At London Fair, Art Market Finally Stalls

Frieze opens to lots of collectors, but few sales
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2008 9:38 AM CDT
A visitor looks at a work at the 2007 Frieze Art Fair in London This year's installment of the fair got off to a slow start.   (©Commonorgarden)
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(Newser) – As the financial crisis has deepened, the art world seemed strangely impervious to global declines. But at yesterday's opening of the Frieze Art Fair in London, one of the year's biggest events, the slowdown finally caught up to the heady art market. Where once visitors ran maniacally to buy artwork in the first minutes of the fair, this time around, one collector tells Bloomberg, "it's a looker's mood."

Superdealer Larry Gagosian made no concessions in his prices, slapping a $7 million tag on a Richard Prince painting—which remained unsold. One dealer was relatively optimistic, describing the mood as "cautious." But another said: "Last year, by 12 o'clock galleries would say, 'Sorry, It's gone. I haven't so far encountered that this year."