Review of Frieze Los Angeles 2020, California, United States

Frieze Los Angeles 2020 returns to the cinematic setting of Paramount Pictures Studios, February 14-16, 2020. Frieze Los Angeles 2020, welcomed more than 35,000 visitors to the unique setting of Paramount Pictures Studios. 75 local and international presented exceptional solo and curated presentations, in addition to unique artist commissions as part of Frieze Projects and the Artist Street Fair in the open-air filmset of the Paramount Backlot.

Frieze Los Angeles largely focuses on contemporary art and celebrate the exceptionally dynamic culture of Los Angeles and its global contributions to the visual arts. The full program and list of participating galleries was announced at a future date. Frieze Los Angeles bring together the most significant and forward-thinking galleries from across the city and around the world. The fair experience was completed by Frieze Week events across the city.

70 international galleries, including return participants like powerhouses David Zwirner, Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, Pace, and Victoria Miro, as well as several hometown galleries like Blum & Poe, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, David Kordansky, and Commonwealth and Council. First-time exhibitors include Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Gladstone Gallery, and Skarstedt. The fair feature a new section, titled “Focus L.A.,” to highlight local art spaces that have been in business for 15 years or fewer.

There also exhibition of performances, site-specific sculptures and installations, and videos on Paramount’s backlot. Immersive Artworks by International Artists Responding to the curious context of a New York City filmset built in the heart of Hollywood, Frieze Projects 2020 features installations, performances, sculpture and videos exploring themes of representation, identity and myth.

Experience 16 new and significant projects, from outside performances by Patrisse Cullors and Naama Tsabar, to the restaging of historic works by Gary Simmons and Barbara Kasten, to Gabriella Sanchez’s banners and signs, drawing on Chicanx and barrio culture and Tania Candiani’s live weaving installation exploring technology, migration and labor.

Frieze Film & Talks in the Paramount Theater Watch new and significant video works and by contemporary artists, curated by Venus Lau. Frieze Film screenings also feature public conversations with the artists and take place in the iconic Paramount Theater. Artist Enterprises: Art for Social Change

Frieze has invited some of the city’s most forward-thinking non-profit spaces and organizations to participate in the fair, with pop-up stalls and stores along the streets of Paramount’s New York filmset. The street fair open up creative and accessible ways of supporting vital local initiatives, such as Artists 4 Democracy campaigning for voter registration, A to Z West – Andrea Zittel’s experimental living project, and the philanthropic artist store grantLOVE.

Frieze Art Fair
Frieze Art Fair is an international contemporary art fair in London, New York, and Los Angeles. The fair has been running on Los Angeles since 2019. Frieze Art Fair features more than 170 contemporary art galleries, and the fair also includes specially commissioned artists’ projects, a talks programme and an artist-led education schedule.

Frieze is a media and events company that comprises three publications, frieze, Frieze Masters Magazine and Frieze Week; and five international art fairs, Frieze London, Frieze LA, Frieze New York Frieze Masters and Frieze Seoul; regular talks and summits, led by frieze editors.

Frieze was founded in 1991 by Amanda Sharp, Matthew Slotover and Tom Gidley with the launch of frieze magazine, a leading magazine of contemporary art and culture. Sharp and Slotover established Frieze London in 2003, one of the world’s most influential contemporary art fairs which takes place each October in The Regent’s Park, London. In 2012, Frieze launched Frieze New York taking place in May; and Frieze Masters, which coincides with Frieze London in October and is dedicated to art from ancient to modern. In 2019, Frieze opened its first edition in Los Ange.

Following the successful launch of Frieze L.A. in February 2019, the second edition of Frieze Art Fair Los Angeles return to Paramount Pictures Studios. Featuring a new curated section dedicated to emerging galleries from LA, new curators and Frieze Projects at Paramount Pictures Studios.

The fair welcomes more than 70 leading galleries, including returning galleries, as well as first-time participants from Los Angeles, the United States and around the world. There are also galleries new to the fair, from Brussels to Cape Town, Mexico City to New York, as well as a host of exceptional curators creating ground.

