Friday, February 3, 2017

Recap of 8th Edition of Los Angeles Contemporary Art Show 2017

 Photos by Karen Ostlund

Opening Day, January 26 at Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2017
LOS ANGELES – Art Los Angeles Contemporary, the International Contemporary Art Fair of the West Coast, concluded its eighth edition at the Barker Hangar on January 29, 2017 with over 16,000 people in attendance.
The fair brought out spirited presentations of work by its local and international participants, highlighted by robust sales, exceptional collector attendance and participation from artists, museum groups, curators and critics. 
The Reader Lounge
 The ALAC Theatre hosted a number of performances, talks, screenings and lectures in its most comprehensive schedule of events and programming yet. The 2017 fair additionally debuted the Reader Lounge that presented the third edition of the Art Los Angles Reader
"A Post Industrial Snake" art by Esperanza/Fahler
“There was incredible diversity in the range of mediums and the curatorial directions taken by artists and galleries this year,” said Tim Fleming, owner and director of ALAC. 
Tim Fleming: “The balance between emerging and more established galleries is what defines ALAC as an international platform for contemporary art in Los Angeles. It’s this spirit that carries forward in all we do at the Hangar and throughout the city, from the performances and lectures to the VIP program that is built around the energy and enthusiasm that our galleries, collectors and institutional partners provide. We’ve built a very solid foundation to move forward and expand as we near ten years in operation. All of us are eagerly looking forward to returning for our ninth edition in Los Angeles from January 25 to 28th 2018.” 
Artist Chris Huen at Gallery EXIT from Hong Kong
New international galleries at the fair in 2017 were drawn from Brazil, China and South Korea. 
These included 10 Chancery Lane, Hong Kong, that presented works by Chinese artists Huang Rui and Wang Keping; 313 Art Project, Seoul, with a solo presentation by Kiwon Park; Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong; ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul; and Vermelho, Sao Paolo. It also marked the return of Henrique Feria, Buenos Aires and Yuatepec, Mexico City, with a solo presentation by Sergio Bromberg. 
Artist Chadwick Rantanen from Standard Oslo Gallery
"Art Los Angeles Contemporary was a refreshing light in the international art fair circuit,” said Katie de Tilly, director of 10 Chancery Lane. “The audience was engaged and curious. We were so thrilled to see how informed and involved the audience was towards our Chinese artists Huang Rui and Wang Keping.” 
Similarly, Vermelho used the fair as an opportunity to present Latin American artists and, according to Jan Fjeld of the gallery, “show works from a new generation of artists from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico that offer a possibility to observe, think and rethink history in contemporary terms.”
Numerous returning galleries announced strong sales, many within the six-figure range. 
All works were spoken for at Meg Cranston’s solo presentation at Meliksetian Briggs. "We are really pleased to have placed all the work in great collections,” said Anne Meliksetian of the gallery. 
Tom of Finland erotic drawings
David Kordansky Gallery sold drawings and a rare color painting in their solo presentation of Tom of Finland. “It's a timely moment to remember Tom's radical and his bold example,” said Kurt Mueller of the gallery. “The renderings, themselves, are undeniably gorgeous, and the response has been both revelatory and profound. We've placed over half the presentation with collectors in Los Angeles, from preparatory drawings ($10,000 - $15,000) to a rare color gouache ($45,000).” Shulamit Nazarian reported similar success with their booth".
The Hole Gallery, New York Art Installation
The Freeways section returned for its second year, bringing eight galleries to the fair from Germany, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. These included Club Pro, Los Angeles, with a project installation by Devin Troy Strother; Jenny’s, Los Angeles, with a solo presentation by Liz Craft; PPC Philipp Pflug Contemporary, Frankfurt; and Queer Thoughts, New York, with Puppies Puppies. 
Among the Freeways exhibitors, ALAC was the first fair for Club Pro and EIGEN + ART Lab. 
“For us as the Lab it is the first time that we are participating at an art fair and we are very happy to start with ALAC,” said Anne Schwanz of the Berlin-based EIGEN + ART Lab. 
Our experience at the fair truly exceeded our expectations this year,” said Seth Curcio, director. 
"The gallery placed work in several major collections, with key pieces going to museum trustees and work acquired by a designer on the AD100 list. It was great to partner with ALAC to bring so many wonderful
and influential people together in one place.”
Puppies, Puppies (courtesy Queer Thoughts)
Kevin Scholl of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects noted the enthusiasm for gallery presentations this year. “The presence of both collectors and curators has been impressive, and we have heard from many people that our solo presentation of Dan Levenson’s work was a highlight of the fair.”
"A very creative, energized art scene and for us, as a young experimental space, it is the right place to be.” Carlye Packer of Club Pro said, “Art Los Angeles Contemporary is the first fair for Club Pro. As we are such a new gallery, under 9 months old, it is incredible to work with ALAC. They have been extremely supportive and encouraging.” 
Frankfurt’s Philipp Pflug Contemporary placed much of their booth by Jagoda Bednarsky. 
Pflug commented, “Our booth did extremely well. As compared to other fairs, we have received much more interest in receiving preview information and felt that the collectors the fair brought out were engaged and genuinely interested.” 
Photographer William Wegman at Marc Selwin Fine Art Gallery, LA
 Opening Night Attendance
The opening night on Thursday, January 26, demonstrated the pivotal role that ALAC plays on the international arts calendar. Attendees to the first Preview, the VIP and opening night receptions included Performa founder RoseLee Goldberg; Ali Subotnick of the Hammer Museum; Elsa Longhauer of ICA LA; curator Douglas Fogle; Joel Lubin of CAA; Sonya Roth of Christie’s; Bettina Korek; Sean Regen; Timothy Blum; Jeffrey Poe; William Leavitt; Michael and Susan Hort; Stavros Merjos; collector Anita Zabludowicz; Lauri Firstenberg; Wendy Cromwell; art advisor Meredith Darrow; Patricia Marshall; Dean Valentine; Kenny Goss of the Goss Michael Foundation; Eliza Dushku; Rhea Perlman; Mike DePaola; Lauren Taschen; Kyle DeWoody; Scott Hoffman; Robert Verdi; and Cliff and Mandy Einstein. 
Joel Lubin of CAA and 2017 Host Committee member commented, “ALAC was built from the ground up eight years ago and has since established itself as a formidable fair, attracting galleries and collectors from across the globe and bringing more awareness to Los Angeles’ thriving art scene.”

