Frieze LA 2024 My Top 10 Choices – Clayton Calvert

Frieze LA 2024 Photo: Clayton Calvert

Frieze LA is a perfect opportunity to catch some of the most influential new art being made on the West Coast while visiting the global art world stalwarts displaying all their finery. Several art shows and satellite events run simultaneously throughout town during the fair. Frieze LA opened Tuesday on a leap day, 29 February, with a VIP preview attended by several A-list Hollywood celebrities-types who continued to draw notable figures such as Lebron James and Tim Cook later in the week. By the end of the fair, it seemed as if the dealers had brought the right pieces to the show and that overall sales were close to or as expected. Here are some highlights from the fair.

Olafur Eliasson: Endlessly happy visible endings 2023
Olafur Eliasson: Endlessly happy visible endings 2023 Frieze LA 2024 Photo Clayton Calvert © Artlyst

Olafur Eliasson: Endlessly happy visible endings 2023 Glass spheres, transparent paint (rainbow colours), aluminium, paint (black), stainless steel 98 × 96 1/2 x 11 inches; 249 x 245 × 28 cm Tonya Bonakdar

Vibrantly coloured crystal orbs sit in metal cradles that are carefully arranged in a concentric circular form that sits on the wall. The work is elegant and stunning, with colour refractions created by the orbs visible in large and small sizes within the crystal spheres. There is more than meets the eye, though, as is usual for Eliasson; when the viewer walks around the piece, the colours all disappear, and the orbs are clear with a convex mirror effect reflecting the audience that recalls Parmigianino. Eliasson is a master of art conceived utilising space, and his ability to create otherworldly effects and magical surfaces adds to the experience. His work often calls attention to environmental issues and brings elements from nature into institutional and delicate art environments. To ponder the compelling visual effect, the viewer must walk around to engage with this stunning visual experience.

Jesse Krimes: Marion, 2022
Jesse Krimes: Marion, 2022 Frieze LA 2024 Photo Clayton Calvert © Artlyst

Jesse Krimes: Marion, 2022 Antique quilt, used clothing collected from incarcerated people, assorted textiles 89 × 68 inches Jack Shainman

Jessie Krimes is both a formidable artist and an ardent activist. His work advocating for criminal justice reform on behalf of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people is both impactful and remarkable in its scope. Krimes practice as an artist is formidable, given his talent and ability to create provocative and poignant works. Marion is a quilt that is made from clothing from incarcerated individuals. A bird walks through a surreal forest scene with a chair on a green rug with empty shoes. The chair waits for someone to sit, and the shoes wait to be worn. Perhaps this piece is a homage to the time that passed while people were incarcerated and the hope that one day they could roam freely again, like the bird. The piece feels akin to European tapestries, and yet it is an American object that speaks to a glaring issue in the United States of America.

Vanessa German: skateboard memorial to Tyre Nichols 2023
vanessa german: Skateboard Memorial to Tyre Nichols 2023  Frieze LA 2024 Photo Clayton Calvert © Artlyst

vanessa german: skateboard memorial to Tyre Nichols 2023 who screamed out for his mama to come for him while the police were jumping on his back and taking his name out of his soul and making him die with their looseness of being and in the brutality of this separation unliving him for no reason other than Well. Or, skateboard as grief., 2023

Grief, salt, sore throat from all the screaming, shoes worn out in the soles from marching and begging. Then, a beautiful son gone, a beautiful son and his name become a hashtag in the ever-expanding digital memorials of children killed by …, I don’t know what to say to you all, ok: heartbreak, fear, rage, tears, crane hood ornament, rhinestones, adhesives, cloth, rose quartz for the how the entire universe is held together like how a womb. It has humans as a whole together within an entire human. 12 1/2 × 26 × 9 inches crane hood ornament, rhinestones, adhesives, cloth, rose quartz.