Salon 94
Art fair previews can feel like parties, but even in the few lulls when the Salon 94 booth was empty on Thursday, it still looked like a bash, thanks to a clever installation by Derrick Adams. The indefatigable artist created a custom wallpaper design that turned the booth into a festive scene complete with turntables, garlands, and balloons. His mixed-media portraits of revelers rendered in paint and collage are arranged across the walls of the booth’s main space. Beneath them sit similarly exuberant sculptural seats by Brooklyn-based designer Thomas Barger.

Sadie Coles HQ
Positioned near the fair’s main entrance, the Sadie Coles HQ booth had a magnetic effect on VIPs arriving Thursday, due in no small part to the irresistible floral wallpaper created for the booth by Venezuelan painter Alvaro Barrington. He also made a series of new paintings for the fair that he finished on-site, many of them taking inspiration from the tropical flora of his childhood in Grenada, according to gallery director Laura Lord.

Casey Kaplan
New York gallery Casey Kaplan is showcasing two young-ish masters of the form: Jordan Casteel and Jonathan Gardner. And though their styles are very different, their works hang together attractively, especially with Matthew Ronay’s popping, sensual sculptures serving as punctuation.

Car is the thematic vehicle powering Gagosian’s bravura booth at the fair. The centerpiece is a 1,600-pound modified Mustang by Richard Prince. Arrayed around it are other works inspired by car culture and the City of Angels under the title “How to Shrink L.A.,” taken from a 1999 Chris Burden drawing that is also on view. In addition to a large John Chamberlain sculpture of elegantly crumpled car bits, the Gagosian booth features thematically apt works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alex Israel, Cady Noland, Ed Ruscha, and others. And while Prince’s Mustang may dominate the space, another large-scale work,an extremely detailed, full-scale sidewalk by the late Robert Therrien complete with manhole cover and painted curb.

Vielmetter Los Angeles
The Vielmetter Los Angeles booth beckons visitors with bright-pink neon letters spelling out “LOOK AT THEM LOOK AT US,” a new work by Genevieve Gaignard that anchors her solo booth. Her works in the booth, a mix of sculptures, photographs, and collages, pose difficult questions about identity and the widespread acceptance of racist imagery through a nostalgic aesthetic Gaignard described as her “grandma persona.”

Pace and Kayne Griffin Corcoran
Pace Gallery and Kayne Griffin Corcoran’s joint showcase of new light works by James Turrell. It includes the first ceiling-mounted piece in Turrell’s “Glass” series, which features shallow cutouts outfitted with shifting LED lights. Each piece cycles through a two-and-a-half-hour sequence of colors. The display also sought to raise awareness of and interest in Turrell’s magnum opus, Roden Crater—an open-air observatory the artist has spent decades building inside a collapsed volcano in the Arizona desert.

Anat Ebgi
Greg Ito’s apocalyptic takeover of Anat Ebgi’s booth. With its blue carpeting and baseboards, the booth evokes a disastrous déluge, which matches the scenes of flooding and fires in Ito’s elegant, ominous paintings. The artist draw from his grandparents’ experience of being forcibly relocated to a Japanese internment camp in Arizona during World War II, which is where they met. There’s a feeling of impending doom in the paintings, which is very of-the-moment, but there’s something hopeful in them, too.

The Pit
Jaime Muñoz’s dazzling new paintings in The Pit’s booth showcase a mix of techniques and influences, from airbrush, glitter, and flocking to tattoo art, Mesoamerican statuary, and car culture. The results are bold, saturated, and rigorously structured compositions that juxtapose disparate objects and images. In the paintings, he often compares them to other objects that have a ritualistic, symbolic function.

