Review of LA Art Show 2017, California, United States

The LA Art Show, the most comprehensive international contemporary art show in America, officially kick-off the city’s 2017 art season at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 11, 2017. The LA Art Show is the premiere event for experiencing, collection, sharing & purchasing art, with more than 90 galleries from over 18 countries exhibiting painting, sculpture, works on paper, installation, photography, design, video & performance.

LA Art show is the unparalleled international art experience. In it 22nd edition, the 2017 show has refined its focus creating a freshly curated fair offering visitors and collectors a new hosted art experience devoted to Modern and Contemporary art. The show continues to evolve in a new and exciting direction reflecting how LA is making its mark as a rising world-class destination for art.

The LA Art Show embraces its role as the regions preeminent art fair and emerges as the annual civic celebration of the visual arts. The record breaking enthusiasm surrounding surpassed all expectations and encourages our team to deepen our roster of galleries and pursue new exciting art programming. The evolving role of the art fair as a fulcrum for art commerce, connecting galleries, artists, curators, and collectors drives our marketing and planning.

As Los Angeles takes its place as a vanguard of the global art scene, our ability to adapt and evolve to meet the art market’s current trends is vital. Size and scope aren’t the only things setting 2017’s fair apart. There is also an emphasis on mixing space for commercial galleries that are in town hoping to sell art to collectors, with exhibition and programming space dedicated to local non-profit museums.

The LA Art Show partnered with galleries and non-profits to feature bold new art performances and continued to expand out Littletopia and Street Art sections both at the fair and at off-site events to facilitate dealer and collector networking and create a sense of immediacy. While dedicated to maintaining our commitment to technique and integrity, we are further refining our curatorial vision and presenting innovative galleries, lectures, and artist performances that showcase premier Modern and Contemporary work.

Cooperate with LACMA, the Broad, the Getty, MoCA and the Autry, as are Long Beach’s Museum of Latin American Art, Anaheim’s Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. The displays and performances curated by these museums focus largely on this year’s theme of Latin American art and the Latin American influence on Los Angeles’ art scene.

As for the rest of the art show, this year’s curation was tighter than ever before, specifically focusing on postwar contemporary art. The number of gallery vendors accepted into the show that fall outside of that category has been narrowed down to just nine, and they was segregated into a special area titled “Roots.” So, if you’re really in the market for a 19th century painting, you may still find what you’re looking for—but the real reason to make a trip to the fair is to check out exciting art of today.

The fair focus on Latin America and the Pacific Rim. The event feature an array of art from contemporary and modern, to classical, and other specialized art scenes that often command their own dedicated shows. Radiant presentations are brought to life by a variety of galleries molding the Los Angeles artistic sphere as a completely accessible space for expression. The tradition and prestige of LA Art Show are already fully consolidated in the city and its surroundings, , makes it one of the main American contemporary art fairs.

LA Art Show 2017
Los Angeles has emerged as a global epicenter of art & culture, with a distinct, interwoven multi-cultural influence unique to the city. Diversity is our strength and art is most impactful when it includes or transcends all borders. As LA rises as the world-class destination for art, the LA Art Show continues to lead the way with innovative programming and one-of-a-kind experiences for an expanding collecting audience.

The LA Art Show creates one of the largest international art fairs in the United States, providing an exciting, immersive, insider art experience to sponsors, their select guests and VIP clients. The show attracts an elite roster of national and international galleries, acclaimed artists, highly regarded curators, architects, design professionals, along with discerning collectors.

The LA Art Show is also known for a robust schedule of special events during the weekend; in past years topics have ranged from fine art to fashion to film. This year’s programming highlights important themes related to the contemporary art world, including the trending topic, as it pertains to original, collectible digital files in the fine-art sector.

More than 200,000 square feet of exhibition space is committed to today’s prominent galleries. These domestic and international galleries, beyond their booths, curate special exhibits that are at the forefront of the burgeoning contemporary art movement. The fair offers an extraordinary array of works and experiences in specialized sections.

