With the confluence of art fairs in full citywide swing this week, prepare for a wave of big ticket intentionally timed local gallery openings, as well as a host of satellite projects, book releases, studio parties, design events, branded cocktail hours, and all the buzz—with the theater, performance art, musical, cinematic, technological, and modern dance worlds offering compelling alternatives to the white box blizzard in case you need that. For the fair-minded, we’ve rounded up a quick guide to those five at the heart of Art Week LA—LA Art Week? Frieze Week? Art Fair Week?—highlighting some of the most intriguing projects. Fair thee well, art lovers!
THE ART FAIRS
Felix Art Fair, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. An extremely Los Angeles, old-school classic style hotel fair, with a range of gallery exhibitors set up in the poolside cabanas and upper floor suites (the room loos make great project spaces). A savvy mix of contemporary galleries with a penchant for the on-trend and urbane; plus festive poolside hangs with possible day-drinking. Thursday-Sunday, February 16-19; $40-$80. felixfair.com
LA Art Show, Convention Center Downtown. The city’s longest-running, most eclectic fair is back with something like 120 galleries, museums, and non-profits from around the world exhibiting painting, sculpture, works on paper, installation, photography, design, video, performance, and special programs—like the perennially acclaimed DIVERSEartLA projects bringing international issues-based institutions into the conversation. Thursday-Sunday, February 16-19; $30-$250. laartshow.com
Spring/Break Art Show, Skylight Culver City. Hyper-indie, curator-helmed, local and nationally sourced, artist-focused fair; heavy on interdisciplinary engagement and experiential booth and built-out installations, surprise discoveries, fanciful materials, and pointed social experiments. Consistently the weirdest and most extraordinarily memorable of the art fair crop. Thursday-Sunday, February 16-19; $30-$100. springbreakartshow.com
Frieze Los Angeles, Barker Hangar Santa Monica. The fancy one that movie stars go to, the center of gravity for Art Week LA (LA Art Week?), and the manifestation of a dominant global brand unfolds at an unremarkable location which they promise to transform and activate with scores of the world’s most impressive galleries, curated rising-star perspectives, sprawling outdoor installations, and eclectic programs and performances. The (don’t call it) Frieze Week momentum also gives rise to a host of related shows, programs, and popups across the West Side and beyond. Friday-Sunday, February 17-19; $56-$152; and there are a good number of off-site projects, many of which are free. frieze.com.
Photo Forward, Bergamot Station. The inaugural fair by the Photographic Arts Council features photography and lens-based art from the vintage to the contemporary, installed at many of the galleries throughout the sprawling site—including dedicated lens-forward galleries and those who don’t regularly show photography—with diverse curatorial focuses alongside the galleries’ regularly scheduled programming. Saturday-Sunday, February 18-19; free. photoforwardla.com
NOT THE ART FAIRS
Thursday, February 16
Alex Katz: Sunrise at MAK Center. Acclaimed for his iconic portraits and impressionistic landscape depictions, the now 95-year-old Katz has inspired generations of painters. Fresh off his triumphant presentation at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, MAK Center fills the historic architectural landmark Schindler House with the latest iteration of artist’s ongoing series of paintings he refers to as “splits,” in which he uses a cut-up technique that blends inspiration from Manet’s pictures of women in hats in the sun, the fractured imagery from early cubism, and “the ‘cheap’ quality in Fassbinder’s Beware of a Holy Whore.” These large-scale immersive portraits of Sunrise Coigney encapsulate the fleeting nature of the gaze inside everyday life. 835 N. Kings Rd., West Hollywood; Opening reception: Wednesday, February 15, 7-9pm; On view February 16 – March 12; free; makcenter.org.
