Well-heeled crowds of VIPs lined up to enter Frieze Los Angeles’s opening day on Thursday. Inside and outside the big white tent, the roster of now-typical celebrities in attendance included Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson, and Billy Zane, as well as Kim Gordon, Tyler the Creator, Margot Robbie, and Christoph Waltz. The swarm of visitors, reminiscent of the packed fair aisles at Frieze London last fall, was noted by numerous dealers, who also cited interest from major museums and high-profile private collections—even if none were identified specifically (yet).
To call sales brisk is putting it mildly. At least three galleries (Gagosian, David Kordansky, and Perrotin) told Artnet News they had completely sold out of the artworks on view in their respective booths by the end of the VIP day, if not in the earlier hours.
Kordansky’s booth was devoted to a solo show by Chase Hall, a young Black artist whose latest work explores his experiences as a youth navigating race and identity in Los Angeles.
“We received an incredible response from notable institutions and collectors alike,” said Kurt Mueller, senior director. Hall has a solo museum show opening February 28 at the SCAD Art Museum in Georgia. The gallery declined to share prices.
Perrotin sold-out stand included a joint solo presentation by Josh Sperling and Aya Takano, alongside presentations of work by Jean-Michel Othoniel and Daniel Arsham. Highlights include a series of paintings by Sperling and Othoniel starting at $60,000, and a sculpture by Arsham, priced at around $150,000.
Gagosian reported selling out of work by Rick Lowe, whose art and practice drew considerable buzz at the most recent Whitney Biennial.
“Rick Lowe’s solo presentation at Frieze LA builds on an incredible year for the artist,” said gallery director Antwaun Sargent, adding that several of the nine works, all of which were sold, went to museums. The gallery declined to share prices but ranges cited around the time of the Whitney biennial, according to our sources, were $65,000 to $125,000 on the primary market and rising. A source familiar with the market cited prices upwards of $300,000 on the secondary market.
Amid all the buoyant news of sales, the fair’s new location, at Santa Monica airport, was not without some glaring logistical hiccups. (Previous editions of the fair, which launched in 2019, were held at Paramount Studios and in Beverly Hills.) Road closures on one side of the airport forced numerous fairgoers to circle around the airport, and there was resulting confusion about the whereabouts of the entrance. Several visitors griped at being dropped off as far as one mile away and having to continue on foot. Security officers barked at slowed or stopped cars as passengers tried to make their way to the fair.
The expanded “Focus” section, which was presented alongside other major galleries with 20th-century art presentations, was located in Barker Hangar, a solid ten-minute walk from the custom-built white Frieze tent; it was a fact that caught many exhibitors by surprise, some of whom said they did not realize until they were installing their presentations earlier this week.
Though not dissimilar from Frieze Masters and Frieze London, which are also spread across Regent’s Park (which is, notably, much greener than a tarmac), the separated venues made for a disjointed back-and-forth fair experience. Frieze provided a mini-fleet of golf carts to shuttle visitors between the main bespoke tent and the hangar, respectively labeled “east” and “west” fair sites. Fair sponsor Deutsche Bank had its own fleet of fancier, larger golf carts.
Asked about the communication and response from exhibitors, a Frieze representative told Artnet News: “We know that galleries in ‘Focus’ made significant sales within the first hour of the fair opening this year and major collectors visited ‘Focus’ before visiting any other area of the fair. The two locations were communicated to all galleries well ahead of time. ‘Focus’ has always been a place of energy and enthusiasm—this year was no different.”
Despite these glitches, demand for works on offer appeared to be as strong as ever. “It’s our third time here, [and] the day has been really good,” said veteran Los Angeles dealer Anat Ebgi. The gallery held a solo presentation of work by Los Angeles ceramicist Jane Margarette. “I’ve had wonderful conversations with museums today. Curators are really interested in her work,” added Ebgi. The gallery had sold three of the four pieces on view, at prices ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 each, as well as other Margarette works not present in the booth on the first day.