Commonwealth and Council
L.A.’s Commonwealth and Council brought in the tag team of sculptors Young Joon Kwak and Oren Pinhassi for the sixth iteration of its tribute to the women’s wrestling league Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. The featured works, which the artists selected in consultation with one another, center bodies of all sizes and sorts. In Pinhassi’s work, this can be quite irreverent, like a sculptural walker outfitted with an awning and a glory hole. Kwak takes a more direct approach, such as a work featuring a nude female torso seated on a Herman Miller chair, or a riff on Constantin Brancusi featuring spiky protrusions cast from the insides of fleshlights.

L.A. Louver
A large sculpture titled Set to Simmer (2019), features her take on the classic reclining art-historical paradigms. But in Saar’s version, the figure is clad in reclaimed tin ceiling tiles; she sits upright staring out at the viewer; and in place of a handheld mirror, she wields a cast iron skillet as if primed to bring it down on someone’s head. These works are from a series titled ‘Chaos in the Kitchen’ and they’re focused on the kitchen as this space of creativity and conjuring. The decisions here center around the empowerment of the figure.

Frieze Projects
Frieze Projects, a series of art installations co-curated by Rita Gonzalez and Pilar Tompkins Rivas (Director, Vincent Price Art Museum), transform the iconic Paramount backlot into an open-air artistic showcase; alongside pop-up restaurants and a street fair of artist-driven non-profits and creative enterprises from all around the city.

Responding to the curious context of a New York City filmset built in the heart of Hollywood, Frieze Projects 2020 features installations, performances, sculpture and videos exploring themes of representation, identity and myth.

16 artists including Tania Candiani, Barbara Kasten, Vincent Ramos, Gabriella Sanchez, and Gary Simmons present new commissions and landmark works in the iconic Paramount backlot

Frieze Projects 2020 is co-curated by Rita Gonzalez (Terri and Michael Smooke Curator and Department Head of Contemporary Art, LACMA) and Pilar Tompkins Rivas (Director, Vincent Price Art Museum).

For the second edition of Frieze Projects, many of the works draw on the political context within which we are operating today. Latinx and Latin American art and histories are put into focus with projects by Tania Candiani and Gabriella Sanchez, while works by Gary Simmons and Lorna Simpson touch on themes of visibility, identity and self-fashioning in relation to the African American experience. Another idea was to bring in artists, such as Vincent Ramos and Channing Hansen to work within the archive and legacy of Paramount Pictures Studios, deepening the program’s conversation with its filmset location. -Gonzalez and Tompkins Rivas

Artists presenting new works include: Boone, Tania Candiani, Sayre Gomez, Channing Hansen, Vincent Ramos, Gabriella Sanchez, Gary Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Tavares Strachan, Mungo Thomson and Mario García Torres. Other featured artists include: Patrisse Cullors, Jonathas de Andrade, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Barbara Kasten and Naama Tsabar.

A series of bronze sculptures reconfiguring metal die-cast toys to create new narratives and associations, while evoking a sense of nostalgia.

Tania Candiani
A performative installation exploring technology and labor, drawing correlations between the forced work of Japanese Americans incarcerated in concentration camps in California during WWII and current migrant detentions camps along the US/Mexico border.

Patrisse Cullors
A collective performance which uses dance as a restorative act to reclaim time, space and emotional energy.

Jonathas de Andrade
A video work taking an intimate look inside people’s wallets and their contents, providing a broad portrayal of people living in Brazil across gender, race and class.

Sayre Gomez
A new sculpture of a palm tree cell phone tower, shining light on the ways in which Hollywood’s stagecraft has spread to urban planning.

Channing Hansen
A site-specific, fiber-based installation with a durational performance drawing inspiration from both Duchamp and episodes of Star Trek.

Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Huffman’s first outdoor sculpture appropriates elements of cinematic visual culture and pays homage to Grace Jones in A View to a Kill.

Barbara Kasten
Kasten gives a new life to Intervention, a sculptural installation that evokes the backdrops of pictorial and filmic production while echoing the Bauhaus and Constructivism.