Sonya: A Sunflower Network Project in Century City. Featuring over 40 works by 18 contemporary Ukrainian artists, this unique exhibition coincides with the one year anniversary of the war. Many of the eclectic and powerful works were produced over the past year, offering a window into Ukrainian cultural resilience in the face of aggression and attempted erasure. The exhibition also includes works predating the full-scale invasion, which have taken on new meaning in its wake. Sunflower Network’s inaugural charity art exhibition took place in New York this past November, with all gallery proceeds—totalling some $200,000—directed to the purchase and delivery of generators to Ukraine, where Russian attacks have caused millions of citizens to experience constant blackouts during a freezing winter. The installation culminates with an event commemorating the tragic anniversary, in solidarity, hope, and help. The Pavilion: 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City. Opening reception: Thursday, February 16, 5-8pm; On view through February 24; Anniversary event: Friday, February 24, 7-10pm; free; sunflowernetwork.io.
Paul McCarthy: WS White Snow presented by LAND, The Box & Hauser & Wirth. The legendary artist’s largest single work in the US, WS White Snow is an 8,800-square-foot artificial forest and a faithful replica of the artist’s family home that have stood fully installed in a warehouse in East LA for over a decade. An accompanying 7-hour four-channel video projection, edited by Damon McCarthy and taken from 350 hours of recordings from the 30 days of the original 2012-13 performance, will be projected alongside the installation. WS White Snow is an explicit confrontation with American consumerism and grandiosity, reckoning with economic, social, and climate breakdown. This will be the first and possibly only time audiences in Los Angeles will be able to experience the piece in situ, with the future of the work uncertain. February 16-19, timed entry tickets 11am-6pm; free; location provided with rsvp; nomadicdivision.org.
Psyched: A Psychedelic Book Event at In Heroes We Trust. It’s an exciting time to be involved in psychedelics. Many people have chosen to put down their long-held biases towards these powerful medicines, embracing both psychedelics and adaptogens as tools for healing, hope, and human improvement. It’s this cultural shift that inspired Amanda Siebert to write Psyched, a compendium that explores the history, culture, and potential of seven psychedelic substances. She interweaves real-life stories, clinical research, and interviews with the world’s leading psychedelics experts and cultural allies to offer a definitive guide to these cutting-edge treatments. The book party features art, live music, gift bags, and a panel discussion with experts in the field. 626-5 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; Thursday, February 16, 6-9pm; $50 includes a signed copy of the book; instagram.com/inheroeswetrust.
Friday, February 17
Charles Arnoldi: Deep Cuts at Praz Delavallade. Chuck Arnoldi’s long and storied career as a visual artist has led him, across the years, to an eclectic panoply of visual cues, formal experiments, mechanisms of gesture, evocations of experience, and evidence of process. But despite an array of abstract styles from the muscular and rough-hewn to the delicate, pensive, ecstatic, puzzle-solved, color-theorized, and occasionally narrative, Arnoldi’s throughline has always been elemental. Specifically, stone, water, air, fire, and wood—especially wood. For the past several years, he’s remained captivated by the curious and intuitive strength of the epic stone walls that endure at Peru’s majestic Indigenous cultural sites, even as his immediate attention has returned to the fate of trees on fire-ravaged hills much closer to home. Along the way, a series of hefty, chunky, dimensional paintings and assertive sculptures have curiously married these forms, in chainsaw-chiseled carved compositions that reflect the operations of material, action, and color. As always with Arnoldi, ideas may float freely between mediums and idioms, and remain perennially susceptible to unexpected experiences and experiments—but the results are somehow always instantly recognizable as his. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Opening reception: Friday, February 17, 3-6pm; On view through March 25; free; praz-delavallade.com.
Friidom Dunn: Black Hömer at WACO Theater Center. Homer was a legendary Greek author said to have been “the greatest poet of all time,” but by whose standard? Dancer and movement composer Friidom Dunn presents an original work in progress exploring an alternative window on this foundational story of Western cultural identity, through his Epiic style of poetry in motion, dance, music, speech, and soulful connection. We all individually hold our own personal Odyssey within our lives on this Earth, says Dunn, and just as Ulysses sailed the seas, dove the caves, confronted the oracles, challenged his own desires, and relentlessly pursued his foretold fate, this will be a fantastical telling of Friidom’s own journey as an artist, a man, and a citizen. 5144 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hollywood; Friday-Saturday, February 17-18; $15; thefriidom.com.
