre Pellice (Turin),
Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris,
Van de Weghe, East Hampton, New York,
Vedovi Gallery, Brussels,
Vielmetter Los Angeles, Los Angeles,
Vitamin Creative Space, Beijing, Guangzhou,
Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen,
Offer Waterman, London,
Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin,
Wentrup, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Hamburg,
Michael Werner Gallery, Berlin, London, New York,
White Cube, Hong KongBarbara Wien, Berlin
Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Romainville
Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne
Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp
ZERO…, Milan
David Zwirner, Paris, Hong Kong, London, New York
Borch Editions, Copenhagen, Berlin
Cristea Roberts Gallery, London
Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
knust kunz gallery editions, Munich
Carolina Nitsch, New York
Paragon, London
René Schmitt, Westoverledingen
Susan Sheehan Gallery, New York
STPI, Singapore
Two Palms, New York

Feature Sector (artist featured in bold)
acb Budapest, Katalin Ladik
Galerie Carzaniga, Basel, Mark Tobey
David Castillo, Miami, Belkis Ayón
Company Gallery, New York, Colette Lumiere
Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, Senga Nengudi
Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris, Richard Nonas
Gajah Gallery, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Singapore, I Gusti Ayu Kadek (IGAK) Murniasih
Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, Rosalyn Drexler
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, Jacqueline de Jong
M77 Gallery, Milan, Maria Lai
Martos Gallery, New York, Arthur Simms
Millan, São Paulo, Ana Amorim
Michel Rein, Brussels, Paris, Piero Gilardi
Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt, Lynne Cohen
Galerie Bene Taschen, Cologne, Jamel Shabazz
Galerie Zlotowski, Paris, Sonia Delaunay

Statements Sector

Broadway, New York, Sky Hopinka
Chapter NY, New York, Stella Zhong
Cooper Cole, Toronto, Hangama Amiri
Bridget Donahue, New York, Satoshi Kojima
Gaga, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Karla Kaplun
Gypsum Gallery, Cairo, Hend Samir
Hua International, Beijing, Berlin, Gordon Hall
Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, Hardeep Pandhal
LambdaLambdaLambda, Pristina, Brilant Milazimi
Laveronica arte contemporanea, Modica, Adelita Husni Bey
LC Queisser, Tbilisi, Tolia Astakhishvili
Madragoa, Lisbon, Jaime Welsh
Marfa’ Beirut, Raed Yassin
Kendra Jayne Patrick, Bern, New York, Sharona Franklin
sans titre, Paris, Agnes Scherer
SMAC Art Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch, Bonolo Kavula
Soft Opening, London, Sin Wai Kin
Simone Subal Gallery, New York, Baseera Khan

6 of the Best Artworks at Frieze Los Angeles 2023, From a Jennifer Bartlett Masterwork to a Powerful Debut by a 24-Year-Old Rising Star

Ah, Frieze Los Angeles—it’s a pretty great art fair. There’s plenty to see, excitement in the (unseasonably chilly) air, the occasional frisson of a celebrity sighting, and excellent discoveries to be made from artists both young and old. Here are a few of the standout artworks in the fair this year.


Jennifer Bartlett
The Comedian as the Letter C for Max Gordon (1990)
Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Price: $675,000

Photo: Object Studies Copyright: © Jennifer Bartlett Courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, and The Jennifer Bartlett 2013 Trust.

Photo: Object Studies. Copyright: © Jennifer Bartlett Courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen; Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; and the Jennifer Bartlett 2013 Trust.

Those familiar with the artistically and intellectually potent work of Jennifer Bartlett, the painter who died last year at age 81, may be surprised by her work at the fair. Whereas she is best known for her rigorously structured, mathematics-derived canvases—the kind of work that led Roberta Smith, her great critical champion, to call her a “conceptual painter on vast scale”—the central painting on view at Boesky’s booth is explosive, frightening, almost cinematic. Stemming from a shift in which Bartlett transitioned away from her acclaimed aluminum-plate sequences of the 1970s toward a freer, looser hand, the artwork depicts a human skeleton standing in an abstracted domestic setting engulfed in flames, surrounded by sequences of playing cards, dominoes, wooden chests, game boards, and squares of tartan plaid.

