5 design things to do this week

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This week you can: go to an art fair, or four; soak up some mid-century design in Palm Springs; learn about the architecture of Ladd & Kelsey; experience a contemporary interpretation of a 1960’s work; and watch artistic performance infuse Venice’s public spaces, breakdown barriers and create connection.

Dean Valentine’s new Felix Art Show was named in equal parts for Felix the Cat, art critic Félix Fénéon, and the Spanish word for happy, feliz.

1) Art Fair Flurry: Four Art Fairs in LA This Week

Los Angeles has not always been the strongest market for art fairs, but this week, art fair organizers are going all in with four fairs taking you from Hollywood to the Pacific Ocean.  Starting at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, the ten year old Art Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair will present “top established and emerging galleries” from around the world, with an emphasis on Los Angeles galleries.

Joining ALAC is cross-town newby Frieze LA, which was born from a magazine and will launch its debut art fair LA ‘edition’ on the Paramount Pictures Studios backlot, featuring “significant and forward thinking galleries,” artist talks, site-specific projects and film.

Two smaller fairs celebrating nearby their larger counterparts round out the extravaganza:  stARTup in Venice aims to connect buyers with “highly vetted up and coming artists,” and Felix in Hollywood, launched by local collector Dean Valentine, wants to bring back an intimate art scene reminiscent of the 1990s.  Click links to the specific fairs for more details about each fair.

When: The fairs run Feb 13 – 17 ;  click links to specific fair for event dates and times

Where:  ALAC Barker Hangar, Santa Monica;  Frieze LA Paramount Studios LotstARTup The Kinney Venice BeachFelix Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Tickets: Prices range from free for the smaller fairs to $75+ for opening receptions and previews to the larger fairs; click links for specific fair for tickets and pricing

Stylish trailer living is on display at Modernism Week in Palm Springs.

2) Modernism Week

Mid-Century design and architecture is in full desert bloom starting Valentine’s Day.  From homes and landscaping that have been meticulously maintained or restored, to updated contemporary versions of the originals, Modernism Week celebrates sustainably modern Palm Springs living in all its beauty.  Highlights include a vintage trailer show, the Christopher Kennedy Compound, the Architecture Design Art Film Festival, and Hollywood living, past and present. Read more about Modernism Week and featured events here. Some are ticketed, some are free. DnA’s Frances Anderton will host two conversations on Monday, Feb 18 — the first with the indefatigable Beverly Willis, advocate for women in architecture, along with Audrey Matlock and Elizabeth Mahlow. Then she will join Chris McVoy, of Stephen Holl Architecture, and landscape architect, Edmund Hollander, for a chat about The Kennedy Center expansion currently underway in Washington DC. Catch Frances in conversation with Modernism Week treasurer Mark Davis, and with Beverly Willis, on DnA, airing Tuesday, February 12.

When: Feb 14 – 24; click here for detailed event dates and times

Where: Greater Palm Springs Area: click here for specific event locations

Tickets: Click here for available tickets (tickets selling fast.)

The Kelsey House, designed in 1962 by John Kelsey and Thornton Ladd is being raffled off by the Palos Verdes Art Center as a fundraiser in the 17th annual California Dream House raffle.

3) Ladd & Kelsey: Noble Places

More midcentury Modernism. Pasadena architects Thornton Ladd and John Kelsey met as students in USC’s School of Architecture and went on to design the Norton Simon Museum and the Pasadena Art Museum, among other notable Southern California landmarks. Still under-noted for their accomplishments (1959-1982), the duo has left a lasting impact on California Modernism and the USC Style.  Curated by Kevin Lane of Placewares Projects, Ladd & Kelsey: Noble Places will showcase period photos of the firm’s projects taken by Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, and Wayne Thom, as well as ephemera such as vintage design magazines and movie posters for films featuring the architects’ visually striking work.

When: Opening Reception Friday, February 15, 6 – 9 pm; Exhibition runs now through May 26

Where: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Rd, Rancho Palos Verdes 90275

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

The House of Dust, a seminal late 1960s work by Fluxus artist Alison Knowles. Image courtesy of the California Institute of the Arts Archives

4) Shelter or Playground: The House of Dust

In 1967, Alison Knowles created one of the first computer-generated poems, The House of Dust.  It started with the words, “A House of….” and each stanza described a different ‘house’. She translated one of these into a structure, which she titled The House of Dust.  Now comes an exhibition premised on an encounter between The House of Dust and the Schindler House, two very singular buildings – and occupants — that represent alternatives to functionalist architecture and conventional behavior, according to curators Maud Jacquin, Anna Milone and Sébastien Pluot. The group exhibition Shelter or Playground takes its name from a text by Rudolph Schindler where he describes his own house as a playground, and comprises new performances accompanied by interpretations of scores by Fluxus artists or those associated with Fluxus – Alison Knowles, Yoko Ono and others.

When: Performances Saturday, Feb 16 and Sunday, Feb 17 starting at 2 pm – details here; Exhibition runs now through June 2, 2019

Where: Schindler House, 835 N Kings Road, West Hollywood 90069

Tickets: $10 Admission; click here for more information.

Dancers of mixed age and experience occupy public space in Venice in Façade of Time.

5) Façade of Time

Venice has long been a cocktail of a town: a place where street people and street artists and modern mansions and corporations coexist, and at times collide. Façade of Time is a site-specific dance project that aims to bring everyone together.  Sixty performers of mixed age and experience, will dance their way through the streets of Venice, traveling to the Windward Circle and culminating at the beach for sunset. Façade of Time is produced by Body Weather Laboratory with the goal of collapsing social and physical boundaries through performing in a public space.

When: Sunday, Feb 17, 3:45 – 5:45 (Sunset)

Where: 200 N. Venice Blvd, Venice, LA.

Tickets: Free. Click here for more information.