JANUARY, L.A. IS THE CENTER OF THE ART UNIVERSE
by ©Jean Ferro
Classic Photographs Los Angeles
Annual Los Angeles Art Show
Art Los Angeles Contemporary
Photographs Los Angeles
January 14–17, 2011
Studio, Los Angeles
White, Stephen White Associates, Los Angeles, CA
Friday, January 14th opening reception of the second annual Classic Photographs
Los Angeles at The Helms Daylight Studio, Helms Bakery
Complex, Culver City, CA, was a successful event for all the exhibitors, who included
Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA; Michael Dawson
Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Etherton Gallery, Tucson,
AZ; Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, Portland, OR; Steven Kasher
Gallery, New York, NY; Lee Gallery, Winchester, MA;
Carl Mautz Vintage Photographs, Nevada City, CA; Richard Moore
Photographs, Oakland, CA; Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco,
CA; William L. Schaeffer/ Photographs, Chester, CT; Andrew
Smith Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Weston Gallery, Carmel,
CA; and Stephen White Associates, Los Angeles, CA.
after the first Classic Photograph Exhibition, held in January 2010, at the Dawson’s
Shop, Michael Dawson moved the Hancock Park business to his home office.
There he continues
to specialize in rare books (especially Californian), fine
art photography, and historical photography of California and the Southwest, as
well as appraisal services. It’s interesting to note, for those unfamiliar
with the background, that the bookshop has been in the family since 1905, started
in downtown Los Angeles and settled in Hancock Park in 1968. Michael, a third
generation Dawson continues the shop’s established growth.
stopped by the reception this year and enjoyed seeing curators, collectors, and
gallery owners sift through bins of classic, matted photo images in archival sleeves.
Will they find a special gem
to either hold dear or sell in the future? Glad
to see something I have my eye on is still obscurely hidden in the bin. Good to
see Richard Moore, Carl Mautz, and Michael Dawson, and I met William
from Chester, Connecticut, who is back at a California show for the first time
Moore, Richard Moore Photographs, Oakland, CA
were selling! The focus was on smallscale 19th- and 20th-century, European, American,
Asian images. Work by Atget, Brady, Teske, Adams, Hosoe, Muybridge, Cunningham,
Bernhard, Weston, Watkins, and Kertész, plus vernacular photographs
and out-of-print books
could be examined and appreciated. Advantages for the
dealers to participate in this event are twofold: the price of space is right
and it’s a specific audience, interested in vintage or historical
It actually allows the dealer a little more room to make good deals because the
lower compared to the broad-audience, larger-attende events. The
price range is wide, from midhundreds to thousands. So there’s something
for everyone. Seems like most dealers had a good two days and look forward to
next year’s third annual Classic Photographs Los Angeles.
Annual Los Angeles Art Show
January 19–23, 2011
Angeles Convention Center
Sixteenth Annual Los Angeles Art Show 2011, the centerpiece of the citywide
Arts month, titled “From Rembrandt to Ruscha and Beyond,”
took place from January 19 to 23. Over 100 prominent galleries from around the
globe featured painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and video. Kat
von D (star of LA Ink) hosted the Wednesday Night Premiere
Party. Proceeds from the event will enable The Art of Elysium
program to bring arts to critically ill hospitalized children, and increase the
number of school children who visit the Getty through the Getty Museum’s
Education Department’s Title One bus transportation program.
evening pulsated with excitement and entertainment, great food, and art for the
attendees. Flamboyant Cirque du Soleil performers
roamed the convention center isles, greeting
people and promoting the upcoming
move to their new permanent home, Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, opening summer
2011 with the production “Iris: A Journey Through the World of Cinema.”
More than 50,000 visitors (the organizers claimed) enjoyed gallery presentations,
onsite street art painters, lectures, workshops, book signings, and several private
street artists Retna, El Mac, Mear One, and Kofie
using aerosol cans, painted on-site murals on 12’x12’ and larger canvases.
(A week earlier, Retna created the graphic backdrop for the Rivera &
Rivera gallery at photo l.a.) Fueled by the Oscar-nominated documentary
Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by famed UK stencil artist Banksy,
and Shepard Fairey’s Obama “Hope” poster, an
unlicensed use ofAssociated
Press photographer Mannie Garcia’s photo — you have
one of the most popular and controversial art forms today: street murals, cutting-edge,
Fairey, DJ for the evening at private party
a two-year battle, the Fairey/Garcia infringement case against Fairey was settled
in mid-January with both parties agreeing to share profits of future sales of
the image. “I respect the work of photographers, as well as recognize the
need to preserve opportunities for other artists to make fair use of photographic
images…. I often collaborate with photographers in my work, and I look forward
to working with photos provided by the AP’s talented photographers,”
Fairey was quoted as saying.