Never before displayed in California, where Bartlett was born, this painting has doomy local resonance in a time when one year of massive wildfires has been replaced by one of cataclysmic rains. It wasn’t so different during the artist’s youth. As her friend Joan Didion wrote, “Children [in California] grow up aware that any extraordinary morning their house could slip its foundation in an earthquake…. Jennifer Bartlett’s most persistent imagery, her apprehension of the potential for disaster in the everyday, derives from her California childhood.” Of course, the artist’s interest in systems and pattern-making is present amid the chaos: the games and plaid strewn around the painting are instances of math made quotidian, things you can find around your home.

Today, Bartlett occupies a funny place in the art conversation. She’s not a household name, but she’s not exactly under-recognized. Her market has been evolving steadily. The January opening of her posthumous show of drawings at Boesky’s New York gallery was jam-packed with her artist and critic fans. But has she gotten her due? One almost hopes that someone from the tech community will see her paintings at the fair, recognize a kindred spirit in the pursuit of that quasi-mystical intersection of data and everyday life, buy some work, tell their friends, and make her into a real phenomenon.

Lee Bae
Issu du feu (1998)
Johyun Gallery
Price: $207,000

Photo: Andrew Goldstein.

With unaccountably luscious surfaces that darkly shimmer in the light, the artist Lee Bae’s charcoal paintings draw you in for closer inspection to discern how they do what they do—it’s no wonder that the dealers at Johyun Gallery have come to call them “people magnets.” The mystery somehow only deepens when you learn that these paintings are not made with charcoal, laying it down on paper or canvas, but rather from charcoal, with the artist slicing thick slabs of burnt pine and then inlaying it like black mother of pearl to create the surface.

Bae began working with charcoal as a signature material three decades ago when, living in Paris, he found lumps of it for sale in a store and realized that it not only reminded him of his native South Korea, where it is a staple of daily life, but that it was a cheap and plentiful material he could count on. Furthermore, its status as a tree that had become fire and then a carbonized relic ready to become fire again appealed to him as having a certain circle-of-life poetry to it. 

Now 67, Bae is a superstar in South Korea with long waiting lists for his work, but his gallery is intent on expanding his market into new territories. Last year, they brought his paintings to the Armory Show in New York, where one was bought by a “famous collector” right away. Here in Los Angeles, another one—and they range from $100,000 to $250,000—sold to a prominent U.S. collector in the opening hours of the fair. 


Veronica Fernandez
I Don’t Want to Die (2023)
Sow & Tailor Gallery, Los Angeles
Price: ranging from $14,500 to $26,000

Courtesy of Sow & Tailor Gallery, Los Angeles.

As an artist, Veronica Fernandez is something of a miracle: she is only 24 years old (she was born in 1998), has only been painting for about three years, and is clearly a supercharged talent, using the brush both gesturally and with precision to create riveting, dreamlike scenes. And, in an art world filled with nepo babies (and grandbabies), Fernandez experienced an impoverished upbringing, spending much of her youth changing homes and facing eviction in New Jersey with her family—and still, through her talent, was able to earn a BFA from the School of Visual Arts last year and now has come to a place where her work is for sale at the Frieze art fair.

The paintings on view here meld her talent and story. Based on poems she wrote about her family’s ordeal and photographs from her and her sister’s childhood, the scenes show her conjuring an imaginative space of comfort and home amid instability: making a play fort in one painting, riding a barren mattress like a gondola through a sea of colorful disco balls in another, or here, in this one, cheerfully riding her bike amid barking dogs and unsavory characters as her family members watch with concern. (Its title, I Don’t Want to Die, is chilling.)