Kasmin Gallery presented a solo booth by vanessa german. There were many curious and meticulously crafted objects in this menagerie of pink stone-encrusted items, but one stood out among the others. It was a simple skateboard with a crane hood ornament on top of it. The piece is in memory of Tyre Nichols, who died at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tennessee. Nichols loved to skateboard, and this piece homages that passion of his. The hood ornament feels funerary, and the entire piece is a powerful remembrance of a lost life. The skateboard even recalls an ornate funerary barge reserved for nobility in many traditions. The whole piece serves as a sobering reminder of the dangers of the injustices in our society that are perpetrated by those trusted with enforcing the law.

Gregor Hildebrandt. Die Straße
Gregor Hildebrandt. Die Straße Frieze LA 2024 Photo Roman Marz Courtesy of the Artist

Gregor Hildebrandt. Die Straße / The Street, 2024. Inkjet print, plastic cases, inlays in wooden case. Overall dimensions: 159.5 x 223 x 9 cm. Photographer: Roman März. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.

Die Straße / The Street is a composite image depicting a still from “All about my Mother” (Todo sobre mi madre, 1999) by Pedro Almodóvar, comprising many cassette tape cases. It is a homage to outdated technology and an old era of image-making. It is almost pointillist as the covers of the cases create a fragmented image. A woman stares into a rainy scene in the middle of a street. The red in her coat stands out compared to the starkly minimalist scene behind her. The colourful umbrella also brings a sense of fun to the scene despite the woman’s gaze being a little unsettling. The works stop the viewer in their tracks, similar to how the protagonist is caught up in a moment. There is a sense of mystery and intrigue to this interaction.

Philippe Parreno Iceman in Reality Park 1995-2019
Philippe Parreno Iceman in Reality Park 1995-2019 Frieze LA 2024 Photo Clayton Calvert © Artlyst

Philippe Parreno Iceman in Reality Park 1995-2019 Sculpted ice, stones, wooden sticks, Corian plinth with found metal maintenance hole cover Dimensions variable, Sculpture: 42 x 39 x 18 inches 106 × 98 × 45 cm Edition 3 of 5 + 2AP Gladstone Gallery

Philippe Parreno’s Iceman in Reality Park is an engaging example that fully illustrates the potential of conceptual sculpture. The piece melts each day of the fair and is indeed an impossible sculpture to resist. The Iceman is performing, shedding the characteristic traits depicted in locally sourced stones to leave no trace of his presence eventually. At certain stages, he has vestiges of the outlines of those stones and appears ghostlike. The arms will fall last, but until they do, they stretch out in a final embracing gesture. The viewer is invited to watch and enjoy the spectacle of the melting. The piece that utilises melting ice certainly holds some significance about climate change. It highlights the fragility of a solid block of ice, a sculpture that, even though solid at the outset, will yield only an impression.

Akea Brionne, Isis Returns, 2024
Akea Brionne, Isis Returns, 2024 Frieze LA 2024 Photo Ruben Diaz Courtesy of the Artist

Akea Brionne, Isis Returns, 2024 Jacquard, rhinestones, thread, glitter, and sand 60 x 98 inches, 152.4 x 248.9 cm Lyles and King Image courtesy of the Artist and Lyles & King, New York. Photo credit: Ruben Diaz

Akea Brionne’s multifaceted mixed media tapestry jumps out from any vantage point. It was highlighted in the Focus Section, a skillfully curated presentation by Essence Harden of 12 solo booths. Isis Returns is a vibrant medley of materials woven into a beautiful tapestry that is impressive in composition and scale. As the viewer moves around the work, rhinestones shine, and glitter shimmers, white sand gives a rougher texture and a richly coloured fabric is skillfully woven to hold it together. A striking nude figure confidently strides in the foreground while figures that have stripes or are bare populate the background. The scene is set in Egypt with a field of pyramids behind the central figures, creating depth to the theatrical work. Brionne has given us a powerful sense of place, but nothing indicates a specific era in this artwork. Isis Returns is a triumphant celebration of female energy and the strength and beauty that comes with it.

