Art Los Angeles Contemporary returned to Santa Monica's Barker Hangar this weekend for its fourth year in this location. It is clear that it has established itself as an essential component of Los Angeles Arts Month and as a significant art fair with international appeal.
The Thursday night opening was packed with artists, collectors, curators, and actors. This convergence of personalities added to the event's energy and dialogue, as attendees included iconic pop artist John Van Hamersveld, digital photographer Rex Bruce, and LACMA curator of Contemporary Art Franklin Sirmans. In addition, actors Jason Schwartzman, Lisa Edelstein, Jesse Williams, Kelli Garner, and Emile Hirsch all also attended on opening night (see slideshow).
The seventy galleries at the fair formed an excellent international collection, with an impressive assortment of emerging artists. The size of the fair made it easy to navigate the 40,000 square foot space. The increase in the degree of strong international presence was visually apparent, and the Ceci n'est pas French cultural exchange especially added to the flavor of the fair.
Notable highlights include Los Angeles artist Ben Jones' work. His psychedelic "Road Trip" video and his day-glo colored triptych painting both displayed at the booth of New York's Hole gallery. In addition, two rare episodes of Jones' Cartoon Network Animated Series entitled "The Problem Solverz" screened on Saturday afternoon. Also, currently exhibiting at the MOCA Pacific Design Center is an installation of Jones' surrealistic video and painting work.
Additional art highlights include Kelsey Brookes' fascinating serotonin and molecular structure inspired paintings at the booth of La Jolla's Quint Contemporary Art gallery, Pae White's incredible cotton and polyester panel at the booth of Los Angeles' 1301PE gallery, and Stephane Calais' distinctive graphical silkscreen on felt at Paris' Galerie de Multiples booth.
Overall, Art Los Angeles Contemporary delivered a full schedule of excellent programing throughout the event, complete with lectures, panels, performances and screenings. Furthermore, on Friday, David Burtka delivered the announcement of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation's first eight grantees through "The LA Artist Initiative." This added to the supportive atmosphere of advancing the arts in Los Angeles.
As Art Los Angeles Contemporary garners increased attention, it will be interesting to see how it continues to develop.