A look at the 2011 Los Angeles Art Show

February 11, 2011 at 2:14 pm 6 comments

In January, two large commercial* art shows took place in Los Angeles: the LA Art Show and Art Los Angeles Contemporary. I visited both, and will share some of my snapshots and thoughts here. First up: the LA Art Show, the more traditional of the two.

LA Art Show photo by Barbara J Carter

The LA Art Show brings together galleries from all over the world, showing a broad range of visual art from old masters to the work of living artists. This year, Joan Miro was much in evidence, along with Chagall and Picasso (the usual suspects of the “old guard”). There were also plenty of California Impressionists as usual.

More interesting to me was the work of contemporary, living artists. We got to meet one such artist in person: Tony Abeyta. We enjoyed viewing several of his works on display in Blue Rain Gallery’s booth:

Blue Rain Gallery's booth at 2011 LA Art Show, photo by Barbara J Carter

Here he is standing in front of one of his paintings:

Tony Abeyta at the LA Art Show 2011, photo by Barbara J Carter

The painting is “Animal Tamer,” 68×54 inches, priced $16,500 and offered through the Blue Rain Gallery of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

If that’s too much for you, they do offer more modestly priced works of his, like this one:

Tony Abeyta painting at the LA Art Show 2011, photo by Barbara J Carter Untitled work in charcoal and ink on paper on canvas by Tony Abeyta, 30×30 inches, $4200 from Blue Rain Gallery.

We visited the show on a weekday, which allowed us to enjoy the art without the crowding typical on the weekend. It also allowed me to snap shots of the show without too many bodies in the way. But it was by no means empty.

2011 LA Art Show, photo by Barbara J Carter

2011 LA Art Show, photo by Barbara J Carter

2011 LA Art Show, photo by Barbara J Carter

There’s an interesting gradient in the art on display from one end of the exhibit hall to the other. At the far left side the galleries show old masters and California Impressionists (collectively I call ’em the “dead artists.” It’s a widely acknowledged fact amongst artists that the best way to increase the price of your art is to die.). To the far right you’ll find excruciatingly avant-garde conceptual works, with a heavy emphasis on contemporary works from China and Korea (most of which tend to be heavily political). Somewhere down the middle is where I’m at my happiest, amongst the works that try neither to shock nor soothe excessively, but which I find visually intriguing and offer nuanced messages.

At the more traditional end, I found some Pointillist pieces that I liked, by artists I’d never heard of. I’m rather fond of Pointillism, since my own paintings draw heavily on that tradition. I’m always excited to learn about other artists who painted in the Pointillist style. (Yes, they’re always dead artists. Sigh.)

Sandzen painting, photo by Barbara J Carter Sven Birger Sandzen (1871-1954), “Untitled (Moonrise)” c. 1914, oil on canvas, 12×16 inches. Offered by David Cook Galleries of Denver, Colorado. Price not posted.

Sheets painting, photo by Barbara J Carter Millard Sheets (1907-1989), “Wild Horses” c. 1970, watercolor, 22×24 inches, $28,000 offered by The Redfern Gallery, Laguna Beach, California. As my friend said, “Pointillism and ponies,” a combination guaranteed to grab my attention!

Some of the more contemporary work that I found exciting included angular, geometric paintings by Siddharth Parasnis:

Parasnis painting, photo by Barbara J Carter Siddharth Parasnis, “Hometown #25,” 2010, oil on canvas, 48×48 inches, $11,000 offered by Sue Greenwood Fine Art of Laguna Beach, California. (The gallery’s website appears to be down.)

And I enjoyed this intriguing construction of thread and paint, which looks suspiciously like curly black hair (but I was told it’s definitely not hair):

Jiang Xin painting, photo by Barbara J Carter Jiang Xin, “Deconstruction,” 2010, mixed media, 59×59 inches, offered by the Proud Gallery of Beijing, China. No price posted.

Next up: Art Los Angeles Contemporary.

*I’m calling these shows “commercial” to distinguish between them and the kinds of art shows I typically do where individual artists represent themselves. The two types of shows occupy very different spheres of the art world. You’d be hard pressed to find someone in one of the big commercial shows who even is aware that our little street shows exist!


Entry filed under: Art Appreciation, LA Art Show, Shows.

New year, new plans, new art Rambling through Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2011


  • 1. leslie (crookedstamper)  |  February 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I’d like to know what makes a “small” painting (30×30) worth thousands of dollars. That is so hard for me to get my brain around.

    • 2. barbarajcarter  |  February 17, 2011 at 3:02 am

      Hey “Crook,” thanks for stopping by! (Leslie and I know each other through Twitter.)

      The short answer is that prices are set by “the market.” If there’s sufficient demand for a particular artist’s work, the price can get quite high. It’s all a continuum, from the hobby-artist whose paintings sell for a few dollars, all the way up to Picasso whose works go at auction for millions.

      Most of us fall somewhere between the two extremes, heh.

      The real trick is figuring out where you fall on the spectrum, and then try to inch your way up!

  • 3. sadanielart  |  March 28, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Hey Barbara

    Discovered your site and have been admiring you’re work and have been inspired as well. I am a return to the arts after more than 20 yes since I was a kid type, and finding my way.

    I live in a small town, and think if would be cool to be in a large area and have large art festivals. For now I would have to travel. Will have to see what local fairs and what not are about

    Take care


  • 4. suzanne perlmutter  |  April 1, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Barb, How is the art work? I’ve been enjoying your posts, and find that you have been so progressive these last few years. Would enjoy seeing your more recent works.

  • 5. The 2012 Los Angeles Art Fair Season « Barbara J Carter  |  January 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    […] A look at the 2011 Los Angeles Art Show […]

  • […] my previous post, I talked about the more traditional art fair. Here we’ll turn to Art Los Angeles […]

Barbara J Carter

I'm an artist. I make paintings with dots.

I work in acrylic paint, in a couple of distinct styles: landscapes and abstracts.

Native to California, I've lived elsewhere and only recently returned to my home state. I now live in Los Angeles.

I mostly show my art in outdoor festivals in California. I also occasionally show my work in art galleries or open studio events. You can see an up-to-date list of upcoming shows on my website (click here).

I invite you to sign up to receive my free email newsletter, in which I list my upcoming shows and talk about my latest work. I send it irregularly, a few times a year.

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Follow me on Twitter: @barbarajcarter

Why I call my landscapes neo-Pointillist landscape paintings

A bunch of my abstract dot paintings

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