Fernandez paints quickly and with urgency, laying down her memories and imaginings in a way that creates a definite mood. In her largest canvas at the fair, figures of adults and children trudge through a wasteland, tied together by ropes looped around their waists. They are on a long trek, the ones in the front carrying forward the ones behind. Maybe Fernandez’s art can lighten the load.


Joana Choumali
Silence, Too, Is an Answer (2022)
Sperone Westwater, New York
Price: $45,000

Photo: Andrew Goldstein.

Based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Joana Choumali used to go to the beach resort of Grand-Bassam with her family as a child. After a 2016 attack at the resort left 19 people dead, unsettling the shaky peace following the country’s civil wars, she returned there to make art in an attempt to make sense of the atrocity, memorialize the victims, and heal wounds. The resulting series consists of photographs that she took of lonely figures in desolated settings and then printed on canvas, allowing her to embroider the figures and their surroundings with lustrous threads, imbuing the scenes with a colorful feeling of hope. Called “Ça va aller,” or “It’s Going to Be Okay,” the body of work won her France’s prestigious Prix Pictet in 2019. 

This caught the attention of Angela Westwater, the fabled dealer and cofounder of Sperone Westwater Gallery, which is best known for its work with Bruce Nauman and postwar Italian artists like Carla Accardi, but which in recent years has been bringing on a younger generation of talents. On a trip to London, Westwater saw a magnificent triptych by Choumali in a 2021 group show at the Royal Academy. That piece, plus the fact that the Victoria & Albert Museum had acquired a work, led to a series of Zoom calls with the artist and now gallery representation—despite the fact that Westwater and Choumali have not yet met in person, a lingering product of the pandemic.

At the fair, the artwork on display by Choumali has wow factor to spare. Stemming from iPhone snapshots the artist takes on early-morning walks in Abidjan and then prints onto canvas, this surface is then enlivened by a solitary portrait she cuts out of a separate shoot and then stitches on top, painstakingly overlaying the lines of her imagery with thread before finally covering the whole composition with a diaphanous piece of tulle. The gauzy effect comes across well in a photo, but in person it’s hypnotizing. Next up? Another Zoom call between Westwater and Choumali, and then, if all goes well, a show at the New York gallery by the end of the year.


Carroll Dunham
Untitled, 3/29/22, 3/30/22 (2022)
Gladstone Gallery, New York
Price: $50,000

Photo: Andrew Goldstein.

That the painter and printmaker Carroll Dunham is one of the greatest artists of his generation still seems to be something of a secret, which is funny because he has all the hallmarks: an instantly recognizable hand, distinctive subject matter that provides timeless pools of mysterious reflection, and a career’s worth of work that shows continual evolution. In recent years, he has been working with an enigmatic male figure dubbed “the Wrestler” (the successor to the female “Bather” of his earlier work), who has a habit of engaging in primeval combat with doppelgängers of himself but also getting lost in what appears to be deep, philosophical thought. 

In Los Angeles, Gladstone Gallery has transformed its office space into a showroom for a series of monoprints in the latter, contemplative vein, while the the base canvas for the series is on display at the fair. It shows the Wrestler from a rear three-quarter view, colored green like some ancient chthonic entity, long hair and beard falling from a body that is limned with thick, decisive lines. His brow is furrowed and his gaze trained on the center of a red vortex in the background. Around him is a Bacon-esque cage—are those red lines below him are flames?—the lines and squiggles give the setting a pulsating feel, like he’s traveling between dimensions.

Who is this green Wrestler, and what is he up to? A clue, apparently, is that Dunham has a longstanding interest in science fiction. What’s certain is that he furnishes a perfect opportunity for the artist’s formal explorations, and the series of prints that arose from this base canvas—produced at Two Palms press in SoHo—are wonderfully weird, with blottings of diluted ink creating a hallucinatory effect. Right now, Dunham’s prints are also the subject of a major survey at the National Gallery in Oslo (where the Queen is an avid printmaker herself), and this May, Gladstone will unveil a new series of drawings in New York that will introduce a never-before-seen formal element to his work. What adventures will our friend the Wrestler embark on next? Stay tuned.


