Version 2.0: Here’s What We Loved at Frieze Los Angeles’ Second Edition

 

 

Frieze Los Angeles returned this past weekend, and in just its second year, the contemporary art fair spinoff of London and NYC has exploded into a full slate of lavish parties, expansive cultural programming, film screenings, celebrity engagement, music concerts, book releases, current affairs talks, political panels, fashion presentations, design gallery openings, off-sites, upstarts and hundreds of exclusive events reaching almost every corner of the city. Without a doubt, Frieze has brought a fresh jolt of creative energy to LA, and it’s clear the city is embracing a new forward-looking cultural role.

“My hope was that a successful fair could be leveraged to extend its energy throughout the city,” enthuses Executive Fair Director Bettina Korek. “Thanks to the tremendous support we’ve received from the city’s incomparable community of museums, galleries, and artist-run spaces, Frieze has taken root as an annual moment for visitors and locals alike to discover art in LA.”

The core of the fair took over Paramount Studios for four days of consecutive sold out crowds, with art aficionados mixing with the famous likes of J-Lo, Charlize Theron, Leo DiCaprio, even Miley Cyrus. Over seventy galleries from more countries than we could count offered the sort of expertly curated peek into the global art zeitgeist usually associated with. say, NYC, Berlin and, of course, Basel.

Watch this space—Frieze LA is only going to get bigger.

“I hope this moment continues to grow,” says Korek, “and that LA’s many art worlds will continue to grow with it in symbiosis.” 

For all the hobnobbing and people watching, for us, it was still all about the art. And here were our fifteen faves from Frieze LA 2.0.

 

Barbara Kruger, Who Buys The Con? (Questions)

Mural at NeueHouse, Los Angeles

 

Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

 

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Frieze Los Angeles

 

Photo by Casey Kelbaugh

 

 

Louis Vuitton, Objet Nomades

Off-Site at Milk Studios 

 

Photo by Brad Dickson 

 

William Eggleston, Untitled, 1973 

David Zwirner Gallery, Frieze Los Angeles 

 

©Eggleston Artistic Trust/Courtesy Eggleston Artistic Trust and David Zwirner

 

Sadie Coles HQ, London

Frieze Los Angeles

 

Photo by Casey Kelbaugh

 

‘Interior Motives’ 

Short Film by Natalie Shirinian Screening at NeueHouse for NHxFrieze

 

Film still of Michele Lamy (Rick Owens), courtesy of NES Films

 

Conversations on Patronage: Re-Imagining the Community through the Arts Presented by Destination Crenshaw 

 

Photo by Casey Kelbaugh

 

Commonwealth & Council

Frieze Los Angeles

 

Photo by Casey Kelbaugh

 

‘Always I Trust’ (2014) Screening of Film by Cheng Ran 

Frieze Projects, Paramount Theater

 

Film Still, courtesy of the artist

 

“How We Got Here,” art discussion panel with artists Arcmanoro Niles, Jordan Nassar and Naama Tsabar, moderated by Arthur Lewis, Creative Director of UTA Fine Arts hosted by Artsy and UTA Artist Space

The West Hollywood EDITION

 

Image courtesy of UTA Artist Space

 

FRIEZE MUSIC – BMW presented performances, co-curated by Kevin McGarry and Hans Ulrich Obrist, including: Moses Sumney, Caroline Polachek, Zsela and DJ Uwuqi 

Neuehouse LA

 

Photo by Lucy Sandler

 

Patrisse Cullors‘s Fuck White Supremacy (2020) Interactive Dance

Paramount Studios NYC Backlot

 

Photo by Casey Kelbaugh

 

Barbara Kasten’s Intervention

Frieze Projects

 

Photo by Casey Kelbaugh

 

Lucio Fontana Walking The Space: Spatial Environments, 1948 – 1968 

Hauser & Wirth DTLA

 

Ambiante Spizale con Neon, photographed by Fredrik Nilsen. Courtesy Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milano and Hauser & Wirth.

 

DIALOGO: The California-Mexico Design and Architecture Dialogue, Curated by Monica Calderon, Adam Blackman and David Cruz with Book Release for Mexico City Architects Ezequiel Farca + Cristina Grappinat at Blackman Cruz

 

Works by Ezequiel Farca + Cristina Grappin, Image Courtesy of Ezequiel Farca + Cristina Grappin for Blackman Cruz.

 

Hear No Evil: Sigur Rós’ Jónsi’s Debut Solo Exhibition is a Provocative Sensory Experience

Jónsi, Í blóma[In bloom], 2019 Photo by Jeff Mclan, Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

 

 

If music is your religion, let Sigur Rós be your church.

The Icelandic band’s post-rock-orchestral-ethereal-angelic-atmospheric-avant-garde aesthetic has made them the world’s biggest cult phenomenon. Our devotion began with 1999’s  Ágætis byrjun, and they have rewarded that devotion with much sonic bliss.

