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Catherine Opie, Untitled #27, 1994, from the artist's "Freeways" series, the signature image of Platform L.A., Oct. 1-3, 2011
Catherine Opie, Untitled #27, 1994, from the artist's "Freeways" series, the signature image of Platform L.A., Oct. 1-3, 2011

3 NEW FAIRS OPEN IN L.A., 1 PUSHED OUT

Sept. 26, 2011

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Will Los Angeles overtake Miami Beach as the ultimate sun-and-sand art destination? Three new fairs debut in downtown Los Angeles this weekend, all coinciding with the launch of Pacific Standard Time, the sprawling 60-institution celebration of the region’s art scene from 1945 to 1980.

The biggest of the newbies is the Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.-produced Art Platform, Oct. 1-3, 2011. About 80 exhibitors are bringing So-Cal themed work in the spirit of Pacific Standard Time to L.A. Mart, including DCKT, Andrew Edlin, Haunch of Venison, James Franco/Peres Projects, Kavi Gupta, Leila Heller, Andrew Kreps, Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Perry Rubenstein and TASCHEN books.

Catering to a marginally younger market is Pulse Los Angeles, Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2011, the Miami and New York staple that’s making its L.A. debut. Sixty-five international galleries -- PPOW, Schroeder Romero & Shredder, Mark Moore Gallery, Luis de Jesus Los Angeles and Zemack Contemporary Art among them -- set up shop at the outdoor-tented Event Deck at LA LIVE.

Then there’s the underdog Fountain Art Fair, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011, at the 11,000-square-foot Lot 613. Originally only a New York event, the six-year-old fair has since appeared in Miami and Chicago, and plans to debut in Detroit next year. Its website lists 14 exhibitors, including Blythe Projects (Culver City), Murder Lounge (New York City), The Mechanism (Los Angeles) and Cheap & Plastique (Brooklyn).

Apparently there’s not room for everyone, however. ArtLA announced on its website that it has cancelled its 2011 fair, originally scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011. “What we had hoped would be a cooperative effort acknowledging the vibrant and distinguished history of Los Angeles’s rich cultural heritage, was becoming lost in a myriad of multiple art fairs that became the competing art fairs,” wrote organizer Stephen Cohen on the site, adding that he didn’t want artLA’s programming “to get lost in the cacophony of so much activity spread out over so much of the city for so short a time.”

It’s not the first time Cohen’s scrapped the event. Last year he called off plans for a January fair, citing poor economic conditions and competition from the concurrent Art Los Angeles Contemporary. Nonetheless, he said artLA -- which was one of the first to experiment with a Left Coast art fair -- plans to return in 2012, dates tba.

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Works at Platform L.A.: Robert Heinecken, Catherine Deneuve, B & Bewitch, 1988, at Marc Selwyn Fine Art, left, and Ryan McGinness, Fluidus, 2008, at Michael Kohn Gallery
Works at Platform L.A.: Robert Heinecken, Catherine Deneuve, B & Bewitch, 1988, at Marc Selwyn Fine Art, left, and Ryan McGinness, Fluidus, 2008, at Michael Kohn Gallery