Frieze Los Angeles made a spectacular return to the city this February, thrilling art enthusiasts with its spectacular turnout at the newly expanded Santa Monica Airport. This edition was the largest yet, boasting over 120 galleries from an impressive 22 countries worldwide.
The event welcomed crowds of excited visitors and featured works from renowned names in the industry, including some never-before-seen pieces that left lasting impressions on attendees. With its growing international presence, Frieze has become one of the premier art fairs in Los Angeles and continues to bring together art enthusiasts from near and far.
Collectors and museums proved eager to acquire art at opening day February 16th, with some dealers reporting stunning success. Gagosian confirmed that all of their works – nine pieces by Rick Lowe ranging from paintings to works on paper – were snapped up within the fair’s first hours, while Victoria Miro reported similar results after selling 18 Doron Langberg creations under $80K each. This year’s edition has truly exceeded expectations.
Entrance to the Frieze Los Angeles Art Fair
My role as an art advisor and an official tour guide for Frieze Los Angeles art fair was to offer visitors a bespoke experience, taking them on a journey of discovery through the art fair and enabling them to explore the best highlights it had to offer. In addition, I tailored my tours to each collector, curating an artwork selection that spoke directly to their personal tastes and interests. The result was a truly profound experience, as every client left with a deeper appreciation for the art on display and a newfound understanding of the role that art plays in our lives.
My clients were absolutely amazed by the stunning artworks at the show. From mesmerizing abstract oil paintings to detailed sculptural installations, they were truly astonished of the captivating pieces I had presented. There was a diverse selection of styles and mediums, with some works exhibiting bold colors and shapes that evoked powerful emotions, while others focused more on the technical details and craftsmanship behind their creation. Through this variety of pieces, my clients were able to appreciate the immense skill and talent of each artist as well as discover preferences for different forms of expression.
On my tours through the fair, we have had the opportunity to visit many galleries, each with its own unique offerings. I would like to show you some highlights.
Artist Alex Israel with other art fair guests. Image: (c) Art Axcess
David Kordansky Gallery
David Kordansky Gallery’s debut with Chase Hall saw unprecedented success as the booth to the show sold out within a matter of hours – though the actual amounts of each sale remain in secrecy.
Through his paintings and sculptures, Chase Hall sheds light on the celebratory and traumatic stories embedded within American history. By intricately responding to social, visual, and economic realms – each of which intersect with identity, hybridity, power dynamics, and personal freedom – Hall creates visually stunning works that are as much a product of their tangible elements as they are rooted in an unwavering representation.
Hall’s paintings and sculptures, crafted with a technique involving coffee beans, acrylic pigments on fabric, are a remarkable blend of concept and closeness. The coffee carries immense weight with its history in the commodification of an African-native plant stretching back centuries. But Hall uses it to create stunning visuals, brown tones and engravings that truly emphasize the delicacy of his workmanship.
Chase Hall at David Kordansky Gallery booth. Image: courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery.
Blum & Poe
Blum & Poe gallery presentation showcased a curated selection of artworks from esteemed artists. Through these pieces, audiences were invited to be part of an experience that captures and celebrates the breadth of creativity on view.
A painting from the acclaimed German-born, Los Angeles-based artist Friedrich Kunath was among the artworks on display.
Sometimes I Just Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit., 2021-2022
His artwork delicately oscillates the seriousness of everyday life with a hint of melancholic humor.
Friedrich developed an artistic style that blended German Romanticism with western popular culture while also incorporating still life images, cartoon imagery, commercial illustration elements, and nature photography references into each piece, acting as visual metaphors for his personal journey from Germany to Los Angeles. His works are often poetic yet poignant, touching on themes such as love, hope, longing and despair through vivid imagery.
At Gallery Hyundai, the unique and captivating abstract creations of one of South Korea’s most celebrated female artists, Yun-Hee Toh, were on display. Spanning between her studios in Seoul and Berlin, Toh creates pieces characterized by a unique and captivating combination of harmonious and dissonant elements, with numerous layers blending primary colors and monotones as well as materials created with masses of vibrant color.During her recent stay in Seoul, Yun-Hee Toh took inspiration from the coldness, sunlight and darkness of winter. Her sensitive observations have led to sensual works that appear both submerged and buoyant, cold and warm, heavy yet luminous.
