Opening up its own intriguing take on the landscape of Los Angeles and its ample supply of artists and galleries, SPRING/BREAK has brought its production to the City of Angels for the first time, launching a supplementary event that feels particularly resonant amid the hustle and bustle of Frieze week.
The fair has come a long way in under a decade, growing by leaps and bounds in the past several years as its annual Armory Week production in New York has filled impressively-scaled spaces with curatorial projects and proposals, while allowing galleries and artists to put on singular shows and concept-based projects. For its first year in Los Angeles, however, the event seems to have dialed back some of its original, dizzying scale and ambitious unifying ideas in favor of a string of shows inside produce stands in downtown Los Angeles. The result is a selection of shows that keep the spirit of the original fair, while bringing a carefully-curated version to the city.
Nevertheless, the projects remain wide-ranging and adventurous. There’s Theo Triantafyllidis’s scaled projection mapping project brought by Transfer Gallery, which spread surreal environs across the surfaces of the stand’s structure, while in another booth, one could see a performance by artist Jonathan Paul, in which he impersonated Richard Prince, appropriated pieces and all. In another location a series of sculptures and videos by Theresa Sterner and Zachary Trow challenged the viewer to consider the varied political moorings and social contexts of the modern urban environment, while a booth at E.C. Lina Gallery had a series of relaxed arrangements of beach chairs and balloons.
There was a decidedly subtle air of rebellion about the show, a mixture of forward-thinking work, careful consideration and a distinctly punk mentality towards the pop-up structure of the fair. Run like clockwork, SPRING/BREAK nevertheless maintained its air of detached cool and its dedication to strong work, a combo that has served both the event, and its adopted home of Los Angeles, quite well in the past half-decade.
The show closes February 17th.
— D. Creahan
Spring/Break Los Angeles [Exhibition]