By: Jenna Curry
In December the art world looked with anticipation toward Miami’s multiple fairs; this month is Los Angeles’ turn to make its mark. The 15th annual Los Angeles Art Show, which takes place Jan. 20–24 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, is poised to attract more than 35,000 international visitors, and its organizers—KR Martindale Management and the Fine Art Dealers Association—are hopeful that a successful show could signal a turnaround in the global art market. “The art market everywhere was affected greatly by the downturn,” says show producer Kim Martindale. On a more positive note, he adds, “There are more and more people who are eager to start forming collections of art, and here (in Southern California), there’s already excitement about Los Angeles artists, who are being taken more seriously.”
In her first year as president of FADA, Betina Tasende, who is the associate director of Tasende Gallery in La Jolla and West Hollywood, Calif., is excited for a new aspect of the L.A. Art Show this year: the International Pavilion. “We’ve instituted a new program to the art fair; once a year, we’ll pick a host country or city to focus on—this year is Uruguay,” she says. “The purpose is to bring an awareness of art from Uruguay—giving (the show) more of an international flavor.” According to Martindale, the Ministry of Culture is curating an exhibit celebrating six mid-career artists from the South American nation, all of whom either have been or will be shown at the Venice Biennale. “It will show a wide range of work, from project-based to video to painting to collage,” Martindale says.
One of California’s most collected art genres is plein air painting. George Stern Fine Arts of Los Angeles will offer two fine examples of plein air painting by Edwin Roscoe Shrader. The Illinois-born artist-illustrator moved to California with his family at a young age, and studied at the University of Southern California in the early 20th century. The gallery will display Shrader’s On the Terrace and On the Beach in its booth, for undisclosed sums. Shrader, who served as a dean at the Otis Art Institute from 1923–49 and who was a leading figure of the Southern California art scene, will also be the subject of a spring exhibition at the gallery.
Tasende Gallery will present a group exhibition of works by Lynn Chadwick, Armando Romero, Mark di Suvero, Henry Moore and Fernando Botero. The Colombian-born Botero’s bronze sculpture Horse (2008) is priced in the upper six-figure range; his paintings generally range from $50,000 to more than $1 million.
Another contemporary art gallery, Jonathan Novak, is offering new works by Jim Dine, Sam Francis and Ben Schonzeit, among others. Works in Novak’s booth are priced between $20,000 and $800,000.
On show in Manny Silverman Gallery’s booth will be a 1987 work by Robert Motherwell, titled The Red and Black No. 23. The gallery plans to offer an array of artworks and prices, which range from $10,000 to the six figures.
January is known as Los Angeles Arts Month. (Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made it official in 2009.) In conjunction with the L.A. Art Show, the City of Angels is hosting the 25th annual IFPDA Los Angeles Print Fair, as well as two satellite fairs, PhotoLA, running Jan. 14–17, and ArtLA, on Jan. 21–24.
PhotoLA and ArtLA showcase cutting-edge contemporary works.