In order to quickly capture fleeting images before they vanish, the artist applies a variety of tools – her hands, brushes, broken brush edges, glasses or hammers – transforming traditional painting into dynamic gestures of feeling, rubbing, dabbing and slashing paint. The juxtaposition and accumulation of masses of paint conveys internal energy and creates a whole new world of abstractions that expands towards sculpture.
Yun-Hee Toh, Untitled, 2023. Image: courtesy of Gallery Hyundai.
Gallery Victoria Miro proudly presented a solo exhibit of new paintings by Doron Langberg.
Doron Langberg’s figurative works burst with luminous color and celebrate the physicality of touch. From queer love to wildflowers and sweeping landscapes, his art is a vivid exploration of themes and experiences, connecting them through a deeply felt use of paint. With his work, Langberg intends to explore the multifaceted nature of relationships and our connection to one another. His grand vision on relationships, sexuality, nature, family, and self highlights how painting can both portray and generate queer subjectivity.
Doron Langberg, Hibiscus, 2022. Image: courtesy of Victoria Miro gallery
Various Small Fires
Various Small Fires displayed a joint exhibition of Diedrick Brackens and Dyani White Hawk. The show draws from the artists’ past, their cultures, craft traditions, and even social injustices. Both presented brand-new pieces for the occasion and imagined the booth display together – all stemming from their friendship that began during the Joan Mitchell Center residency of 2016.
Dyani White Hawk is an accomplished contemporary artist and curator whose work brilliantly intertwines her multifaceted heritage. With techniques inspired by both modern abstract painting and traditional Lakota art, she creates stunning visuals that reflect the influence of her Western American upbringing as well as the artistic expressions of indigenous cultures.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, artist Diedrick Brackens has captivated the art world with his intricate weaves that seamlessly blend African American and queer identities. Taking inspiration from weaving techniques across the planet, he creates unique sketches from photographs found online or self-portraits to produce stunning tapestries of incomparable detail.
Dyani White Hawk and Diedrick Brackens at Various Small Fires gallery booth. Image: courtesy of Various Small Fires.
Tiwani Contemporary opened a captivating solo exhibition showcasing the thought-provoking works of London-based artist Michaela Yearwood-Dan.
Michaela Yearwood-Dans’ artistic output deviates from standard notions of collective identity and history, creating a powerful dialogue around the subjectivity and individuality that underscores self-determination. Her work draws inspiration from an extensive repertoire of cultural signifiers – blackness, healing rituals, flora, texting acrylic nails, gold hoops, carnival culture, to name just a few – but she isn’t bound by them. Instead, she uses these as tools in her mission to defy narrow expectations while celebrating her unique experience. Through this reinterpretation, Michaela crafts a movement free of clichés or confining accessions.
Artist Michaela Yearwood-Dan having conversation at the booth of Tiwani Contemporary Gallery. Image: (c) Art Axcess
Nicola Vassell Gallery gave us a look into the past with ‘The Things She Knows’, an unprecedented series of rare works from photographer Ming Smith.
Ming Smith was a revolutionary force in the art world. She became the first African-American female photographer whose work was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This trailblazer’s journey spanned over fifty years. She captured powerful images of iconic twentieth-century figures in her signature style – radiating with complexity, energy, and the spirit of free expression. Her keen eye for beauty enabled viewers to see everyday moments through new eyes – boldly defying convention along the way.
Ming Smith, Ed Love and Tina Turner, 1984. Image: courtesy of Nicola Vassel gallery.
Gagosian proudly presented a stunning solo exhibition of the captivating work by Rick Lowe. His remarkable pieces took on important issues like police brutality, homelessness, poverty and war with his “anti-paintings” that blended aesthetics and functionality from protest signage to spark meaningful conversations in collaboration with social justice groups such as community centers, rallies and conferences.
The centerpiece work was Rotation (Revolution) (2023). This monumental 12-by-27 foot painting examines how rural and urban development has shaped line, color, and space.
David Zwirner Gallery introduced a powerful display of works by Dana Schutz, an acclaimed artist whose masterful paintings and sculptures explore the contemporary human experience. With her unique combination of figurative elements and abstraction, she creates enigmatic yet expressive visuals that demonstrate the complexities we face today. Her figures find themselves in enigmatic situations ripe for interpretation as we take on their perspectives and gain insight into modern times.