FRIEZE LANDED IN LOS ANGELES last week and it was a notable moment in the city. Established in 2003 in London, and expanded to New York in 2012, the contemporary art fair recognized a nexus of activity that has existed in Los Angeles for generations and gained institutional and market momentum over the past decade. Staged at Paramount Pictures Studios Feb. 15-17, the inaugural edition of Frieze Los Angeles brought together local stalwarts, the larger art world, and the entertainment industry.

A selection of African American artists and curators participated in Frieze programming. Hamza Walker, executive director of Laxart, curated a series of talks and music initiatives. Artists Kori Newkirk and Karon Davis, co-founder of the Underground Museum, participated in Frieze Projects. Naima Keith of the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles, and Kristin Sakoda of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, are among those who participated in panel discussions during the fair.

Mark Bradford created a poster for the fair that featured an artwork offered as a limited edition benefitting the Art for Justice Fund, which focuses on ending mass incarceration. Commissioned for the Frieze x Gucci ‘Second Summer of Love’ series, “Black to Techno” Jenn Nkiru’s film about Detroit and Berlin techno, debuted.

“The energy at Frieze L.A. was palpable.” — Collector V. Joy Simmons

BEYOND FRIEZE there were a bevy private gatherings and public programs centered around art throughout the city. Exhibitions included “Fred Eversley: Chromoshperes” the artist’s first show with David Kordansky Gallery. Glenn Ligon organized “Selections from the Marciano Collection” at the Marciano Art Foundation and also had a solo exhibition at Regen Projects. Amoako Boafo had his first exhibition, “I See Me” at Roberts Projects (which has been extended to Feb. 23) and Deana Lawson’s photographs (“Planes”) were on view at The Underground Museum.

The last day of Frieze, the Charles White retrospective opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art . “Life Model: Charles White and His Students,” a parallel exhibition co-organized by his son Ian White, is also being presented. The exhibition showcases work by the late artist/instructor’s students and is on view at Charles White Elementary School, the original campus of the Otis Art Institute.

Bradford’s Art + Practice presented “Time is Running Out of Time: Experimental Film and Video from the L.A. Rebellion and Today,” a selection of short films made by Los Angeles filmmakers from the 1960s to 1980s to the present. “Adia Millett: Breaking Patterns” was on view at CAAM, among other exhibitions.

Meanwhile, “Dreamweavers” was the talk of the town. The group exhibition at UTA Artist Space was initiated by Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean and curated Nicola Vassell. Works by the likes of Davis, Lawson, White, Arthur Jafa, Kerry James Marshall, Toyin Ojai Odutol, Noah Purifoy, Tschabalala Self, Ming Smith, Nari Ward, and Carrie Mae Weems, black contemporary artists spanning generations, were featured.  The show’s opening drew artists, collectors, and celebrities including Beyonce and Jay Z. “Dreamweavers” remains on view through April 13. (Nearly all the other gallery and museum exhibitions mentioned remain on view, too.)

LOS ANGELES ART COLLECTOR V. Joy Simmons served on the host committee for Frieze Los Angeles. In statement from the fair, Simmons said she had to recover from all of the running around. “The energy at Frieze L.A. was palpable,” said Dr. Simmons, a radiologist. “People ‘showed up and showed out’. The breadth of offerings was impressive and so many traveled from all over to join us in this moment in L.A. arts. I know this will further cement LA as the creative, global arts center that we all know it is.”

The following is a snapshot of the art on view and happenings at Frieze Los Angeles:


Kulapat Yantrasast of Los Angeles-based design firm wHY envisioned the indoor/outdoor plan for the art fair held at Paramount Pictures Studios, which included a foliage-covered entrance and custom 62,000-square-foot tent where the art galleries set up shop. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


Here’s how Architectural Digest described the design: “Covered walkways ushered visitors toward the entrance, whose faux foliage–covered façade echoed Paramount’s iconic arches. Inside the entry pavilion, blue-stained plywood panelling referenced the humble backsides of stage sets, suggesting that by stepping into the tent you were stepping into the spotlight.”