Artists Working in the Crosscurrents of Dance and Contemporary Art at LA Dance Project. L.A. Dance Project company dancers will open their studio for two hours on Friday afternoon, as they rehearse two works: Benjamin Millepied’s Romeo & Juliet Suite in anticipation of a seven-city European tour starting later this month; and Quartet for Five, which premiered this past October at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. On Saturday afternoon, Lionel Popkin, Kate Wallich, Marjani Forté-Saunders, and Julia Eichten each present outdoor, durational performances in a rare glimpse into their current interdisciplinary projects-in-process for museums, galleries, and installations. 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Friday, February 17, drop-in hours 12:15-2:15pm; Saturday, February 18, 1:45-3pm; free; ladanceproject.org.
Saturday, February 18
Art + Soul at Bergamot Station Arts Center. With Frieze Los Angeles installed mere steps from LA’s favorite train depot turned gallery complex, it would be impossible not to throw a party. In addition to the regularly scheduled new and recently opened exhibitions at the site’s more than 20 contemporary art venues, and the inaugural Photo Forward art fair, the galleries, creative businesses, Birdie’s restaurant mixologists, and even a comedy club, offer specials, tours, performances, books, talks, and surprises. 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Saturday, February 18, 5-8pm; free; bergamotstation.com.
“Frieze Week” at Santa Monica Art Museum. The West Side’s newest public culture venue hosts a full weekend of talks, shows, panels, and programs pegged to nearby Frieze Fair. As their new exhibition Looking West unfolds a thoughtful vision of the promise and pitfalls of Westward expansions, the weekend conversations center around the increasing role of VR and related technologies in redefining the immersive museum experience, the unlikely but perfect confluence of NFT and physical artistic practices, the urgency of feminist thought and conscious community in the web3 space, and the very future of art museums themselves. Saturday night’s opening reception for Looking West is followed by a nearby afterparty, and it all coincides with digital curatorial and experiential activities at the site and in the metaverse. 1219 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica; Special events Friday-Saturday, February 17-18; Looking West opening reception: Saturday, February 18, 5-9pm; free; santamonicaartmuseum.com.
The Lifespan of a Fact at Fountain Theater. What’s more important: writing the truth, or telling a good story? Based on the eponymous nonfiction book, this highly entertaining, very funny new play follows young intern Jim Fingal, whose first assignment at an elite New York magazine is to fact check an essay written by a highly celebrated and cantankerous author. What Jim finds turns his world upside down. Thought-provoking, with zinging one-liners, The Lifespan of a Fact explodes into a hilarious slugfest between “facts,” and “truth,” making it hard to imagine a play ever being more timely. 5060 Fountain Ave., Hollywood; Performances February 18-April 2; $25-$45; fountaintheatre.com.
Art & Future: Chronicles of Legends with Jeff Davis, CCO of Art Blocks, and Bright Moments at NeueHouse Venice Beach. CCO of the Art Blocks generative platform Jeff Davis and founder of Bright Moments Seth Goldstein engage in conversation on the past, present, and future of innovation in Venice Beach. Exhibition opening to follow at nearby Bright Moments Gallery—a newly established NFT Art Gallery that started in Venice Beach, and has gone on to establish crypto art communities around the world, including a recently announced mining partnership with Art Blocks. 73 Market St., Venice; Saturday, February 18, 3:30pm; free; rsvp.neuehouse.com/chroniclesoflegends-frieze.
Sunday, February 19
Trulee Hall: Ladies’ Lair Lake at REDCAT. LAND, OUTFEST, LACMA, and Rusha & Co. present the premiere screening and live performance of Ladies’ Lair Lake, reflecting Hall’s feminist-oriented and richly imaginative art practice. The mythological narrative takes place in an edenic forest setting, beside a lake inhabited by a sorority of nymphs overseen by a benevolent yet mischievous goddess. With 16 original songs, Hall immerses viewers in her mythical, choral, and playful world, narrating a creation myth that begins not with man but with woman, and explores themes of disobedience and loss of innocence; the clash between patriarchal religion and matriarchal goddess worship; the complexities and loss of autonomy that accompany motherhood; and the interplay of free will and fate, of human desire and divine intervention. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Sunday, February 19, Reception: 4pm, Program: 5pm; free; nomadicdivision.org.
