As the early hours of the second Frieze Los Angeles Art Fair draw to a close this evening, and the sun sets over the Pacific, the fair seems to have once again hammered home its vital engagement with the city, and with its thriving art scene, launching another strong event spread across the grounds of the Paramount Studios. With strong sales reported and an energetic atmosphere across the fair, it would seem that the small-scale and focused approach of the fair had once again seen the fair brand making its case as an arbiter of thoughtful, curated approaches towards the market and its participants.
The fair’s atmosphere and energy was matched by a parade of celebrities and buyers. J.Lo could be seen negotiating prices at one booth, while Alex Israel seemed to be everywhere at once, walking the fair and also hanging on the walls. At Sprüth Magers, one could view a massive scrolling light display by Jenny Holzer, while at Koenig Galerie, Alicja Kwade was presenting a selection of her signature works fusing precise elements and natural materials. Thaddaeus Ropac also had a strong booth, showcasing work by Georg Baselitz. The gallery also sold a Robert Rauschenberg piece for $1.35 million.
Sales were particularly strong throughout the fair over the course of the fair’s first day, with major headline sales and consistent booth sales that seemed to emphasize the fair’s primary aim, planting a flag for the city as the next major market hub. At David Zwirner, a large-scale Neo Rauch sold for a strong $2 million, while at Gladstone, a Keith Haring piece sold for $3.75 million. Local David Kordansky also had a strong outing, selling works several pieces by Jonas Wood for $500,000, and a Mary Weatherford for $310,000. A Jordan Casteel piece also sold for $50,000 at Casey Kaplan.
Outside in the lot, where a miniature version of New York City had been erected, a range of works invited an intriguing engagement with place and concept. One particularly striking work was a massive Lorna Simpson video piece, playing a selection of dancers twirling and moving, a peculiar reframing of a space meant to both express concrete localities and also remain relatively blank, reframed by its performers.
With ample space to make and create, Los Angeles’s rise as both a hub for artists and galleries in the last few years seems well complemented by the programming of Frieze, a company that has prided itself on a creative and artist-focused mentality. With many more editions sure to come, this year sees Frieze planting its flag in a big way on the West Coast.
The fair closes February 16th.
— D. Creahan
Frieze LA [Fair Site]