AbonnéArt & Design

Frieze Los Angeles 2022 confirms its immense commercial success

Isabelle Campone

By Isabelle Campone09 mars 2022

The third edition of the Californian version of Frieze just closed its doors end of February. This first great post-pandemic event was scrutinized by observers. The frenzy generated by this return to normal galvanized collectors.

Frieze Los Angeles brought together galleries, institutions, non-profits, patrons and artists to celebrate the city's creative community (Isabelle Campone)

A gigantic crowd made its way Thursday 17 February in the tent installed at the Beverly Hills Hilton. Upon invitation only, this first day gathered collectors, gallerists, museum directors and celebrities. Before the end of the day, euphoria was palpable and the news that big galleries had sold all their exhibited pieces was making its way all around. Yet, the previous day still, doubt was palpable. Would success be there after two years of near paralysis?

Friez Los Angeles 2022 took place from 17 to 20 February 2022 in Beverly Hills (Isabelle Campone)

Apart from logistical challenges which have disrupted the sculpture program, other complications related to supply chain paralysis managed to be avoided. Christine Messineo, director since last November, believed in Frieze LA’s capabilities to bring normality back into the world of art. “Something happens when art is admired in a collective way.” She was right. Over 30,000 visitors made their way to Frieze Los Angeles over a four-day exhibition to which a hundred galleries and a galvanized artistic community participated. Without a doubt, the unique artistic landscape which the city offers, in addition to its relaxed environment, play an important role: a concentration of high-end artists, collectors, and museums. With sunshine and palm trees as a plus.

Big galleries were present

Something happens when art is admired in a collective way

Christine Messineo, director of Frieze LA

Stephen Friedman gallery presented works by famous Caribbean artist Denzil Forrester (Isabelle Campone)

A crowd of big galleries located on the East Coast just landed there this Spring. Among them, Sean Kelly who confirms: “I believe it is the right moment. L.A. continues to win critical mass.” Indeed, Lisson Gallery, Pace, the Hole and Karma among others set up and generated buzz during Frieze. Alongside local big players such as Gagosian, Blum & Poe, David Kordansky, Sprüth Magers or Hauser & Wirth and mega international galleries such as Thaddaeus Ropac, Almine Rech, White Cube, Emmanuel Perrotin, Massimo de Luca, The Box, all of them took the risk of participating. A very smart move. “Our return to Frieze has been special, said Xavier Hufkens, because we chose to present a new series by Thomas Houseago, an iconic Los Angeles artist. The response was phenomenal, the entire stand sold during preview day.” Each piece was worth about 350,000 dollars.

The gallery Thaddaeus Ropac confirmed exceptional sales, including a Baselitz worth 1.5 million dollars and a Rauschenberg from 1998 for 1.1 million de dollars. Hauser & Wirth also sold the entirety of its exhibited pieces during the first few hours – artwork from Camille Henrot worth up to 140,000 dollars. Gagosian immediately let its monumental sculpture by Chris Burden to an important European institution. David Zwirner sold his pieces by Lisa Yuskavage up to 1.5 million de dollars, as well as a painting by Alice Neel for 1 million dollars. The Pace gallery negotiated the sale of its Jeff Koons sculpture to about 3 million de dollars. The list is long, but the observation is brief: Frieze Los Angeles 2022 confirms its true commercial success.

Chris Burden, Dreamer's Folly, 2010 Cast iron gazebos and lace fabric (Isabelle Campone)

A phenomenal success also on the side of VIPs. Celebrities in art and show business were present, just like Hans Ulrich Obrist and Maja Hoffmann, or superstars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Gwyneth Paltrow, Pierce Brosnan, Kendall Jenner, Tobey Maguire, The Weeknd and many others. A beautiful crowd also on the booths of eleven local galleries invited to participate for the very first time.

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