Even as Brexit Looms, Galleries Notch Sales on Frieze London’s Opening Day (Excerpt) — Judd Tully

ARTNews, 10.04.2018

There were discoveries to be had at Chicago’s Kavi Gupta, which was showing rare works by AfriCOBRA artists, who are making big waves in the traveling show “Soul of A Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. They sold in the opening minutes for prices ranging between $50,000 and $250,000, including the punchy and Pop art–infused Family (1971), by one of the movement’s founders, Gerald Williams, which was priced at the higher end of that range.

It was Gupta’s first London art fair, and he made the most of it by also showing a new wall-popping composition by the 29-year-old Philadelphia-based artist Devan Shimoyama, who has a solo exhibition opening next week at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, at the same time that everyone will be in town for the Carnegie International. Weed Picker (2018), a mixed-media work on canvas measuring 84 by 72 by 3 inches, sold to a collector with homes in both the United States and United Kingdom for a price between $40,000 and $60,000. The dealer didn’t want to be more precise than that but said that Shimoyama “has taken off like crazy.”

Gupta also instantly sold a stunning new untitled portrait of a black woman with her hair wrapped in bright red fabric by Firelei Báez, housed in a sculpted white frame for between $65,000 and $85,000. The Dominican-born artist currently has a solo exhibition, “Joy Out of Fire” at New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture that was organized by the Studio Museum of Harlem.