Welcome! According to Frieze about 30,000 people came to the inaugural Los Angeles art fair. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


On display at Thomas Dane Gallery of London: From left, A newly created painting by Hurvin Anderson; and HURVIN ANDERSON, “Essentials,” 2017 (acrylic on paper, triptych; framed, panel 1: 71 x 110 cm. 28 x 43 1/4 inches, panel 2: 110 x 133 cm. 43 1/4 x 52 3/8 inches, panel 3: 72 x 110 cm. 28 3/8 x 43 1/4 inches). | Photo by Charles Roussel. Courtesy Ocula


Three paintings by British artist Hurvin Anderson sold in the broad range of 160,000 to 1,500,000 British Pounds ($206,000 to more than $1.9 million), according to a fair report from Frieze.


From left, Among the works on display at the Regen Projects booth was CATHERINE OPIE, “Thelma & Duro,” 2017 (pigment print, 77 x 58 inches / 195.6 x 147.3 cm). | © Catherine Opie, Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles; and at the Jack Shianman New York booth, Installation view of EL ANATSUI, “Topos,” 2012, (found aluminum and copper wire, 135 × 12 inches / 342.9 × 30.5 cm). | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


“Thelma & Duro” was priced at $55,000, according to artnet News. The work, portraying married couple Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem and Nigerian-born British fashion designer Duro Olowu, is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London. “Topos” by El Anatsui sold for $1,250,000, according  to a fair report from Frieze.


At Lisson Gallery, Installation view, at left, STANLEY WHITNEY, “Stay Song 40,” 2019 (oil on linen, 40 x 40 inches), adjacent to a shaped canvas painting by Leon Polk Smith. | Photo by Charles Roussel. Courtesy Ocula


Lisson Gallery sold two new paintings by Stanley Whitney for $85,000 each, according to a fair report from Frieze.


In advance of the art fair opening (Feb. 7), Walker played the game with artist Lauren Halsey. Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


Frieze art fairs in London and New York generally host about 200 galleries. The first-ever Los Angeles fair was designed on a smaller scale with 70 galleries, local dealers as well as galleries based in other U.S. and international cities. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


From left, MELVIN EDWARDS, “For Modie 218,” 1982–1994 (welded steel ,11.75 h x 7 w x 8.50 d inches / 29.85 h x 17.78 w x 21.59 d cm); and Installation view of “For Modie” by Melvin Edwards and LORRAINNE O’GRADY, “The Fir-Palm,” 1991/2012 (silver gelatin print, photomontage, 50 h x 40 w inches / 127 h x 101.60 w cm) Edition of 8. | Images via Alexander Gray Associates


The Alexander Gray Associates booth features works by Frank Bowling, Melvin Edwards, Lorraine O’Grady, and Jack Whitten, among other artists.


At Alexander Gray Associates, From left, FRANK BOWLING,  “Green Tail Coat for Iona’s Sake,” 1978 (acrylic on canvas, 71 h x 27 w inches / 180.34 h x 68.58 w cm); and JACK WHITTEN, “Untitled I,” 1974–1975 (acrylic on canvas / 41.75h x 41.75w inches / 106.05h x 106.05w cm). | Image via Alexander Gray Associates


Los Angeles-based Blum & Poe commissioned artist Dave Muller to paint a Hollywood mural that served as the backdrop for the work the gallery presented, including portraits by Los Angeles painterHenry Taylor. | Photos (2) by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


On Feb. 15, Naima Keith (second from right), deputy director and chief curator of the California African American Museum (who has just been named vice president of education and public programming at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), participated in a panel about expanding the canon, with Michael Govan, CEO and director of LACMA, Andrew Perchuk of the Getty Research Institute, and Megan Steinman of The Underground Museum. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


Shown at the Spruth Magers booth, From left,  Installation view of SENGA NENGUDI (2), “Blossom,” 2014 (nylon mesh and metal, 72 2/5 × 10 1/5 × 7 1/2 inches / 184 × 26 × 19 cm); and “Studio performance with R.S.V.P.,” 1976 (silver gelatin print, 30 × 41 inches / 76.2 × 104.1 cm, Edition 5/5 + 1 AP). | Photo by Charles Roussel. Courtesy Ocula


Senga Nengudi’s nylon sculpture “Blossom” sold for $80,000, per artnet News.


On view at David Zwirner, From left, A painting by KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, “Black Boy,” (2018), hangs adjacent to a photograph by Roy DeCarava. | Photo by Charles Roussel. Courtesy Ocula


“Black Boy” by Kerry James Marshall was priced $1.5 million, according to artnet News. In addition to Marshall and DeCarava, David Zwirner offered works by Oscar Murillo, Stan Douglas,  Chris Ofili, among other gallery artists. Work by Charles White was featured, too.


