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Frieze London 2018: Exceptional Curated Sections, New Museum Collaborations and Expanded VIP Programme Leads to Record International Attendance and Robust Sales Throughout the Week


The 16th edition of Frieze London closed on Sunday 7 October, having brought together ambitious presentations by 160 international galleries in The Regent’s Park. A new two-day Preview as well as expanded VIP programming into the weekend, resulted in record attendance of top tier collectors from the United States to South America, Europe and Asia, and sales being made throughout the week.

The 16th edition of Frieze London closed on Sunday 7 October, having brought together ambitious presentations by 160 international galleries in The Regent’s Park. A new two-day Preview as well as expanded VIP programming into the weekend, resulted in record attendance of top tier collectors from the United States to South America, Europe and Asia, and sales being made throughout the week.

Indicative of the fair’s convening power, Frieze London 2018 saw an increase in museum presence, including strong representation from international institutions. The inaugural Camden Arts Centre Emerging Artist Prize at Frieze was launched, alongside the return of two major acquisition funds with Tate and Contemporary Art Society, demonstrating Frieze’s long-standing collaboration with leading institutions. Also new for 2018, the Frieze Debate brought together a panel of global museum directors for a free live event and recorded broadcast, in collaboration with BBC Radio 3.

Frieze London is supported by global lead partner Deutsche Bank for the 15th consecutive year.

Victoria Siddall (Director, Frieze Fairs) said: ‘The atmosphere in London this week has been phenomenal and the city has been packed with people from all over the world, drawn here by the fantastic exhibitions in museums and galleries as well as by the fairs themselves. This translated into substantial sales across all sections of Frieze London and Frieze Masters and throughout the entire week. I’m thrilled that Frieze Week in London continues to be a key destination for collecting institutions and major collectors from around the world and that this year it has been busier than ever. Cultural leaders have commended the significance and contemporary relevance of our themed and curated sections and programmes that celebrate and support the participation of an incredibly broad range of galleries and artists. It has been a fantastic week and one that shows London at its best, as a global centre for culture and the market.’

Jo Stella-Sawicka (Artistic Director, Frieze London) said: ‘I’m elated by the success of the Frieze London programming this year, which has been shaped by innovative curators and engagement with today’s most urgent questions. I’m thrilled that major institutions, from the UK Tate Collection to Istanbul Modern, bought works from Social Work and Focus. I’m also delighted with the Contemporary Art Society’s acquisitions, which support two of today’s most forward-thinking artists in the founding of a new public collection for all to enjoy. New collaborations with the Camden Arts Centre and the BBC, further establish the role of Frieze’s programming in supporting the wider cultural landscape. The Frieze Artist Award continues to be a fantastic opportunity for an emerging artist to reach international audiences; and Live and Film, enable galleries and artists to show more experimental works beyond the stand walls, as well as ignite conversations across cultures and disciplines.

Robust Sales At All Levels

Galleries at all levels of the market saw robust sales across the week, across the fair’s main and specially curated sections, with artworks being placed in major private collections and international institutions.

Select highlights include: Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac sale of works by Georg Baselitz for EUR 800,000 and an Antony Gormley for GDP 350,000; Hauser & Wirth’s sale of three works by Günther Förg with prices beginning at EUR 350,000 each; David Zwirner sold all the female artists brought to the fair in the first few hours including two works by Carol Bove in the range of USD 350,000-750,000 and by Lisa Yuskavage for USD 900,000. Timothy Taylor sold out its solo presentation of new paintings by Eddie Martinez in the first hour of the fair opening for USD 90,000 each. David Kordansky Gallery sold all works by Calvin Marcus in the range of USD 18,000 - 38,000. In the Focus section, winner of the Focus Stand Prize, blank, sold out their booth by the end of Wednesday with prices ranging between GBP 5,000-13,000; and Los Angeles’s Various Small Fires sold paintings by Julie Curtiss at USD 10,000 each to a Korean foundation and M WOODS, Beijing. Institutional interest in the Social Work section included Weiss Berlin’s sale of a Faith Ringgold tapestry to a museum in the range of USD 160,000-500,000; and Istanbul Modern’s purchase of multiple works by Ipek Duben at Pi Artworks. The Tate Collection acquisitions also included a seminal artwork by Sonia Boyce from Apalazogallery.


