Frieze LA: The London Art Fair debuts in the Golden Coast

The inauguration of the event coincides with "Art Los Angeles Contemporary", a week dedicated to art with events and exhibitions organized in exotic locations, from the movie set, to abandoned shops' windows, and even the desert.

On February 14, Frieze, the London art Fair will debut in Los Angeles, inviting collectors to travel to the Golden Coast for a program featuring 70 galleries, a promise of sunshine and the opportunity to bump into stars. The launch of Frieze coincides both with the tenth anniversary of the Art Los Angeles Contemporary –the International art fair that takes place annually within the aeronautical hangar in Santa Monica– and the debut of Felix LA, an art fair promising a different experience, based in the posh Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.

As a result, the city is preparing to host an entire week dedicated to art with events and exhibitions organized in all kinds of places: from film sets to abandoned shops and even the desert.

Here are some suggestions to make the most of this week.

Paramount Picture Studios

The Hollywood backlot

The first edition of Frieze on the West Coast is betting everything on Los Angeles, choosing to locate itself in the heart of Hollywood at the legendary Paramount Picture Studios.

Beyond its many indoor galleries, which include some of the flagship names of the local scene such as the Box and Regen Projects plus some ninety pieces of the international scene such as David Zwirner and White Cube, Frieze LA and its Artist program will pour out into the open air, covering a surface the size of New York.

In past years, Angelenos artists such as Paul McCarthy, Karon Davis and Lisa Anne Auerbach, have invaded the streets with large-scale installations ranging from giant inflatable sculptures to counselling sessions with psychic Art advisors; instructors halfway between psychics and Art consultants.

In addition, the culinary program of the Fair will bring to life, albeit temporarily, Baroo, the beloved strip mall gem specializing in fermented foods of Korean inspiration.

Astral Oracles LA

Chakra Realignment

Looking for a more convivial art fair atmosphere? The founder of Felix LA, Dean Valentine, invited 38 Los Angeles Galleries to set base in the Hollywood Roosevelt (known for being the inspiration behind David Hockney's pool painting).

The participants, including Bortolami of New York and the Galleries Morán Morán, Nicodim and Parrasch Heijnen of LA, will be more than happy to promote the art they sell while you sip cocktails by the poolside. Its evening program includes a less standard type of entertainment: think Burlesque and cabaret shows.

On the corner between the Beverly Boulevard and Kings Road, an installation with adjoining magic Art shop Astral Oracles, from artist and practitioner Sorcerer Lazaros, will offer sculptural bottles of elixir, magic candles for re-alignment of frequency, alongside Reiki healing techniques and astrological readings.


Treasure Hunt in the desert

Two years ago, Desert X was launching as an experiment for the first time. The idea? Deploying artists in the Coachella Valley to install and showcase their works, interacting with the arid desert land.

The second edition of this daring project, on display from February 9 to April 21, brings a new selection of artists, including Eric Mack, Iván Argote and Jenny Holzer, even farther out. This year, their installations will go up to Lake Salton and to Mexico playing with the concepts of Mirage, crossing the desert, climate change and, more generally, the amazement offered by the dazzling show put on by nature.

The exhibit is free and open to everyone with a car and a GPS system, and the organization offers a map of available installations on its website. A tip for those venturing out for the first time: bring lots of water and a tank full of gasoline.

Lisa Anne Auerbach and Galvak

The Boulevard of broken dreams of Santa Monica

From 8 to 17 February, "Don't Forget to Breathe", by Venice Beach artist Doug Aitken, will occupy a deserted shop off Santa Monica Boulevard. Visible from the street, three human-shaped glass sculptures sparkle from the inside creating a choreography of neon lights; Inside, you can listen to the audio that accompanies the work, composed of layers of human voices.

For Aitken, the three figures represent a reflection on the digital nature of communication in the absence of human contact. They haunt the abandoned shop like the ghosts of the past of mankind, the era before smartphones.

Breakfast with the stars (of the art)

For the early risers, on February 16 at MOCA, the Geffen Contemporary will organise a brunch starting at 7am, titled "Brutally Early Club". The Master of the House, the director of MOCA, Klaus Biesenbach, and the international super curator, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, will hold a talk with artists Lauren Halsey, Korakrit Arunanondchai and Luchita Hurtado until early afternoon. And thankfully, there will be coffee.

Casa Perfect LA, Elvis' former home

The showroom at Elvis' house

Although the classic Starline tours offer small glims of celebrity homes that can be spotted above the hedges, Casa Perfect invites you to enter through the main gate. The Beverly Hills furniture showroom, which houses works by designers such as Chris Wolston and David Weeks, makes one feel very much at home in the house formerly occupied by the king of Rock & Roll.

The space has been restored and modernized according to the current stylistic conventions but the splendor of the original architecture remains intact: come marvel at the marble fireplace, the coffered ceiling and the sliding glass walls with beautiful views over the hills.

From February 16th, Casa Perfect will host an exhibition on Andy Warhol with photos and videos, with visit by appointment only.

Dreamweavers by Swiss Beatz at UTA

Surrealism in the context of the "Black renaissance"

The art philanthropist, record producer and husband of Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, is working with the Beverly Hills UTA Artist Space Gallery in a collective titled "Dreamweavers".

Curated by Nicola Vassell and open to the public from 13 February to 13 April, the exhibition includes strong surrealist images of artists such as Pope. L, Toyin ojih Odutola and Carrie Mae Weems, as well as unpublished works by Arthur Jafa and Kerry James Marshall.

The theme is the historical moment, two years after the Obama era, and the issues underlying a new renaissance of Black culture in the mainstream context. The exhibition grapples with the concepts of truth, identity, civilization and collective political conscience.

Doug Aitken

Galleries not to be missed

Los Angeles is so saturated with extraordinary exhibitions and galleries during the Frieze week that it is impossible to mention them all.

Among the local talents that we think deserve mentioning is the bizarre and incredible world of Trulee Hall, whose monograph "The Other and Otherwise" is on display at the gallery Maccarone.

Also worthwhile: a two-part retrospective on Charles White, mentor to both David Hammons and Kerry James Marshall, as well as a key figure in the Black Arts Movement, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the grand opening of the gallerist Susanne Vielmetter of a space over 1000 square meters in the Arts District, which will debut with works by Charles Gaines, Andrea Bowers and many more.

Frieze Los Angeles will be held from 15 to 17 February 2019.

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