The Most Talked-About Moments From Frieze Los Angeles 2020
Celebrities bought things, Grimes DJed, and fashion brands got in on the fun.
The Frieze art fair returned to Los Angeles for the second time this past weekend, bringing the world’s mega-galleries, baseball-cap-clad celebrities, party people, collectors, artists, and the staffers who support them all together in a Paramount Pictures Studios backlot. L.A.’s appetite for seven figure paintings and sculptures has been questioned in the past, but the turnout this year suggested that the city might finally be poised to become a major player in the global art market. Sales were brisk, events were packed, satellite fairs popped up around town, and apparently Kendall Jenner bought a James Turrell. Frieze Los Angeles executive director Bettina Korek, whose home and collection were featured in W’s Best Performances Issue, may be leaving for a job at London’s Serpentine Gallery, but things are just heating up. Here, the most exciting moments from the weekend.
Celebrities Bought Things
Kendall Jenner made headlines during previews on Thursday by purchasing a piece by James Turrell from the booth shared by Pace and Kayne Griffin Corcoran galleries, adding to a developing collection that includes work by Tracey Emin and Lauren Greenfield. Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez were spotted checking things out at multiple booths around the fair—George Condo at Skarstedt, Genevieve Gaignard at Vielmetter—but didn’t publicly seal the deal on anything that we know of. Leonardo DiCaprio, reportedly wearing both a hoodie and a baseball cap, wandered around.
Calida Rawles Sold Out at Various Small Fires
The painter Calida Rawles, whose hyperrealistic work appears on the cover of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ new book The Water Dancer, had her first solo show at the Hollywood gallery Various Small Fires, which opened last Wednesday. According to one attendee, VSF’s booth, which exclusively featured Rawles’s work, sold out. You can read Rawles in conversation with Coates from W’s latest issue, here.
Plus, Other Local Galleries Got Their Due
According to many attendees, the most exciting part of the fair was the Focus LA section, which brought together local galleries (many of them small, scrappy, and artist-run) that have opened in the last 15 years, including The Pit, Château Shatto, and Bel Ami. Commonwealth and Council, which is presenting a concurrent show at their Koreatown space of work by the Korean artist Suki Seokyeong Kang, featured works by Young Joon Kwak and Oren Pinhassi and attracted the attention of curators and collectors alike.
Grimes DJed the Pace Party and Alex Israel Was Everywhere
At the San Vicente Bungalows, Pace threw a party to honor Turrell, DJed by a visibly pregnant Grimes. London’s White Cube took over the Chateau Marmont with a performance by The Compton High School marching band, who played for the likes of Diplo and Lykke Li. The artist Alex Israel, who threw a raucous party with Garage magazine at his studio, was also spotted eating pizza on the backlot, at a dinner for the book Great Women Artists in Laurel Canyon, at the Pace party.
Fashion Joined the Fun
The threads that unite the art and fashion worlds remain as tightly knit as ever. Louis Vuitton brought their Objets Nomades collection, including a cloud-shaped hot pink sofa by the Campana Brothers, to Milk studios along with a series of talks and presentations by artists and design historians. Prada also hosted a series of artist talks off-site. Matchesfashion, a global partner of the fair, collaborated on star-studded events with both Lehmann Maupin (which attracted Lucy Boynton, Spike Jonze, Waris Ahluwalia and Sandra Bernhard) and Hauser & Wirth (Sam Taylor-Johnson, Aaron Johnson, Nikolai Haas, Djuna Bel and Paloma Elsesser). They also got together with Birkenstock to celebrate the German shoe company’s new 1774 line of sandals—Charlize Theron and Chloë Grace Moretz both ended up admiring the color-saturated pieces.
Cool Kids Crowded the Satellite Fairs
Felix Art Fair, a fringe fair founded by a former Disney executive, took over the Roosevelt Hotel, pushing back against the tyranny of the white tent by hanging art in bathrooms, from ceilings and inside closets. Up-and-coming New York gallery 56 Henry took over a room with sand paintings by the artist Cynthia Talmadge, San Francisco’s Jessica Silverman Gallery presented a collaboration between Judy Chicago and Jill Soloway, and local LA gallery Morán Morán presented Eve Fowler and David Benjamin Sherry. Elsewhere in the city, Spring Break/Art Show, the StARTup Art Fair and Art Los Angeles Contemporary benefited from the increased collector concentration as well, giving independent artists and unknown spaces a platform.