Last year Frieze inaugurated its Los Angeles fair, which attracted major art collectors, celebrities, and influencers. But the one thing everyone seemed to be talking about most was the “backlot,” an outdoor city-within-a-city situated on a movie set in Paramount Pictures Studios, featuring immersive artist projects (Karon Davis, Shahryar Nashat) alongside pop-ups from my favorite New York pizzeria, Roberta’s, and my go-to e-commerce Web Site, MatchesFashion.com. This is all to say: expectations for 2020 are high.
Participating galleries to watch this time around include Gagosian (exhibiting works by Ed Ruscha), Pace Gallery (showing James Turrell in conjunction with Kayne Griffin Corcoran) and White Cube (Tracey Emin, Theaster Gates, Julie Mehretu). Though the run of the fair is quite short—February 14–16, just a long weekend—L.A. comes alive throughout the week surrounding Frieze. Perhaps the sunshine in mid winter has a bit to do with it…
Here, a guide to keep you busy (without veering into the overwhelming).
- The first comprehensive American survey of works on paper by L.A.-based artist Paul McCarthy at the Hammer Museum. “Paul McCarthy: Head Space, Drawings 1963–2019” features 600 pieces created with materials ranging from ink to ketchup to peanut butter.
- “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985” at MOCA L.A. showcases works by boundary-pushing artists of the craft and decorative movements.
- On at The Broad through the last day of Frieze, “Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again” includes the Iranian artist’s immersive video installations alongside hundreds of her photographs.
- Originally the home and studio of architect Richard Neutra, Neutra VDL hosts work by Japan-born, L.A.-based ceramics artist Shio Kusaka.
- “Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs” at the Skirball Cultural Center surveys Kubrick’s pre-filmmaking days, when he was a photojournalist.
- Almost as enigmatic as Amy Winehouse’s voice was her style—on at the Grammy Museum, “Beyond Black: The Style of Amy Winehouse” presents the singer’s iconic outfits alongside personal mementos.
- Swiss-born artist Nicolas Party displays candy-colored works in his solo show, “Sottobosco,” on at Hauser & Wirth.
Beyond Frieze: L.A.’s other fairs
- Art Los Angeles Contemporary, L.A.’s old guard when it comes to fairs.
- Felix Art Fair, the more intimate, edgy one.
a break from art: Get Pampered
- Traveling between fairs and venues can be tiring. Head to Melanie Grant in West Hollywood for relaxing, rejuvenating facials. Victoria Beckham swears by her, if that’s something to go by.
- In the interest of narrowing down the wide array of L.A.’s amazing food options: Go to Bavel, the Arts District middle-eastern follow-up to Bestia.
- Otherwise, if you find yourself in the mood for a healthy lunch between fairs, sister cafés Gjelina and Gjusta are always a good idea.
- West Hollywood’s San Vicente Bungalows opened just in time for last year’s Frieze; since then, it’s established itself as the place to be.
- Petit Ermitage, also in West Hollywood, is great for its drinks and its crowd.
- Just One Eye has great clothes, but the art on the walls alone is worth the trip!