Price Check! Here’s What Sold—And For How Much—at Frieze New York 2019

Caroline Goldstein, Artnet News, May 6, 2019

Frieze New York—a fair that has seemingly been cursed by the weather gods, hit with torrential downpours one year and a heat wave the next—managed to keep its tent upright and temperature-controlled throughout the rainy weekend.


The fair, which closed yesterday, had some increased competition this year: the spring New York edition of the European Fine Art Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, which opened one day after Frieze, drew several blue-chip dealers away from the serpentine tent on Randall’s Island, while the upcoming Venice Biennale and Whitney Biennale kept others busy with preparations.


Nevertheless, there were considerable crowds—and even some celebrity sightings—at the fair, including Rachel Weisz, Jerry Hall, Aziz Ansari, Michael Bloomberg, and John McEnroe, not to mention the art-world’s favorite influencer Kimberly Drew, who shared her fair diary with artnet News—and even bought one of Tom Sachs‘s chairs for herself.


Among other notable acquisitions was the Sharjah Art Foundation’s purchase of Nari Ward’s We the People from Lehmann Maupin and the Brooklyn Museum’s acquisition of a tapestry by Diedrick Brackens and a work by upcoming Whitney Biennial participant Gala Porras-Kim.


Another hit was the homage to pioneering gallery Just Above Midtown (JAM) and its founder Linda Goode Bryant; Jenkins Johnson Gallery won the Frieze Stand Prize with a solo presentation of photographer Ming Smith in the section. (Smith’s work found a high-profile buyer in Ari Emmanuel, the Hollywood agent whose company owns a majority stake in Frieze, who bought three of her photographs.)


Below, we run down other notable sales from the fair, which, as TEFAF continues to establish itself in the city, increasingly favors less-than-astronomically priced work ranging from the low four figures to the mid-six figures.


Nota bene: Sales reports are notoriously slippery in the art world. Some purchases may have been finalized long before the fair, while others might only be handshake deals, still waiting on paperwork and cash. But prices themselves are more reliably telling, providing a snapshot of where individual artists stand in the matrix of the art market today. Even here, of course, there is room for slippage: Some dealers occasionally offer inflated figures, while others prefer to report ranges or the “asking price” to obscure the actual selling price, or to cover up favorable treatment that one buyer may have received over another. (We do not include reported sales unaccompanied by a price or price range in our list, so the galleries that tend to disclose figures are disproportionately represented here.)