Monday, February 8, 2016

A new season of art and art fairs

Suzy Kellems Dominik: Fuck (Neon) - part of the artist's
installation at stARTup Art Fair Los Angeles
It's impossible to keep up with everything happening in the art world, and even much of the overwhelmingly spread out - while vibrant and thrilling - LA art scene. I'm sorry to have missed some shows I should have seen but I really do attend a lot of openings and press previews. As an art critic and painter, it's energizing and inspiring to be immersed in contemporary art.

The last week of January was a mad itinerary of  LA art fairs, kicking off the new year. Of course, the fairs are about the business of selling art, but they're also forums for meeting people and seeing the latest work galleries have selected to highlight. The most exhaustive in range - and size - is the LA Art Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with contemporary and experimental work as well as some moderns. On the westside, I've always liked the energy of Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica Airport.

There were two new fairs on the LA circuit this year. Smaller but sizzling, Fabrik Expo in the funky downtown LA Arts District, was staged by Fabrik Media, publisher of Fabrik Magazine - for which I'm now a contributing writer. Especially surprising and intriguing was the stARTup Art Fair at the Highland Gardens Hotel in Hollywood. Launched in San Francisco last year by Ray Beldner and Steve Zavattero, this fun new concept bypasses the gallery middle man and gives indie visual artists an opportunity to sell directly to the public. Artists install their work in the hotel rooms, which are open to fair attendees, who engage freely with the work and creators. I participated on an art critic roundtable at stARTup Art Fair and also had a great time exploring. One of the standouts was an autobiographical installation by artist Suzy Kellems Dominik, In Her Dreams, about a woman, relationships and expectations (see image above). I'm delighted stARTup plans to return to LA next year.

News flash! I've just started painting again after a long hiatus!

Here's a round-up of my more recent articles and reviews published in various art magazines: 

* In the Jan/Feb issue of Art Ltd. Magazine - my feature story on the exciting work of Los Angeles abstract painter Sarah Cain.

* Also in the current issue of Art Ltd. - my review of Jennifer Wolf: Edge of Miscibility at William Turner Gallery. 

* In the current issue of Fabrik. Magazine, my feature story on the LAAA: The Los Angeles Art Association Legacy: Visionary Support for Emerging Artists

* Also in Fabrik, my review of Marion Lane: New Works at Launch LA

* In WhiteHot Magazine of Contemporary Art: My review of Disguise: Masks & Global African Art at the UCLA Fowler Museum.

*  Also in WhiteHot Magazine - The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris - curated by Steve Martin - at the Hammer Museum. As a Canadian expatriate, I was invested in writing about Harris, a member of Canada's iconic Group of Seven, who until this exhibit was overlooked in the US.

* In ArtPulse Magazine Issue 24, I have several pieces: An interview with Los Angeles sculptor/ conceptual artist/painter/inventor David B. Jang, a review of Melanie Daniel: Piecemaker at Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, a review of Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada at LACMA and a review of Mark Bradford: Scorched Earth at the Hammer Museum. Most of these articles can be accessed here.

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