Felix Art Fair Proves Creativity Flourishes In the City of Angels

Alex Anderson, Mobility, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and GAVLAK Los Angeles | Palm Beach.
Alex Anderson, Mobility, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and GAVLAK Los Angeles | Palm Beach.

Now in its third year, Felix Art Fair in Los Angeles stands out among its peers for its charm and intimacy. What else might one expect from the combination of incredible artists, a historic hotel venue on Hollywood Boulevard and poolside viewing? Considering the fair is one of first major in-person art events in the Southern California city since the onset of the pandemic, it also conjures up a mix of feelings: excitement, relief and just a touch of nerves as we re-enter seeing art booths in the flesh again.

Scaled down from its first two iterations, this year’s 29 participating galleries occupy the ground level of the Hollywood Roosevelt with installations in the hotel pool’s cabanas, a shift from the guestrooms that 60 galleries filled in previous years. Nearby, associated events are being held at galleries themselves to help space out waves of visitors to today’s VIP preview and the public opening on this July 29 evening. Pandemic pivots led to this new outdoor setting, and face masks and a COVID vaccine or negative COVID test proof are required for entry. However, despite these changes, co-founders Dean Valentine and brothers Al and Mills Morán are continuing Felix Art Fair’s mission to create an “experience that prioritizes connoisseurship, collaboration and community.”

blanket piece by april bey, image of marsha p johnson relayed in different fabrics
April Bey, The Emissary II, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and GAVLAK Los Angeles | Palm Beach.

This year, galleries making their debut at the fair include Beverly Hills blockbuster Gagosian, which is showing select works by artists Duane Hanson, Ed Ruscha, Taryn Simon and Tom Wesselmann as well as LA native Charlie James Gallery, exhibiting artworks by John Ahearn, Danie Cansino, Glenn Hardy, Patrick Martinez and Gabriella Sanchez. A Felix Art Fair roster original, Roberts Projects returns for its third time with pieces by Dominic Chambers, Lenz Geerk, Wangari Mathenge, Collins Obijiaku, Betye Saar, Taylor White, Brenna Youngblood and Zhao Zhao. Meanwhile, Gavlak Gallery makes a statement with Three’s Company, a presentation by three Black artists: Alex Anderson, April Bey and Kim Dacres.

Most of the galleries participating in this year’s edition are Angelenos, which hopefully will encourage the rapidly growing artist and collector community in LA to attend and support. It’s a much needed remedy for the uncertainty many art spaces have felt during the pandemic. While in-person events may have slowed, creativity certainly has not, and the prolific artistic offerings at Felix Art Fair are evidence enough.

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