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. Diversity and inclusion continue to be our key mandates as we reflect and rejoice. Capitalizing on the city’s position on the Pacific Rim, DIVERSEartLA is a special programming section dedicating over 35,000 sqft devoted to nurturing the creative energy of international collectors, artists, curators, museums and non-profits by connectiong them directly with audiences in Los angeles.

Modern + Contemporary – The largest section of programming at the LA Art Show, Modern + Contemporary exhibits the vast spectrum of contemporary painting, illustration, sculpture and more from galleries in Los Angeles, the Pacific Rim, and countries all around the world.

Roots Curated – Honoring the voices and movements that came before, Roots Curated is a dedicated exhibition space for galleries that showcase historical works and contemporary artists following in those traditions.

Works On Paper – Works on Paper is a dedicated exhibition space for showcasing photographs and other works not on traditional canvas.

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.

JEWELS – JEWELS is a dedicated space for exhibitors who specialize in luxury items, including jewelry and other accesories that surround the world of fine art.

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

This year, organizers introduced a new focus on modern and contemporary art in contrast to the historic approach of previous years with international project spaces.

DIVERSEartLA dedicates over 60,000 square feet in the LA Art Show to performance art, installations, exhibits and programs curated by major museums and arts organizations such as LACMA, MOLAA, The AUTRY and MUSA Museum of the art Guadalajara. The DIVERSEartLA section is devoted to nurturing the creative energy of collectors, artists, curators and institutions by providing a contemporary art platform that helps empower. cpmmect amd emgage LA’s dynamic communty and diverse audiences with the world.

Part mural, part sculpture, with elements of tapestry and painting, it’s almost impossible to define the work of Ran Hwang, who uses thousands of components including pins, buttons and beads to create these enormous wall-sized images. The works require numerous repetitive motions, and Hwang compares her process to a monk achieving zen. Ran Hwang create large icons such as a Buddha or a traditional vase, using materials from the fashion industry. The process of building large installations is time-consuming and repetitive and it requires manual effort, which provides a form of self-meditation. Ran Hwang ​hammer thousands of pins into a wall like a monk who, facing the wall, practices Zen.

Nina K’s work has been described as “explosive,” a burst of passion that sweeps over the expanse of canvas with a sense of color magnetism. Her developed technique of thick layers of oil color is applied until her vision is achieved in rich textures and dimensions. Color, combined with Nina K’s love of design and texture, is what has always inspired her to paint. This inspiration is drawn from a kaleidoscope of colors found in nature, vivid blue skies, turquoise oceans and majestic orange sunsets enlighten her expression.

In his richly detailed paintings, Brad Overton explores a mixture of hyperrealism and still life. Brad Overton have always loved the patina of old toys, wagons, cars. Brad Overton love the look of time and timelessness. A thing never becomes really beautiful until it is washed by use and attention. It is its usefulness and attractive design that encourages interest and preservation. Brad Overton’s paintings respond to an object’s expressive form, its vitality and graceful design, and with vibrant colors.

Yi Hwan Kwon’s series of distorted bronze sculptures are part of a 2016 work titled “Bus Stop.” The sculptures represent the tension that is so dominant in our modern existence. Yi Hwan Kwon’s work exist in a kind of self-made limbo between isolation and connection, individual and society, real and virtual, phenomenon and invention, in which everything is flattened, condensed, trapped and made relative.

Jack Stuppin’s vibrant, undulating landscapes are passionate reactions to nature and ardent appeals for environmental consciousness. Nature is the soul of his art. Stuppin’s conception and execution are highly individual. Using thick impasto, energetic brushwork and brilliant colors, he has created his own particular style.

Visitors to Littletopia at this year’s LA Art Show were greeted by a large, carnival-themed archway, highlighting the fantastical artwork of Liz McGrath in conjunction with Brian Poor, Lee Shamel and Julie B. of Pretty in Plastic, Inc. Red Truck Gallery, a prominent figure in Littletopia every year, featured artist Butch Anthony. For his exhibit “Vita Post Mortum,” Anthony purchased antique portraits from thrift stores and flea markets, with some pieces from the mid-19th century. Anthony gives them a kind of story, or life as the exhibit title suggests, by superimposing bone imagery and text. The figures look as though they were an X-ray, as though the artist were looking through them to their bare essence.

