Art In Season: The Los Angeles Fairs

Art in Los Angeles is always in season.

Whether contemporary, modern, or works from ages past, this year’s line up of art extravaganzas delivers objets from every genre. Each exhibition offers up art to stir our hearts and minds and to inflame our desire to acquire. LA’s art fairs bring us daring dealers, clever celebrities, art parties, art stars and, hopefully, the rare, world-changing artwork that can bring our soul and intellect to places we have never been before. Hooray for the dizzying array of Los Angeles art shows! I can hardly wait for them to start; there are so many hungry walls needing to be fed.


January 21-24, 2016

the REEF/LA MART, Downtown LA

Photo LA, now in its 25th year, is the longest-running fine art fair west of the Hudson—not just Mississippi—River. Stephen Cohen, the fair’s impresario, is spot-on with his pick of Regen Projects’ James Welling as the fair’s photographer guest-of-honor. Welling’s scintillating use of color and abstracted superimposition in his large-scale inkjet prints is both thrilling and intelligent. His latest body of work, “Choreograph,” opening at Regen Projects on February 20th, will preview at the fair.

Downtown LA has become an international destination for art patrons and enthusiasts. The Broad Museum is a fresh magnet hot-spot, and the arrival of new cutting-edge and blue chip galleries such as Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel add to the creative vitality of DTLA, a vitality Photo L.A. is also very much a part of. Last year, the fair’s REEF location attracted 12,000 visitors. Programs this year will include lectures, roundtable discussions, panels, docent tours, book signings, and various installations. In an age when we are all invested in the nebulous space of the Internet, it’s an epicurean, urban joy for the photographic community to come together corporeally in a shared experience of brilliant art and commerce. For tickets and more info, visit www.photola.com.

James Welling, 7690

James Welling, 7690, 2015, Inkjet print on rag paper, 42’’x 63”. Courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects.

Los Angeles Print Fair  

January 22-24, 2016

Bonhams on Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood

Continuing a 29-year tradition, the Los Angeles Print Fair returns to a new location, at Bonhams auction house on Sunset Boulevard, in West Hollywood. Collectors in the know flock to this venerable Los Angeles fair. The opening night festivities, Friday, January 22, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., benefit Self Help Graphics. All attendees are entered into a raffle for a framed artwork by Frank Romero.  Exhibitors, all members of the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA), are experts in the field of fine-art multiples. On offer are etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and other kinds of prints created by artists of historical importance. For tickets and more info, visit www.losangeles-fineprintfair.com

Going to the Olympics By Frank Romero

Going to the Olympics By Frank Romero. Serigraph. 20 x 53 inches. Image courtesy of Warnock Fine Arts.

Los Angeles Art Show: A New Focus for 2016

January 27-31, 2016

Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown LA

This behemoth of an art show, now in its 21st year, has been reawakened and renewed.  Last year, a brilliant incandescence shined out from every corner of this vast exhibition. A curatorial synergy rose like a phoenix, up into a new realm of world-class luxury, organizing the art into highly cohesive sections. I spent most of my time in the contemporary part of the fair where a genius grouping of international galleries served up a potent mix of edgy, thoughtful work.  Opening night—this show has a colossal vernissage—attracted some of the most beautiful women in Los Angeles. Draped in wonderfully sexy, low-cut dresses, swathed in fur and dripping with jewels, these women glistened and throbbed with glamour. (Sadly, the men were not so memorable.)

This edition of the LA Art Show has refined its focus, in order to bring us a different kind of fair.  For 2016, the promoters have split the exhibition into two sections. One of these main events, the Los Angeles Art Show, will be devoted to only modern and contemporary art. Located next door, the Los Angeles Fine Art Show will exhibit historic and traditional artworks.  The LA Art show is one of the world’s largest such events, occupying 200,000 square feet of exhibition space and boasting close to 60,000 attendees last year. As I said, it’s a really big show. For tickets and more info, visit www.laartshow.com

Mark Ryden, Angel of Meat

Mark Ryden, Angel of Meat. Courtesy bG Gallery, Santa Monica—At The LA Art Show.

Art Los Angeles Contemporary

JANUARY 28–31, 2016

BARKER HANGAR, Santa Monica Airport

Now in its seventh year, Art Los Angeles Contemporary is a smart, elegant, worldly, doggedly intelligent show, featuring work that can be sophisticated and edgy at the same time. I am always surprised and delighted by this fair’s fare. ALAC returns to the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, with 40,000 square feet of exhibition space and soaring 40-foot ceilings. ALAC features blue chip and emerging galleries from around the world, with a strong focus on those from Los Angeles. Participants present the latest works from their rosters, offering an informed cross-section of what is happening now. The exhibition provides a cultured, urbane environment for art collectors, curators, and patrons of the arts.

