After a very successful inaugural fair in 2019, Frieze Los Angeles presented its second edition last week. These days art fairs seem to offset an accumulation of art activations, fantastic gallery exhibitions, and well-curated cultural programs in public and membership environments such as NeueHouse who partnered up with Frieze to facilitate the Frieze VIP members.
This year’s Frieze Los Angeles was at full capacity by 12 pm, an hour after the opening, leaving the VIP’s waiting in line on opening day. The fair felt younger, with a Focus L.A. sector that presents local galleries under 15 years. Some of the favorite presentations this year were; Avery Singer presented by Hauser and Wirth, Sayre Gomex presented in the Focus L.A. by François Ghebaly Gallery, James Turrell presented by Pace Gallery and Griffin Corcoran, works by Alvaro Barrington presented by Sadie Collins and a group show including the Richard Prince Car presented by Gagosian curated around the concept of what shapes Los Angeles.
It was a week full of opening exhibitions, first private events then public events for all shows. The vast amount of great works presented in tandem with the fair was too much to see in just a day or a week. This article will offer you some guidance and give a selection of 6 must-see exhibitions in Los Angeles this month.
“All of Them Witches” – Jeffrey Deitch
February 8 – April 11, 2020
925 North Orange Drive, Los Angeles
Organized by writer and curator Dan Nadel and artist and photographer Laurie Simmons, ‘All of Them Witches’ presents over 40 artists, including leading female artists such as Maril Minter, Judy Chicago, Kik Smith, Judith Bernstein, Nancy Spero, and Lisa Yuskavage amongst others. The Exhibition was conceived after an initial conversation between Nadel and Simmons led by the discovery of Austé Peciuca in which they discovered their common interest in gothic drawing and filmmaking.
The exhibition starts with 3 works by Ellen Berkenblit, called “Electric Lace,’ ‘What Then Found,’ 2019, ‘Beauty. Knowledge. Pleasure. Art. Darkness. Sex. Love. Life,’ 2019.
The layout of the exhibition demands the viewer to walk in a circle through the space to view the overwhelming amount of artworks, with the work installed side by side and in little rooms in between. The exhibition has an impressive collection of strong paintings, videos, multimedia, sculptural works and installations making this group show is an absolute must-see.
Arcmanoro Niles:’I Guess By Now I’m Supposed To Be A Man: I’m Just Trying To Leave Behind Yesterday.’ At UTA Artist Space
February 12th – March 14th
403 Foothill Rd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Arcmanoro Niles, is a Washington born, and Brooklyn based artist. Since graduating from the New York Academy of Art in 2015 the artist has been making a name for himself. In the last 5 years, Niles has shown two solo exhibitions at Rachel Uffner Gallery and was included in the group show ‘Punch’ at Jeffrey Deitch.
‘I Guess By Now I’m Supposed to Be A Man: I’m Just Trying To Leave Behind Yesterday.’ presents seven large scale paintings in the main room of UTA artist space and some smaller portraits in the side room.
The series of large scale portraits are painted in Niles signature saturated colors. The works reflect on how our personal life journey is affected by experiences, relationships, and events on our path. These forces of experiences are depicted as outlined caricatures in the corner or side of the paintings. The life journey is resembled by the variety of age of the figures in each painting, the exhibition starts with a small child playing on the floor, other works depict an older man or an adolescent. The works feel like family portraits in vibrant color until you look closer and feel the seriousness that Niles refers to.
‘Nicolas Party: Sottobosco,’ – Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles
13 Feb – 12 Apr 2020
901-909 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
It is undeniable that Nicolas Party has been receiving great recognition for his work in the last years. It came to no surprise that Hause & Wirth’s opening on the night before Frieze Los Angeles was very well attended, everyone seemed to have made it to Hauser & Wirth popular downtown location.
Party’s work completely transformed the galleries of the Hauser & Wirth building with his signature murals and installations. The show comprises figurative and landscape paintings, as well as sculptures alongside the site-specific murals. The exhibition completely submerges you into the artist’s world, with a perfect balance between the complementary colors in each room, serene landscapes and attention-seeking portraits, as well as a variety of shapes and sizes, the exhibition is an absolute joy.
‘Lucio Fontana, Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948 – 1968’ – Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles
13 February – 12 April 2020
901-909 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hauser & Wirth has proven to understand the importance of creating environments and installations and seems to have recognized the cravings of the audience to have all senses tickled.
‘Lucio Fontana. Walking the space: Spatia; Environments, 1948 -1968’ is a surprising presentation of reconstructed installation works by Lucio Fontana first conceived in the 50s and 60s. From rooms made out of slippery carpets to dark rooms with neon or light installations, the exhibition is dynamic and interactive. For many of us, Fontana is the artist of the famous sliced one colored canvas, yet we remain unfamiliar with his other important works. This exhibition celebrates Fontana as an important contributor to conceptual art, and proves him to be way ahead of the curve!
50+50: A Creative Century from Chouinard to CalArts at REDCAT
February 12, 2020, to Sunday, March 22, 2020
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles
California Institute of Art is a private art university that has been educating leading artists since the 70s, making the year 2021 their 50th anniversary. It is also the 100th anniversary of the forerunner Institute Chouinard.
‘A Creative Century from Chouinard to CalArts’ is an artist-led scholarship endowment initiative and marks and celebrates the decades of championing creativity, education, expression, and critical reflection.
Curated by Carmen Amengual and Michael Ned Holte, the inaugurated exhibition is presented at the REDCAT gallery and features the following artists: John Baldessari, Annie Collier, Laddie John Dill, Joe Goode, Naotaka Hiro, Tony Oursler, Gala Porras-Kim, Stephen Prina, Barbara T Smith, Carrie Mae Weems. The exhibitions feel like a true celebration of creativity and joy, I look forward to seeing more of the initiative.
‘Kathleen Ryan: Bad Fruit’ – François Ghebaly Gallery
February 15 – March 29, 2020
2245 E Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Kathleen Ryan lives and works in New York City, and is known for creating large scale sculptures using a mix of materials such as concrete, cast iron, carved marble, and precious stones.
In her series made in 2019, she criticizes our culture of overabundance and overconsumption with a series of rotten fruit made out of foam and a large number of beads made out of semi-precious stones.
For the exhibition ‘Bad Fruit’ the artist created two separate large installations of decaying fruits. One installation resembles an oversized bundle of grapes, beautifully colored in darker purples, greens, and blues indicating the aging process of picked fruits. The second installation comprises a few smaller and larger sculptures that resemble scattered pieces of melon. The melon sculptures are made with the exterior of an airstream trailer and include beautiful red and pink colored semi-precious stones. Both installations are breathtaking with their beautiful stones and vibrant colors, yet there is an unpleasant look to the works that demonstrates Ryan’s subject matter.