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The Return of the Frieze Fair

After a year’s absence, Frieze returned, not to the Paramount lot where the previous two fairs were held, but to a tent that was, in real estate parlance, Beverly Hilton adjacent. It was business as usual. From February 17-20, collectors collected, museums acquired, galleries sold, and celebrities spotted. Sales upwards of a million dollars for individual works were reported, and post fair stats boasted vigorous sales, including sold-out booths, the gold standard. Focus LA, a selection of local emerging galleries, also reported hefty stats. 

 

So, how was the art?  Of course, there was great art to be seen, and yet fairs do not make it easy, in fact, the amount of visual stimulation makes it difficult to merely survive the experience. For those who attend the fair as art enthusiasts, (as opposed to collectors or gallerists), a better coping strategy is to adjust your expectations and limit your time; You don’t have to see everything. It is widely known that you can always follow up at any local gallery after the fair, especially midweek, when you will have the art all to yourself. 

    

 If you looked beyond the well-known show stoppers, the Kenny Scharfs at Jeffrey Dietch, 

Kenny Scharf

the Chris Burden gazebo, the Anish Kapoors, there were gems to be found. I appreciated the new discoveries and the galleries that have the temerity to show older work, a respite that allows for some breathing space between the often ambitious and in-your-face contemporary sensibilities. In this category, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery was a goldmine, focusing on work that complimented recent museum shows in Los Angeles that featured Black artists.There were some excellent Charles White portraits, several small Bob Thompson paintings and dynamic paintings by Beauford Delaney.   


Beauford Delaney
Charles White


Bob Thompson

Bob Thompson
Beauford Delaney

  

















In Focus LA,  Sarah Rosalena Brady at Garden was clever and curious, combining aspects of her indigenous roots to reimagine symbols and crafts using modern technology. 3-D printed sculptures were on exhibit, as well as weavings and gourds made of wax and resin. 

Sarah Rosalena Brady








 
Sarah Rosalena Brady


At Luis de Jesus, featured work by Rodrigo Valenzuela was installed against a grid of the artist’s making. The fantastical black and white photographs of industrial machines shared a little of Joel Peter Witkin’s reverence for the staged image, along with a level of craftmanship that elevates his subjects.

Rodrigo Valenzuela

 

Rodrigo Valenzuela


 







Sometimes, work from the past speaks to you.  This Alan Saret stainless steel wall sculpture at Karma was a lovely, quiet discovery.  Similarly, a delicate Lee Bontecue at Mark Selwyn stopped me in my tracks.

Alan Saret

     

Lee Bontecue

At LA’s Chateau Shatto, these two Helen Johnson paintings on hanging canvas were impressive. Other noteworthy art, but in no particularly order, follows:

Helen Johnson

Helen Johnson

                                                 








 


 










































Simone Leigh at Matthew Marks
Elliott Hundley (detail)

              

Elliott Hundley, Regen Projects


Tony Lewis, Blum & Poe

          

Eleonore Koch, Mendes Wood

                                                  

Francis Offman, Herald St.

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