Excitement Heats for London Frieze

London -- Frieze Week, the biggest seven-day concentration of art events in Europe, begins tonight and will feature auctions, galleries and fairs offering as much as $2.2 billion of works in a market showing no sign of cooling.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network arrive in London today to attend this art extravaganza.

Frieze Art Fair in Regent’s Park opens tomorrow to select wealthy collectors seeking to snap up artworks by contemporary stars and Old Masters from a Cy Twombly canvas for $24 million to a Rembrandt portrait for $48.5 million.

Coinciding with the fair, Christie’s, Phillips and Sotheby’s will auction 972 works at their day and evening sales estimated at as much as 264 million pounds ($426 million), or more than double the 118 million pounds of art that was sold at the equivalent auctions last year.

The artworks offered at Frieze, auctions, galleries and a half-dozen satellite fairs in 2013 had been estimated at as much as $2 billion last year. Values probably will be about $2.2 billion, or 10 percent higher, this year, according to insurers.

Frieze, which started in 2003 and expanded to New York in 2012, was the seventh-most attended art fair in the world from the fall of 2013 through June 30, with 70,000 visitors at the London event, according to a report by Skate’s, a New York-based art market researcher.

Giant Mushroom

Frieze said it expects attendance this year to remain at 70,000, with 162 galleries at the main fair. Frieze Masters, a sister event also at Regent’s Park that shows modern and historic works, will have 127 galleries. Last year 152 galleries exhibited at Frieze and 130 at Frieze Masters.

At the main fair, Gagosian Gallery will offer “Gartenkinder,” a children’s playground by Belgian artist Carsten Holler. The installation includes a large-scale die that children can play inside and a giant mushroom that rocks like a toy. Gagosian declined to give a price.

Tanya Bonakdar gallery, based in New York, has a large-scale painting by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson priced from 150,000 euros to 200,000 euros.

Some galleries are likely to get a business boost from artists who have simultaneous museum shows.

Rembrandt Portrait

Eliasson, who created public waterfalls at four sites in New York in 2008, is showing other works at Tate Britain that are inspired by the paintings of J.M.W. Turner. David Zwirner’s booth at Frieze has an $800,000 cloth work by American sculptor Richard Tuttle, whose new piece featuring vast sways of fabrics will be shown at Tate Modern’s massive Turbine Hall starting tomorrow.

One of the most expensive works at Frieze Masters is a Rembrandt 17th century portrait of a man with arms akimbo, shown above, being offered at New York’s Otto Naumann gallery for $48.5 million.

A Twombly paint, crayon and graphite canvas from 1959 is at Van de Weghe Fine Art for $24 million. A 7,000-year-old figurine of an Aegean neolithic idol is at Rupert Wace gallery for 450,000 pounds.

The major auction houses will offer works by postwar and contemporary masters.

Christie’s kicks the auctions off this evening with the sale of 44 works from the Essl Collection of contemporary art in Austria, expected to fetch as much as 56.8 million pounds.

Richter’s Abstract

The works come from Karlheinz Essl, the founder of hardware store chain BauMax AG, and include coveted German postwar artists. Gerhard Richter’s 1985 red, yellow and green abstract is valued at 7 million to 10 million pounds.

Sigmar Polke’s 1975 fiery red portrait “Indian With Eagle,” is estimated at 1.5 million pounds to 2 million pounds. Martin Kippenberger’s 1992 self-portrait is valued at 2.5 million pounds to 3.5 million pounds.

In a separate evening sale on Oct. 16, Christie’s will offer 46 lots with a high estimate of 47 million pounds. Peter Doig’s oil on canvas of a vibrant green basketball court titled “The Heart of Old San Juan” is estimated at 4 million to 6 million pounds.

Phillips’s evening sale on Oct. 15 will be the first in its new London home at 30 Berkeley Square in the wealthy Mayfair neighborhood.

Phillips, owned by Moscow-based Mercury Group, said the sale of 47 lots, featuring works by Christopher Wool, Richter, Damien Hirst and Richard Prince, is estimated to fetch as much as 23 million pounds. Wool’s untitled alkyd and acrylic on aluminum image of black birds is estimated at 1.8 million to 2.2 million pounds.

Sotheby’s evening sale on Oct. 17 has a high estimate of 35.1 million pounds for 59 lots. A Francis Bacon portrait of a man in a suit is valued at 1.5 million to 2 million pounds.

Today's homepage a Featured Art Video offers some highlights of last year's Frieze Fair. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a7OGrVD56Q&sns=em