Posts filed under ‘Art Los Angeles Contemporary’

Art LA Contemporary 2012

Rounding out the lineup of major art fairs in Los Angeles this January, we come at last to the outlier: Art LA Contemporary. Unlike the other shows which were held downtown, this one took place in Santa Monica. It’s a long haul from downtown to Santa Monica, and there’s no public transportation between the two. (You gotta have a car. It’s Los Angeles.)

Art LA Contemporary, having the word “Contemporary” in the name, is aiming for the bleeding edge of cutting edge art. The artists aren’t just alive, many of them are barely out of their teens. It’s conceptual art, mostly. Which means I’m going to take a pretty jaundiced view going in, because frankly most conceptual art comes off as childish and ridiculous to me. Not all, but a goodly percentage. Still, I enjoyed last year’s show well enough to return this year. Buried amongst all the pretentiousness is the occasional gem, and that’s what I like to concentrate on.

Let’s take a look.

Art LA Contemporary 2012, photo by Barbara J Carter

The show isn’t huge, and it’s laid out in a very easy-to-understand grid. You can go through it pretty quickly and find the few pieces you really like.

Holton Rower, poured paint Holton Rower, poured paint over square forms, shown by The Hole, New York.

I had previously seen this video showing how the artist pours the paint, so it was fun to see the finished product in person. This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas. Simple but elegant. And I do love all the dazzling colors.

light sculpture Light sculpture by Ryan Perez (according to commenter Brett Schultz), shown by Yautepec Gallery, Mexico City.

Again I’m drawn to the simple idea, well executed. It’s just wood and fluorescent tubes, but this piece made a dramatic statement. It is admittedly a little reminiscent of Dan Flavin (an artist known for his work with fluorescent light tubes) but I think this is distinctive enough not to be derivative. I’m sorry I don’t know who the artist is, there was no sign in the booth and the gallery’s website doesn’t help. Thanks to commenter Brett Schultz for identifying the artist. (Too bad there’s no photo of the piece on his website.)

At another booth, I found myself snapping photos of several pieces by several different artists, rather than my usual one (or none!). This was the booth of Quint Contemporary Art in La Jolla, California (near San Diego). Any time I see a high concentration of work I like, I figure this is a gallery I should pay closer attention to. Here are the pieces that caught my eye:

Ryan McGinness, Women Parts series Ryan McGinness, Women Parts series, acrylic on paper, 30×22 inches, shown by Quint Contemporary Art.

Thomas Glassford, Espejo 1, anodized aluminum Thomas Glassford, Espejo 1, 2011, anodized aluminum, 32×42 inches, shown by Quint Contemporary Art.

The more I looked at this piece, the more I liked it. You could see the different kinds of industrial aluminum extrusions used: threshold, drip edging, siding, and other common building materials. The varying textures and colors are playful, which I appreciate. I like art that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Peter Alexander, Royal Blue Drip Peter Alexander, Royal Blue Drip, 2011, polyester resin, 24×18 inches, shown by Quint Contemporary Art.

I enjoyed the simple yet luscious sensuality of this piece. It looked a little like slumped glass, thick and heavy yet floating slightly away from the wall. There’s no way Royal Blue Drip is the right title for this piece. I’m guessing Royal Blue Drip sold and was taken down and replaced by this similar green piece (probably called Kelly Green Drip or somesuch) and no one bothered to fix the wall label.

Kim MacConnel Kim MacConnel, enamel on board, shown by Quint Contemporary Art.

I could just sit and stare at these all day. Love!

Continuing my stroll through the show, here are some more pieces that caught my eye:

Zoi Gaitanidou Zoi Gaitanidou, textile work, shown by David Castillo Gallery, Miami, Florida.

artist unknown Unknown artist, shown by Altman Siegel, San Francisco, California.

Sergio Sister Sérgio Sister, Caixa series, 15x10x3 inches each, shown by Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York. Not dissimilar to the previous artist, eh?

Andrew Schoultz, Melting Gold Flag (Made in China) Andrew Schoultz, Melting Gold Flag (Made in China), 2011, gold leaf, acrylic, and molten gold fluid on stretched American flag, 30×54 inches, shown by Jerome Zodo Contemporary, Milan. Sold, but no price shown.

Marco Maggi Marco Maggi, cut paper in slide mounts, 2×2 inches each, shown by Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York. These utterly fascinated me. The intricate precision of each tiny cut had to be seen to be believed. He must use a very sharp surgical scalpel to make these. Click on the photo for a bigger version.

Marco Maggi More by Marco Maggi. Because they’re so amazing!

Frances Richardson, detail Frances Richardson, 010611, colored pencil on paper, detail. Shown by Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles. Full view below:

Frances Richardson, 010611 Frances Richardson, 010611, 2011, colored pencil on paper, 19×26 inches.