This year, Marc LeBlanc, ALAC’s curator of events and programming, has organized an expanded program of talks and lectures. In addition, the fair hosts a series of artist seminars, film screenings, and performance series. Special events are staged on site at the art fair as well as throughout the city in satellite locations. For tickets and more info, visit www.artlosangelesfair.com

Verena Dengler

Verena Dengler. Young male painter channellng Falco gazing at Keith Farquhar’s Neon Vaginas through Chanel-style Champion Logos, 2015. Oil, acrylic, graphite and hand-stitched embroidery on canvas. 51 3/16 x 74 13/16 inches (130 x 190 cm).

Fabrik Expo

JANUARY 29–31, 2016

Willow Studios, Arts District, Downtown LA

In its inaugural year, Fabrik Expo—a project developed and produced by this publication’s parent company, Fabrik Media, Inc.—envisions itself as a unique platform for emerging, established, and unrepresented artists, designers, and collaborative groups to proffer their work to a global audience. This exhibition is all about independent presentation. The Expo is meant to be a catalyst for an intensely-charged, dynamic exchange of creative ideas and processes. The organizers have conceived a place “where curators, collectors, writers and gallerists can form meaningful connections with artists that can, hopefully, last a lifetime.”

This conceptually diverse exhibition is the sister show to Photo Independent, successfully launched in 2014 as the first photography-only artist fair of its kind. Fabrik Media, producer of both shows, supports art-makers by providing innovative venues for their work to be exhibited, published and represented by a network of insightful, prescient art-world professionals.

Fabrik Expo’s debut at Willow Studios, a 30,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor film production and event venue, is an auspicious cultural marker for DTLA. As a provocative nexus of creative innovation, the fair is being held in the central enclave of LA’s ever-evolving and internationally known Arts District, the urban engine that drives the city’s most progressive and eclectic visual culture.

For tickets and more info, visit fabrikexpo.com

Voyage through the void. © Nobuho Nagasawa—Fabrik Expo

Voyage through the void. © Nobuho Nagasawa—Fabrik Expo

stARTup Fair LA

January 29-31, 2016

Highland Gardens Hotel

7047 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood

Hollywood hipsters brace yourselves. Prepare for the onslaught of culture vultures descending on Los Angeles for this wild art-fair-driven weekend, to hit central Hollywood too. StARTup Fair LA—sister fair of the eponymous San Francisco version—mimes the grand mini-genre of hotel art displayed and arrayed from room to room. This is stARTup’s first year in the Southland after its successful debut up north.  Co-founders Ray Beldner and Steve Zavattero are riding the nouveau trend of the artist-driven fair, where exhibitor-artists pay for the space and keep one hundred percent of their sales. Since stARTtup stages in a hotel, the fees the artists pay for this fair include two nights at the hotel, complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and all hotel and occupancy taxes too. Such a deal. Done well, hotel presentation can be fun and worth a visit if the art is good and the artists get up in time to make their beds, properly.

For tickets and more info, visit www.startupartfair.com

Kathy Aoki. Canopic Jars (Of Gwen Stefani), 2009. Ceramic. 15” x 5” x 5”—Startup Fair LA

Kathy Aoki. Canopic Jars (Of Gwen Stefani), 2009. Ceramic. 15” x 5” x 5”—Startup Fair LA


JANUARY 30–31, 2016


Vintage, Modern and Contemporary Photography

Classic Photographs Los Angeles began in 2010 when a small group of leading galleries and photography dealers, looking for an alternative to oversized art fairs, organized an intimate photography show at the Michael Dawson Gallery in Los Angeles. The following year, three of the original participants, Michael Dawson, Amanda Doenitz, and Richard Moore, formed Classic Photographs LLC and expanded the size and scope of the show while preserving the emphasis on quality of work and expertise of exhibitors.

Sweet and small, Classic Photographs Los Angeles is one of my favorite fairs. I bought a wonderful retro-colored Chinese opera print there last year. For tickets and more info, visit www.classicphotographsla.com 

William Eggleston. Untitled [Pink bathroom], 1970-1973. 20 x 16 inch Dye Transfer Print. Number five in a limited edition of ten. From the Eggleston Artistic Trust, the collection of the artist. Courtesy Rose Gallery, Santa Monica—CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHS LOS ANGELES.