Jónsi, the band’s enigmatic frontman, is continuously creating multiple entry points to experience their artistry beyond their seven studio albums and life-altering live performances. To wit, there was the interactive video installation with London’s Tate Modern in 2016, the 2018 co-launching of a new ambient album, Liminal Sleep, with popular mediation app Calm, the sound bath-meets-art installation at Neuehouse in Hollywood earlier this year…

 

 

Never mind collaborations with Doug Aitken, Olafur Eliasson, and Merce Cunningham, and his new project with Swedish composer Carl Michael von Hausswolf called Dark Morphin which the two chronicled and morphed their field recordings while aboard a research ship – and then performed it live at this year’s the Venice Biennale.

Now rising to new conceptual heights, on view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery Los Angeles, Jónsi has installed a series of three new works inspired by the Romantic poet Goethe’s fifth Roman Elegy. Goethe made the connection between the experience of a lover’s body and a classical marble sculpture with the phrase “I see with a feeling eye, feel with a seeing hand.” In Jonsi’s interpretative remix of this profound expression, he gives it a sonic update, encouraging those who connect with it to “hear with a feeling ear, feel with a hearing hand.” For Jónsi, the constant has always been, “hearing is feeling is seeing is being.”

 

Jónsi, Hvítblinda [Whiteout], 2019, Photo by Jeff Mclane, Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

 

In Hvítblinda [Whiteout], the most powerful of the three installations, it feels as if you’ve walked into a Zero G, Futurist, ozone scented, sound womb environment, under light arrangements that pay homage to the Los Angeles Light & Space movement of the 1960s. What makes this experience unique is the 12-channel sound system of ten invisible speakers and two subwoofers, radiating recordings of Jónsi’s other-worldly voice, combined with field recordings of natural elements.

While inside the space, it’s a full 360 degrees experience, where the walls and floors rumble and vibrate. Your shoes must be covered as to (respectively) not bring the outside world in, your speech silent as to not interfere with the enveloping “5-piece act of sonic manifestations” – and two stark white cubes invite you to sit or lay horizontal and fully submerged in the audio phenomena. If ever there was a temple of sound worship, this would be it.

 

Jónsi, Svartalda (Dark wave), 2019, Photo by Jeff Mclane, Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

 

Inside Svartalda (Dark wave), you are deprived of all senses except your hearing, which can be quite shocking after absorbing all that light. There is a canopy of eight ceiling panels that move in tandem like waves while hyper-directional speakers, with diffuse recordings of Jónsi breathing, whispering and reciting an old Icelandic poem about the sea. As you move through the darkness, the sound of his voice moves with you, and once you adjust, the faint scent of seaweed appears, convincing you that possibly, maybe the ocean is nearby.

While the other two rooms activate a yin/yang sensory exploration, Í blóma [In bloom] triggers more of an intellectual dive. Here Jónsi created a sound-based sculpture of 14 horn speakers designed to resemble a foxglove flower – which is described as being both highly toxic and therapeutic at once, a pleasure/pain principle infused into the theory of the overall installation. The blooming sculpture is enhanced with a series of butt plugs that provide a visualization for the fertilizing organ of the flower.

Jónsi, Í blóma[In bloom], 2019 Photo by Jeff Mclan, Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

 

Through the speaker sculpture, we again experience a take on Jónsi’s recorded voice, layered over field recordings of Icelandic birds and Foxglove flowers, with a hi-tech recording device used capture the electric impulse of the flowers’ petals and stems. He then translated the electric frequency into a hyper-rare composition. There is a peculiar scent in this room, which is described as “a combination of dead animals and sperm – meant to evoke associations with bodily decay and pleasures.” The artistic goal was to create a sonic mating call between artist and flowers, to invoke notions of pleasure/pain while offering concepts of cross-species communications.

In the overall, with this first solo exhibition, it appears Jónsi’s intentions were to create spaces that evoke the power of sound and feeling, three mini portals for humans to step into and away from outside world uncertainty, and reconnect with themselves and with something possibly higher.

 

Jónsi’s eponymous exhibition is on view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery Los Angeles through January 9, 2020.

 

Jónsi, Hvítblinda [Whiteout], 2019, Photo by Jeff Mclane, Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

Inside ‘Rick Owens: Furniture’ at MOCA Pacific Design Center

You know him as the overlord of modern gothic fashion. But the much anticipated exhibition Rick Owens: Furniture at West Hollywood’s MOCA Pacific Design Center looks at his creations not meant for the body. The work presented include recent furniture, a new group of large scale sculptures, video and installations – alongside a selection of works by the late artist and musician Steven Parrino, whom the Paris-based American designer admired.