Artist Jim McKenzie at Copro Gallery
Museum Groups
The fair welcomed a diverse roster of local and international museum groups throughout the weekend, furthering its strong relationships with institutional and non-profit foundations. These included LACMA; The Getty; Hammer Museum; MOCA; OCMA; Centre Pompidou Foundation; Detroit Institute of Arts; ICA Miami; Skirball Center; San Diego Museum of Art; Palm Springs Art Museum; Museum of Latin American Art; MCA Santa Barbara; Pasadena Museum of California Art; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; North Carolina Art Museum; California African American Museum; Ludwig Museum Cologne and Laguna Art Museum. 
Huang Rui’s performance Ping Pong

Performances, Talks and Lectures 
 The programming schedule for the fair, entitled ANYTHING YOU SOW, was curated by Marc LeBlanc and featured an expanded ALAC Theatre to focus on artists working within time-based mediums including performative talks, film and experimental sound work. On opening night, the Theatre presented Huang Rui’s performance Ping Pong highlighting the cultural legacies of Chinese-American relationships. Concurrently, Puppies Puppies presented a series of on-site performances, most notably his Oscar the Grouch and Red Carpet performances to beguiled visitors. 
Programming highlights included a talk by filmmaking legend Roger Corman; sound performances by William Basinski and M. Geddes Gengras; a performative lecture by Jasmine Nyende; Todd Gray’s spoken word performance Iggy Pop Tried to Kill Me; and panels that included artist Fred Lonidier, critic David Pagel, Jamillah James of ICA LA, Kibum Kim, Tony De Los Reyes and Zoe Crosher.
Michael Benevento Art
Art Los Angeles Reader & Reader Lounge
The new Reader Lounge debuted the third issue of the biannual Art Los Angeles Reader, an independent newspaper published by the fair that features preeminent writers and critics considering the cultural dimensions of Los Angeles. The current issue includes pieces by Aria Dean (Rhizome), Travis Diehl (Prism of Reality), Catherine Wagley (L.A. Weekly) and Kate Wolf (Veggie Cloud). 
Throughout the fair weekend, the Lounge presented limited edition work by William Leavitt and Sean Raspet that referenced Southern Californian domesticity–from Raspet’s scent POOL to editions of Leavitt’s drawings adapted from real estate listings in his A Few Houses in Los Angeles. Concurrent with the debut of the Reader Lounge was the launch of the website where current and previous articles may be accessed and read online. The Reader is widely available at leading bookstores, galleries and museums in Los Angeles. 
Erotic artist Alex Becerra from Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago
Art Los Angeles Contemporary, January 26–29, 2017, was sponsored by Banc of California and presented with education partner Sotheby’s Institute of Art.


The ninth edition of Art Los Angeles Contemporary ( is scheduled to January 25-28, 2018.

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