Stellar Sales at French Fair

PARIS -- The 42nd edition of FIAC concludes today with reports of strong sales to collectors and museums.

Art collectors of ArtKbinett social media network were seen handing over checks and credit cards for new purchases.

Some galleries, such as Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Capitain Petzel from Berlin, were so busy that they barely had time to talk unless they were certain it was a serious buyer who was inquiring.

Early sales Wednesday included Sean Landers’s “Maroon Bells (Deer),” 2015, — a majestic plaid stag from the artist’s series of North American animals — which sold for €150,000 at Capitain Petzel. Three of Adam McEwen’s handsome white steel jerrycans containing 25 liters of holy water were listed at €10,000.

The Sprüth Magers (London, Berlin) booth was designed as an imagined French collector’s home, but works went to foreigners who perhaps have Francophile tastes in aesthetics. George Condo’s “Large Female Portrait,” 2015, sold for $600,000 to a US collector, and his patinated bronze sculpture “The Philosopher,” 2012, went to a Middle Eastern collector for $275,000. Several Louise Lawler works sold between $10,000 and $85,000.

New York/Hong Kong’s Lehmann Maupin sold Puerto Rican artist Angel Otero’s newest painting, “A rustling in the leaves drives him away,” 2015, his largest canvas to date, to the Istanbul Modern museum with an asking price in the range of $100,000–150,000. Otero has an upcoming solo exhibition at Lehmann Maupin in New York, opening November 7.

Alex Prager’s photograph “See’s Candies, Payless, Supercuts 1,” 2015, a continuation of her earlier “Crowd Series,” sold in the range of $40,000–60,000. The American artist’s solo exhibition at the Galerie des Galeries at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris opened this Monday, featuring her latest film, “La Grande Sortie,” 2015, which also sold in the price range of $50,000–70,000.

French-Algerian artist Kader Attia’s latest "injured" wood and tin mask sold in the price range of €40,000–60,000. Two of Attia’s vitrines will be shown at the Natural History Museum in Paris as part of FIAC's offsite projects, and his work is currently also featured in the 13th Biennale de Lyon — an installation addressing issues raised by the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris.

The painting, “A rising fever,” 2015, by American artist Hernan Bas sold in the range of $80,000–120,000.

Meanwhile, Hauser & Wirth (New York/London/Zurich/Los Angeles), which curated its entire booth around a stack of Charlie Hebdo newspapers, reported several sales during the first few hours of FIAC, including works by Mark Bradford, Mike Kelley, Philippe Vandenberg, and a mixed media mannequin sculpture by Isa Genzken priced at €200,000.

Galerie Perrotin reported it had sold 10 screens by Toilet Paper (Maurizio Cattelan & Pierpaolo Ferrari). The different images featured on each side of the different screens are taken from Toilet Paper magazine, which combines pop, provocative, and surrealistic inspiration, and are printed in editions of only five each.

Suave Paris gallerist Daniele Balice of Galerie Balice Hertling, showing mostly works bordering on industrial design upstairs in the Salon d’Honneur, sold a Neïl Beloufa wall piece for €45,000 to Adrian Cheng from the K11 Art Foundation in Hong Kong.

Galleri Nicolai Wallner from Copenhagen was a breath of cool, elegant air in the mayhem with Mexican artist Jose Davila’s sleek suspension pieces, priced at €40,000–60,000, while Jeppe Hein’s sculpture “Mirror Balloons with Tree Trunk,” 2015, added a touch of whimsy to counter the gravitas of Davila’s works.

Pace Gallery reported that first-day sales at the collectors and VIP preview were “robust.” The gallery said it “quickly sold a diverse array of works by emerging and established American, Asian, and European artists,” including Jean Dubuffet, Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd, Lee Ufan, and Richard Tuttle.

London/New York’s David Zwirner Gallery sold a Carol Bove painting from 2015, part of a new series of bright colored works called “Sweater Paintings.” Sherrie Levine, a recent addition to Zwirner, sold her female nude series of 18 postcards from 2010, as well as a cast bronze sculpture shaped like a beach ball from 2015. Her bronze alligator head was still available, as well as Bove’s hypnotic large-scale wall piece of peacock feathers, which serves as the stand’s centerpiece. A large-scale photograph by Wolfgang Tillmans from 2000 also sold.

At Berlin/Paris’s Galerie Max Hetzler, French collectors snatched up Günther Förg’s canvas "Untitled," 2006, for €185,000; Edmund de Waal’s eight porcelain vessels with gilding on an aluminum shelf, “who’s staying who’s leaving,” 2015, for $90,000; Jeff Elrod’s painting “Ancient ESP,” 2015, for $80,000; and Albert Oehlen “Untitled,” 1992/2005, for an undisclosed amount. Ida Ekblad’s “not yet titled,” 2015, sold to an Australian collector for €38,000.

Sharis Alexandrian from White Cube said, "We have experienced a strong response to the works which resulted in just under £1 million in sales on the opening day.” That total included sales of works by Etel Adnan, Georg Baselitz, Theaster Gates, Mona Hatoum, Serge Jensen, Imi Knoebel, and Eddie Peake.

Every art dealer probably wishes it had the same problem Andrea Rosen Gallery has. The New York gallerist has to restock before the weekend. “We brought very specific works for the fair and we've sold almost everything,” Rosen said. “We plan to reinstall tomorrow." No prices were given.

Today's homepage Featured Art Video offers an extensive overview of this weekend's events, wherein Paris becomes the world capital of fine art.