The London-born fair prepares to make a West Coast splash.

By Siobhan Reid
February 15, 2019
Frieze LA
Credit: Courtesy of Frieze Los Angeles

L.A.’s art scene has always played second fiddle to its most celebrated cultural export (Hollywood movies), but in the past few years the city’s flourishing and diverse community has come into its own.

New museums have opened (Marciano Art Foundation, The Main Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art) along with branches of large international galleries, like Sprueth Magers and Hauser & Wirth.

Frieze Los Angeles
Credit: Courtesy of Frieze Los Angeles

This weekend, L.A.'s newfound status as a global arts hub will be front and center, as L.A. hosts not one but six different air fairs, four of which are popping up for the first time.

The buzziest of the bunch: Frieze Los Angeles, the West Coast debut of the London-born art fair. Taking over a back lot of Paramount Pictures Studio, the first-time L.A. fair will draw 70 blue-chip galleries, including Gagosian, David Zwirner, and Marian Goodman. Look out for solo presentations by artists like Doug Atiken and Wayne Thiebaud; site-specific installations by prominent local artists like Paul McCarthy, and Lisa Anne Auerbach; and talks by art world heavyweights Maja Hoffmann (Luma Foundation), Frank Gehry, and Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Galleries).

Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles
Credit: Courtesy of Felix LA

Frieze’s launch coincides with the 10th anniversary of Art Los Angeles Contemporary, which returns to the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, and newcomer Felix LA, which is popping up inside private suites and bungalows at The Hollywood Roosevelt. The vision of L.A. art collector and former Disney executive Dean Valentine, the inaugural event is inspired by the short-lived Gramercy International Los Angeles art fair at the Chateau Marmont in the mid-90s. There will be 40 exhibitors from L.A. and beyond, in addition to more unconventional programming such as astrological readings, burlesque shows, and stand-up comedy.

Hotel Roosevelt, Los Angeles
Credit: Courtesy of Felix LA

If you’re headed to the city for the weekend, other can’t-miss art happenings include the first comprehensive L.A. exhibition dedicated to photographer Annie Leibowitz and British pop artist Philip Colbert’s first U.S. solo show at Saatchi Gallery.