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 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair 2012

The year 2012 brought a brand-new art fair to the city of Los Angeles: the Affordable Art Fair.

“Affordable” is defined here as $10,000 or less for each work of art. If you were paying attention to the prices at the LA Art Show and the LA Fine Art Show, you’ll realize that restricting an entire show to works under $10,000 is a rather novel concept in art fairs. (Mind you, the kinds of shows I exhibit in are typically way below this price range.)

The Affordable Art Fair is already a big hit in New York and a couple other places. I hope it becomes a regular show here; Los Angeles could use a few more art fairs, especially fun ones like this.

To get to the Affordable Art Fair, all I had to do was walk out of the Convention Center (where the LA Art Shows were held) and cross one street:

street view, 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair

…and then climb a bunch of rickety stairs to get to the rooftop deck of LA Live, where a ginormous tent was pitched:

2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair entrance

It hardly felt like a tent inside. Sturdy walls, bright lights and carpeting made it very welcoming:

2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair interior

Some of the booths I liked best were right by the entrance, so we’ll start there:

2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair booths

The first booth was the Conrad Wilde Gallery from Tucson, Arizona. I loved just about everything they had on display, including this gnarly wall sculpture (visible in the photo above):

Jessica Drenk, "Cerebral Mapping," books, wax and glue, 100x42 inches. Jessica Drenk, “Cerebral Mapping,” 2012, books, wax and glue, 100×42 inches, $10,000. Conrad Wilde Gallery. It says it’s made from “books” but it looks more like “strips of pages from books” to me. Quibbling, I suppose. More work from the same booth:

Robert Moya, "Untitled 2," "Untitled 6," and "Untitled 3," glue on panel, 14x14 to 24x24 inches. Robert Moya, “Untitled 2,” “Untitled 6,” and “Untitled 3,” glue on panel, 14×14 to 24×24 inches, $950 – $1800. Conrad Wilde Gallery.

Joanne Mattera, "Silk Road 125," encaustic on panel, 12x12 inches. Joanne Mattera, “Silk Road 125,” 2009, encaustic on panel, 12×12 inches, $2400 (between “Silk Road 120” and “73” above and below). Conrad Wilde Gallery. This is an artist I highly regard; I read her art blog religiously and have heard her speak publicly before. I even have a signed copy of her book about encaustic painting, a medium I greatly enjoy looking at and hope to someday learn.

Conrad Wilde Gallery at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair Pieces by Jessica Drenk (left), John Dempcy (center: “Vent Life,” 2010, acrylic on panel, 36×36 inches, $3200), and an artist (right) whose name I failed to note, sorry. Conrad Wilde Gallery.

Miles Conrad, "Bioslice Pink," "Bioslice Green," and "Bioslice Orange," 2006, encaustic on panel, 10x10x3 inches. Miles Conrad, “Bioslice Pink,” “Bioslice Green,” and “Bioslice Orange,” 2006, encaustic on panel, 10x10x3 inches, $600 each. Conrad Wilde Gallery.

Clearly if I ever find myself in Tucson I need to visit the Conrad Wilde Gallery! I just loved their display.

Moving on, we suddenly find ourselves in the Australian outback:

Cicada Gallery at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair The Cicada Aboriginal Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.

OK, the gallery itself is located in staid Brisbane, but the artwork is produced by Aboriginal Australians (the native peoples) many of whom live in the outback. I find their traditional art inspirational and exciting to look at, so this booth was a real treat for me. Here are a few highlights:

Judy Martin, "Ngayuku Ngura (My Country)," acrylic on linen, 48x24 inches. Judy Martin, “Ngayuku Ngura (My Country),” acrylic on linen, 48×24 inches, $2500. Cicada Gallery.

Cicada Gallery display at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair A selection of works from the Cicada Gallery. Upper left: Yinarupa Nangala, “Mukula Rockhole,” 18×15 inches, $1950. Upper right: Matthew West Tjupurrula, “Ngarru,” 18×15 inches, $1700. Middle left: Maisie Campbell, “My Mother’s Country,” 18×15 inches, $990. Middle right: Wintjiya Napaltjarri, “Pinari Rockhole,” 18×15 inches, $1850. Bottom: Charlie Tjapangati, “Pirrinya,” 12×24 inches, $1600. All paintings acrylic on linen.