Ernie Barnes
Protect the Rim (1976)
Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
Price: $1.25 million

Photo: Andrew Goldstein.

It was in the early, scary, lonely days of the pandemic when the art dealer Andrew Kreps was googling some artists he was interested in and fell down a rabbit hole of overlooked American painters that led him, search query by search query, to Ernie Barnes. A fascinating figure whose life story strikes as movie-ready today but which didn’t quite make sense to the art establishment of his time, Barnes had wanted to be an artist ever since he was a kid, but as a Black child in segregated Durham, North Carolina, that path was not really open to him—whereas football was a path that, as a gifted athlete, he could run down at full speed. So he got a full athletic scholarship to attend the all-Black North Carolina College, where he majored in art while dazzling scouts on the football field, leading him to a pro career first with the Baltimore Colts, then the New York Titans, then the San Diego Chargers, then the Denver Broncos. Throughout his football career, Barnes made art, sketching even during team meetings—something his Denver coach would fine him $100 for when caught—and earning the nickname “Big Rembrandt” among his teammates. (He and the Dutch master share a birthday.)

After playing for five years, Barnes became eligible for a pension and quit to do art full time, painting in a style inspired by Thomas Hart Benton, Andrew Wyeth, and other midcentury American regionalists that he dubbed “Neo-Mannerism.” That expressive, elongated style is on full display in this painting of two basketball players leaping into a sky reminiscent of a brighter El Greco, framed by raw wooden planks that somehow manage to simultaneously evoke a southern shack and a Renaissance icon. He quickly found success—his first post-retirement show in New York sold out, he became the “official artist” of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, he won celebrity collectors in the Black entertainment world like Richard Roundtree and Berry Gordy, and his art was featured in seminal pop-culture contexts from a Marvin Gaye album cover to (most famously) the set of the TV show Good Times. But, during his lifetime—he died in 2009—the fine art world kept its distance.

Suffice to say, all that has changed. In 2020, the UTA Artists Space in L.A. gave Barnes a solo show, Kreps mounted a show in 2021, and momentum began to grow behind his market until, bang, his 1976 painting The Sugar Shack woke everyone up when it sold for $15.3 million at Christie’s in May 2022. Since then it’s been off to the races, and Kreps’s booth at Frieze was the equivalent of a touchdown dance in the end zone, with the artist’s family hanging around in “Team Barnes” sweatshirts and stars like Lionel Richie and Tyler the Creator coming by to pay respects among artworks ranging from $2.2 million (for a painting titled Street Song) to works on paper in the $60,000-to-$125,000 range. And just think: UTA, the eminent talent agency that brought Barnes into the present-day spotlight—and which is currently displaying Sugar Shack at its West Hollywood art space—is mainly interested in his life rights for film and TV projects. Expect Barnes’s fame to only grow from here.

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VIP Day at Frieze Los Angeles’s New Airport Venue Takes Off With Soaring Sales and Its Now-Signature Star-Studded Crowd

Well-heeled crowds of VIPs cued to enter Frieze Los Angeles’s opening day on Thursday. Inside and outside the big white tent, the roster of now-typical celebrities in attendance included Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson, and Billy Zane, as well as Kim Gordon, Tyler the Creator, Margot Robbie, and Christoph Waltz. The swarm of visitors, reminiscent of the packed fair aisles at Frieze London last fall, was noted by numerous dealers, who also cited interest from major museums and high-profile private collections—even if none were identified specifically (yet).

To call sales brisk is putting it mildly. At least three galleries (Gagosian, David Kordansky, and Perrotin) told Midnight Publishing Group News they had completely sold out of the artworks on view in their respective booths by the end of the VIP day, if not in the earlier hours.