Michael Bloomberg, writing for the Evening Standard, said: ‘The Frieze Art Fair is back again in London, transforming Regent’s Park into the world’s capital of creativity. This week, the value of art, both fiscal and cultural, is on full display at the Frieze Art Fair. So if you’re in London pay Regent’s Park a visit. You may think some of it is brilliant and some it is, well, not so brilliant. Either way, you’ll be supporting people who are not only making valuable artistic contributions but important civic ones, too.’

Museums and Curators

Frieze London 2018 welcomed more than 235 groups from institutions around the world – including a marked increase in attendance from Asia and the Americas – cementing the fair’s position as a vital platform for discovery, engagement and acquisition.

Groups attended included trustees and patron groups from Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA Chicago), Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), Fosun Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), M+ Museum Hong Kong, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Indonesia (MACAN), M Woods Beijing, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, Para Site, National Gallery of Prague, Pinakothek der Moderne, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul, and Walker Art Center.

Museum directors and curators who attended include: Melissa Chiu (The Hirschhorn Museum), Lynne Cooke (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC), Thelma Golden (The Studio Museum in Harlem), Michael Govan (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Jessica Morgan (Dia Art Foundation), Lisa Phillips (New Museum of Contemporary Art), Pavel Pys (Walker Art Centre), Suhanya Raffel (M+ Hong Kong), Aaron Seeto (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Indonesia), Anne Ellegood (Hammer Museum) and Francesco Stocchi (Boijmans Museum).

Alex Gartenfeld, Artistic Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICAMiami) said: ‘The Focus section, dedicated to young galleries, was strong this year and represented a portfolio of important global positions. Frieze Sculpture also highlighted vital and activist voices. And of course, the fair was complemented by a brilliant range of museum exhibitions ranging from early renaissance to the contemporary.’

Museum Collaborations

In 2018, Frieze partnered with two major acquisition funds for national museums: the Frieze Tate Fund, supported by Endeavor, returned for its 16th consecutive year alongside the third edition of the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund at Frieze, which supports a regional museum in the UK and will this year benefit The Box (Plymouth). In addition, the 2018 saw the launch of the inaugural Camden Arts Centre Emerging Artist Prize at Frieze, awarded to an artist in the Focus section of the fair.

Frieze Tate Fund supported by Endeavor

The 2018 Frieze Tate Fund, supported by Endeavor, acquired works from Frieze London by the following artists as gifts to the Tate collection: Sonia Boyce from Apalazzo in the new themed section Social Work; Giorgio Griffa from Galleria Lorcan O’Neill in the main section; Claudette Johnson from Hollybush Gardens in the main section; and Johanna Unzueta from Proyectos Ultravioleta in the Focus section.

Contemporary Art Society Collections Fund at Frieze

The Contemporary Art Society has acquired Kehinde Wiley’s first film installation and two works – a cloak and mask that relate to the performance practice of Zadie Xa, who has a solo stand in the Focus section of the fair. Both works will be donated to The Box, Plymouth, a new museum and art gallery opening in 2020 that brings together six of the city’s collections into one venue.

The Camden Arts Centre Emerging Artist Prize at Frieze

Wong Ping (Edouard Malingue, Focus) was awarded the inaugural Camden Arts Centre Emerging Arts Prize at Frieze. Ping will realize a major exhibition at Camden Arts Centre within the next 18 months. The Prize was selected by a panel chaired by Martin Clark, (Director, Camden Art Centre), with Gina Buenfeld, Sophie Williamson (both Programme Curators, Exhibitions, Camden Art Centre) and Joe Hill (Director, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne). A group of UK and international patrons have generously supported the Prize. These influential supporters share an interest in supporting the work of emerging artists and the economy of younger galleries within the contemporary art scene.

