In pictures: meet Frieze Los Angeles’s menagerie of animal sculptures
March 1, 2024
Frieze Los Angeles Diary: slam-dunk stars, out-of-this-world shoes and hole-y dough
March 1, 2024
In pictures: meet Frieze Los Angeles’s menagerie of animal sculptures
March 1, 2024
Frieze Los Angeles Diary: slam-dunk stars, out-of-this-world shoes and hole-y dough
March 1, 2024

While Frieze Los Angeles has a particularly strong turnout of local galleries this year—more than 40% of exhibitors have a space in the greater Los Angeles area, according to the organisers—a handful of dealers from the Bay Area travelled nearly 350 miles south for the fair, touting impressive programmes.

While mega-galleries like Pace and Gagosian have shuttered their Bay Area outposts since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, local dealers from cities like San Francisco and Oakland say tight-knit art communities, passionate collectors and the region’s countercultural history contribute to a rich art scene, if one with a less developed ecosystem.

One of the success stories of this Frieze Los Angeles is pt.2 Gallery from Oakland. Showing for the first time in the fair’s Focus section, the gallery sold out its stand on Thursday. The gallery staged a solo presentation by Muzae Sesay, an Oakland-based artist whose work is informed by his family’s origins in Sierra Leone, a West African country that has historically been exploited for its natural resources, particularly diamonds. The works range in price from $16,000 to $30,000, according to Alicia Hougey, a representative for pt.2. The gallery prioritises artists working in the Bay Area, Hougey says, and even offers below-market rates for studio space to help offset the housing crisis in the area. It’s common for galleries and other spaces in Oakland to work together to support artists, she says.

“It’s really community-based. Everyone is really supportive and encouraging with each other. People do a lot of collaboration, a lot of DIY spaces, just because there’s not a lot of galleries in Oakland,” Hougey says. “We do have some great institutions in the Bay, but they’re not always accessible for up-and-coming artists.”

Anthony Meier’s space has been a Bay Area mainstay since he opened his first public gallery in San Francisco in 1996 after working as a private dealer beginning in the 1980s. The gallery relocated in 2023 to Mill Valley in Marin County, roughly 14 miles north. The gallery’s stand at Frieze is dedicated to work by Jesse Schlesinger, a San Francisco-based artist. Much of Schlesinger’s work on the stand is sculpture made from reclaimed materials native to the Bay Area, like redwood and cypress, with natural tones as well as pops of colour. Everything in the stand is priced below $20,000, according to Anthony Meier director Grace Lloyd.

The gallery has had a busy start to 2024: it was one of 54 spaces that took part in Fog Design+Art in San Francisco, the Bay Area’s leading art fair, in January. “Fog is our kind of local neighbourhood fair, so it’s always great to participate in and support the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,” Lloyd says. “Los Angeles is just such a huge city. San Francisco is a small town at the end of the day. We have a wonderful and exciting collector base in San Francisco, but Los Angeles is just that much bigger.”

Micki Meng, who opened her eponymous gallery in San Francisco in 2019, is making her Frieze Los Angeles debut with a solo stand in the Focus section with work by Jean Katambayi Mukendi, an artist based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mukendi’s work deals with the global flow and exchange of resources. His pieces on the stand include ink drawings and a sculpture, and are priced between $8,000 and $30,000.

The Bay Area is “fucking awesome,” Meng says. “It follows its own path, and it’s very supportive. California in general is coming together more and more as an entire state.”

First appeared on…

Comments are closed.