April 12, 2024

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Frieze Los Angeles art fair opens with celebrity guests and big sales

Frieze Los Angeles art fair opens with celebrity guests and big sales

The VIP opening day of the Frieze Los Angeles art fair felt like a family affair, as Hollywood actors and the art world's elite met and mingled to view the best works from art galleries around the world. Held on Thursday, February 29 at the Santa Monica Airport for the second year in a row, the all-day event looked busier this year, as a new layout and 20 percent fewer exhibits gave the A-listers room to peruse and chat.

One can't walk without shaking hands with an old friend or meeting a group of Hollywood insiders. Longtime friends Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson — the first undercover movie stars to don baseball caps — chatted with LACMA Director and CEO Michael Govan in front of a booth, while VIP agents and collectors from Endeavor, CAA and UTA were outside. In force, some gather together in groups. Ari Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, walked around the exhibition with a friendly atmosphere, greeting guests and inspecting the paintings and sculptures. Endeavor owns a majority stake in Frieze, which also has art galleries in London, Seoul and New York.

WME co-president Richard Weitz — seen with jewelry designer Cheryl Lowe (her husband Rob Lowe, who painted, was also at the show) — spoke of glitz and glamor Freeze Los Angeles. “What a mystery surrounds the Frieze,” Weitz exclaimed, noting that it attracts “the most prominent figures in the art world and those who just want to be a part of it.” “A lot of them are already sold out initially, but it's always fun to see,” he added.

Cheryl and Rob Lowe - Frieze Los Angeles

Cheryl and Rob Lowe

Jojo Korsh, BFA.com

Producer and writer Maria Bell, a noted arts patron, agreed. “I feel like it's so exciting to have such a great show coming to Los Angeles,” she enthused. “Not only does it attract people from all over the world, it brings the L.A. art community together in a way that nothing else does. We've tried for years to have a successful exhibition here, and this one is the perfect fit, and it's so wonderful.”

Other notable attendees included Robert Downey Jr. (seen in a green tracksuit and multi-colored bucket hat), his wife Susan Downey, Leonardo DiCaprio (in a hat paired with a face mask), John C. Reilly, Jessica Biel, Tobey Maguire, Nancy Josephson and Dan Aloni from WME, Zachary Quinto, Anthony Kiedis, CAA's Joel Lubin, UTA's Jay Shores, Lionsgate's John Feltheimer, Sarah Gilbert, producer Michael Patrick King, Lisa Edelstein, Black Hoodie Michael Ovitz, The Edge, Jeremy Pope, furniture designer Alexandra von Furstenberg and director Ronnie Sassoon, restaurateur and artist Michael Chow, designer Michael Smith, Simone Bent Garrity, Troy Garrity, Steve Tisch and Jimmy Tisch.

Ari Emanuel - CEO of Endeavor - Gary Tyler - Artist - Frieze Los Angeles

Ari Emanuel and artist Gary Tyler, 2024 Frieze Los Angeles Impact Award winners.

Jojo Korsh, BFA.com

For many at Frieze, the main purpose of the day wasn't socializing — it was art. “You see great historical works by artists like Kenny Price and people like that, and then there are new works by younger artists,” Bell said. “It's a great combination. It's really cool.” At Jeffrey Deitch, Ryan Murphy, looking like a serious collector in a long black coat and sunglasses, is seen with his art advisor, Joe Sheftel, intently examining a silver self-portrait bust painted by artist Isabel Albuquerque, as part of her work. series Orgy for ten people in one body.

Minutes later, Albuquerque and her mother, legendary artist Lita Albuquerque, headed into the Deitch suite, a happy couple exuding joy and praising the collaborative atmosphere that Frieze provides. “I think what really excites me this time is that there is more energy, more international people coming,” Lita said. “I feel like we've gotten there, and that's a great feeling for me.”

Robert Downey Jr. - Susan Downey - Frieze Los Angeles

Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey

Jojo Korsh, BFA.com

The two were also enjoying the many parties that dominated the week surrounding Frieze. “It's great to celebrate together,” Isabelle said. “It's really nice. It's a lot wilder. It has more energy. I always say, 'Night, night.' It's like, 'A few more parties!'

As for her daughter's work at Jeffrey Deitch, Lita couldn't be prouder. “I think she's amazing. I think she draws from all these art historical sources. Everything is personal as well. Everything she does is her body. … It's incredible. She's really strong and … she's a genius.”

Ryan Murphy - Joe Sheftel - Freeze Los Angeles

Ryan Murphy and technical advisor Joe Sheftel.

Jojo Korsh, BFA.com

Sales were brisk all day. At the Lehmann Maupin exhibition, 15 works were sold, highlighting six female artists, including Korean artists Kim Eun Shin, Lisa Lu, and Billy Zanghua. “Overall, there was an upbeat energy at the fair as galleries showcased some of their best work. Sales at the fair were steady, especially for our artists who have had significant institutional activity this year,” noted Rachel Lehman, co-founder, with eight of our artists present. In Los Angeles, the gallery has become a must-visit for us.”

At Los Angeles-based Gagosian sculpture Lauren Halsey wat happens It was sold to a prominent museum in Los Angeles. The show includes works by Derek Adams, Thester Gates, Cy Gavin, Lauren Halsey, and Rick Lowe. “The response to these five artists has been overwhelming, with many of the works placed in prominent West Coast collections,” said Gagosian Director Antoine Sargent. “The show takes a fresh look at abstract concepts, with black artists adding their own investigations to that story and offering a contemporary interpretation.”

Frieze opens to the public today, March 1, and runs through March 3. (Two other simultaneous art fairs are also running in Los Angeles, Felix and Spring/Break Art Show, through March 3.)

Jeremy Pope - Sebastian Thiel

Actor Jeremy Pope and director Sebastian Thiel.

Kyle Goldberg, BFA.com

Dozens of collectors are in town from all over the world to attend exhibitions as well as check out the many art galleries that timed the opening of what became known as LA Art Week.

For many high-level art collectors who love and support the arts, it has truly become a major social event. “It's an opportunity to end up seeing a lot of the art world and the people you really like,” Bell said. THR. “We're kind of like a big traveling group that gets together. At different exhibitions around the world, we all see each other. It's almost difficult. You have to stay focused on the art because you meet a lot of old friends, and it's very nice to see them.”

On the first day of the Los Angeles frieze, the largest reported sale was a large-scale drawing by Richard Serra at the Gladstone Gallery for $2 million. At Thaddeus Ropac, a charcoal on paper work by Robert Longo sold for $1.6 million, and a work by Anselm Kerver sold for £1.3 million. Hauser & Wirth sold an Ed Clarke painting for $950,000, a Charles Gaines work for $795,000, a Frank Bowling painting for $800,000, and a Rita Ackerman painting for $425,000.

Michael Chow - Freeze Los Angeles

Michael Chow

Jojo Korsh, BFA.com

David Kordansky Gallery They sold their entire suite of works by Sam MacInnis, in the range of $95,000 to $140,000. a point. Gallery 2 sold all of his works to Muzae Sesay, while Vielmetter Los Angeles offered a nine-panel painting by Whitney Bedford for $300,000. A sculpture by Antony Gormley on display at White Cube sold for £500,000, while David Zwirner's sculpture by Huma Panaba, along with two sculptures by John McCracken, set for between $450,000 and $500,000 each.

In a new partnership between Frieze Los Angeles and the California African American Museum, the museum has acquired a ceramic work titled natural For their collection created by Los Angeles-based sculptor Mustafa Clayton Ali, who is represented in the focus section by Domenick Gallery on West Adams.

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