Polar vortex is only a distant poem to Los Angeles. Uttered on the news by harried meteorologists with names like strippers, the weather here is droughty for caring locals, simply sunny for everybody else. Yes, one of the many good reasons we live in Los Angeles is the definite lack of polar vortices. Not a few of the farflung, chilled by arctic weather, flock to Los Angeles this weekend, for one of our three fairs, two for art and one for art books. Not quite an Art Basel Miami Beach (mercifully) but we like the new people, new artworks, new books we get to gawk at and sometimes handle.
Shannon Ebner, Primer, 2013; Epson print; 72 × 38 in / 182.8 × 96.5 cm; Courtesy Altman Siegel, San Francisco. At Art Los Angeles Contemporary.
The most straightforward of three fairs going on this weekend, ALAC promises all what you’d expect from a midrange art fair: a heavily local roster of high quality, a large windowless space populated with a labyrinth of cubicles, and a smattering of talks and events of merit including a screening with badass local videomaker/artist Stanya Khan. There is the quiet glamor of seeing a museum’s worth of art up for sale at the right price. We’re going to peek in at Altman Siegel to see work by Shannon Ebner, Pilar Corrias to see a few paintings by Tala Madani, and Jonathan Viner to see a sculpture or two from Oscar Tuazon.
Dave Hickey, Mungo Thomson, Allen Ruppersberg, Barb Choit, John Baldessari, Jeffrey Vallance, and Eve Fowler (along with you) will definitely all be at the LA Art Book Fair; they will be signing books, giving lectures, pausing to handle the thousands of books, zines, ephemera, magazines, catalogues, and unclassfiable publications on hand. While contemporary art works are out of reach for the 99%, artist books are not. Punker, weirder, and more diverse (eighteen countries and eighteen states and the District of Columbia are represented), the Art Book Fair makes it possible for everyone to participate from Gagosian Gallery to a zine started last month. We’ll be looking forward to nabbing books by Barb Choit with Or Gallery, the new Lucas Blalock from Mörel Books, and looking into what the man-lovers at Headmaster Magazine have for their sixth issue.
Mary Ann Aitken, install view, Untitled (puppet), verso Untitled (abstract), 1984, oil on wood, 14” x 10” and Untitled, 1984, pencil, pastel and paper on sheetrock 5" x 8.5"; courtesy of What Pipeline, Detroit. At Paramount Ranch.
An Old West movie set, plodded by director Cecil B. Demille and actors Bob Hope, Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert (as well as Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman), the Paramount Ranch is a slice of Old Hollywood. Our most potent myths make for dreamy alter-realities (that and its proximity to Malibu beaches), making the Paramount Ranch a curious and compelling place to do anything, so why not an art fair? Galleries Freedman Fitzpatrick and Paradise Garage joined forces to convince youngish galleries, non-profits, and a bar to gather and maybe sell some art in the Santa Monica Mountains. A smallish affair, we hope to see everything, but will keep an eye peeled for the works at Fluxia from Milan, Supportico Lopez from Berlin, and What Pipeline of Detroit.
(Image at top: Soo Kim, (She recognizes him), 2012, Two hand-cut inkjet prints, 33 3/4 × 47 5/8 × 2 1/4 in, 85.7 × 121 × 5.7 cm; Courtesy Angles Gallery, LA. At Art Los Angeles Contemporary.)