From left, At Casey Kaplan, KEVIN BEASLEY, “To be titled,” 2018 (resin, raw Virginia cotton, house dresses, kaftans, t-shirts, altered garment, 71 × 21 × 23 1/2 inches / 180.3 × 53.3 × 59.7 cm). | via Artsy; Meanwhile, Fairgoers took a closer look. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


On view at Thomas Dane Gallery, From left, An instrumental sculpture by Terry Adkins, and a 2004 painting by Hurvin Anderson, “Untitled (Red Flags), second from right, partially obscured. | Photo by Charles Roussel. Courtesy Ocula


Frieze Talks included a Feb. 16 conversation between artists Cauleen Smith and Sondra Perry, winner of the 2018 Nam June Paik Award. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


Presented at Jack Shainman, From left, NICK CAVE, “Arm Piece,” 2018 (cast bronze with vintage tole flowers); and GORDON PARKS, “Department Store, Mobile, Alabama,” 1956 (archival pigment print,  48 × 48 inches / 121.9 × 121.9 cm). | Photo by Charles Roussel. Courtesy Ocula


“Arm Piece,” Nick Cave’s mixed media wall sculpture sold for $110,000, according to Artsy.  “Department Store, Mobile, Alabama” by Gordon Parks sold for $65,000, per artnet News.


From Frieze Projects, BARBARA KRUGER, “Untitled (Questions 3),” 2019. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


On the backlot, a movie-version of New York City was the inspiration for Frieze Projects. Curated by Ali Subotnick, 15 artists participated, including Karon Davis and Kori Newkirk. The project by Barbara Kruger consisted of a series of 20 bumber-style stickers featuring questions that encouraged fair goers to “contemplate philosophical and ethical issues.” Subotnick talks about her vision for Frieze Projects in this brief video.


For Frieze Projects, Los Angeles artist Kori Newkirk created a sculptural work called, “Signal,” that was installed on the Paramount backlot on a fictitious New York street corner. |  Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


“Signal” is inspired by obsolete technologies. In Frieze video, Kori Newkirk explains that the project considers what it means when the analog ways we used to receive information, the television antennas, for example,  is replaced by new technology.


From left, Artist Kori Newkirk stands near “Signal,” his Frieze Projects commission. From another, the entire work can be seen, with in the background. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


Ironically, palm trees can be seen just beyond the “New York City” backlot at Paramount Pictures Studios. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


Artist Karon Davis, co-founder of The Underground Museum in Los Angeles,  was commissioned to create “Game,” a three-sculpture work installed outside a school building on the backlot.  |  Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


Titled “Game,” the installation by Karon Davis  is about school violence. She made the works using plaster strips, chicken wire, steel armature, and antlers. The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles acquired all three works in the installation— “Principal Lewis,” “Stairway to Heaven,” and “Cat’s Cradle”—for its permanent collection.


Detail of “Game” the Frieze Projects installation by Karon Davis, featuring, from left, “Stairway to Heaven” and “Principal Lewis,” both 2019. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


Programming continued on the backlot, where visitors found food, shops for buying books and magazines, and Frieze Projects installations. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


This Frieze LA sign features an image of a police body camera by Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze


The Mark Bradford poster featured an image of a limited-edition sculptural artwork created by the artist. Produced in collaboration with Endeavor and made available for purchase through Hauser & Wirth, 100 percent of the proceeds from the artwork benefitted the Art for Justice Fund to support career opportunities for people transitioning from prison back home. CT


UPDATE (1/24/19): A correction was made to clarify that Mark Bradford’s limited-edition artwork is a sculptural work, not a print.


IMAGES: Top of page, Jack Shainman director Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels (right) visits with Los Angeles artist Lauren Halsey (center) and friend. Shown in the background, at left, CARRIE MAE WEEMS, “The Blues,” 2017 (archival pigment prints, 11 1/2 × 11 1/2 inches / 29.2 × 29.2 cm) Editions 4-8. Sold for $110,000, per artnet News. | Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Mark Blower/Frieze; Other images also provided by Frieze and, where noted, courtesy Ocula, which published a photoblog of the fair


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