Frieze Seoul 2023 – What The Dealers Said

Frieze Seoul

The second edition of Frieze Seoul closed on Saturday, September 9, to reports of strong sales and an energetic mood with a strong international audience of visitors from throughout the broader Asia region, Europe, and the US. Frieze Seoul took place alongside Kiaf SEOUL, operated by the Galleries Association of Korea, and together, the two fairs celebrate Seoul’s creative community.

The fair opened with an invitation-only preview on Wednesday, September 6. It brought together a strong contingent of Korean galleries and those from the wider Asian region, showing alongside significant international spaces. Across the event’s four days, Frieze Seoul saw important attendance from institutions and leading collectors, with visitors from 36 countries. Overall, Frieze Seoul attracted over 70,000 visitors throughout the event. Across the city, a series of events and activations animated the cultural landscape with gallery nights in areas including Hannam (Tuesday), Cheongdam (Wednesday) and Samcheong (Thursday) that saw late openings at leading Seoul institutions, including Amorepacific Museum of Art, Art Sonje Center, Horim Museum, Ilmin Museum of Art, Leeum Museum of Art, Paradise Art Space, Seoul Museum of Art, SONGEUN, and more.

Frieze Seoul launched in 2022 and is Frieze’s first venture in Asia and its fifth fair overall, following Frieze Los Angeles, Frieze Masters, Frieze New York, and Frieze London, which all have been established as crucial convening moments in the art world’s calendar. In July 2023, Frieze also acquired The Armory Show and Expo Chicago. This October, Frieze celebrates the 20th anniversary of its first fair, Frieze London.
Frieze Seoul is supported by official headline partner LG OLED, in a collaboration that brings together the worlds of art and technology, and by global lead partner Deutsche Bank, continuing two decades of shared commitment to artistic excellence.

Patrick Lee, Director of Frieze Seoul, said: ‘This week we have seen tremendous support from the whole city, and the atmosphere has been electric. It has been gratifying to see attendance from across the wider region, including visitors from China, Japan and Southeast Asia, as well as those from the US and Europe. This has translated into success for our participating galleries, with sales achieved by major international spaces and younger exhibitors. Our partnership with Kiaf SEOUL amplifies our impact in the city, and our shared programming saw participation from 38 institutional figures, artists, and cultural heavyweights and welcomed 500 visitors. We look forward to Frieze Seoul 2024!’

‘It has been a rare and extraordinary opportunity to introduce Kim Whanki to an international audience and local guests attending Frieze Seoul,’ said Kate Oh, VP of LG Electronics. ‘In addition, we believe we have made a great step forward in redefining the language of fine digital art through the commissioned works with the Whanki Foundation.’

‘In our 20th year as global lead partner with Frieze, the fair in Seoul is a perfect example of Deutsche Bank’s cultural commitment in Asia’, says Britta Färber, Deutsche Bank’s Global Head of Art & Culture. ‘This second edition of the fair has been exciting and busy, with galleries bringing incredibly strong works by leading Asian and international artists showing alongside the Focus Asia section, highlighting many cutting-edge artists from the region. With the Frieze Masters section showing rare antiquities and old Masters, this unique combination is found nowhere else. We are delighted to bring this second fair in Seoul to the world via Art: LIVE, our video series with Frieze featuring interviews with key artworld figures and providing in-depth encounters.’

Sales Reported Widely

The opening preview saw swift sales and museum placements, with galleries reporting energy throughout the day, and transactions were made throughout the fair, including:

Thaddaeus Ropac quickly confirmed sales, including a work by Georg Baselitz for an Asian Collector for $1,200,000 and two paintings by Daniel Richter for $375,000, to Chinese and Korean collectors.

Sprüth Magers, which reported several significant sales to Asian collectors and institutions, including Rosemarie Trockel’s The Blues (2002/2020) for €1,300,000, a 2014 work by the artist titled Remake for €230,000, works by George Condo including a sculpture for $800,000, a work on paper for $600,000, a Barbara Kruger print for $120,000, and a piece by Anne Imhof for €120,000, amongst others.

Hauser & Wirth also reported significant sales, with work by Nicolas Party sold for $1,250,000, a painting by Rashid Johnson sold for $975,000, and works by Paul McCarthy, George Condo, and Charles Gaines at prices ranging from $450,000 to $800,000.

David Zwirner’s sales of works by Mamma Andersson, Katherine Bernhardt and Rose Wylie at prices ranging from $250,000 to $550,000, multiple works by Yayoi Kusama and paintings by Josef Albers and Joan Mitchell. Lisson Gallery also placed a piece by Stanley Whitney for $550,000, and Pace sold multiple works, including a rare 1965 sculpture by Alexander Calder, a work on paper by the artist from 1975, and a painting by Lee Kun-Yong for $250,000.

Mazzoleni was pleased to report multiple sales following the VIP opening day at Frieze Seoul, one of which includes a work by Salvo, sold in the region of 50,000 – 100,000 USD.

Top Photo: White Cube Frieze Seoul Photo Courtesy Frieze

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