Frieze Week Los Angeles 2024 Off-Piste Highlights – Clayton Calvert

Sam Gilliam The Last Five Years David Kordansky

Frieze Los Angeles highlighted LA as an art capital with a city full of remarkable exhibitions and events that coincided with Frieze. Every part of LA seemed to have something art-related going on throughout the week.

Mario Joyce is carving out his place in Art History with his solo exhibition Amaryllis' Garden
Mario Joyce solo exhibition Amaryllis’ Garden UTA Artist Space

Here are some of the highlights from Frieze Week. Mario Joyce is carving out his place in Art History with his solo exhibition Amaryllis’ Garden at UTA Artist Space. This show is a tribute to his grandmother and a remembrance of the sanctuary that her garden and home provided Mario. It is full of painterly canvases that are richly textured and beautifully composed. Joyce subtly uses ultramarine to create dark outlines of figures and forms in some works, while in others, he embraces abstraction. Some paintings have collage work with coloured pencils, completed during his time at Skowhegan. There are also installations with amaryllis flowers in the main room and a back room with a beautifully lit shadow lattice that covers the walls of the space. The abstract and figurative works complement each other beautifully, and this show is a strong statement of Mario’s prowess as an artist and his versatility. The exhibition is open through March 16.

Two painting giants had solo shows during Frieze Los Angeles, one posthumous. Sam Gilliam: The Last Five Years ( Top Photo) was a revelation of a show. The exhibition was in the final week of its run when the fair opened. Gilliam was prolific in his later life and produced with an energy evident in every piece in this exhibition. There are large-scale industrial fabric paintings and incredibly dense and worked fragments on paper.

Pat Steir Painted Rain Hauser & Wirth
Pat Steir Painted Rain Hauser & Wirth

The colours in the exhibition are dazzling and dynamic. Gilliam had mastered his technique to the point of perfection, and yet the process informs the finished pieces in these works; the process is still subject to chance. Gilliam has conducted chaos in a way that resonates loudly and uniformly throughout the work. Painted Rain, a solo presentation of new works by Pat Steir, opened at Hauser and Wirth in West Hollywood. This is a must-see exhibition with a plethora of large-scale canvases perfectly placed in an ambient space. The works have incredible colour harmonies, and the composite transparent layers of pigment-rich paint mixtures are sublime. One cannot help but think of Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel or perhaps frescoes. Yet, Steir’s practice is heavily influenced by Eastern Schools of thought and is firmly rooted in contemporary art. Her deep exploration into the nature of paint and the implications of colour is on full display in this stunning solo show. The exhibition is up through May 4.

Albertz Benda Los Angeles
Albertz Benda Los Angeles

Ruinart announced the new Carte Blanche artists during the opening of Frieze on Thursday, marking the first time they partnered with multiple artists in the same year. Andrea Bowers, Henrique Oliveira, Marcus Coates, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Thijs Biersteker, and Tomoko Sauvage will all work in response to the Champagne region. They will all experience the natural beauty of Maison Ruinart and respond to the living organisms carrying out their daily lives. They had a chandelier by Andrea Bowers and a wall of colourful ribbons on the wall with slogans that called attention to the need to protect and preserve the Earth. Viewers were encouraged to take a sash, and examples of the words include “there is only one earth,” “clean water, healthy land,” and “protecting nature is not a luxury.” Thursday evening kicked off with a soiree at Albertz Benda Los Angeles celebrating the openings of two group shows, Beyond the Visible and Barbora Žilinskaitė: Chairs Don’t Cry; they had a stellar presentation at their maison on Marmont Lane. The environment is relaxed and chic, offering a glimpse of how you might wish to live in LA with contemporary art and design masterpieces. The show included works by Misha Kahn, Robert Peterson, Charles Hickey, and Wendell Castle.

Maison Lune had a stellar exhibition titled A Time Was Had
Maison Lune had a stellar exhibition titled A Time Was Had

Felix Art Fair is always a place to make discoveries thanks to programs like Storage Gallery, Sargent’s Daughters, 56 Henry, Lomex, Shoot The Lobster, Magenta Plains, Harper’s and Nicodim Gallery. Some standout artists included Joseph Geagan, Isabelle Albuquerque, Devin Johnson, Nicasio Fernandez, LaKela Brown, and Genieve Figgis. Maison Lune had a stellar exhibition titled A Time Was Had: Is an Awakening, co-curated by Mashonda Tifrere and featuring works by ten artists, including Sandrine Abessera, Yulia Bas, Maria Gaspar, Imo Nse Imeh, Servane Mary, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Murjoni Merriweather, Maya Seas, Khari Turner, Elizabeth Waggett, and Emerald Rose Whipple. The show is set in a beautiful residence on the canals in Venice, and well-placed pieces of design are interspersed throughout the environment. Khari Turner was a personal favourite, with several tondo’s rich in texture and meaning.

Friday evening, Deutsche Bank presented the FRIEZE LOS ANGELES FILM AWARD In partnership with Ghetto Film School and FIFTH SEASON. The theme of the award was ‘Technological Transformations’, and the finalists were:

Octavia Anderson – Budlong

Jonathan Estrada-Salazar – Memory Scan

Celine Eva – INTRUSOR

Jeanine Fiser – Tell Me

Kaylen Ng – The Metamorphosis Project

Miguel Ramirez – Nora’s Memories

Kat Torres – Portals to You

Britt Williams – SOFT LAUNCH

Kaylen Ng won the 2024 Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award, and Britt Williams won the Audience Award. Here is a link to watch the projects:

Los Angeles is an art destination with staying power in the art world. The city is teeming with creativity and has a strong scene for artists, museums, galleries, and collectors.

Top Photo: Sam Gilliam The Last Five Years David Kordansky Words/Photos Clayton Calvert © Artlyst 2024

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