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Frieze Seoul 2023 Review


Following last year’s success of its inaugural edition, Frieze Seoul 2023 took place from September 6 to 9, 2023. The fair featured a total of 120 galleries from around the world, 10 more than in 2022, including 26 Korean galleries such as Gallery Hyundai, Kukje Gallery, PKM Gallery, Arario Gallery, Gallery Baton, Leeahn Gallery, and Johyun Gallery participating in the Main Section.

Courtesy of Frieze Seoul 2023

The Frieze Seoul booths are divided into three sections: Main Section features the world’s mega-galleries; Frieze Masters showcases rare books or old masters’ masterpieces; and Focus Asia spotlights emerging artists from Asia. In the Main Section featuring over 100 of the world’s leading galleries, the works by Anish Kapoor (b.1954) and Ugo Rondinone (b.1964) were showcased in multiple booths, which proved their undeniable success in the international contemporary art scene.

Anish Kapoor’s Vantablack, the world’s blacked black substance, installed at Galleria Continua’s booth. Photo by ARTNSTORY Communication

Among the major galleries participating in the Main Section, David Zwirner had already attracted a major attention before opening the fair by pre-selling the Pink Panda painting Bacterium Run (2023) by Katherine Bernhardt (b. 1975) for $2.2 million. The gallery presented Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)’s pumpkin sculptures and painting attracting many fairgoers, among them her Pumpkin of Red God was sold for $5.8 million, setting the highest price sold at the Frieze Seoul 2023. The work by Rose Wylie (b. 1934) who debuted in the art scene in her mid-70s was also sold for $2.5 million. These results from reflect the strength of female artists.

Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin of Red God, 2015
Photo by ARTNSTORY Communication
Rose Wylie, News Reader, 2022
Photo by ARTNSTORY Communication

With the eye-catching giant sculpture by Jeff Koons (b.1955) Gazing Ball (2013) placed at the entrance, the booth of Robilant+Voena showcased a variety of artworks from Italian old masters to contemporary artists, including the 17th century painting Judith beheading Holofernes by Andrea Vaccaro (1604-1670), Tree of Life (2007) by Damien Hirst (b.1965) bringing to mind a stained-glass window, as well as drawings by Pablo Picasso (1881-1978).  

Damien Hurst, Tree of Life, 2007
Photo by ARTNSTORY Communication

Lehmann Maupin Gallery showcased works by Korean representative artists such as Lee Bul (b.1964), Soon Myung Hong (b.1959), and Do-Ho Suh (b.1962), along with works by various artists such as David Salle (b.1952), Loriel Bertrán (b.1985), and Nari Wood (b.1963). In addition, Mendes Wood DM, a Latin American mega gallery, brought works by the Czech artist Vojtěch Kovařík (b.1993), who has gained international recognition since 2020, and the Swiss-based gallery Eva Presenhuber showcased some works by the young black female artist Tschabalala Self, born in 1992, which drew attention from fairgoers. The Italian gallery MASSIMODECARLO presented a duo exhibition featuring the Italian abstract painter Giorgio Griffa and the Korean artist Yeesookyung (b.1963).

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Installation View at Lehmann Maupin Gallery. Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin Gallery
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Installation View at Eva Presenhuber. Courtesy of Eva Presenhuber
Installation View at MASSIMODECARLO Gallery
​Photo by ARTNSTORY Communication 

In the Frieze Masters section, the British gallery Stephen Ongpin Fine Art exhibited rare drawings by old masters including Paul Klee (1879-1940), Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Egon Schiele (1890-1918), Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Henri Matisse (1869-1954), and Pablo Picasso, drawing throngs of art enthusiasts to the booth. Gallery Hyundai set up a solo booth for Seundja Rhee (1918-2009), part of the first generation of Korean abstract artists.

Picasso's drawing works presented by Stephen Ongpin Fine Art Photo by ARTNSTORY Communication

In this year, the official headline partner LG Electronics provided a variety of attractions, presenting the works by the master of Korean abstract art Kim Whanki through the wireless OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) displays.

Kim Whanki's painting projecting with LG OLED display  Photo by ARTNSTORY Communication
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