Fetterman display of Cartier-Bresson
images by Henri Cartier-Bresson from Peter Fetterman’s
private collection was
a stunning group of more than twenty years of work during
the time Peter was the photographer’s primary gallery in the United States.
Several Cartier-Bresson images were also on display at the patron after-party
at the new Ritz Carlton Hotel, 51st floor, where street artists decorated the
suite with wall murals. Shepard and Amanda Fairey hosted the event while Shepard
entertained everyone as the DJ of the evening.
Gallery/The Netherlands showcased Mel Bagshaw’s
Doll Face series, photo in epoxy and Patricia Steur,
color and black-and-white celebrity portraits. Skotia Gallery/Santa
Fe, which had a booth at photo l.a., had one here, too.
McHugh and Douglas Kirkland
McHugh’s large-format, Polaroid prints of Los Angeles were shown
at Timothy Yarger Fine Art/Beverly Hills. Alex Guofeng
Cao was featured at Guy Hepner Contemporary/Los Angeles.
Decompose, Recompose, Resurrect, oversized main images and the armies of tiny
images that compose them are specifically paired to create a dialogue in images
entitled Jackie vs. JFK II; Warhol vs. Mao, After Mapplethorpe; Brigitte Bardot
vs. Eve, Creation of Eve; and others.
Lyon’s black-and-white images were represented by Modernbook
53 Art Museum, a new avant-garde,
contemporary art institution located in Guangzhou, China, presented an exhibition
of three cutting-edge artists: Feng Feng, Qin Jin, and Liu
Qingyuan. Feng Feng’s work includes thirty-five pieces of human
specimen photos and three sculptures.
Gallery/New York, exhibited Douglas Kirkland’s
Coco Chanel, Paris, 1962 images,
editions of 24, paper size 20"x24".
Speaking of the
Westwood Gallery, artist David Datuna hadan installation of smashing
plates. It was visually interesting and the sound of plates crashing into a kitchen
stove, a refrigerator, and a pile of previously smashed plates was very oddly
of my favorites was Isabel Muñoz at SEINE 51 Gallery/Paris.
Muñoz captures the movement of body and soul. Her black-and-white photos
are a study of toreros, dancers, and warriors.
SEINE 51’s artist roster
includes French photographer Sophie Elbaz; Margarita
Gonzalez, Spain; David Hamilton, UK; Jeff Cowen,
USA; and many others.
impressive and unique move by the show’s promoters was to add mobile technology
in the way
of a free iPhone app to enable more interactivity between visitors
and exhibitors. The state-of-the art app allowed visitors to point their iPhone
at any registered artwork exhibited at the fair and instantly receive extensive
information on an artist and piece; add their own notes; bookmark for later; share
with a friends via Facebook, Twitter and email; take the fair home with them;
and contact the gallery!
Muñoz at SEINE 51 Gallery/Paris.
Los Angeles Contemporary
The Barker Hanger, Santa Monica
Los Angeles Contemporary included lots of video, performance art, and
installations, including photography. This year the fair stepped up its production
from the Pacific Design Center to Barker Hanger in Santa Monica. The fair presented
70 international blue-chip and emerging galleries from around the world: Athens,
Berlin, Dublin, Düsseldorf, London, Moscow, Milan, Madrid, Oslo, Seoul, and
New York, as well as a strong showing of galleries from Los Angeles and a sprinkling
from Boston to Seattle to Chicago and Miami.
of the things I like about Tim Fleming’s Art Los Angeles
Contemporary program is its youthful cutting-edge work. One of the biggest contenders
there was ACE Gallery/Beverly Hills, which plans to open in a
new location in New York City in the spring. They have a long history and have
also exhibited at photo l.a., where their almost warehouse style — stacking
images against tables — at the time didn’t fit so well with the traditional
photo galleries. ACE handles large work: Gary Lang’s large
circle spectacularly dominated the space.
Glynn designed Verse | Chorus | Verse, the stage for readings,
music, and performances.