William Eggleston. Untitled [Pink bathroom], 1970-1973. 20 x 16 inch Dye Transfer Print. Number five in a limited edition of ten. From the Eggleston Artistic Trust, the collection of the artist. Courtesy Rose Gallery, Santa Monica—CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHS LOS ANGELES.


February 11-14, 2016

Palm Springs Convention Center

The Palm Springs Fine Art Fair may be the most relaxed event of the season. East Coasters come to the desert to warm up; Angelenos come to chill out. Scheduled over the extended President’s Day Weekend coinciding with Palm Springs Modernism Week, the art fair offers an eclectic mix of modern and contemporary art in the tranquil and trendy Coachella Valley desert resort. According to the fair’s website, The City of Palm Springs announced in 2015 that last President’s Day weekend set a record for the largest number of visitors in its history.  Hundreds of art works found new homes and robust art sales were recorded by most of the 66 exhibiting galleries. The opening night event is a benefit for the Palm Springs Museum.

For tickets and more info, visit www.palmspringsfineartfair.com

Andy Moses, Morphology 1505, 2015, acrylic on polycarbonate mounted on concave wood panel, 54x78 inches. Photo by Alan Shaffer, courtesy of William Turner Gallery—Palm Springs Fine Art Fair.

Andy Moses, Morphology 1505, 2015, acrylic on polycarbonate mounted on concave wood panel, 54×78 inches. Photo by Alan Shaffer, courtesy of William Turner Gallery—Palm Springs Fine Art Fair.

Photo Independent

April 29-May 1, 2016

Raleigh Studios, Across the street from Paris Photo on Melrose Avenue, Hollywood

Photo Independent’s stated mission is to forge opportunities for photographic artists and photobook publishers to be discovered by global audiences, and what better time and place for that than during LA’s Month of Photography. Year three of Photo Independent, produced by Fabrik Media Inc., creator of Fabrik Magazine, ArtCapitol.com and Fabrik Expo, further establishes a respected venue for high-caliber, under-represented photographic artists who cannot participate in gallery-based art fairs. At Photo Independent, image makers can present their works directly to appreciative international photophile audiences that have gathered together in Los Angeles to attend the various fairs and exhibitions.

Spread across the soundstages and theaters at the Raleigh Studios, across the street from Paramount, Photo Independent and its sister program Photobook Independent provide artists with a unique opportunity. Exhibiting photographers can present their work to curators, galleries, collectors, editors and publishers who seek to acquire, and commission the best photographic talent today. This year’s edition of specialized programs, seminars, artist talks, and private portfolio reviews provides a distinctive forum for exchanges between artists and the professional photographic community.

For tickets and more info, visit photoindependent.com

Dennis Hopper. Photograph by Scott Caan—Photo Independent.

Dennis Hopper. Photograph by Scott Caan—Photo Independent.

Paris Photo/Los Angeles

Apr 29 -May 1, 2016

Paramount Pictures Studios • Melrose Avenue, Hollywood

Can our city sustain four potent photography fairs—Photo LA, Paris Photo, Photo Independent and Classic Photographs—all in one art season? You bet it can. In fact, I think we’ll have five by 2017. Photography is the incendiary art form of our age, and Los Angeles, the quintessential image tastemaker and taste-breaker, has always boasted a dynamic photographic as well as cinematic identity. From thousands of head shots full of Hollywood dreams to Getty Museum photographic classicism and on to the colossal images that mark (or mar) our phantasmagorical billboards on Sunset and Wilshire Boulevards, Los Angeles relies on the photograph more than any other city on earth.

Paris Photo Los Angeles bills itself as the world’s most celebrated art fair for works created in the photographic medium. The Fair is held each spring at Paramount Pictures Studios, the ideal setting for exploring how artists have been and are using still and moving images in the 20th and 21st centuries.  Paris Photo Los Angeles exhibitors present historical and contemporary bodies of work, cutting-edge solo shows, and book projects by renowned and emerging artists in Paramount Pictures’ soundstages and, in delightful incongruity, on their back-lot movie-set replica of New York City streets.

Built around cultural events involving artists, collectors, and cultural institutions, Paris Photo Los Angeles, includes the Sound & Vision series of conversations and screenings as well as unveils little-known or never-before-seen photographic material. Paris Photo Los Angeles 2015 hosted 79 galleries and art book dealers, the roster including work from more than 17 countries.

For tickets and more info, visit www.parisphoto.com/losangeles

About Post Author