Cicada Aboriginal Art Gallery, 3 artists' works on display at the 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair Left: Wintjiya Napaltjarri, “Pinari Rockhole,” $1950. Middle: Charlie Tjapangati, “Pirrinya,” $1440. Right: Kayi Kayi Nampitjinpa, “Ngaminya Rockhole,” $1850. All: acrylic on linen, 34×11 inches, from Cicada Gallery.

Returning to the U.S. we pay a quick call on Artspace Warehouse, a European gallery with a relatively new storefront in Los Angeles. The gallery’s focus is affordable art, dovetailing nicely with the theme of the Affordable Art Fair. My friend Barbara Kolo‘s works, the two blue paintings in the center of the photo below, were featured in the booth alongside works by several other artists. At least one of Barbara’s pieces sold at the fair, which makes sense because her work is lovely (and she uses dots, which I think is fabulous!). Congratulations to Barbara, Artspace Warehouse, and the lucky buyer!

Artspace Warehouse at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair Artspace Warehouse, Los Angeles, California.

Meandering further through the fair, I enjoyed this visual feast from the Accola Griefen Gallery from New York, a painting hung on a custom-painted wall:

Accola Griefen Gallery at the 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair

Here are a few more pieces that caught my eye as I wandered hither and yon:

Peter Arvidson, "Village Greens," oil on canvas. Peter Arvidson, “Village Greens,” oil on canvas, 36×36 inches(?), $4000. Offered by Rice/Polak Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Mauro Soares, "Vincent," acrylic, 42x42 inches. Mauro Soares, “Vincent,” acrylic, 42×42 inches, $10,000. Offered by Ward-Nasse Gallery, New York. I’ve seen his work before, at the Los Angeles Art Show in 2010. I still love his technique but wish he’d find more interesting subject matter to cover. But his skill is undeniable.

Teresa Stanley, 3 pieces, acrylic & resin on panel Teresa Stanley, 3 pieces, acrylic & resin on panel. Largest piece: “Road Map No. 2,” 42×42 inches, $4900. Offered by Anelle Gandelman Fine Art, Larchmont, New York.

Anat Shiftan & Andrea Bonfils Works by Anat Shiftan & Andrea Bonfils shown by Anelle Gandelman Fine Art. Left: Anat Shiftan, one “Bronze” and 8 “Celadon” pieces, all porcelain, 8×8 inches, $500 each. Right: works by Andrea Bonfils, “Momentum,” 2 panels above (crow in tree branches), each panel 40×20 inches, $4800 for the pair, and “Colored Woods” below, 30×40 inches, $4200, all oil and encaustic on panel. Yeah, I have a thing for encaustic.

At the back of the tent were tables and chairs which I gratefully made use of (and the obligatory Wolfgang Puck cafe, which I studiously ignored).

Seating at the 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair

While resting, I noticed a display of, well, something strange and interesting. I needed to see what it was. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be uber-geeky “maker” stuff, a DIY 3-d plotter called “The Replicator” by MakerBot. They had several of the things set up, whirring away, making 3-d stuff out of molded plastic… very very slowly.

Replicator by MakerBot at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair The upper box is the “Replicator,” which you can buy for under $2000. (The lower box is just a display case.) Considering the technology involved, I’m impressed it’s so cheap. Remember when 3D prototyping was cutting edge technology? Now it’s something almost anyone can have at home. Amazing.

Here’s a closer view:

MakerBot replicating a plastic bust at the 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair You feed a spool of plastic (it looks like the stuff that goes in a weedwhacker, and comes in various colors) in the back; it gets heated and extruded through a nozzle, kind of like a glue-gun. The nozzle is on an x-y plotter, and moves back and forth quite quickly. The platform it builds the model on moves slowly in the z direction, giving you the ability to create 3-dimensional plastic parts…slowly.