Gallery Response

Thaddaeus Ropac, Founder, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (London) said: ‘The energy and pace this Frieze is really indicative of London’s standing in the global market, and its extraordinary draw. The outstanding quality of the works shown throughout the fair was all the more exciting because of the reception to new works by the younger generation of artists - for us Daniel Richter, Adrian Ghenie, Alvaro Barrington. It’s been an exceptional year for us at Frieze.’

Kamel Mennour, Founder, kamel mennour (Paris) said: ‘London continues to be a meeting place for art audiences from across the world and the interest we had from major museum directors, dedicated private collectors and foundations from the US, Asia and across Europe demonstrates Frieze continues to be an important location to show major works. As a gallerist I believe in providing our artists with platforms to exhibit ambitious works and taking on the challenges that come with this. Reflecting an expanded programme at our London gallery, Frieze provided the ideal opportunity to commission Tatiana Trouvé’s The Shaman (a piece originally conceived for a biennial) complementing our solo shows in London and Paris.’

Georgie Wimbush, Associate Director, White Cube (London) said: ‘White Cube has had a strong Frieze week; we’ve been very pleased with the sales from our Liu Wei solo presentation, which was mostly sold on the first day of the fair, and the positive critical response to our striking artist-designed booth. In addition, we can report the placement of American artist Virginia Overton’s sculpture ‘Untitled (122 x 244 View)’ (2018), which has been on show at Frieze Sculpture Park.’

Joost Bosland, Director, Stevenson, (Cape Town) said: ‘While sales have been exceptional, the most rewarding aspect of Frieze is that it remains a curator’s fair, with institutions out in full force. It is a reminder that with all the talk about the market, art history still matters most. Between Viviane Sassen on the cover of Frieze magazine, our two-person show of Moshekwa Langa and Sassen in our booth, and Berni Searle’s presentation in Social Work, this has been a bumper year for us.’

Kate McGarry, Founder, Kate McGarry (London) said: We’ve been busy straight away, meeting collectors from around the world: some we already knew and many who are new relationships for the gallery, particularly from Asia. It’s been a great fair.’

Do Hyung-Teh, Director of Gallery Hyundai (Seoul), said: ‘Frieze continues to be a fair that attracts discerning collectors from around the world across the public and private sectors. The collecting interests of visitors is diverse and informed and this was reflected in the sales we made from the outset; our booths at Frieze London and Masters ranged from Chaekgeori (a still-life painting genre from the 18th century Joseon dynasty) and 20th century Dansaekhwa masters to pioneers of video art Park Hyun-ki and Nam June Paik and contemporary artist Minjung Kim.’

David Maupin, Director, Lehmann Maupin (New York) said: ‘Our solo presentation of OSGEMEOS was very well received, with the crowd including many new and younger collectors at the preview and on opening day who would return to the booth again and again. Paintings sold to collectors in North and South America, Europe, and Asia, a true reflection of how this artist duo’s visionary work speaks to a global audience, and confirmed our strategy to give focused attention to an international artist.’

Stefan Benchoam, Co-founder, Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala City) in Focus said: ‘Frieze London has quickly become a key fair for us in the three years we have taken part; receiving the Focus Stand Prize for our presentation of Vivian Suter and Elisabeth Wild in 2016, exhibiting the very important and challenging work in performance of Regina José Galindo in 2017, and this year with Johanna Unzueta’s most recent drawings which have since found a wonderful home at Tate Modern -one of which was acquired through the Frieze Tate Fund. Additionally, the fair consistently delivers high quality presentations from top galleries, and with that lots of institutional interest and great collectors. It’s a very dynamic atmosphere overall.’

Kirsten Weiss, Founder, Weiss Berlin (Berlin) in Social Work said: ‘Presenting Faith Ringgold’s exceptional work at Frieze London was wonderful. We had a successful fair and were able to place key pieces with wonderful collections. We had a great audience, from collectors to institutions to artists, that were inquisitive and appreciated hearing about the complex issues Faith addresses in her work. We were honoured to be in the company of galleries showing other great women artists such as Nancy Spero and Sonia Boyce in the Social Work section of Frieze.’

