LA Art Show and Frieze LA: A Look at the Success of Two Major Art Fairs in Los Angeles

Art enthusiasts and collectors alike descended on Los Angeles for two of the city’s most significant art events, the LA Art Show and Frieze Los Angeles.

In February 2023, the LA Art Show celebrated its 28th iteration, with over 120 galleries and 35% higher attendance than the previous year. Frieze Los Angeles also has shared in this success since its arrival in 2018, attracting celebrities and collectors to the Barker Hangar, which hosted more than 120 exhibitors from 22 countries. Both shows have contributed to the growth of the contemporary art scene in Los Angeles at different levels of collecting. This year Frieze saw a surge of new gallery spaces opening, including established blue-chip gallerists such as Blum & Poe, Jeffrey Deitch, Gagosian, and Hauser & Wirth, and galleries like Sean Kelly Gallery and Pace Gallery. The LA Art Show drew crowds with its diverse programming that is central to the event’s design and contemporary dialogue.

Continued reading for quick recaps of each event.


FRIEZE

Frieze Los Angeles has made its mark on the art world since its arrival in 2018, attracting celebrities and collectors alike, boosting the city’s reputation as a contemporary art hub.

The event, which took place at the Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar, hosted more than 120 exhibitors from 22 countries. The fair’s success has had a significant impact on the Los Angeles art scene, with a surge of new gallery spaces opening, including blue-chip gallerists such as Blum & Poe, Jeffrey Deitch, Gagosian, and Hauser & Wirth, and galleries like Sean Kelly Gallery and Pace Gallery opening new spaces. Lisson Gallery, Perrotin, and David Zwirner also have galleries under construction. Christine Messineo, the fair’s director of Americas, recognized the fair’s importance telling Artsy that “Frieze has been instrumental to collecting education. We’re a reliable resource.”

During Frieze Los Angeles, galleries sold several high-priced pieces, including Hauser & Wirth’s Mark Bradford abstract mixed-media painting that sold for $3.5 million, Henry Taylor’s recent figurative canvas that went for $450,000, and a small work on cardboard by Taylor that sold for $45,000. The gallery also sold Luchita Hurtado’s 1966 abstraction for $225,000, a nine-panel paint and chalk-on-paper piece from 2011 by Gary Simmons for $65,000, and mixed-media photographic works from 2022 by Charles Gaines for $150,000 each.

Night Gallery sold works from every artist in its presentation, including a large ceramic wall work by Brie Ruais for $50,000, all three Melanie Schiff photographs at $30,000 each, and several JPW3 paintings at $24,000 each. Nino Mier Gallery sold 16 paintings on paper by Jorge Galindo from “Sacramonte,” his series of abstract floral works, at $12,000 each, several of Stefan Rinck’s surreal animal sculptures priced between $24,000 and $36,000, and Mònica Subidé’s figurative works priced between $8,000 and $36,000.

Collectors and celebrities, including Jared Leto, Gwyneth Paltrow, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, and Owen Wilson, attended the event. Hauser & Wirth president Marc Payot said, “This week, Los Angeles is our very special Valentine. We opened our second Hauser & Wirth space here yesterday—a gorgeous site in West Hollywood with a sold-out show of works by George Condo—and our Frieze L.A. stand is a celebration of the Los Angeles artists in our program. Their paintings, works on paper, sculptures, and videos are a testament to the power, originality, and influence of the cultural producers of this amazing city.”

Frieze Los Angeles has helped put the city on the art world map, creating a “boomtown” of galleries, and making it an exciting destination for contemporary art lovers. With the event’s success and the continuing growth.


THE LA ART SHOW:

The LA Art Show is self-described as the “Most Comprehensive International Contemporary Art Show in America”

Los Angeles has become a global hub of diverse art and culture. The LA Art Show is a leading event that showcases over 120 galleries, museums, and non-profit arts organizations from around the world, featuring a range of mediums from painting and sculpture to design and performance. The fair occupies over 180,000 square feet of exhibition space and presents not only the booths of participating galleries but also special exhibits curated by them that highlight the contemporary art movement. LA Art Show provides unique experiences and programming for an expanding audience of collectors, and all works presented by galleries are available for purchase. As LA continues to evolve as a world-class destination for art, the fair has become a pioneer in promoting innovative and diverse art, embodying the city’s belief that art is most powerful when it transcends borders and includes all cultures.

This year’s show featured six central programming themes;

DIVERSEartLA – Capitalizing on the city’s position on the Pacific Rim, DIVERSEartLA is a special programming section devoted to nurturing the creative energy of international collectors, artists, curators, museums and non-profits by connecting them directly with audiences in Los Angeles. The LA Art Show donates 50,000 square feet of exhibition space to participating organizations each year as our civic engagement, and the featured work is not for sale. Overall curation by Marisa Caichiolo with individual curators from institutions around the world.

EUROPEAN PAVILION – Dedicated to European galleries from Spain, Germany, Italy, France, and Greece, the European Pavilion showcases curated exhibits highlighting various contemporary movements and stylistic developments.

JAPANESE PAVILION – Making its debut at the LA Art Show this year, the Japanese pavilion brought together an extraordinary collection of curated Japanese galleries and artwork for the very first time. Showcasing established as well as emerging Japanese artists from various regions of the country, the Pavilion will featured diverse contemporary Japanese art for an engaging and rich cultural experience.

FEATURED EXHIBITIONS – Expanding beyond the confines of booth spaces, Featured Exhibitions created immersive experiences to engage audiences through thought-provoking artworks, performances and other exhibitions offered by participating galleries, highlighting works that will be talked about for years to come.

PROJECT SPACE – Hailing from around the world, the exhibitors in Project Space showcase a broad array of ideas and talents in the form of solo exhibitions, presented by participating galleries.

WORKS ON PAPER- A dedicated exhibition space for showcasing photographs and other works not on traditional canvas.

Other Highlight included:

  • Ramona Otto’s Holy Cow: Pray For Peaceful Coexistence made its debut at LA Art Show (bG Gallery). As a call for peace in a divisive world, Holy Cow combines thousands of religious artifacts from major religious groups, human rights leaders and iconic peace symbolism.
  • First-time exhibitor Markowicz Fine Art showcased pioneering artist Carole Feuerman’s hyper-realistic sculpture of a swimmer “Bibi on the Ball,” which captured the attention of visitors and the local networks alike.
  • Song-Word Art House’s exhibit was based on the song “LA Woman” by The Doors, which featured an original artwork by legendary guitarist Robby Krieger inspired by the mysterious words “MR MOJO RISIN” an anagram to the name “Jim Morrison.”
  • Artist MARCK’s “GEGENSTROM XXL” at Licht Feld Gallery attracted the crowds, showing a woman trapped in a box filled with water, searching for a way out, seemingly unaffected by the hopelessness of her situation yet never losing faith. The power of MARCK’s work is enhanced by his choice of materials, transforming an ordinary appliance into a stunning video sculpture.
  • Artwork by actor Val Kilmer at Fabrik Projects included works from his Icon painting series in which Kilmer investigates the nature of Icons and explore themes of identity and American mythic archetypes.

LA Art Show 2023 ended with DIVERSEartLA presenting their inaugural Museum Acquisition Award – created and chosen by Spain’s La Neomudejar Museum – to artist Hogan Brown at Arcadia Contemporary who will now be part of the Museum’s collection.


To learn more about collecting art, visit International Art Acquisitions Collector Services Page.