I watched for several minutes. While I could see the nozzle moving back and forth, I couldn’t discern any growth in the model bust. I guess it takes hours.

The hard part is generating patterns for the 3d objects. MakerBot has a huge library of objects you can make, but I’d think the most interesting (and hardest) part would be creating new parts that no one else has ever made.

2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair

I thoroughly enjoyed the Affordable Art Fair’s Los Angeles debut, and fervently hope it’ll be back in future years. I think this is just what Los Angeles needs: an easy, comfortable, entry-level art fair where buyers can shop without busting their budgets. I appreciated all the thoughtful touches the organizers put into it. Lots of comfy seating throughout the fair, a reasonable size and layout, a very useful printed guide, extended hours, and (great for cheap folks like me) a special “free entry” time. Thank you for that!

If it comes back, I’ll definitely be back.

Next up: Art LA Contemporary.

January 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm 2 comments

LA Art Show 2012

My last post covered the Los Angeles Fine Art Show (Jan 19-22, 2012). Now we turn our attention to the LA Art Show, the “other” show held simultaneously in the same location at the Convention Center. Confused? Never mind, it’s all art.

The LA Art Show, the subject of this post, was the modern & contemporary side. That means 20th and 21st century art. Much of it by artists who are still alive, some of them even quite young.

Let’s take a look:

LA Art Fair 2012 aerial view

LA Art Fair 2012

I enjoyed perusing the work in this booth (below), Denis Bloch Fine Art of Beverly Hills. Some famous names in there. Did you spot the Damien Hirst spot painting? They seem to be everywhere these days.

LA Art Fair 2012, Denis Bloch Fine Art

Speaking of spots, I did see quite a few dots this year. Perhaps it’s a trend? You know I’m all about the dots, right? So I do tend to notice them.

Here’s an example from a Korean artist, who overlays accent dots on top of traditional eastern landscape paintings. The twist is that the dots follow the underlying shapes but are intentionally offset a little, like when a printer mis-registers the different colors:

Hyun-Jae Chang, mixed media on linen, 50x50 cm Hyun-Jae Chang, untitled, 2011, mixed media on linen, 50×50 cm, $1,750. Offered by Chung Jark Gallery, Seoul, South Korea. Detail below, showing the offset dots.

Hyun-Jae Chang painting (detail)

I enjoyed this colorful arrangement of dot art by Justina Ko:

Justina Ko paintings Justina Ko monoprints, 15×11 inches each, shown by ECF Art Centers, Los Angeles.

Although I don’t much care for political Chinese art, I succumbed to the allure of Chairman Mao decorated with an overlaid grid of dots (you can see the dots in the detail view below). Reminded me of some of my own paintings where I put a grid of dots over an underpainting (like this one).

Liu Sheng, "Chairman Mao," 2011, acrylic on linen, 110x90 cm Liu Sheng, “Chairman Mao,” 2011, acrylic on linen, 110×90 cm. Shown by Hao Space, Guangzhou, China. Detail below.

Liu Sheng, Chairman Mao (detail)

Perhaps it’s a stretch, but this next painting struck me as one big dot made up of many little dots (dabs of paint, really, but I’m not picky):

Richard Pousette-Dart, Radiance (untitled), ca 1965-67, oil on canvas, 30x40 inches Richard Pousette-Dart, Radiance (untitled), ca 1965-67, oil on canvas, 30×40 inches, $350,000. Detail below.

Richard Pousette-Dart, Radiance (untitled) (detail)

Continuing with a circular theme, we have these delicate-looking constructions by Korean artist Hee-Kyung Kim:

Hee-Kyung Kim, "Bloom" series, 2011, Korean paper, 60x60cm to 90x90cm Hee-Kyung Kim, “Bloom” series, 2011, Korean paper, 60×60 to 90×90 cm, starting at $2,800. Offered by Art Company Misoolsidae, Seoul, South Korea.

What goes with dots? Stripes, of course! There were several flavors of stripes, but I especially liked these big colorful ones:

Tim Bavington, Susie Q and Susie Q (distortion) Tim Bavington, “Susie Q” and “Susie Q (distortion),” 2011, 64×64 inches each, synthetic polymer on canvas, $20,000 each. Offered by Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Is “synthetic polymer” a fancy way to say spraypaint?

