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Beginning Thursday, Los Angeles plays host to an increasingly important weekend on the global art-world calendar. Not one, but three art fairs will take place around the city over the course of four days, bringing in collectors, artists and galleries from such creative hubs as Berlin, London, Paris, Oslo, Reykjavik and Miami.
The weekend kicks off Jan. 29, with the VIP opening night of Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC), which last year drew everyone from actor Orlando Bloom and power entertainment lawyer Jake Bloom (no relation) to Moby and Jerry Bruckheimer.
“The fair is work with paint that’s still wet. It’s basically work that’s being made now,” says ALAC director Tim Fleming. Now in its sixth year, the fair plays host to about 70 galleries at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar (3021 Airport Avenue, day pass $22).
“As the number of collectors is on the rise in Los Angeles, we get applications from a host of galleries from out of town who want to expand their marketplace here,” says Fleming.
L.A. galleries are well represented too, with David Kordansky, Anat Egbi, Acme, Francois Ghebaly, M+B and Night Gallery setting up temporary shop. The fair runs through Sunday, Feb. 1. Fleming stresses that the fair — which will also include video art screenings, panel talks and private VIP tours of studios of L.A. artists and private art collections — offers a range of pieces for everyone from major to newbie collectors.
“We definitely have work up to two- or three-hundred thousand dollars but people can also come to the fair and for two or three thousand dollars invest in something wonderful,” says Fleming.
Among the highlights will be London-based Carl Freedman Gallery’s showing of work by Jessie Flood-Paddock (“they are these over-scaled sculptures of these gigantic snacks,” says Fleming); a solo exhibition at David Kordansky of pieces incorporating text, abstraction and wood carving by Zach Harris; and a show of new paintings by Joe Sola at Tif Sigfrids where car salesman instead of the usual phalanx of gallery reps will introduce the work.
Joanne Colonna, a manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners whose clients include Anna Paquin, Elijah Wood and The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, is a fan of the fair. “I go back every year. Last year, I bought all nine paintings from this Tel Aviv painter Maya Block from Thierry Goldberg at the VIP opening. When I went back the last day to pick them up, he said he could have sold them 10 times over during the fair. The fair is always great.”
Hitting all the events of the weekend will involve quite a bit of crisscrossing the city. Downtown, the L.A. Art Book Fair will return Jan. 29 to Feb 1. for a third time, setting up at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 N. Central Ave., free). Featuring dozens of independent publishers, it’s run by the nonprofit group Printed Matter, which puts on the prestigious New York Art Book Fair.
And out in Agoura Hills, Calif. on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, at Hollywood’s old Paramount Ranch film lot – located about 50 minutes north of mid-city L.A. – the second iteration of the Paramount Ranch Fair (2903 Cornell Road, $5) will unholster works from more than 50 galleries (including Young Art, Hannah Hoffman and The Box) on the location where John Wayne and Cary Grant once shot films. Libations are courtesy of Culver City bar Mandrake, which will pour drinks in the Old Saloon. Says Colonna: “Paramount Ranch is a great show witih lots of international galleries. It was the only show my kids enjoyed going to last year as they thought they were touring a movie set and didn’t know they were actually going gallery hopping!”
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