Bending the River: Lauren Bon and Emma Robbins at Boil, Toil & Trouble. The special traveling exhibition includes 50 contemporary artists working in a range of media, who each explore mystical, mythological, or spiritual frameworks and practices as they pertain to the history, power, and contentions around water. Artists selected have created works that deal with magic, ritual, the alchemy of water and the role of the witch and other spirit channelers and guides in contemporary art. A series of events and conversations happens through the exhibition, such as this afternoon’s presentation by Los Angeles’ favorite river-bending multidisciplinary artist Lauren Bon and Emma Robbins, a Dinė artist with a passion for empowering Indigenous women. 708 N. Manhattan Pl., Melrose Hill; Sunday, February 19, 2-4pm; Exhibition continues through February 26; free; artincommon.art.
Glenn Kaino and Dave Sitek: High Seas at AF Projects. The Invisible Embrace exhibition by Glenn Kaino and David Sitek—aka the interdisciplinary art and sound crew High Seas—officially ended in January, but the artists will stage a one time performance with special guest Danielle Agami inside the installation before it’s actually taken down. At the intersection of art and music, High Seas was born of a fanciful yet absolutely epic collaboration that was part of last year’s Forest for the Trees immersion, and has continued to bear creative fruit as the pair explores the magnetism of humanity’s collective compass, sailing the sea of language but trapped in the time machine of a palindrome. 7503 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Sunday, February 19, 2pm; free; instagram.com/afprojectsla.
Tuesday, February 21
Lucy McRae at USC Roski Talks. Artist Lucy McRae leads a multi disciplinary, art-research studio investigating the impact future technologies have on human evolution. In parallel to her gallery and museum-focused art practice, she thrives as a director and a maker, in the writer’s room and in the lab. Boldly staring down the status quo, Lucy pioneers a new story for how future technologies will fundamentally alter human intimacy, reproduction, spirituality, biology, and wellness culture—shining light on the ethical implications of genetic engineering. Her prophetic aesthetic is flung far from archetypal tropes, creating nostalgia for a future about to happen. Lucy’s work diversifies the predictive voices we traditionally call ‘science’ and ‘technology’, through designing hypothetical worlds that use speculation as a tool to provoke an exploration of ideologies and ethics about who we are, and where we are headed. USC Harris Hall, downtown; Tuesday, February 21, 7pm; free; roski.usc.edu.
dublab: Future Roots Radio Book Party at NeueHouse Bradbury. A music-infused launch party to celebrate the Hat & Beard Press release of dublab: Future Roots Radio. The book encapsulates the history of the pioneering Los Angeles-based yet truly global, internet radio station founded in 1999 that has gone on to produce thousands of game-changing programs and performances, site activations and sonic tours, architecture and art world crossovers, and experiential sonic wavelengths all their own. The event will feature a panel talk and DJ performances. 304 S. Broadway, downtown; Tuesday, February 21, 6pm; free; rsvp.neuehouse.com/dublabfuturerootsradio.
Wednesday, February 22
Camilla Taylor: Dry Tree at Track 16. Presenting a new body of work, the show includes sculptures, prints, and textiles which evoke multilayered conceptual themes stemming from one idea: a tree. Taking the concept of a tree, both “tree of life” and also the genealogical “family tree,” Taylor creates quiet, vulnerable work. A genealogical tree does not necessarily matter in everyday life, but family lineage is quietly present; this theme of a past presence is demonstrated through the materials, as nearly all of the materials for the artworks are salvaged. The past life of the materials, which existed in other places and were touched by other hands, is not apparent, yet there is a sense of haunting, or hiddenness in them. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple, downtown; Wednesday, February 22, 7pm; Exhibition on view through February 25; free; track16.com.
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