More stripes:

John Waguespack, Hollywood Hills John Waguespack, “Hollywood Hills,” 30×40 inches, oil on canvas. Shown by The McLoughlin Gallery, San Francisco.

From the linearity of stripes we move to rectilinear geometry, created by carving patterns through layers of multi-colored acrylic paint. Most striking (and most easily seen) from an angle:

David Allan Peters, "Untitled #4," 2011, acrylic paint on panel, 60x48 inches. David Allan Peters, “Untitled #4,” 2011, acrylic paint on panel, 60×48 inches, $18,000. Sold (congratulations!) by exhibiting gallery Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland, California. Detail below:

David Allan Peters, "Untitled #4" (detail)

I’ve seen Peters’ work before and I’m always intrigued by the idea of carving through all those layers, like an archeological dig.

I’ll wrap up with this piece, also rectangular, though it seems just about ready to jump out of its geometric outline:

Matt Devine, "Ember #2," steel with red, 48x48x6 inches. Matt Devine, “Ember #2,” steel with red, 48x48x6 inches, $14,500. Offered by Madison Gallery, La Jolla, California.

Next stop: we venture across the street to the new Affordable Art Fair, which made its Los Angeles debut this year.

January 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm 3 comments

Los Angeles Fine Art Show 2012

As I mentioned, this year the LA Art Show expanded. The promo billed it as “1 Weekend, 3 Art Shows!” referring  to the LA Art Show, the Los Angeles Fine Art Show, and the LA IFPDA Fine Print Fair. All three were held in one big open area in the Los Angeles Convention Center, with a single entry fee.

I think calling it “3-shows-in-1” is overstating the case, but it certainly is a big show. The “three” shows all ran together, and most visitors had no idea which one they were in. There was some separation between the two big parts (the LA Art Show and the LA Fine Art Show) but it was a pretty subtle distinction. (The third show, the Fine Print Fair, was just a single row of booths. I hardly felt it counted as a whole show.)

The LA Art Show, the largest segment, featured the more contemporary cutting-edge work. The Fine Art Show, about half its size, showcased the more traditional work: old masters, Early California Impressionists (always big here), and contemporary realism. That’s where we’ll start.

Here’s a peek at the Fine Art Show:

2012 Los Angeles Fine Art Fair - aerial view

I walked this side first.

It wasn’t until after the show was over, while I was looking through my photos, that I realized there was one major difference between the two parts of the show: the Fine Art Show, the more traditional side, was carpeted and had colored walls. The LA Art Show, the bigger and more contemporary side, had polished concrete floors and white walls. I didn’t notice the difference when I was there. Too busy looking at the art, I guess!

Daniel W Pinkham, "Enlightened," 44x38 inches, oil on panel Daniel W. Pinkham, “Enlightened,” 44×38 inches, oil on panel, $32,000. Offered by American Legacy Fine Arts, Pasadena, California.

Pinkham’s painting really grabbed me as I entered the Fine Art Show (the traditional side). The artist, new to me, apparently lives right here in California, and, unlike most of the other artists shown in the “historic/traditional” side, is still living. I love his work and am quite pleased to learn about him.

Here’s another landscape painting that intrigued me as I walked by:

Hugues Pissarro dit Pomie, "Bancs de Sable en Baie de Falcarragh," oil on canvas, 51x38 inches Hugues Pissarro dit Pomié, “Bancs de Sable en Baie de Falcarragh,” oil on canvas, 51×38 inches, $28,500. Offered by Stern Pissarro Gallery, London.

This artist is apparently the grandson of the famous Camille Pissarro. The gallery specializes in works by all the Pissarro family members. Does artistic talent run in families? They certainly think so!

S. C. Yuan, "Carmel Highlands," oil on masonite, 26.5 x 64 inches S. C. Yuan, “Carmel Highlands,” oil on masonite, 26.5 x 64 inches, $90,000. Offered by Trotter Galleries, Carmel & Pacific Grove, California.