Vincent Ramos
A site-specific installation investigating both the absence and presence of the Mexican and Mexican-American / Chicano experience within Hollywood film production, specifically through the movies produced by the fair’s host, Paramount Pictures.

Gabriella Sanchez
Playing with language and imagery, Sanchez’s banner and other pieces engaging with signage on the backlot, reference Chicanx and barrio culture, notions of masculinity, and layered meanings through text.

Gary Simmons
A restaging of the artist’s historic work Backdrop Project first shown at Metro Pictures, New York in 1993. By taking Polaroids of passers-by and offering a copy to his subjects, Simmons explored the power of self-fashioning and authorship.

Lorna Simpson
Simpson collaborates with a group of African American ballet dancers on a two-channel video, addressing issues of gender, identity, memory and representation.

Tavares Strachan
A neon sculpture exposing the power of Hollywood’s constructed narratives in our contemporary life, while resonating with timely political issues.

Mungo Thomson
New bronze sculptures patterned on Amazon boxes underline the contrast between monumentality and ephemerality.

Mario García Torres
A video and installation weaving together a 1981 incident in which Muhammad Ali talked a suicidal jumper off the ledge of a building in LA with the 1983 hit Jump by Van Halen.

Naama Tsabar
A performative installation with related photographs that co-opts and upends the guitar solo through a conjoining and doubling. Using two guitars grafted together, Tsabar and a partner turn the performative gesture into an act based on intimacy and cooperation.

Focus La
New for 2020 is the introduction of Focus LA, a curated section providing a platform for emerging LA-based spaces aged 15 years or younger. Curated by Rita Gonzalez (Terri and Michael Smooke Curator and Department Head of Contemporary Art, LACMA) the section feature 13 galleries, including Frieze Los Angeles newcomers, Charlie James Gallery, Overduin & Co. and Various Small shows.

Frieze Week
Frieze also celebrate the unique creative landscape of Los Angeles with an expanded Frieze Week program of exhibitions and events across the city. In partnership with major museums, galleries and cultural spaces, Frieze Week encompass a broad spectrum of programming showcasing the many communities which make up L.A.’s dynamic artistic scene.

Kicking-off on February 10, 2020, a program hosted by The Getty featuring the Art for Justice Fund mark the official start of Frieze Week Los Angeles. This event extend the collaboration between Frieze, Endeavor and the Art for Justice Fund that arose from the sale of Mark Bradford’s limited-edition artwork Life Size in 2019. Alongside further initiatives, events, and awards, this collaboration represents Frieze Los Angeles’ dedication to supporting social justice and civic engagement through art patronage.

Major Los Angeles museums and non-profit spaces will present anticipated exhibitions including ‘Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again’ at The Broad Museum; ‘Paul McCarthy: Head Space, Drawings 1963-2019’ at the Hammer Museum; Julie Mehretu and ‘Betye Saar: Call and Response’ at LACMA and ‘Open House: Gala Porras-Kim’ at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles amongst many others.

Gallery Shows – In addition to their presentations at the fair, many of L.A.’s leading galleries will have special exhibitions on view during Frieze Week. Selected exhibitions include Huma Bhabha and Lauren Halsey at David Kordansky Gallery; Hank Willis Thomas at Kayne Griffin Corcoran; Edward & Nancy Kienholz and Alison Saar at L.A. Louver; Pat Phillips at M+B; Katharina Frisch at Matthew Marks Gallery; Kayode Ojo at Praz-Delavallade; Cyprien Gaillard at Sprüth Magers; Lisa Oppenheim at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery; and Calida Rawles at Various Small Fires (VSF).

Performances – Frieze Week highlights include The Weimar Republic: Germany 1918-1933, a series of performances and exhibits at Walt Disney Concert Hall presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic with guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. On Sunday February 16, artists and choreographers Gerard & Kelly present the performance State of (2017) at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

Art Fairs – Frieze Week catalyzes art across the city including other fairs such as Felix Art Fair, and Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) and Spring Break Art Show.