Younger Collectors Turn to Time-Tested Works of Modern and Classical Art at Frieze Masters in Uncertain Times

Date:

Younger Collectors Turn to Time-Tested Works of Modern and Classical Art

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • The director of the show, Nathan Clements-Gillespie, introduced himself to Jay Chou, the Mando pop king and enthusiastic art collector from Taiwan, who arrived in London with his entourage just after 11 a.m. when the doors of Frieze Masters opened for its Wednesday VIP preview.

  • A new generation of collectors is catching up.

  • More than 120 galleries are represented in this year’s Frieze Masters, which recently debuted in Seoul and is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

  • According to Clements-Gillespie, the debut in South Korea’s capital in September undoubtedly played a part in the astonishing increase in Asian collectors’ attendance.

  • Max Ernst, Jane Freilicher, and two works by Lynne Drexlers were among the eight items that the gallery verified had been purchased in the opening hour of the fair.

The director of the show, Nathan Clements-Gillespie, introduced himself to Jay Chou, the Mando pop king and enthusiastic art collector from Taiwan, who arrived in London with his entourage just after 11 a.m. when the doors of Frieze Masters opened for its Wednesday VIP preview.

The 43-year-old Asian celebrity was first seen visiting the shared booth of Belgian decorative arts specialist Yves Macaux and London dealer Richard Nagy, displaying various early 20th-century works by Egon Schiele, Otto Dix, and Ludwig Meidner. She was wearing a black hoodie and denim jacket. Before the crowd poured in, Chou continued to browse the aisles, getting a closer look at pieces by other artists, including Alberto Giacometti’s 1947 painting Femme Assise (La Mère de L’Artiste), which has a $6.3 million asking price.

Chou browsing Frieze Masters may not come as a surprise given that his July popular music video Greatest Works of Art made it clear how much he loved big-name artists. And he wasn’t the only young person at the fair, which typically draws a more mature crowd and features a wide variety of artwork created before 2000, spanning six millennia of history. On the preview day, however, a sizable group of people in their 40s, 30s, and even younger, from many ethnic backgrounds, took pictures of prized works of art and asked about costs.

There are a lot of well-known faces and collectors, but there is also a clear presence of younger collectors. The number of Asians returning has also increased, according to Thomas Stauffer, a co-founder and art advisor at Gerber & Stauffer Fine Arts in Zurich.

Stauffer cited examples such as March Avery at Larkin Erdmann Gallery, Vivian Springford at Almine Rech, or Meret Oppenheim, the Swiss Surrealist who will have a significant retrospective at MoMA in New York later this month, as examples of the ongoing trend of rediscovering overlooked or underappreciated artists. A new generation of collectors is catching up.

According to Stauffer, “younger collectors are spending more time researching and looking at historically underappreciated positions in these tumultuous times, which undoubtedly helps to fuel the market for these underrated artists and nurtures the trend to discover underappreciated historical artists.”

More than 120 galleries are represented in this year’s Frieze Masters, which recently debuted in Seoul and is celebrating its tenth anniversary. A large number of these galleries have a particular emphasis on female artists. Although sales may not have been moving as swiftly as those at its contemporary rival Frieze London, the fair’s atmosphere was upbeat, and attendees were glad to return to mask-free art shopping.

According to Clements-Gillespie, the debut in South Korea’s capital in September undoubtedly played a part in the astonishing increase in Asian collectors’ attendance. New Asian galleries are also taking part, like the Busan-based Johyun Gallery, which is showcasing a collection of works by Korean masters like Lee Ufan, Park Seo-bo, Lee Bae, and Kim Chong Hak, who is making his London debut, with prices ranging from $450,000 to $820,000. According to a gallery representative, Lee Bae’s artwork was in high demand, and four of the works sent to London were already on the reservation.

Clements-Gillespie noted that attendance on the expo’s opening day appeared to have recovered to pre-pandemic levels and that buzz surrounding the launch of Paris+ the following week did not seem to be a cause for concern.

But a high dollar could matter because it could result in significant savings for goods made in pounds or euros. Since last Thursday, Clements-Gillespie claims he has been running into American pals at exhibition openings. Because they wanted to enjoy their time in London, they arrived earlier. The strong dollar also made it simpler; he told Artnet News. The favourable conversion rate does not, however, only apply to Americans. “I believe many people are working in dollars at a greater level.”

Specific exhibitors shared a general sense of market confidence. Stephane Custot of the Waddington Custot gallery was one of them. He told Artnet News that although collectors would delay making decisions due to the uncertain economic climate, deals might still be completed after the fair, particularly for more expensive works.

“Collectors are extremely picky in financially difficult times and demand nothing less than museum excellence. We are confident given the calibre of the works we are exhibiting this year,” said Custot, whose gallery is displaying pieces with prices ranging from £350,000 to well over £2 million, including a rare work from Jean Fautrier’s “Otages” series (1943–45), which the artist created while he was incarcerated. “It is a sharp reality check to be found among the treasures of the fair and a poignant and timely reminder of the evils of war.”

Some of the works displayed at the fair demonstrated the market’s confidence. A study from the Human Body – Figure in Motion, a painting by Francis Bacon that cost $13 million, was among the impressive collection of Modern British art that the London gallery Marlborough brought (1982). The Cold Room (1968–2022), a massive installation by Mary Corse, was recreated by Pace for the Spotlight area honouring female artists. Archive of Women Artists, Research, and Exhibitions (AWARE) co-founder and research director Camille Morineau and her group are responsible for curating the exhibition.

A group exhibition was given by Kasmin from New York, featuring pieces with prices ranging from $35,000 to around $5 million, including a vast 1951 Lee Krasner piece. Max Ernst, Jane Freilicher, and two works by Lynne Drexlers were among the eight items that the gallery verified had been purchased in the opening hour of the fair. The managing director of the gallery, Nick Olney, stated that pieces were sold to collectors in England, the United States, and Asia and that younger customer were “open to establishing collections of old and modern art.”

Artnet News has revealed that at least three significant museum buys came from the Spotlight section. Several Nike Davies-Okundaye pieces were sold by Kó gallery for between $10,000 and $35,000 to institutions and private collections in London, the U.S., and Europe. According to James Brett of the Gallery of Everything, it has sold several Sister Gertrude Morgan pieces for between £10,000 and £35,000, with interest from numerous museums and important collectors.

The gallery Hyundai, which featured a solo booth by the avant-garde artist Lee Kang-so from Korea, sold numerous pieces for between $82,000 and $90,000 and was in negotiations with European museums. Rare Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger paintings were sold by Johnny Van Haeften for around $10 million and $200,000, respectively.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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