This long landscape painting (which features an artistic “error” according to the curmudgeon/painter Stapleton Kearns, but which I think is perfectly fine) caught my eye, and pulled me into the booth where I spotted two more by the same artist. I enjoy his blend of eastern and western painting styles. Again, this artist was completely new to me, so I was glad to learn more about him. He led a hard life, trying unsuccessfully to balance earning money with making art, ultimately losing his marriage and taking his own life.

S. C. Yuan, "Monterey Pine," oil on canvas, 40x40 inches S. C. Yuan, “Monterey Pine,” oil on canvas, 40×40 inches, $115,000. Offered by Trotter Galleries, Carmel, California.

S. C. Yuan, "Pine Tree - Ronda, Spain," oil on canvas, 24x30 inches S. C. Yuan, “Pine Tree – Ronda, Spain,” oil on canvas, 24×30 inches, $55,000. Offered by Trotter Galleries.

Here are some more landscapes I liked. What, more landscapes? Yes, a pattern emerges. Our intrepid reporter does like the landscapes, indeed she does.

William Wendt, "Ranch in the Valley," oil on canvas, 30x40 inches. William Wendt, “Ranch in the Valley,” oil on canvas, 30×40 inches, $225,000. Offered by George Stern Fine Arts, West Hollywood, California.

Edgar Payne, "Harbor of Camaret," oil on canvas, 22x26 inches. Edgar Payne, “Harbor of Camaret,” oil on canvas, 22×26 inches, $85,000. Offered by Redfern Gallery, Laguna Beach, California.

OK, that’s enough landscapes. I take pictures of the paintings I like, without looking for anything specific. Apparently this year the stuff I liked on the traditional side of the show was… landscapes. Never fear, there were very few landscapes on the contemporary side! But that’s another post.

In closing, I owe a big thank-you to these guys:

M. S. Rau Antiques M. S. Rau Antiques booth (from New Orleans, Louisiana)

They provided an online coupon to get into the show, for which I was most grateful! They also had an amazing booth which I wish I could show you. They were so busy talking to customers that I was unable to get permission to take photographs. They had a lot of beautiful pieces by old masters, including (most thrilling to me) an entire room full of 15th century Italian Renaissance altar paintings (like this one) with madonnas and gold leaf. I love that stuff!

That capped my visit to the Los Angeles Fine Art Show, the historic/traditional side. My next post will bring us firmly back into the 21st century with a look at the contemporary-art side, the LA Art Show.

January 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm 3 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

Hello 2012

2011 was a banner year for me and my art. I’d like more of the same for 2012, please!

Looking back at my original plans for 2011, my idea of simplification worked out very well. I focused down on just the things that had worked for me before, and eliminated a lot of fluff. It really paid off.

I meant to start painting bigger paintings in my new bigger studio (especially once I got it lit). As it turns out, I finished several large paintings (triptychs) in 2011, each of which sold as soon as I showed it. That includes my largest painting to date, “Wind Wolves Triptych” at 7.5 feet wide:

Wind Wolves Triptych by Barbara J Carter, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 40x90 inches

Wind Wolves Triptych by Barbara J Carter, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 40x90 inches

I used to write up elaborate “business plans” for my art business each year. In 2011 I did away with this practice. It didn’t really affect what I did or how well things went during the year, but it certainly added to the amount of work I put myself through each January, writing up the plan.

No more of that! Last year I just made a broad outline for my year, with an eye to drastically streamline my process. A big part of the streamlining was only applying to two art festivals for the year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Luckily for me this worked out perfectly. I was accepted into both, and both shows were terrific events for me. Lots of my art went home with people! I hope to repeat it this year, though I am thinking about adding a third show to the mix just in case I don’t get into both of my “usual” shows.

I also participated in a few other exhibitions that came my way. I showed my newest and biggest abstract dot painting “Straightening” in the Open Show at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in 2011. I was very proud of this big, ambitious piece and wanted to get it “out there.”