Installation view of Chase Hall solo show at David Kordansky at Frieze Los Angeles 2023. Photo by Mark Blower. Image courtesy the artist and David Kordansky.

Installation view of Chase Hall solo show at David Kordansky at Frieze Los Angeles 2023. Photo by Mark Blower. Image courtesy the artist and David Kordansky.

Kordansky’s booth was devoted to a solo show by Chase Hall, a young Black artist whose latest work explores his experiences as a youth navigating race and identity in Los Angeles.

“We received an incredible response from notable institutions and collectors alike,” said Kurt Mueller, senior director. Hall has a solo museum show opening February 28 at the SCAD Art Museum in Georgia. The gallery declined to share prices.

Perrotin sold-out stand included a joint solo presentation by Josh Sperling and Aya Takano, alongside presentations of work by Jean-Michel Othoniel and Daniel Arsham. Highlights include a series of paintings by Sperling and Othoniel starting at $60,000, and a sculpture by Arsham, priced at around $150,000.

Installation view of work by Rick Lowe at Gagosian Gallery booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2023. Artwork © Rick Lowe Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano Courtesy Gagosian.

Installation view of work by Rick Lowe at Gagosian Gallery booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2023. Artwork © Rick Lowe Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano. Courtesy Gagosian.

Gagosian reported selling out of work by Rick Lowe, whose art and practice drew considerable buzz at the most recent Whitney Biennial. 

“Rick Lowe’s solo presentation at Frieze LA builds on an incredible year for the artist,” said gallery director Antwaun Sargent, adding that several of the nine works, all of which were sold, went to museums. The gallery declined to share prices but ranges cited around the time of the Whitney biennial, according to our sources, were $65,000 to $125,000 on the primary market and rising. A source familiar with the market cited prices upwards of $300,000 on the secondary market.

Amid all the buoyant news of sales, the fair’s new location, at Santa Monica airport, was not without some glaring logistical hiccups. (Previous editions of the fair, which launched in 2019, were held at Paramount Studios and in Beverly Hills.) Road closures on one side of the airport forced numerous fairgoers to circle around the airport, and there was resulting confusion about the whereabouts of the entrance. Several visitors griped at being dropped off as far as one mile away and having to continue on foot. Security officers barked at slowed or stopped cars as passengers tried to make their way to the fair.

Barker Hangar aka Frieze Los Angeles "West Site" is a 10-minute walk from the main fair tent. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

Barker Hangar aka Frieze Los Angeles “West Site” is a 10-minute walk from the main fair tent. Photo by Eileen Kinsella.

The expanded “Focus” section, which was presented alongside other major galleries with 20th-century art presentations, was located in Barker Hangar, a solid ten-minute walk from the custom-built white Frieze tent; it was a fact that caught many exhibitors by surprise, some of whom said they did not realize until they were installing their presentations earlier this week.

Though not dissimilar from Frieze Masters and Frieze London, which are also spread across Regent’s Park (which is, notably, much greener than a tarmac), the separated venues made for a disjointed back-and-forth fair experience. Frieze provided a mini-fleet of golf carts to shuttle visitors between the main bespoke tent and the hangar, respectively labeled “east” and “west” fair sites. Fair sponsor Deutsche Bank had its own fleet of fancier, larger golf carts.

Asked about the communication and response from exhibitors, a Frieze representative told Midnight Publishing Group News: “We know that galleries in ‘Focus’ made significant sales within the first hour of the fair opening this year and major collectors visited ‘Focus’ before visiting any other area of the fair. The two locations were communicated to all galleries well ahead of time. ‘Focus’ has always been a place of energy and enthusiasm—this year was no different.”

Installation view of work by Jane Margarette at Anat Ebgi at Frieze Los Angeles 2023. Image courtesy the artist and Anat Ebgi.

Installation view of work by Jane Margarette at Anat Ebgi at Frieze Los Angeles 2023. Image courtesy the artist and Anat Ebgi.

