Perhaps the art fair brought you to LA, or maybe you live here but are looking for a little international flavor from the coterie of foreign art dealers caravanning in art from far-flung lands. There is a certain, dynamic allure to any assembly, party, fair.
But in the end, nobody really loves an art fair. There's the art fairs in the Grand Palais in Paris, whose beautiful glass dome certainly takes the sting out, but as a rule a convention hall will only ever be a conventional hall: harsh overhead lighting built more for general purpose display of sundries from motorhomes to porn, the endless snaking aisles and the cubicled walls, the crush of crowds and the cruisey look of dealers ripe for a deal. Didn't we get into art to escape Kafkaesque commercialism and bland corporate conclaves?
Romantic yearnings aside, permanent galleries (both commercial and public) at least tend to show art a touch more considerately, in spaces that accrue memories and arranged with vision over time (or at least that's the hope).
Here's a handful of gems around the city we think are inspired, if you’re looking for a contemplative art space to escape the fair.
Bernard Piffaretti: Report at Cherry and Martin
Incredible energy gambols through these bright paintings by the French artist, Bernard Piffiretti, one of many showing around town these days as a part of the French cultural season in Los Angeles called Ceci N'est Pas.
Rodney McMillian: Against a ‘Civic Death’: an overture at SUSANNE VIELMETTER LOS ANGELES PROJECTS
The body politic and the sensual body always combine in the work of Rodney McMillian. Here a humongous hanging drawing cuts and curls the first room in half, its surface a spurt and spread of vivid color, while in the back an awkwardly funny, beautifully sung politico-dance video brings it all back home.
JJ PEET, Floating Heads and Time Collector, Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles, 2013.
JJ PEET: Floating Heads and Time Collector at Redling Fine Art
Sculptures like post-apocalyptic totems stand in hushed and hollowed light while PEET's complete oeuvre of stop motion animistic animation projects a flickering array of bent and dancing objects.
Lee Friedlander: Pictures from Los Angeles: 1965-2011 at Marc Selwyn Fine Art
Why come to LA to look at pictures of LA? Because they're framed and snapped by the genius of Lee Friedlander.
Group Show: Painting at The Box
Normally group shows with vague titles like Painting never fail to disappoint, but The Box's proprietor Mara McCarthy's knowledge and community came together in one of the best group painting shows in Los Angeles in memory. Catch it this weekend before it closes.
(Image at top: Bernard Piffaretti, Installation view of 'Bernard Piffaretti: Report', Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, 2013.)