Frieze Masters & The Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC); October 2017

Frieze Masters in Regent’s Park (4th-8th Oct.) was a triumph. I spoke to the majority of the fine art dealers exhibiting and across the spectrum everyone seemed content. This seems to be the first time that Frieze Masters has been properly, commercially, successful. It has taken five years of this particular sector to get going but the turn-out was strong – international buyers are starting to take the Masters sector more seriously than the overly hip, overly hyped, contemporary section of the fair across the park.

 

Highlights included:

 

-A stunning, large Constructors by Fernand Leger on offer at Acquavella

-The fascinating post-war paintings, from Dubuffet to de Stael, at Olivier Malingue

-An outstanding yellow Poliakoff from 1952 at Eykyn Maclean

-The eclectic mix of Modern British work on Ofer Waterman’s booth

-Waddington’s wonderful reconstruction of Peter Blake’s Studio was marvellous and Blake’s ‘Brown Bomber: Joe Louis’ was a particular gem

 

Over at FIAC the general feeling was upbeat as European collectors flocked to its doors. Although Hauser & Wirth were missing (they exhibited at Frieze) the other heavy hitters did great trade: Thaddaeus Ropac selling work by Knoebel and Baselitz within minutes of the preview opening. Christophe Van de Weghe showed three stunning Basquiats with, understandably, rich price tags. Apparently the main work, from 1982, was on offer at 10m USD. Spruth Magers sold a George Condo very well amongst other solid sales. There seems no abate to the Contemporary market boom – some of which is understandable and some of which is over-hyped and ‘bubbly’.

 

With the auction season in NYC around the corner (13th-17th November) and a major Van Gogh up for grabs it promises to be an exciting Autumn season.

X