As part of the “Special Exhibitions” portion of the show, LACMA staged the exhibit “Fragments From Home,” which included performance and installation pieces by two artists, New York-based Raphael Montañez Ortiz and L.A.-based Ramiro Gomez. Ortiz’s installation, “Couch Destruction: Angel Release (Pennies From Heaven),” and his performance, “Shred Your Worries,” address political and religious concerns, while his installation “Piano Destruction Ritual: Cowboy and Indian, Part Two” looks at how we construct and deconstruct our lives. Gomez’s cardboard installation, “Cut-Outs,” creates a portrait of what the artist sees as a contemporary Latin American service community of gardeners, housekeepers, caregivers and others.


DIVERSEartLA is dedicated to bringing together some of the most important local and international art institutions, museums and non-profit organizations for an elevated and thoughtful dialogue. DIVERSEartLA was expanded to embrace and celebrate those art institutions and art collectors who support LA’s newest and largest iteration of art community, as well as to create a strong conversation around a variety of events and programs. Thus serving as a platform and resource for diversity best practices and leadership, including ALL of Los Angeles’s communities.

The communities of Los Angeles reflect an impressive variety of ethnic backgrounds, and it’s iconic natural environs are equally varied and vast. To honor this unique biodiversity we are focusing on the representation of contemporary artists from around the world as a part of each institution. The importance of this year’s curatorial focus should remain committed to fostering and learning about the organizations supporting inclusion and diversity. DIVERSEartLA as an essential part of making museums and cultural institutions models for pluralistic communities. There is nothing more important than inclusion in a moment where social culture is defined by division.

Raphael Montañez Ortiz
Participatory Performance. Background Sound Thunder and Lighting. The Piano is a powerful instrument of sound to convey the message of Sacrifice I wish to convey to the Universe. The Sounds of its Destruction gives full voice to Sacrifice: To the Destruction Creation in it cycle of Creation is giving us time to understand the preciousness of Mortal Life that it never be given up to or for Sacrifice of any kind…

MOCA Director Philippe Vergne joins LA Art Show Producer Kim Martindale in a Dialogs LA discussion about the making of the coveted Jeff Koons’ limited edition Balloon Dog by famed French porcelain company Bernardaud. On site at the fair, the MOCA Store offer collectors for the first time, the newlyreleased Balloon Dog (Orange) and other available color editions, as well as a curated selection of artist books.

The Broad
The Broad provide visitors to the Show, on a limited, first come first serve basis, with guided tours of its current exhibition Creature, an installation with more than 50 works presenting approaches to figuration and representations of the self in The Broad collection by over 25 artists including Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ellen Gallagher, Leon Golub, Jenny Holzer, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, and Andy Warhol plus Thomas Houseago’s Giant Figure (Cyclops), 2011, which is making its U.S. debut.

Carlos Martiel | Cauce/Riverbed
In Carlos Martiel’s work “Cauce/Riverbed,” the artist exposes the significant challenges faced by immigrants in California and the larger United States. Martiel digs deep into the nature of undocumented immigration and shows how it impacts the lives of some eleven million individuals and their families in the world’s most powerful nation.

His performance is a window to the human tragedy that grossly affects immigrants with low-education levels and limited English language skills, who come to the United States risking their lives as they venture into the dangerous desert in an attempt to cross the Mexico-US border. As Martiel shows, despite the highly-publicized “American Dream,” for these poor and uneducated immigrants, making it alive into US territory does not necessarily guarantee access to better opportunities or to a higher quality of life.

Norton Maza | Deep Impact: an installation by Norton Maza
With this installation, Maza aims to expand his original artistic proposal and reflect the latest political developments in the US as well as the world’s most urgent immigration concerns. To get his message through to the viewers, the installation was closely guarded as if it were a treasure.

Melanie Pullen | Violent Times
The performance Violent Times, by artist Melanie Pullen, is an abstract interpretation that explores both the ceremonial and crude facets of violence, inherent in both nature and the human condition. Pullen, to create a tempo for the extreme nature of the piece, create a theatrical setting, using the sounds of base bodily functions, including a human heartbeat, and breathing, made in real-time. As the physical sound evolves the performers also fluctuate between the concept of inflicted human torture to barbaric untamed aggression.