Despite these glitches, demand for works on offer appeared to be as strong as ever. “It’s our third time here, [and] the day has been really good,” said veteran Los Angeles dealer Anat Ebgi. The gallery held a solo presentation of work by Los Angeles ceramicist Jane Margarette. “I’ve had wonderful conversations with museums today. Curators are really interested in her work,” added Ebgi. The gallery had sold three of the four pieces on view as well as other Margarette works not present in the booth on the first day.

Other exhibitors noted the heavy presence of museums and curators. “The energy, both at the fair and beyond, has been contagious,” said Lehmann Maupin director Jessica Kreps. “My conversations with curators and collectors seemed deeper and much more calculated this year. People are interested in learning more about long-lived and established careers, rather than looking out for the next best thing—thus translating into high-level acquisitions by museum trustees and institutions.”

Sales included six works by Chantal Joffe for more than $240,000 (£200,000), as well as works by Japanese artist Mr., including a sculpture, two paintings, and several works on paper. The gallery also sold three works by Loriel Beltrán, who just joined the gallery this week, for a total of $135,000. Another major sale was Billie Zangewa’s hand-stitched silk collage Under African Skies (2023), which went for $100,000. 

Installation view of works by Mr. at Lehmann Maupin Gallery at Frieze Los Angeles.<br> Image courtesy Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

Installation view of works by Mr. at Lehmann Maupin Gallery at Frieze Los Angeles. Image courtesy Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

Pace Gallery report a wide range of sales at prices that ran from $45,000 to $2 million, including new works by Adrian Ghenie, Yoshitomo Nara, and Matthew Day Jackson. This was in addition to sales of paintings by Thomas Nozkowski and Los Angeles-based Maysha Mohamedi, as well as a small-scale edition of The Embrace by Hank Willis Thomas, following the public sculpture that was unveiled last month in Boston Common as a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Fellow mega-gallery David Zwirner cited demand from around the world for six- and seven-figure works, from a sampling of star artists on its extensive roster. These included: The Encounter (2022) by Dana Schutz, which sold for $1.2 million to a European museum and Sari (2015) by Lisa Yuskavage, which sold for $1 million to a European collection.

The gallery said American buyers were behind the purchase of both Michaël Borremans, The Double II (2022), for $500,000, and Oscar Murillo’s, manifestation (2020-2022), for $400,000.

San Francisco dealer Jessica Silverman said the gallery put forward some of its most ambitious works while “tracing spirit, survival, and growth,” among the themes explored by the artists in the gallery stable.

Within “moments” of the fair opening, the gallery sold a large-scale sculpture for $225,000 and a painting for $55,000 by Woody De Othello; two oil paintings by Julie Buffalohead for $35,000 each; a work on paper by Loie Hollowell for $35,000; a painting by Rebecca Ness for $65,000; three sculptures by Rose B. Simpson ranging from $55,000 to $95,000 each; a paper clay work by Pae White for $50,000; a painting by Hayal Pozanti for $32,000 and a painting by Chelsea Ryoko Wong for $15,000.

Mark Bradford , Shall Rest in Honor There (2023). Image courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Mark Bradford , Shall Rest in Honor There (2023). Image courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Hauser & Wirth also met with excited buyers, reporting at least eight major sales happened on day one. Mark Bradford’s canvas Shall Rest in Honor There (2023) sold for $3.5 million; an untitled Henry Taylor painting (2022) sold for $450,000 and an acrylic on cardboard sold for $45,000; a painting by Luchita Hurtado from (1966) went for $225,000. Three works by Charles Gaines, all in the medium of photography, watercolour, and ink on paper across three sheets, sold for $150,000 each; a work by Gary Simmons, called Chandelier Upswing Right (2011), sold for $65,000.

They gallery’s president Marc Payot called the gallery’s Frieze booth “a love letter to Los Angeles—or, rather, to the artists who have made this city one of the world’s great cultural capitals and energy centers for the visual arts.”

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