Standouts from Frieze Los Angeles 2022Author:Lindsey Shook
Frieze Los Angeles was back with a vengeance this year. The fair—in its new location in Beverly Hills—was larger and attracted more exhibitors than ever before. The attendance was high and the sales were brisk, most of which happened well before the fair even opened to its VIP audience on Thursday February 17. Galleries brought a wide sweeping range of works to appeal to every taste but there was a definite emphasis on materiality and process from the artists. We saw more collage, quilting, ceramics, layering and beading than ever before and even pure paintings were often composed with an emphasis on texture. It felt like the perfect theme to explore for a return to the real-life art fair rather than the online viewing room experience of the height of the pandemic (though the fair was also accompanied by an ‘OVR’ for those unable to make the trip to experience the fair in 3-D). Here, are a few pieces that drew us in further.
City of Walls, Empire of Glass I, 2022 – (Collage with Japanese paper and watercolor paint on canvas; 72.01″ x 84.02″)
Maria Berrio, the Brooklyn-based Colombian-born artist was the subject of a solo presentation at Victoria Miro Gallery of London and Venice. The artist, whose recent exhibition at the Norton Museum of Fine Arts in Palm Beach was breathtaking, works in collage and watercolor. These brightly colored canvases made for a stand-out booth and it is no surprise that all were sold on arrival.
TBC, 2021-2022 – (Ceramic, glaze, glass fragments; 24.02″ x 22.05″ x 22.05″)
In keeping with the tactile theme, the ceramics of Brian Rochefort have made an appearance at every major fair of late. At once incredibly beautiful and sort of menacing, they almost implore the viewer to touch the richly varied surfaces. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.
Fill Them Spirit, 2021 – (Oil on canvas; 62.99″ x 83.86″)
London based gallery Stephen Friedman brought a solo presentation of the artist Denzil Forrester. The artist, in his 60s, who was on hand at the fair and very lively, has been hailed by artist Peter Doig as an incredibly exciting artist and will be the feature of a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami in December, in time for Art Basel Miami. He is a Grenadian-British artist whose works reflect the nightclub culture of London in the 1980s and the reggae scene. This work takes its title from Bob Marley & The Wailers’ song (I’m Gonna) Put It On.
Labor of Love, 2022 – (Stucco, neon, ceramic, acrylic paint, spray paint, latex house paint, family archive photos, ceramic tile and led signs on panel; Acrylic on cardboard; 60″ x 120″)
Patrick Martinez’s work, done in collaboration with Jay Lynn Gomez, was the standout of the Focus L.A. section of Frieze and was shown at Charlie James Gallery. Both artists are L.A.-based and very focused on this sense of place. Gomez, who created the figure at the right, highlights the invisible service culture of the wealthy city. Martinez uses as his materials found objects from the city’s detritus to create what he calls abstract landscapes.
Wall II, 2009 – (Glazed stoneware; 9.49″ x 10.24″ x 5.24″)
Milan and New York-based gallery Kauffman Repetto presented a booth of two artists, both of whom will be featured in this year’s Venice Biennale, where they will be representing their respective countries. Simone Fattal, the Syrian-born artist working in Lebanon creates ceramics that address both current and historic socio-politic concerns.
Tilted Head (White Shirt), 2021 – (Oil on canvas; 40″ x 30″)
Amoako Boafo needs no introduction at this point. The Ghanaian-born artist has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the art market and is included in some of the most important collections, both private and institutional, around the world. This work, shown at the L.A. gallery Roberts Projects, who represents the artist, was a particularly lyrical example of his signature portraits. The flesh of his figures are always represented with a heavy, brushy application of paint which stand in contrast to the smooth backgrounds.
Hawks gawkin at the silk fabrics when I’m walkin, 2022 – (Oil and dye on canvas; 60″ x 72.01″)
Troy Lamarr Chew II’s textile works were the focus of a two artist exhibition at the L.A.-based Parker Gallery. The artist juxtaposes traditional textiles from Sierrra Leone with painted figures straight out of contemporary urban American life. This work belongs to his Out of the Mud series, in which he tears the textiles to appear as though they are revealing his highly realistic figures underneath.
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