It was a large-scale installation constructed out
of discarded art shipping crates and based on the
architecture of ancient Greek
amphitheaters. In between performances, people gathered with friends and enjoyed
the unique seating arrangement.
programs included, “X-TRA, 1 Image 1 Minute,” the live presentation
of the ideas and anecdotes tied to each image, ranging from funny to poignant
to historically iconic. Fifty artists, curators, and members of the art community
each presented a significant photograph of their choosing for one minute. Hosted
by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in conjunction with Art Los
Angeles Contemporary, the event benefited LACMA’s Modern and Contemporary
Arts Council and the Art Here and Now initiative.
was good to see the presence of LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary
in 1978 by a small group of artists, LACE has nurtured
not only several generations of young
artists, but also newly emerging art
forms such as performance art, video art, digital art, and installation- based
work. Many of the artists that LACE has supported over the years, once unknown,
have gone on to become influential and admired individuals in their field, including
Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Ed Ruscha, and
Bill Viola. LACE takes on social commentary within their artist roster.
most interesting for me was Gasser Grunert Gallery, New York,
which handles VALIE EXPORT, an extraordinary mixed-media, feminist
artist from Austria. Born Waltraud Lehner, in Linz, Austria, in 1940, VALIE, in
1966 took the name VALIE EXPORT as an artistic concept and as a logo (spelled
with all upper case letters). EXPORT uses her own body in combination with film,
photography, video, and now digital technology. Her work confronts the conformity
of social politics, especially about women. When viewing some of VALIE’S
photo work I’m somehow reminded of French avant-garde photographer Florence
Henri. EXPORT has shades of avant-garde content and style, but stands on her own
for her sexual “in you face” feminist social commentary, which is
very well done with her explosive installations and video.
a number of other galleries that showed photo-based work was Gavlak Gallery/Palm
FL, which exhibited Lisa Anne Auerbach’s torn Epson Ultrachrome
LaViola Gallery/New York presented Jennifer Catron & Paul
Outlaw’s performance installation accompanied with photographic
archival inkjet prints. Their performance was a life-size frame positioned on
a kelly green wall. There Catron & Outlaw created interactive scenarios with
each other within the frame itself, in barely noticeable slow movement. The rest
of the gallery had large digital prints of their work.
Luisotti/Santa Monica, hung John Divola’s As
Far As I Could Get (10 Seconds) R02F09B, 1996/1997, Ultrachrome pigment print
64"x44". Gallery Luisotti also carried Catherine Wagner.
Quint Contemporary Art/La Jolla showed photo-based installation work.
Gallery/London/Moscow exhibited French artist Claire Fontaine,
who they are exhibiting simultaneously in London and Moscow through March. Fontaine’s
Fighting Gravity video and digital prints aim to approach the threatening
magma deposited inside our lives by the recent economic crisis.
Los Angeles January art month seemed prosperous for many. This year stars sited
MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, Brad Pitt, Roseanne Barr, Julian Michaels,
and Neil Patrick Harris, along with various producers, directors, art lovers,
and other collectors. Most reports
across the board claimed good sales. Los
Angeles is expanding its arts base. The City of LA, with its limited budget, does
it’s best to show support for all art media. Billionaire, art-collector
his new Broad Museum, a $130 million structure in early spring 2013. Broad’s
2,000-piece art collection includes work by notables like John Baldessari, Jeff
Koons, and Cindy Sherman.
in all January is a great month to visit Los Angeles. The 20th anniversary photo
l.a. XX is
always special because of its predominately photographic content.
The second annual Classic Photography boasted bins filled with treasured 19th-
and 20th-century prints. The 16th Annual Los Angeles Art Show presented premiere
galleries from around the world showcasing the best of the best in painting, sculpture,
and a sprinkling of photography. Finally at the end of the month the second annual
Art Los Angeles Contemporary, with a concentration on cutting-edge installation,
photography, painting, and sculpture made its mark.
Ferro / photographs /articles
Photograph Collector: photo l.a. XX 2011
RANDOM NOTES 2011,
by Jean Ferro, volume XXXII, No. 2, Feb. 16, 2011
Photograph Collector: photo l.a. 19 - 2010
NOTES 2010,volume XXXI, No. 2, Feb. 15, 2010
a subscription to The Photographic Collector see
Photograph Collector/The Photo Review