Straightening, abstract dot painting by Barbara J Carter, 3x3 feet

"Straightening" painting by Barbara J Carter, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 3x3 feet

detail view, Straightening, original painting by Barbara J Carter

detail of "Straightening"

Alas, getting my painting into that show was hardly a major coup, since the 2011 show was not juried. That means that anyone who showed up with art in hand (and the entry fee) would get their work hung in the show. Not exactly a prestigious, exclusive show for my resume, but at least it got my work out of the studio.

Happily, this painting later sold to a very sweet couple who have bought from me before. One of them admired it, and so the other secretly bought it as a Christmas present. The absolute best way to give art as a present! It was my final sale of 2011. What a great way to usher out a busy but wonderful year.

Here’s hoping 2012 is just as good!

January 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm


Here I am, standing in front of my latest painting, “Wind Wolves Triptych.” It’s hanging in this year’s big annual group show put on by the Silver Lake Art Collective. I got it done just in time for the show.

Photo by Jim Zver

I got a lot of compliments on this piece, and was feeling quite proud of it. It was my biggest triptych yet. But then I received the best news of all: someone wanted to buy it. Yay!

I just love it when my paintings find good homes. It is why I do this, after all.

I’ll be delivering it in person the day after the show comes down. In the meantime, there’s a lovely little red dot on the title card. That’s art biz shorthand for “sold.”

November 15, 2011 at 9:05 am 2 comments

Postcards for everyone

About once a year I send out a postcard to everyone on my mailing list. Everyone! All over the world!

This could also be you.

I sent out my 2011 mailing last week:

Barbara J Carter's postcards ready to be mailed

If you didn’t get a postcard from me, I don’t have your address. Maybe you gave it to me but I typed it in wrong. Maybe you moved. Or maybe (gasp!) you never gave it to me.

No matter, it’s easily fixed. Drop me an email ( Or go here and fill in all the stuff. Easy.

November 8, 2011 at 9:43 am 2 comments

Open studio tour November 5-6, 2011

I’m showing my work at my friend’s open studio this weekend (November 5-6, 2011). It’s part of a tour of several artists’ studios in Silver Lake (Los Angeles). The tour is free and self-guided. You can see the locations of the open studios here: click for map.

The studios will be open from noon to 5pm both days. This is a casual affair: drop in when you can, stay for a while, chit-chat, pat the doggies, and sample Fred’s homemade ground-turkey chili. Our particular “stop” on the tour features work by 3 artists: me, Fred Chuang (painter), and George Lafayette (sculptor). If you haven’t seen George’s sculptures before, you owe it to yourself to come just for that. It’s a trip.

We’ll be at 2974 Waverly Drive, Los Angeles, California. See you there!

SLAC 2011 Open Studio Tour postcard

SLAC 2011 Open Studio Tour postcard map

October 31, 2011 at 9:57 am

“Wind Wolves Triptych”

This is my latest painting, “Wind Wolves Triptych.”

"Wind Wolves Triptych" painting by Barbara J CarterWind Wolves Triptych” by Barbara J Carter, acrylic on canvas, 40×90″ (3 panels), 2011.

It’s the biggest triptych I’ve painted to date. Seven and a half feet wide!

The painting depicts a set of hills in the Wind Wolves Preserve, a large privately owned conservation area that is open to the public. Located in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley of California, it’s a beautiful space: an unspoiled wide valley surrounded by rugged hills. The valley floor is carpeted each spring with fabulous wildflowers. It’s a bit of a drive from Los Angeles, but worth a visit. If I remember correctly, it’s open on weekends and admission and parking are free. The facilities include very nice bathrooms and a few picnic benches, and very good trails for ambling all about without crushing the flora. Dog friendly too (we don’t go anywhere we can’t bring our pooch).

My painting is on public display at the Silver Lake Art Collective’s annual exhibit now through November 19, 2011. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you should go take a look-see. (All the info is in my previous blog post.)

Art pricing/availability information here.

October 25, 2011 at 10:00 am 3 comments

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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.

My links

My paintings

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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Click here to receive my free email newsletter for up-to-date info on my shows, my art, and anything else that I'm up to. I send it out irregularly, a few times a year.

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