An Insider's Guide to Frieze Los Angeles
Published for Soho House digital members site; shared with permission - by Kipton Cronkite
After moving from New York to Los Angeles in early 2018, it has become apparent the LA art scene is booming. Over the last couple years, the city has noticeably gained momentum as a leading source of contemporary art. On February 15th, the global art community will unite for the inaugural fair of Frieze Los Angeles at Paramount Pictures Studios featuring artists across the U.S. and around the world. “Frieze Los Angeles celebrates the incredible and thriving arts landscape in L.A. As an extension of the fair’s programming beyond the booths, Frieze Projects asks artists to respond to the Paramount urban street backlot, a stand-in for a real city and a symbol of Los Angeles’s distinct and vast creative ecosystem. Frieze Projects will provoke visitors to consider the central role of art within the greater cultural landscape, and build on Frieze’s history of creating experiences that engage visitors in dialogue, debate, and discovery,” says Bettina Korek (Executive Director, Frieze Los Angeles). More than 70 galleries will come together and present a cross section of today’s sought-after artists, while Frieze Projects will exhibit site-specific installations, sculptures and performances. Attendees can view these integrated works around the New York Street movie set of Paramount Pictures Studios (in buildings, streets, and interior spaces that have been captured countless times in films, photographs, and television shows).
Here, LA-based Art Advisor Kipton Cronkite, puts together a ‘must-see’ list and highlights, plus tips to make it easier for you to navigate the fair:
‘Must-See’ @ Frieze LA
Ali Subotnick said, “For the first edition of Frieze Los Angeles I invited artists who live, work or have histories with the city to develop projects responding to the fair’s untraditional site and context. Unlike most fairs and exhibitions that take place in parks, tents, or traditional white spaces, they are forced to grapple with a land of make-believe, built to be seen on film. Each artist embraced the opportunity, and challenge, and the results are often magical and otherworldly, surreal and hyper-real, but never dull.” A strong LA artist presence – well-known artists exhibiting include: Doug Aitken, Judy Chicago, Beatriz Cortez, Karon Davis, Tracey Emin, Gajin Fujita, Theaster Gates, Mona Hatoum, Mike Kelley, Barbara Kruger, Tala Madani, Paul McCarthy, Sondra Perry, Allen Ruppersberg, Tino Sehgal, Lee Ufan, Lawrence Weiner and more! Non-profit organizations such as Women’s Center for Creative Work and Artists 4 Democracy will represent insights into activism and civic engagement.
“It will be wild to see art invading the New York stages during Frieze week,” says Barrett Foa, cast of NCIS: Los Angeles, which has shot on the Paramount lot for a decade.
1. Artist / Guest Engagement on the streets of the backlot - Stickers designed by Barbara Kruger prompts visitors to contemplate philosophical questions such as “Who will write the history of tears?” “Art there animals in heaven?” or “Who salutes longest?”. Around the corner on a faux brick wall, Cayetano Ferrer’s dynamic neon piece evokes New York’s vernacular architecture and signage. Down the street, Karon Davis presents Game, a work that explores how schools have become a place for the hunted—our children—through dramatically staged life-size sculptures. Across the way, on a classic Brooklyn residential block, Hannah Greely hangs her paintings out to dry, on a clothesline spanning the apartment buildings. Creeping out from the drain at the bottom of the SoHo subway, Trulee Hall’s fluorescent serpent snakes its way in and out of windows and fire escapes, infesting the classic wrought-iron façade. In a nod to an outdated mode of broadcasting, Kori Newkirk’s antennae sculptures lands haphazardly across the backlot like tumbleweeds blown from the rooftops, gathering colorful detritus along the way. In the Upper East Side space, Tino Sehgal’s constructed situation, This is competition, engages with the commercial activity of an art fair, as two gallerists compete to sell the artist’s work. From the theater, visitors encounters a sub-level set for an interior domestic space, transformed by Patrick Jackson into a classic dark back alley—reflecting on the magic of movie-making. On a nearby sidewalk, situated like a game piece inside of an ever-changing portrait of New York City, Catharine Czudej’s new sculpture – a cartoon working class hero – becomes a placeholder, an idea of man from a time in America that maybe never was. Outdoor sculptures around the backlot and studio campus include Paul McCarthy’s intervention in the financial district with a monumental inflatable artwork, Daddies Tomato Ketchup Inflatable (2007), exhibited in Los Angeles for the first time. Corazón del Sol revives her mother Eugenia P. Butler’s seminal project The Kitchen Table (1993), with a new conversation over a meal which will be screened in the lobby of the financial district skyscraper. And installed next to the backlot entrance, Shahryar Nashat’s marble sculpture Mother on Wheels (Oro Grigio), (2018), which reimagines the pedestals he encountered at New York’s Frick Collection. Off the backlot near the Paramount Theater, Nicolas Party’s monumental Head (2019) greets visitors at the iconic Paramount Fountain, resembling an oversized millinery dummy or a carnival-style head and painted in the artist’s signature graphic style. Finally, inside the Gower Street entrance to the fair, Max Hooper Schneider’s Female Odobenid (2019) exemplifies Schneider’s exploration of evolution and a potential future in which humans and animals become one.
2. Frieze Talks - Peer to peer conversations commence on Saturday (Feb 16) and Sunday (Feb 17). They have been created to nurture a dialogue between artists, writers and scholars where they will not just to talk about their work but about what excites them, angers them, gives them hope or instills reflection. Participants include, among others: Cauleen Smith in conversation with Sondra Perry (5pm, Saturday, February 16, 2019); Mary Weatherford in conversation with Suzanne Hudson (3.30pm, Sunday February 17, 2019); and Liz Larner in conversation with Ariana Reines (5pm, Sunday, February 17, 2019)
3. Around LA during Frieze Los Angeles - Barbara Kruger’s project, Untitled (Questions 3), will be presented at several non-profit art spaces around Los Angeles: including 18th St. Arts Center; 5900 Wilshire Blvd.; Art + Practice; ICA Los Angeles; LACE; LAXART; Marciano Art Foundation; and The Mistake Room.
4. Conversations on Patronage – Taking place in the Sherry Lansing Theater, highlights include: Kristy Edmunds in conversation with Susan Nimoy, Sarah Arison and Olivia Marciano (5pm on Thursday February 14); Michael Govan (LACMA), Naima Keith (CAAM) and Andrew Perchuk (GRI) with Charlotte Burns on “Expanding the Canon” (12pm on Friday February 15); Architect Frank Gehry in conversation with Maja Hoffman (LUMA Foundation) and Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Galleries) (5pm on Friday, February 15).
Get Your Frieze On
Frieze LA recommends attendees take a car service to Paramount Pictures Studios. The fair is open February 14 through 17, 2019, at Paramount Pictures Studios. Led by Victoria Siddall (Director, Frieze Fairs) and Bettina Korek (Executive Director, Frieze Los Angeles), Frieze LA invited more than 70 leading galleries from Los Angeles and across the world, alongside a curated program of artist projects, films and talks. The bespoke structure was designed by Kulapat Yantrasast, while Hamza Walker (Executive Director of LAXART) curated the Frieze Talks and Frieze Music, and curator Ali Subotnick (formerly of the Hammer Museum) created Frieze Projects and Frieze Film.
For a complimentary art advisory consultation, contact Kipton Cronkite.