As the dust has settled on Snowpocalypse, the sun is shining in California and increasingly international factions of the art world are making their way to Los Angeles for the city’s biggest art week of the year. Three fairs that could not be more different (or far away) from each other converge this weekend, along with a host of collateral events and exhibitions organized by Angelenos and visitors alike.
The original draw is Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC), the fair held at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, the preview for which is tonight. As a Westside outpost for art, it’s a local destination for all the collectors scattered around L.A.’s tonier neighborhoods who ordinarily find themselves trekking into West Hollywood or beyond in order to get their fix. On view until Sunday, the fair boasts 62 participating galleries: European dealers like Standard (Oslo) and Berlin’s Johann König join hometown shops like François Ghebaly Gallery, David Kordansky Gallery and Various Small Fires, plus one non-profit, Land, and an artist-run gallery in Glendale, the Pit. Presiding over the entrance is a monumental sculpture of a contemplative man in a squat by the artists Michael Decker and Aaron Wrinkle, blown up from an anonymous tchotchke they found in a thrift store.
Also tonight, Printed Matter’s L.A. Art Book Fair previews at the Geffen Contemporary at MoCA downtown. Open to the public from Friday to Sunday, the space will be taken over by more than 250 independent presses and book stores for a swap meet of music-festival-sized proportions. Rounding off the opening events are musical performances by No Age and Prince Rama, while the Los Angeles-based artist Frances Stark will deliver the keynote address of the companion Contemporary Art Books Conference on the importance of writing and text in her practice.
After a blockbuster first edition last year, Paramount Ranch is back and bigger than before. Held on Saturday and Sunday, the satellite fair takes the saloon, pharmacy, inn and other sets from Paramount Pictures’s classic Western town setup in far-off Agoura Hills, filling them with art for sale by a curated group of mostly younger galleries. The event is organized by Paradise Garage in Venice and Freedman Fitzpatrick in Hollywood, and one of this year’s more anticipated additions is that of the Parisian dealer Chantal Crousel, who lends some blue-chip gravitas. Programming galore begins with “live painting on stage,” for which the local artist Richard Hawkins has enlisted painters Vittorio Brodmann, Julien Ceccaldi, Aaron Curry, Andrei Koschmieder, Ruby Neri, Tyson Reeder, and Jason Yates to do just that. Another highlight is “Kaya’s House,” a life-size dollhouse created by the artists Kerstin Brätsch and Debo Eilers, which promises drinking games and other forms of merriment all weekend.
Of the ancillary openings and pop-ups around town, one that smacks of the continental zest for only-in-L.A. site specificity is Hollywood Hills House, an in-home exhibition organized by the French curators Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou. Installed in the Beachwood Canyon Spanish Revival home of the collector and dealer Shirley Morales, the exhibition features works by artists ranging from the Modernist great Yves Klein to the inscrutable, Chicago-based Puppies Puppies. A suite of performances culminates on Sunday, when a piano performance in the living room will drift to a staged reading in the bathtub, and finally a more formal lecture by the Renaissance Society’s Hamza Walker.