“I kind of find this overwhelming,” fashion historian Cameron Silver said at the opening last Thursday evening of the annual contemporary art fair Art Los Angeles Contemporary. “I need a guide—I’m not an expert, I just know what I like. But there’s lots of potentially good Instagrams.”
Now in its fifth edition in Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, the fair, which ran through Sunday, opened to sizable crowds, a flurry of parallel events like panel discussions and collection visits, and copious sales. Early reports indicated that a majority of booths had sold out by the time the invite-only, VIP crowd left later on Thursday night.
Poor Los Angeles. Poor, poor Los Angeles. Last year its Museum of Contemporary Art scuttled plans to host Tate Modern’s Damien Hirst show and an exhibition of Richard Hamilton’s work, and now MOCA is saying that it will not open its Koons retrospective in January, as previously planned. The show will debut at the Whitney in June of next year, and then travel to Paris’s Centre Pompidou in October. A rep for MOCA told The Observer, “We anticipate a 2015 opening.”
Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum announced today that it has hired Connie Butler to serve as its chief curator, taking the place of Douglas Fogle, who stepped down about a year ago. Ms. Butler was already bound for L.A. to curate the museum’s 2014 “Made in L.A.” biennial with Michael Ned Holte. She had served as chief curator of drawings at the Museum of Modern Art since 2006.
“I’m kind of obsessed with it.”
Actor Emile Hirsch wasn’t talking about Sundance—he’d already been there, done that by last Thursday night when, along with throngs of other well-heeled Angelenos, he arrived at Santa Monica’s Barker Hanger for the art fair Art L.A. Contemporary (ALAC). He was talking about ALAC, and his attitude reflected that of a lot of attendees. The event seems to have caught on.
Los Angeles businessman and art collector Eli Broad gave the commencement address at the Otis Collage of Art and Design earlier this month, and now the museum has loaded a video of it online, allowing you to watch from the comfort of your home. Mr. Broad, sporting full regalia, starts speaking at about 29:50.
Last spring, when New York-based art dealer Perry Rubenstein announced that he and his wife Sara Fitzmaurice, head of the PR company Fitz & Co., would be making the move to Los Angeles, he said he’d be opening a gallery there in fall 2011. Well, it’s been a bit delayed, but Mr. Rubenstein’s gallery is set to open its doors on June 1, with “Helmut Newton: Sex and Landscapes,” an exhibition of 40 large-scale photographs that come directly from the fashion photographer’s estate. June 2 will bring an event with Neil Young and street artist Shepard Fairey, on the occasion of the release of Mr. Young’s new album.
GalleristNY in LA
This month’s issue of Artforum is stellar. Focusing on art in Los Angeles, we get David E. James on the city’s alternative cinema, Linda Norden on the late Minimalist John McCracken and a portfolio of drawings from Raymond Pettibon. An image of a performance by L.A.’s Asco collective—Decoy Gang War Victim (1974)—is on the Read More
GalleristNY in LA
“Hollywood is so much sexier than the art world,” Berlin-based art dealer Javier Peres was telling The Observer. “There’s much more hype, there’s more cash flowing at it. The art world in Los Angeles has always competed with Hollywood, and it’s always been a tough struggle.”
We were speaking with Mr. Peres in the convention center in downtown L.A. that last week housed the brand new art fair Art Platform Los Angeles, a venture of Merchandise Mart, the same company that owns New York’s Armory Show. It was the opening day of the fair, and Mr. Peres was exhibiting there; visitors were pouring through the doors at a steady clip. Meanwhile, the well-funded Getty Foundation was opening “Pacific Standard Time,” a series of exhibitions on postwar California art that spans scores of museums and commercial galleries and runs for the next six months.
It looked like art might be giving Hollywood a run for its money. Or, at least, that’s what a group of New York dealers setting up shop here are hoping.
GalleristNY in LA
By midday today it seemed that Art Platform had successfully assembled all the trappings of a contemporary art fair. We had seen neon works and noted a champagne sponsor, enjoyed a VIP lounge and fielded rumors about which exhibitors were given free or discounted booths. Things were going great.
Polling Los Angeles art dealers for gallery recommendations yesterday, one of the names that came up most often was Nye + Brown, the new space started just last month by the New York tech mogul turned art dealer Tim Nye, who has specialized in postwar art from Southern California, like Finish Fetish and Light and Space, in recent years, and Lexi Brown, a longtime Angeleno who ran a gallery called The Happy Lion in L.A.’s Chinatown.