Mike Pratt, Redred Mike Pratt, Redred, 2011, oil, enamel and resin on canvas, 83×55 inches, shown by Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK.

Georgi Tushev Georgi Tushev, Strange Attractor series, oil painting with embedded iron filings, shown by Fitzroy Gallery, New York. You can see more photos of this series here. I was fascinated by the dimensionality this artist achieved with such simple materials. He apparently uses a powerful magnet to draw the wet paint up into these spiky, mounded shapes, which retain their shape as the paint dries.

The prize for most colorful wall at the show goes to the same gallery, Fitzroy Gallery of New York, for the outside of their booth:

Fitzroy Gallery booth at Art LA Contemporary 2012

And the prize for the biggest paintings of… nothing in particular, but in REALLY bright colors and cheerful, goofy shapes goes to Ed Moses shown by ACE Gallery, Los Angeles:

Ed Moses at ACE Gallery

Ed Moses is turning 86 this year, and still paints every day. A good example for us all, I think.

You may have noticed that none of the art had prices. There were no price tags at this show. Apparently being cutting edge means avoiding all trappings of commerce. We’ll have none of that filthy capitalism here, we’re above all that!

Never mind the foolishness, it was a fun show. Totally worth the $6 Groupon admission price. Thank you Groupon!


February 10, 2012 at 4:50 am 4 comments

The 2012 Los Angeles Art Fair Season

January in Los Angeles means art fair season. Los Angeles may not be Miami (not even close) but in 2012 suddenly the big international art fairs in Los Angeles grew and multiplied. Are we witnessing a renaissance for art in America’s second-largest city, or a desperate last gasp before the LA art market goes belly-up? Time will tell.

Entrance to 2012 LA Art Fair, photo by Barbara J Carter

Here’s the lineup:

The LA Art Show, held in the downtown Convention Center, got so big this year that it declared itself “three shows in one.” Overstating the case, but it certainly expanded. Official website.

The brand-new (to Los Angeles, anyway) Affordable Art Fair made its debut just across the street at the LA Live venue. I liked being able to easily walk between the shows. Official website.

Art LA Contemporary returns this year to Santa Monica. Too bad there’s no easy way to get between the downtown shows and this one, but it’s worth the trip anyway. Official website.

2012 Affordable Art Fair entrance, photo by Barbara J Carter

By the end of this weekend (Jan 19-22, 2012) I’ll have been to all of these shows. I will post about them all, with pictures and commentary.

Note: I am highly biased. I don’t love all art. There are a few genres and styles that I am drawn to, and many more that I don’t care for. My reporting will emphasize what I enjoyed in each show. The good news is every show had something I liked. That is what I’ll be sharing here.

As I post about each show, I’ll put the links here. (Or, you can subscribe to my blog and get the posts automatically! See the right sidebar for subscription options.)

1. Los Angeles Fine Art Show 2012

2. LA Art Show 2012

3. The Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair 2012

4. Art LA Contemporary 2012

2012 LA Art Fair, photo by Barbara J Carter

I’ve done this before. You can read about my visits to previous years’ shows here:

A look at the 2011 Los Angeles Art Show

Rambling through Art LA Contemporary 2011

The 2010 Los Angeles Art Show

The 2009 Los Angeles Art Show

The 2008 shows

January 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm 2 comments

Rambling through Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2011

At long last, my promised second post about the two big commercial art fairs held in Los Angeles each year.

In my previous post, I talked about the more traditional art fair. Here we’ll turn to Art Los Angeles Contemporary, the more contemporary of the two. (In other words, most of the artists in this one are still alive.)

Actually, there are more than two fairs now. The big contemporary art fair in Los Angeles in January used to be ArtLA, but at some point it moved both its location and time (it is now held downtown in the fall). I attended ArtLA back in January of 2008 and found it quite lacking. The work was crude and sophomoric and the crowd full of annoying posers. Not surprisingly I didn’t return until this year. Or so I thought.

In January 2011 when I attended a big contemporary art show being held in ArtLA’s old location at ArtLA’s old time, you can imagine my confusion. I thought it was the same show. But boy did it look different! Sophisticated, edgy, interesting, and polished. The work shone, and the crowds were grownups. I was amazed. Could this really be the same show? It was so much improved! (It turns out: no, it’s not the same show. Ha.)

Right, we’ve cleared that up. Whew!

This was Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2011:

hall shot 1

hall shot 2

Per my usual MO, I attended during the week to avoid the big weekend crowds.