Owens launched his eponymous clothing label in Los Angeles in 1994, and has consistently drawn influence for both his fashion collections and his sculptural furniture from a vast array of art historical sources, which span modernist design, brutalist architecture, monochrome painting, minimal art, and avant-garde dance. His radical and spectacular runway shows function as a form of performance art, and often call into question preconceived and culturally constructed notions of beauty promoted by the very fashion industry in which he works.

But since 2007 Owens has applied a punk and anarchist sensibility to furniture design as well, creating stark and elegant forms out of marble, alabaster, bronze, ox bone, leather and plywood. And in addition to displaying works in Owens’ signature materials, the exhibition showcases the artist’s first foray into foam, rock crystal and concrete.

The show is produced by Michèle Lamy, Owens’ wife, muse “fairy witch” inspiration.

mc-20161217-0918

 

The Five Hottest Restaurants In LA…Now

Los Angeles has a knack for opening stylish restaurants that bring in the cool kid crowd. But how to strike that perfect balance of food, location and vibe?

With so many new spots to sort through, we’ve whittled it down to five favorites. From open air tacos in Frogtown to bahn mi in DTLA, these spots are attracting contemporary locals and a-listers alike.

Sawyer

A seafood-focused seasonal California restaurant, recently opened in Silver Lake, has quickly become a neighborhood favorite. The casual setting, which seats 90 guests both inside and outside, features an airy garden atmosphere, striking tile work, butcher block countertops and tables, modern Windsor chairs, hand-painted wall accents, flowered wallpaper, a large handmade copper door, street-facing floor to ceiling windows, and a cozy back patio with olive & birch trees and roaring fireplace.
Celeb Factor: John C. Reilly, Mandy Moore, Rachel McAdams, Mena Suvari

Sawyer, Ryan Tanaka 2016

Kettle Black

This rustic Italian restaurant in Silver Lake is helmed by Executive chef Sydney C. Hunter III. The 3000 square foot space, originally home to the California Bank, features a modern approach to a rustic aesthetic, for artisanal eats and cocktails. Inside, the restaurant prominently displays an original vault from when it was first built in 1922, and focal points also include original tiles and wood beams.
Celeb Factor: Zac Efron, Kate Bosworth, Kristen Wiig, Arctic Monkeys

Kettle Black, Ryan Tanaka 2016

Winsome

A new spot opened by Marc Rose and Med Abrous,  known for The Spare Room and Genghis Cohen. The modern style diner attracts a day crowd of television writers and an evening crowd local hip kids. The menu offers all the clean flavors of Southern California, a pastry/coffee bar and full cocktail bar, all brought together in a thoughtful way.

winsome-back-to-front_credit-sierra-prescott

Salazar

One of the buzziest restaurants on the east side of Los Angeles right now. Nestled in Frog Town, between Griffith Park and the LA River, Salazar offers up elevated Mexican mesquite grilled dishes. Chef Esdras Ochoa, who grew to cult acclaim via his taco concept Mexicali, highlights true Sonoran-style BBQ. Beverage Director Aaron Melendrez concocts inventive cocktails with dynamic Mexican flavors, including a boozy horchata, as well as limited run beers from local LA breweries.
Celeb Factor: Carrie Brownstein, Kiernan Shipka, Busy Phillips

salzar-image

Little Sister Downtown 

This French colonial jewel box is housed near the corner of 7th Street and Grand Avenue in the heart of Downtown. A reimagined interpretation of its Manhattan Beach counterpart with a lighter aesthetic and expanded menu options, it introduces Angelenos to the cultural and culinary influences of imperialist rule in Vietnam during the 19th century. Highlights of the 50-seat restaurant include Vietnamese-style breakfast with housemade breads, porridge (congee) and banh mi.

little-sister-interior

 

BlackBook Premiere: New Video by Cerise Brings Lo-Fi Summer Haze

With a little help and encouragement from musician Joseph Arthur, LA based model/photographer, Cerise found a natural stride with writing songs and making music. What started as a casual friendship with Arthur led to her hanging around his studio and recording background vocals for whatever he was working on.  Watching the process of recording music unfold captured Cerise’s fascination and ultimately led to her buying a guitar, writing her own songs, and making her own album (which Arthur produced). Cerise’s songs do a great job of melding her influences of The Cure, Bauhaus and Siouxsie And The Banshees to create her own sound that nets out closer to Cat Power but with more drone and fuzz. From her debut album, Smoke Screen Dreams (Self-Released) we bring you the video for the track ‘To Go Away’ which, from the first frame, plunges us right into Cerise’s lo-fi kaleidoscope of emotions, visuals and sound.  Directed by, Tina Rivera, the video is shot entirely underwater to give the feeling of what the song is really all about.

“The song ‘To Go Away’ is about wanting to leave a situation or person and the feeling at that moment. The excitement and need to leave but the fear of leaving what you know so well and feeling pulled back in. [The song] is also about wanting to lose yourself in a moment or feeling whether its good for you or not.” – Cerise