Art Insider Feb. 11: Art fairs take over LA

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This week, art fairs of all shapes and sizes pop up in Los Angeles, from blue-chip to artist-run. 

Frieze Los Angeles

Image Not Available
Image courtesy of Frieze Art Fair. 

Frieze came to L.A. for the first time last year (after hosting yearly art fairs in London since 2003 and New York since 2012), positing the city as a major international player in the art world. 

Hosted at Paramount Pictures Studios, Frieze will feature more than 70 hand-selected international galleries — from Cape Town to Mexico City — with exhibitions on view. A Focus LA section will highlight some L.A. favorites that have opened in the last 15 years. 

The fair continues with Frieze Projects on Paramount’s outdoor backlot (a city block used for film shoots that is meant to look like N.Y.), where viewers can see performances and installations with a focus on identity politics. The backlot will also host a flurry of pop-up restaurants, bars, and a street fair of artist-driven nonprofits. There is also a full line-up of events, films, and talks. 

Public Hours: 
Saturday, February 15: 11am – 7pm
Sunday, February 16: 11am – 6pm  
Info and tickets

Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC)

Image courtesy of ALAC. 

Before last year, ALAC was L.A’s only real contemporary art fair (they debuted in 2010). Yet, with the gravitas of Frieze (at Paramount Studios), ALAC is moving from Santa Monica to Hollywood this year to be closer to the hubbub. The fair will take place for the first time at The Hollywood Athletic Club, which was founded by Charlie Chaplin in 1924. 

The fair promises an open “boutique-style” floor plan, and exhibitors will install in athletic spaces and ballrooms alike. With 38 gallery exhibitors, ALAC will also feature four independent publishers, four nonprofit organizations, and a curated program of on-site artist interventions. 

Public Hours:
Friday, February 14, 11am–7pm
Saturday, February 15, 11am–7pm
Sunday, February 16, 11am–6pm
Info and Tickets

Felix Art Fair 

Image courtesy of Felix Art Fair. 

Art collector Dean Valentine and brothers Mills and Al Moran founded Felix last year. The fair popped up alongside Frieze and will be presenting for the second year at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Although last year’s iteration was totally free, this year the fair will be charging for entrance. 

At Felix, exhibitors take over hotel rooms or pool-side cabanas, creating a less stuffy environment for fair-goers to interact with 63 international galleries. 

A Special Projects section, with the theme “Cruel Optimism,” will host 10 artist projects that “cherish the possibilities of art making, even as they recognize its limits.”

Public Hours: 
Friday, February 14, 11am–8pm
Saturday, February 15, 11am–8pm
Sunday, February 16, 11am–4pm
Info and Tickets


Video Installation curated by TRANSFER at SPRING/BREAK Art Show LA, 2019. Photo Credit: Samuel Morgan Photography.

The SPRING/BREAK Art Fair is coming to L.A. for its second year. It’s been hosting pop-up fairs across New York for nine years. 

This fair takes a different spin on the model of an art fair. Rather than inviting galleries to participate, the fair selects curators to choose artists or exhibitions. This helps keep the fair less sales-driven. Director Andrew Gori explained to me, “It’s like a museum show you can buy from.” 

The fair also forgoes the booth fee for exhibitors, and instead takes a percentage of potential sales (versus some fairs can cost tens of thousands of dollars just to participate). 

This year, the fair’s theme is “In Excess.” 

They’re setting up shop in The Row downtown, a new complex in the old American Apparel digs that features local designers, restaurants, and shops. The site’s history sparked a particular resonance with the fair’s theme, as issues of sustainability become increasingly vital across culture, fashion, and consumerism.  

Public Hours:
Saturday, February 15, 11AM - 9PM
Sunday, February 16, 11AM - 7PM
Info and Tickets 

Even more art fairs!

Bodyworkbodywork booth from Opaf 2018. Image courtesy of Bodyworkbodywork and OPaf.

If you’re not tuckered out yet, the stARTup Fair will host its sixth iteration at The Kinney Venice Beach hotel, featuring artist presentations of their own work, attempting to close the loop between buyer and artist. 

Amidst all of this commerce, the Art World Conference at the Skirball Center focuses on the business of art and building sustainable (and financially viable) careers in the arts. 

Another antidote to the cut and dry art fair format is Other Places Art Fair (OPAF) that will occur next month at Angel’s Gate Cultural Center. OPAF hosts alternative galleries and experimental artist projects in an outdoor decommissioned Army battery.