Other exhibitors noted the heavy presence of museums and curators. “The energy, both at the fair and beyond, has been contagious,” said Lehmann Maupin director Jessica Kreps. “My conversations with curators and collectors seemed deeper and much more calculated this year. People are interested in learning more about long-lived and established careers, rather than looking out for the next best thing—thus translating into high-level acquisitions by museum trustees and institutions.”
Sales included six works by Chantal Joffe for more than $240,000 (£200,000), as well as works by Japanese artist Mr., including a sculpture, two paintings, and several works on paper. The gallery also sold three works by Loriel Beltrán, who just joined the gallery this week, for a total of $135,000. Another major sale was Billie Zangewa’s hand-stitched silk collage (2023), which went for $100,000.
Pace Gallery report a wide range of sales at prices that ran from $45,000 to $2 million, including new works by Adrian Ghenie, Yoshitomo Nara, and Matthew Day Jackson. This was in addition to sales of paintings by Thomas Nozkowski and Los Angeles-based Maysha Mohamedi, as well as a small-scale edition of by Hank Willis Thomas, following the public sculpture that was unveiled last month in Boston Common as a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
Fellow mega-gallery David Zwirner cited demand from around the world for six- and seven-figure works, from a sampling of star artists on its extensive roster. These included: (2022) by Dana Schutz, which sold for $1.2 million to a European museum and (2015) by Lisa Yuskavage, which sold for $1 million to a European collection.
The gallery said American buyers were behind the purchase of both Michaël Borremans, (2022), for $500,000, and Oscar Murillo’s, (2020-2022), for $400,000.
San Francisco dealer Jessica Silverman said the gallery put forward some of its most ambitious works while “tracing spirit, survival, and growth,” among the themes explored by the artists in the gallery stable.
Within “moments” of the fair opening, the gallery sold a large-scale sculpture for $225,000 and a painting for $55,000 by Woody De Othello; two oil paintings by Julie Buffalohead for $35,000 each; a work on paper by Loie Hollowell for $35,000; a painting by Rebecca Ness for $65,000; three sculptures by Rose B. Simpson ranging from $55,000 to $95,000 each; a paper clay work by Pae White for $50,000; a painting by Hayal Pozanti for $32,000 and a painting by Chelsea Ryoko Wong for $15,000.
Hauser & Wirth also met with excited buyers, reporting at least eight major sales happened on day one. Mark Bradford’s canvas (2023) sold for $3.5 million; an untitled Henry Taylor painting (2022) sold for $450,000 and an acrylic on cardboard sold for $45,000; a painting by Luchita Hurtado from (1966) went for $225,000. Three works by Charles Gaines, all in the medium of photography, watercolour, and ink on paper across three sheets, sold for $150,000 each; a work by Gary Simmons, called (2011), sold for $65,000.
They gallery’s president Marc Payot called the gallery’s Frieze booth “a love letter to Los Angeles—or, rather, to the artists who have made this city one of the world’s great cultural capitals and energy centers for the visual arts.”
More Trending Stories:
The Sagrada Familia Will Finally Be Completed in 2026. The Last Challenge? Demolishing the Homes of Some 3,000 Local Residents
Hip-Hop Chronicler Sacha Jenkins on Curating a New Show to Celebrate the Movement’s Visual Language on Its 50th Anniversary
Five Archaeological Museums in Greece Have Closed in Protest of a New Law That Puts Them Under Government Control
See How Artist Brigitte D’Annibale Transformed an Abandoned Malibu Home Into a Spectacular Immersive Installation
A Revolutionary Tool Gives Artists a New Weapon in the Fight Against AI Art Theft
In a Bid to Become a Destination for Latino Art, the Blanton Museum in Texas Just Acquired More Than 5,000 Works
Brooklyn-Based Art Collective MSCHF Is at It Again, This Time With Cartoonishly Oversized Red Boots
With Her Unmistakable Post-Feminist Gaze, the Photographer Petra Collins Seems to Live and Breathe Today’s Aesthetic