Photo : Photo Thomas Barratt/©George Condo/Courtesy Hauser & Wirth
BY ALEX GREENBERGER
At long last, Frieze Seoul launched its first edition this week, and on the fair’s first day, some participating galleries said they’d sold a few works for more than $1 million. By that measure, the fair has been a success for at least a few of the world’s biggest galleries.
Most of the other sales that galleries reported were much lower than $1 million, however, which means that Frieze Seoul is not commanding purchases on the order of another Asian competitor, Art Basel Hong Kong, where prices can sometimes exceed $10 million. Still, galleries said they’d sold to Korean and Chinese collectors, which could mean that interest in the powerful art scenes of those two countries is strong.
It’s worth reminding that it is difficult to independently verify the sales that gallery report as having taken place at art fairs, and that in some cases these purchases are often conducted in advance and only announced later on, once events kick off. Frieze runs through Monday, which could mean more big transactions are still to come.
Below, a look at seven works that galleries said sold during Frieze’s VIP preview on Friday.
George Condo, Red Painting Composition
Interest in George Condo’s Picasso-inspired paintings has always been strong in certain parts of Asia. In 2021, the Long Museum in Shanghai gave Condo one of his largest surveys to date, with more than 200 works on view, and in 2020, one of his paintings sold for $6.58 million at a Christie’s Hong Kong auction, setting an auction record for him.
Condo fever continued at Frieze Seoul, where Hauser & Wirth reportedly sold his 2022 painting Red Painting Composition for $2.8 million to a private museum in South Korea. Which one is it? Good luck finding out, since South Korea has the most private museums out of any country in the world, according to a 2016 report. Hauser & Wirth also reported having sold a new Mark Bradford painting for $1.8 million.