The Cut-Outs installation piece, an 8 x 73 foot acrylic on cardboard mural, deals with scenes from Gomez’s West Hollywood neighborhood. Gardeners and pool cleaners tend to the outside, then the mural proceeds inside, depicting housekeepers cleaning the living room, dining room, the bathroom and finally, the bedroom. Playing with negative space and with perspective, Gomez has life-sized cardboard figures emerge from the body of the mural, standing alone in the space, confronting the viewer. The piece functions as a still-life of affluent Los Angeles.

Eugenia Vargas Pereira | Talking Head Transmitters
Deconstructing Liberty: a Destiny Manifested. Explores the configuration of communities and forms of collective identity. This project act as a dynamic laboratory for each artist to experiment, and examine different aspects as patriotism, community, citizenship, the pursuit of happiness, freedom, equal rights, and activism, using performances, installations, videos, paintings, and photography. The exhibition reflects a great diversity of the American people and society. Coming from many lands, races, ethnicities, and perspectives, Americans have as many dreams and aspirations as people live in this nation.

Louis Hock | a wall
Made from recycled paper pulp bricks, Louis Hock’s temporary installation, “a wall”, extend 90 feet through the venue interrupting the visual experience and disorienting the circulation of visitors within the space. This installation urges visitors to consider current political discourse around borders and immigration as they experience a familiar space that is visually and physically divided.

Harry Gamboa Jr. / Chicano Male Unbonded
Photographer, essayist, and performance artist Harry Gamboa Jr. calls into question the relationship between the stereotypes of the Chicano male and the far more diverse community of artists, writers, academics, performers, and other creative thinkers who identify as Chicano in his Chicano Male Unbonded series. Photographed at night and situated within various aspects of Los Angeles’s distinctive urban geography, his subjects together comprise the Chicano avant-garde.

Reduction 2016
Using a combination of moving and still imagery, color film and black and white photography, narration and music, Reduction explores the combined environmental, visual, and metaphorical significance of fire as both a living process and a cultural tool from the perspective of two Native American artists, and was designed in conversation with the nearby Human Nature exhibition.

Marcella Ernest and Keli Mashburn have over twenty years of experience working with Native communities and landscapes. Concerned with the impact of residential and commercial development on Native lands, their work speaks to the ability of Native people to thrive in complex and contemporary settings through ceremony, tradition, and cultural connections, and by creating a dialogue between state, federal, and tribal institutions.

Los Angeles Art Association is proud to present Ping Pong 2017, a multi-destination, cross-cultural collaboration featuring artists from Los Angeles, Miami and Basel at the 2017 LA Art Show. PING PONG is an independent exhibition project for contemporary art founded in 2007 to cultivate artistic exchange between Basel, Miami and Los Angeles.

Scherezade Garcia | In My Floating World
“In my Floating World, Landscape of Paradise”, a soft sculpture, Garcia collected inner tubes in different sizes and in a variety of shades of blue. She also bandaged the surface of some of the inner tubes with photographic images of the sea on which she has drawn a variety of symbols from her visual repertoire that refer to the memory of the sea. She composed a floating landscape with these inner tubes, creating a randomly organic form connected by electrical ties, sometimes tied very tightly, a suggestion of the struggles hidden within the deep blue beauty. Also each of the inner tubes carries an airport baggage tag that identifies the intended destination of the waves, which is New York, alluding to the contemporary promised land of the free.

The LA Art Show is strategically situated at the city’s dynamic epicenter, The LA Convention Center is Southern California’s most technologically advanced green venue, featuring soaring ceilings and ample space. With convenient access to world-renowned LA LIVE!, the Grammy Awards, The Grammy Museum, and an impressive entertainment complex that includes the Nokia Theatre, the Staples Center Arena, top restaurants, and The Ritz Carlton Hotel and Residences. Patrons of the arts gladly drive to Downtown L.A. for the best in Classical Music (Disney Hall), Theater (Mark Taper and Ahmanson), and Contemporary Art (MOCA, Art District).