Bay Area galleries descend on Frieze Los Angeles
March 1, 2024
Judy Baca turns Lacma into her studio as she charts the history of Los Angeles
March 1, 2024
Bay Area galleries descend on Frieze Los Angeles
March 1, 2024
Judy Baca turns Lacma into her studio as she charts the history of Los Angeles
March 1, 2024

NBA greats and crosstown rivals LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Clippers both took timeouts this week to tour Frieze—though on different days, perhaps to avoid an unplanned rematch after the Lakers’ comeback win over the Clippers on Wednesday night. Westbrook touched down at Santa Monica Airport towards the end of the VIP preview on Thursday, making a quick lap of the tent. The following morning, before Frieze even opened, James toured the fair with Jackie Wachter, Sotheby’s vice chairman of private sales. Perhaps he was in search of a celebratory purchase to mark his 40,000th career point—an unprecedented tally he is expected to achieve on Saturday night when the reigning champion Denver Nuggets come to town.

Can you dig it?

Some visitors to the Los Angeles-founded Various Small Fires stand at Frieze are leaving with more than a painting or sculpture: the gallery is distributing small cloth bags of worm-filled dirt to fertilise their gardens. Each bag is filled from a pentagon-shaped wooden trough (pictured left) created by The Harrison Studio, made up of Newton Harrison and Helen Mayer Harrison, a husband-and-wife duo who pioneered the Ecological Art movement in the 1970s. The materials for Composting in the Pentagon with Worm Tailings (2017) read like a gardener’s shopping list: wood, redworms, steer manure, chicken manure, soil, compost and plastic sheeting. “It was their wish for their work to be disseminated among the public, even if in a small gesture. This is a continuation of that,” says the gallery director Adrian Zuñiga. The work is priced at $30,000 and, on Friday evening, was on hold for a major California institution.

Ceramic standoff

Fur (almost) flies in Schulnik’s piece

Those stopping by The Pit gallery’s stand will be drawn to its pleasing pastel colours, with the back wall dotted with white squiggles and shapes. Turns out they are ceramic pieces that tell the real-life struggle between a rabbit and a snake that the artist Allison Schulnik witnessed outside her desert abode, south of Joshua Tree. “At first I was afraid for the bunny; I thought he’d be killed,” she says. “Then I realised that the rabbit was the aggressor, sometimes moving in to nip at the snake.” Lucky for him, the snake was not poisonous. How was this standoff resolved? “Well, finally the snake lunged forward, and the rabbit jumped back and ran away.” The scene is depicted in several sections—the snake lunging forward, the rabbit recoiling into a curl. “Fortunately they both came out alive,” she says.

Mad about the bagel

Bread heads are in for a treat at Felix

There are plenty of status symbols on view during Frieze week, but the almighty Courage Bagel—perhaps the most coveted baked good on the West Coast—is on a hole new level. Charles Moffett must be mighty pleased, then, that he managed to secure a full order of the delicious treat to dish out at his Felix Art Fair stand on Saturday morning, during a conversation with the artist Bari Ziperstein. Moffett was introduced to Courage by the chef Vinny Dotolo. “He said: ‘These are some of the best bagels in the US.’ I am from New York, so those are fighting words—but having tried them, I will happily bow down,” he tells The Art Newspaper. There’s only one thing to dough, then: make your way down to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Saturday morning at 11am and get bread-y to be blown away.

Koons’s boots are made for (moon) walking

Jeff Koons saw 125 of his miniature sculptures land on the moon this week aboard the Nova-C (Odysseus) lunar craft. Koons seems to have also made the perfect weighted footwear for astronauts: his Nike Sneakers (N110 D/MS/X) (2024, pictured above) made from polychromed bronze and weighing an impressive 11kg. These replicas of Nike’s $160 shoes are on display at the Pace stand and have already sold for $750,000. The gallery would not say who bought them, but with the basketball superstar LeBron James perusing the fair on Friday, maybe it was one small step for LeBron, one giant pay day for Jeff.

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