Frieze, one of the world’s top three art fairs, was held at Regent Park in London from October 13 to 17. Frieze London and Frieze Masters, which are held side by side, had a total of 276 participating galleries from 39 countries this year.
Since Frieze announced in May that it will open a Seoul edition that will coincide with one of Korea’s largest art fairs KIAF Seoul from 2022, there has been a growing roster of Korean art across both Frieze’s fairs this year.
Modern Korean masters, especially Dansaekhwa or “Korean monochrome” artists were dominant among Korean and international galleries, particularly across Frieze Masters, which focuses on works made before 2000.
Kukje, one of Korea’s major galleries, shared a booth with London-based Mazzoleni Art presenting Dansaekhwa artists, such as Ha Chong-Hyun, Park Seo-Bo, Kwon Young-Woo, and Lee Ufan, along with works from European artists. Kukje Gallery reported that it sold a painting by Lee Ufan for $450,000.
PKM, another Korean gallery, showcased Yun Hyong-keun’s “Umber-Blue” series and sold one of the works for $600,000.
Seoul-based Gallery Hyundai showcased the late Kim Tschang-Yeul’s water droplet paintings with a price range of $45,000 to $600,000, along with a group of other modern Korean works.
Arario Gallery, also based in Seoul, took part in the Spotlight section, which is dedicated to solo presentations of rarely seen works by modern masters, presenting Paris-based Korean multimedia artist Soungui Kim.
International galleries from both Frieze London and Masters have also reported sales of Dansaekhwa paintings.
London-based White Cube sold Park Seo-Bo’s No. 110222 (2011) for $360,000, while New York’s Tina Kim Gallery sold the artist’s Ecriture No. 021009 (2002) for $400,000–$500,000.
Tina Kim Gallery also sold Untitled (1990–2012) by Kim Yong-Ik, who is often referred to as a “post-Dansaekhwa” artist, for $200,000–$300,000, along with other pieces by Ha Chong-Hyun, Kibong Rhee, and Kim Tschang-Yeul.
Besides the Dansaekhwa painters and modern masters, many have responded to the work of London-based Korean installation artist Do Ho Suh.
Lehmann Maupin at Frieze London was selected as one of Artsy’s “15 best booths at Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2021” for presenting Suh’s Hub-2, Breakfast Corner, 260-7, Sungbook-Dong, Sungboo-Ku, Seoul, Korea (2018), a full-size reproduction of a breakfast nook in the artist’s prior home.
Artsy has also reported that 15 works from Suh’s “Specimens” series were sold for a combined $1.42 million on the first day of the fair, and sold out all of the works from “ScaledBehaviour” series by the end of the fair.