To lay claim to the title of “contemporary,” incomprehensible live performances in the halls are de rigueur:

performers at the fair

A male and female performer, faces obscured, rolled around silently on the floor. Had the crowds been thicker it might have obstructed traffic, but we were hardly inconvenienced. At one point, the male rubbed an iron up and down the female’s legs while she jumped up and down and waved her hands over her head (photo below). It’s all very deep and meaningful, I’m sure.

live performers ironing

One of the galleries held a live performance in their booth every hour. It also consisted of a male and female, but these two simply held static poses for several minutes. They were in an elaborate mini-stage evoking the Garden of Eden. Adam groped Eve, while Eve considered whether to pluck fruit or dollar bills from the tree:

Adam and Eve

The best part of this performance was how big a crowd it drew, and how long everyone stood around looking at the tableau. This performance did interfere with traffic, blocking the row and spilling into the booth opposite.

Said booth happened to belong to Kalfayan Galleries from Athens, Greece (they were very philosophical about the periodic inundations). They were showing work by artist Antonis Donef, who collages pages from antique books and then hand-alters the line illustrations. The results are intricate and intriguing, inviting close study. I indulged for quite some time.

Each piece was quite large, several feet across:

Antonis Donef, full view

Here’s a detail view:


I especially like the creature popping out of the roof at center, peeking up the lady’s voluminous (and enhanced) skirt. (Click image for a closer view.)

Asya Geisberg Gallery from New York had some work that struck me as pretty interesting:

Angelina Gualdoni Untitled (Green Stripes) by Angelina Gualdoni, 50×47 inches, 2010.

Todd Kelly Work by Todd Kelly.

After spending thousands of dollars for the booth space at the fair, airfare from New York, meals and hotel, there was apparently very little left for wall tags:

wall tag

In contrast, some galleries pre-printed their wall tags with all sorts of information (but hardly ever price, unfortunately). The most elaborate were mounted on foamcore:

wall tag with actual information Now that’s a good wall tag!

But I digress. Back to the art.

Here are some paintings by Gary Lang, shown at ACE Gallery (Beverly Hills). I had seen these pieces at the gallery, but I was thrilled to get a second look. I love his work. The bigger round painting is some 10 feet across or so. Enormous. Just moving that thing around requires some serious engineering. (I had to ask.)

Gary Lang round paintings

Here’s one of his plaid paintings, which I also greatly admire:

Gary Lang plaid painting


detail of Gary Lang painting

Some more huge paintings at ACE (artists unknown, sorry):

ACE Gallery

More galleries! Here’s “The Company” (Los Angeles) with color-coordinated 2D and 3D art:

The Company

I really liked this big orange and green painting shown by Steve Turner Contemporary of Los Angeles, but a quick scour of their website yielded no information about the artist.

Steve Turner Contemporary

Here’s 1301PE (Los Angeles). I particularly liked the big blue and yellow painting on the back wall:


I saw more than one fishnet. That officially makes it a trend. Here are some nets I saw:

Honor Fraser Work shown by Honor Fraser of Los Angeles. (Click to see larger version, net is in gold-colored piece on the right.)

Paul Heyer Work by Paul Heyer, shown by the Night Gallery. This piece is made from the wooden backside of a painting, sans canvas, filled with hardened resin and overlaid with a fishnet adorned with mussel shells. The wall it hangs on is painted dark purple everywhere except behind the artwork, where it’s white. Tricksy stuff.

A note about the Night Gallery. I couldn’t figure this place out. Speaking with the folks staffing the booth didn’t help. It has some kind of identity crisis, or maybe it’s trying way too hard to be obscure and mysterious. Location? Hours? (Night only? Really?) Is it an art gallery? What’s the relation with Paperchase Press? Why is the website a .ca domain (Canada) when it’s clearly in Los Angeles? I don’t know.


Soo Kim Plucking Up Courage by Soo Kim, hand-cut chromogenic print and acrylic paint, 26×26 inches (framed), 2011. Shown by Angles Gallery, Los Angeles. (If this seems vaguely familiar, that’s because this is the source of the “good” wall tag I showed earlier.)

Also at Angles Gallery, I was highly intrigued by the next piece. I like its rhythmic, organic feeling. I thought it was a painting until I read the wall tag. Thank goodness for good wall tags!

Ori Gersht Floating Petals by Ori Gersht, inkjet print (of a photograph), 51×80 inches, 2010.

We’ll finish off with these striking giant cross-stitch pieces by Liz Craft. What an appropriate name!

Liz Craft Mixed-media art by Liz Craft, shown by Patrick Painter, Inc. of Santa Monica. These pieces are 4 feet across each. That’s some thick “thread!”

Good stuff. Definitely gotta go back next year.

May 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm 4 comments

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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Why I call my landscapes neo-Pointillist landscape paintings

A bunch of my abstract dot paintings

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