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Frieze Masters 2018: Outstanding Sales Across All Market Sectors, and Record Collector and Museum attendance for the Seventh Edition


The 2018 edition of Frieze Masters in London’s Regent’s Park closed on Sunday 7 October, amid reports of strong sales to private collections and institutions by galleries across all sectors and levels of the market. Featuring six millennia of art history from around the world, Frieze Masters opened with a two-day Preview for the first time, drawing strong attendance from both established and new collectors, and record institutional attendance from Asia and the Americas.

The 2018 edition of Frieze Masters in London’s Regent’s Park closed on Sunday 7 October, amid reports of strong sales to private collections and institutions by galleries across all sectors and levels of the market. Featuring six millennia of art history from around the world, Frieze Masters opened with a two-day Preview for the first time, drawing strong attendance from both established and new collectors, and record institutional attendance from Asia and the Americas.

For its seventh edition, the fair brought 130 galleries of international acclaim showcasing expertly vetted artwork, from Old Masters and antiquities, to tribal, Surrealist and 20th-century art. Frieze Masters was supported by global lead partner Deutsche Bank for the seventh consecutive year.

Victoria Siddall, Director, Frieze Fairs, commented: ‘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.’

Nathan Clements-Gillespie, Artistic Director, Frieze Masters, added: ‘The seventh edition of Frieze Masters was exceptionally diverse, with high-quality and inspiring presentations ranging from ancient masterpieces to Old Masters and 20th-century representing visual cultures from across the world. Strong sales during the two-day Preview as well as throughout the week highlighted the serious engagement amongst collectors. Year-on-year we see Frieze Masters’ reputation growing among galleries and collectors alike as a platform to make new discoveries, complementing the programme at Frieze London. Galleries commented on meeting young collectors and those purchasing historical works for the first time, and I was thrilled to see both new and returning dealers across the fair, building fresh relationships with private and public collections.’

Strong Sales

Galleries across the fair’s main and curated section – Spotlight and Collections – reported strong sales. Select highlights include: Van de Weghe sold a work by Franz Kline for USD 8,000,000; Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books sold an extremely rare, imperial Book of Hours with an asking price of around EUR 3,000,000; Lévy Gorvy/kamel mennour sold four major works by François Morellet priced between EUR 250,000-350,000. Another work by François Morellet was sold to a European institution for EUR 1,000,000. Robilant + Voena’s sold an 18thcentury painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo to a European collector, with an asking price of 600,000 EURO; and a Canova bust to a private collection in South Korea, asking price 1 million USD. David Zwirner had sales of works by Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, On Kawara, Dieter Roth, Bruce Nauman, and Franz West with prices ranging between USD 175,000 - 1.4 million. Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert had strong sales of British contemporary work including two Bridget Riley’s, ranging from GBP 160,000 - 650,000. In the Collections section, Oscar Humphries sold seven Japanese vases with prices ranging between GBP 2,500-8,000. Michael Hoppen, featured in the Spotlight section sold ten works with prices ranging between GBP 8,500-32,000. In the Spotlight section Galerie Loevenbruck almost sold out their booth of drawings and paintings by Japanese artist, Key Hiraga, ranging between EUR 6,000 - 65,000.

Continuing the quality and diversity of Frieze Masters, the fair collaborated with leading cultural figures, including Tim Marlow (Royal Academy of Arts, London) who returned to oversee the Frieze Masters Talks programme; Sir Norman Rosenthal (independent curator) who curated the Collections section; with Toby Kamps (Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston) curating Spotlight solo presentations. The Frieze Masters Talks this year exclusively featured women international artists, including renowned figures Tacita Dean, Julie Mehretu and Amy Sillman in conversation with women directors and curators from international institutions.

Directors, curators, and patron groups from a record 235 international museums and other arts organisations attended, including an increase in groups from Asia and the Americas. Highlights from across the world include trustees and patrons groups from Dallas Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Louvre Museum, Musée d’Orsay, Pinakothek der Moderne, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Walker Art Center and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

International directors and curators included Esther Bell (Clark Art Institute), Lynne Cooke (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC), Anne Demesteer (Frans Hals Museum), Davide Gasparatto ( J. Paul Getty Museum), Sabine Haag (Kunsthistorisches Museum), Guillaume Kientz (Musée du Louvre), Nicole R. Myers (Dallas Museum of Art), Lawrence W. Nichols (Toledo Museum of Art), Robin Nicholson (The Frick Collection), Anne Pasternak (Brooklyn Museum), Deborah Swallow (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Stephan Wolohojian (The Metropolitan Museum of Art).


Michael Bloomberg, writing for the Evening Standard, said: ‘The Frieze Art Fair is back 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.’

Gabriele Finaldi, Director, The National Gallery said: ‘Frieze has become an unmissable appointment in the international art world calendar. Collectors, dealers, curators, museum professionals and art lovers gather together for a superb fair and a fascinating programme of events and activities.’

Esther Bell, Senior Curator, Clark Art Institute, said:: ‘There is something remarkably fresh and energising about Frieze Masters. The creative juxtapositions you see at Frieze are inspiring reminders that Old Master paintings and sculptures were also “contemporary” in their own time. The opportunity to encounter, for instance, Marianne Loir’s eighteenth-century Portrait of Monsieur de Fontaine (Stair Sainty) and Andy Warhol’s Dolly Parton, 1985, (Acquavella) provides a fascinating dialogue across centuries.’

Gallery response

Iwan Wirth, president, Hauser & Wirth (Zurich, London, New York, Somerset and Los Angeles) said: ‘We have exhibited at every Frieze Masters since it was founded for good reason: the fair continues to inspire collectors. This year the response to our curated presentation was the strongest we’ve seen since the fair launched in 2012.’