Maria Klabin: Gal 2023
Maria Klabin: Gal 2023 Frieze LA 2024 Photo Clayton Calvert © Artlyst

Maria Klabin: Gal 2023 oil paint on linen 220 × 300 x 3,5 cm Nara Roesler

A pregnant woman reclines in a sumptuous scene of a daydream. Small figures surf and walk on water while fish feed at the abundance of a surreal ecosystem. She wears glasses, and her eyes seem open, albeit depicted in a cold turquoise that likely conveys a dream state. A solitary phthalo blue mountain in the distance gives the scene a sense of space. It is unclear what this woman is resting on as it seems to be a bed made from the background of the painting. The work is a Rousseau-like moment of a delightful dream we are invited to experience.

Ann Craven: Dove (Flying, Once More), 2024,
Ann Craven: Dove (Flying, Once More), 2024 Frieze LA 2024 Photo Clayton Calvert © Artlyst

Ann Craven: Dove (Flying, Once More), 2024 Oil on linen
48 x 36 inches (121.9 × 91.4 cm) Hannah Hoffman

Ann Craven’s painting of a bird is usual for her subject matter, yet the piece’s dynamism is arresting. A skillfully rendered bird flaps its wings in a colourful treescape scene. The wings and head are the most well-defined aspects of the painting; they are in focus despite being in motion, and the rest of the painting is blurred in a style that conveys movement. It is somewhat of a reversal of the usual techniques of showing movement. It is unclear if the bird is landing or taking off; however, the eye of the bird locks with the viewer. The bird knows it is being observed. The colours contrast beautifully, as do the differing textures, which vary from whisky to chunky. It is a painting of seemingly opposite ideas.

Hernan Bas: A Bohemian at Breaklast, 2021
Hernan Bas: A Bohemian at Breakfast, 2021 Frieze LA 2024 Photo Clayton Calvert © Artlyst

Hernan Bas: A Bohemian at Breakfast, 2021 Acrylic on linen 213.4 x 271.3 cm 81 × 108 in Victoria Miro

At first glance, it feels like Hernan Bas shows off his painterly abilities with this large-scale canvas. His technique is impeccable, and the colour scheme is improbable, and yet the piece expertly recalls both Manet and even Alice Neel. Whereas Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère is a time capsule of Belle Époque Paris and an era of decadence, this painting celebrates an entirely different bohemian scene. Bas lives and works in Miami, and this scene details a humble interior reminiscent of a well-worn haunt with all of its blemishes. The walls are graffiti; Bas even uses graffiti to depict this, the chairs are worn, and the scene is quite simple overall. Bas imbues the humble scene with meaning and a sense of grandeur via his colour choice and composition. Even the figure’s shirt is rhythmically painted and echoes the curves of the chair and plants, while the rigidity of other lines moves the eye around the work. Bas compensates for the starkly bare portions of the piece by using vibrant colours and bits of earth in the flower vase to create texture. The cigarette smoker stares at the viewer, but unlike Manet’s protagonist, he is not there to serve us and, in many ways, seems indifferent to the viewer’s presence.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Leopard Print, 2024
Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Leopard Print, 2024  Frieze LA 2024 Photo Clayton Calvert © Artlyst

Nathaniel Mary Quinn: Leopard Print, 2024 Oil paint, oil pastel, paint stick, gouache, and black charcoal on linen canvas stretched over wood panel 45.7 × 38.1 × 3.2 cm 18 x 15 x 1 1/2 in Almine Rech

Nathaniel Mary Quinn seems to get better every year he paints. This work is no exception, as his oil and mixed media mastery is evident. At first, the piece is a fragmented face comprising disparate vignettes, which coalesce into a stunning portrait. A grisaille forehead and hair are offset by a brightly coloured cheetah print jacket and thin lines painted in primary colours. There is a disjointed feeling in a composition that still manages to feel unified. Quinn has skin tones that recall Velázquez and technique that would make Picasso and Bacon envious. The sharp lines and subtle tonalities offer further visual dichotomies. It is tough to distinguish who the sitter might be, yet they still have an unmistakably strong presence.

Top Photo: Frieze LA 2024: Top Photo and all other photos by Clayton Calvert unless otherwise specified © Artlyst 2024

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