Frieze Art Fair 2013, impressions from the opening

Despite the feeling of less visitors than last year, at the end of day 1 some dealers were anyway positive. The three big sculptures by Oscar Tuazon were sold, as the astonishing painting by David Ostrowsky at Peres Project. Jonathan Binet at Gaudel de Stampa was not available anymore. Sold was also the amazing Oliver Osborne work at Wilma Gold and any other pieces of this kind by the artist could not be found.


On the other hand, many of the works that weren’t sold yesterday, or the day before, won’t probably find a collector. Especially with regards to object-based art. After years of being on the front line, ready-made assemblage and similars are experiencing a break. Carol Bove at Maccarone is far from being so effective as she was in Kassel. Video and photography have almost disappeared. Probably following the need of collector to have “safe” pieces.


This could reflect a specific request from the market which is still trying to figure out why, if you are lucky and appreciated by the gallery, you can buy a work of Wade Guyton for less than 200.000 dollars whereas at Sotheby’s a work by the very same artist is expecting to be sold today for one million. This is to say that, even in the case of relative young artists, like Guyton, the buyers are still paying a lot of attention to the timeframe in which works are produced.


However, what emerged to be the really “cool” place to be is the other side of Frieze art fair, that is Frieze Masters section. If compared to the sometimes too crowded and noisy boots of contemporary art galleries, the atmosphere here is that of a spot for people who are truly able to go beyond the surface. Despite the prices of works are surprisingly quite affordable than contemporary pieces, it’s a matter of fact that the average age of dealers and collectors is rather high. But this trend is changing very fast.

July 15, 2015