Partner Response

Thorsten Strauss, Global Head of Art, Culture & Sports, Deutsche Bank AG said: ‘The partnership between Deutsche Bank and Frieze is an exceptional example of how art and business can work so well together. This year’s fairs are a brilliant example of this in multiple ways – the truly unique customer experience and our aligned projects around the centenary of the first women gaining political empowerment were outstanding and enabled conversation throughout the fairs.’

Frieze Stand Prize and Frieze Focus Prize

Frieze London 2018 presented two awards recognising exceptional gallery presentations across the fair.

The Frieze Stand Prize, which acknowledges an outstanding gallery presentation in the main or Social Work section at Frieze London, was awarded to Sprüth Magers (Berlin/London/Los Angeles), whose presentation at Frieze London included works by Thomas Demand, Jenny Holzer, Marcel van Eeden and Kaari Upson.

This year’s jurors included: Francesco Stocchi (Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Boijmans Museum); Anne Ellegood (Senior Curator, Hammer Museum); and Katrina Brown, (Director, The Common Guild). Jurors commented that Sprüth Magers was ‘inventive with their use of space and created an absorbing environment that places the works in dialogue with each other, while also highlighting the significance of each individual piece’, and that the presentation ‘brings together four distinct artists in unexpected harmony.’

The Focus Stand Prize, recognizing an outstanding gallery presentation in the Focus section, was awarded to blank (Cape Town). This year’s Focus Prize jury included: Margot Norton (Curator, New Museum and co-curator of New Museum Triennial in 2021), Victor Wang (independent curator) and Christina Lehnert (Curator, Portikus Frankfurt). Jurors commented that that blank’s presentation ‘highlighted the strength of each individual artist’ working in a variety of mediums, but also brought them together in a way that is both ‘dynamic’ and ‘complimentary’. They were also impressed by the level of context offered by the gallery about the works on view.

New for 2018: The Frieze Debate: Museums in the 21st Century

On Tuesday 2 October at The Royal Institution (London), Frieze presented a panel of global museum directors for a recorded broadcast in collaboration with BBC Radio 3. Panellists including Hartwig Fischer (British Museum), Michael Govan (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and Sabine Haag (Kunsthistorisches Museum) debated how to make encyclopaedic museums ensure millennia of history is relevant to today’s audiences and how the digital age shapes the way audiences experience art. The discussion was broadcast on Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3’s flagship art and culture programme.

Sponsors and Partners

In addition to global lead partner Deutsche Bank, Frieze London partnered with BMW, Official Champagne Ruinart, the Financial Times, Richard Mille, Lavazza, Mount Street, Contemporary Art Society and The Royal Parks. Hotel Café Royal was the main hotel partner for Frieze London 2018. Deutsche Bank Wealth Management teamed up with the artist Tracey Emin and her studio, with support from Deutsche Bank’s Art, Culture & Sports division, to create an exhibition celebrating a century of female political empowerment in their lounges at Frieze London and Frieze Masters. Entitled Another World, this exhibition was composed entirely of works by female artists in the Deutsche Bank Collection. Emin and her studio also organised a ‘secret postcard sale’ of 840 original works by living female artists in the Collection, which has so far raised over £130,000 for charities that support vulnerable women. Around half these works were available exclusively to clients of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management at the Frieze London lounge, with the remainder available to the public online. The online sale began on October 5 and continues until October 21 at deutschewealth.com/anotherworld, where several dozen works are still available. Each postcard costs £200, with the name of the artist revealed only after the work has sold.

Fabrizio Campelli, Global Head of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management, said: ‘This year’s lounges had a very special look and feel, not just because they were the creation of someone as extraordinary as Tracey Emin but because of what they represented: a tribute and a celebration of the enormous achievements that our society has made towards making women more empowered.’

Children & the Arts was the Charity Partner for Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2018. In addition to raising funds at the fair for the charity, Frieze collaborated with Children and the Arts to give150 teachers complimentary access to Frieze London and Frieze Masters.

Universal Design Studio once again devised the Frieze London 2018 structure, enhancing the quality of visitors’ experience.