The rain dance worked. The weather cooperated. Rather than the torrential downpour of last year’s edition, sunshine greeted the VIPs of both Frieze LA and the Felix Art Fair for their respective and, unluckily for collectors, concurrent vernissage previews.
We started our journey dodging in and out of suites at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel where Felix mounted its second edition. Galleries were putting on the finishing touches to their respective rooms as we bounced by. In our travels, we found the fair skewed definitively towards program encompassing presentations. We were pleasantly surprised by Nino Mier’s Jake Longstreth booth, which sat poolside and felt particularly appropriate for a fair in the city of angels.
By lunch, we had catapulted ourselves into the belly of the Frieze beast, and found most of our gallery friends celebrating a busy morning. In our travels down the aisles, we were struck by how many exhibitors here had also opted to showcase the wide breadth of their roster. There were a slew of repeats with David Salle, Adam McEwen, Nicolas Party and Ugo Rondinone each popping up at regular intervals. Booths with one or two artists proved easier to consume and definitely more pleasurable, given the constraints of the fair model. Our favorites are as follows:
Genevieve Gaignard’s Pepto Bismol-pink salon for Vielmetter stood out amongst the throngs, with its provocative neons beckoning viewers to interact more intimately with wall mounted sculptures composed of politically charged readymades. While some of her signature portraits were in view, it was this shift to a more material language that struck us.
Wall treatments were also a part of Alvaro Barrington’s solo booth with Sadie Coles, in which delicate florals were conversing with thick, globby abstractions that made me want to smell the oil. While abstractions were abundant throughout the two fairs, the playful space thatBarrington created here made his handiwork stand out.
Derrick Adams threw a party with help of Salon 94, transforming the fake walls of the booth into another kind of spectacle. His idiosyncratic graphic portraits were set off by what appeared to be a printed mural of streamers—creating a moment of chaotic good in a sea of neutrality. It was the addition of works by Lyle Ashton Harris in the back room that added the weight to make the celebration feel substantive.
We also got to peek in the backroom of Hauser and Wirth, who turned the entire booth over to Avery Singer, their latest pick-up. Singer had selected some favorite works on paper by artists from the Hauser and Wirth roster including Guston, Mike Kelley and Lousie Bourgeois. Outside, three monolithic new paintings held down the entirety of the space.
iPhones at the ready, visitors were mirrored by Cory Arcangel’s stunt at Greene Naftali: an army of screens served as the stage for a live bot performance involving Instagram and Chipotle. Ah, sweet indulgence.