Sam Fogg, Founder of Sam Fogg (London), said, ‘It has certainly been one of our best years. Following a strong opening preview day, sales have been steady throughout the fair and we continue to meet good, new people every day. We brought some Islamic art to Frieze Masters for the first time this year and have sold to a range of buyers, which we are very pleased with.’

Verusca Piazzesi, Director, Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Habana) said ‘Frieze Masters has been a fantastic experience for us this year and the response to our solo presentation of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov has been great. Following the Kabakov’s major show at Tate last year we were so happy to show their work in London, and it was wonderful to sell a number of works. Coming back to the fair is always a great opportunity to meet international visitors and once again we have had engaging conversations with curators and collectors.’

Lance Entwistle, Director, Entwistle (London, Paris) said: ‘Overall, it has been our most successful Frieze Masters. We have had sales across all price levels, from more expensive pieces around the million dollar mark to the more modestly priced in the thousands. We felt it was a very good fair this year, with many intelligent discussions and very positive feedback on our display from collectors and institutions.’

Jorge Coll, CEO UK, Colnaghi (London, Madrid, New York) said: ‘It has been a really strong year. We have made some good sales and have other pieces still on reserve. As we have found in previous years at Frieze Masters we have been enabled to meet new international collectors, ranging from China to Amsterdam. The quality is high across the fair and these is such a wide range that appeals to buyers.’

Gisèle Croës, Gisèle Croës - Arts d’Extrême-Orient s.a (Brussels) said: ‘It is our first year exhibiting at Frieze Masters and I have been pleasantly surprised by the good level of attendance. This is especially important for a foreign gallery like us, specialising in ancient Chinese art which is quite unusual to see at an art fair, but it has been very well received by the audience here. We have experienced a great reception and interest from new clientele through the course of the fair, and built relationships with strong potential. I have been to a lot of fairs and consider Frieze really the ultimate and the future of fairs. The variety among exhibitors brings a sort of harmony which gives it a great advantage, and the quality is consistently improving.’

Michael Hoppen, Founder of Michael Hoppen Gallery (London) said ‘It has been a rewarding experience for the gallery to encounter such a knowledgeable and inquisitive crowd at Frieze Masters. Questions have been intelligent, sales have been brisk, and we know our artist, Isiuchi Miyako, would have been delighted to see how people have responded to her work. We have really enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people who are interested to understand the finer nuances of Japanese photography. Frieze Masters offers such a great variety that encourages this kind of cross-pollination of interest among its audience. This is what great art, great shows and great collecting should be about.’

Alexandra Hamburger, Gallery Specialist, Ariadne Galleries (London) said, ‘This is our fifth year exhibiting at Frieze Masters and, again, we are very pleased with how the fair has turned out. The reaction to our works of art has been extremely positive, especially towards our most unusual pieces, with many interested and curious visitors. We are pleased to have made sales throughout the week, welcoming back existing collectors, as well as meeting new buyers. There certainly seemed to be an increased footfall this year, and the atmosphere remained consistently engaging and enthusiastic. We very much look forward to next year’s show.’

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books, Founder, Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books (Basel) said, ‘For us, the fair started on an absolute high note. On the very first day at Frieze Masters we sold our exhibition highlight – an extremely rare and extremely precious Renaissance Book of Hours. In general, we were very pleased with our sales at the fair. We always love coming to Frieze Masters because it is a very welcome opportunity for us to show our seasonal highlights to our long-term customers and to attract a new crowd at the same time.’

Dominique Lévy, Lévy Gorvy said: ‘We’re truly delighted by the response to our presentation of François Morellet. Our gallery has fully embraced this vitally important artist, and alongside the spectacular exhibition of his work at Dia in New York, it has resulted in a long overdue reconsideration and renewed passion for his work. This is reflected here at Frieze today, where we have placed a hugely significant installation by the artist from 1963, his first ever work in neon, with a European institution. Sold for around 1million EURO, this represents a new record price for the artist. In addition, we’ve sold four major works to collectors from Europe and America for between 250,000-350,000 EURO.’

Mira Bernabeu, espaivisor, said: ‘It has been a surprising year at Frieze Masters for us. We speak from experience - having shown at Frieze Masters for many years - but this was exceptional. We were unique in Spotlight as the only gallery in the section to have previously participated at Frieze Masters. This year, we have met very good collectors and really interesting institutions. It has been great.’

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.’

Art Fund Curators Programme

The Art Fund Curators Programme returned to the fair, bringing together museum professionals from the UK and around the world to explore how French, Italian and Spanish Old Master painting and sculpture collections can engage contemporary audiences. The third year of the programme was led by Gabriele Finaldi (Director, National Gallery, London) and Paola D’Agostino (Director, Musei del Bargello). The 2018 participants included:

  • Esther Bell (Clark Art Institute);
  • Davide Gasparotto ( J. Paul Getty Museum);
  • Guillaume Kientz (Musée du Louvre);
  • Rebecca Long (The Art Institute of Chicago);
  • Dr. Lawrence W. Nichols (Toledo Museum of Art); and
  • Stephan Wolohojian (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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 millenia 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.


In addition to global lead partner Deutsche Bank, Frieze Masters partners with BMW, Official Champagne Ruinart, the Financial Times, Richard Mille, Lavazza, Lodha, The Contemporary Art Society, The Royal Parks, and Art Fund. The Maybourne Hotel Group is the main hotel partner for Frieze Masters 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 give 150 teachers complimentary access to Frieze London and Frieze Masters.