Los Angeles is certainly not the most social town — compared to New York, where design and art events happen nightly and, as a professional, you could pretty much get by never paying for a glass of wine, LA’s calendar can’t really compete. Which is why things feel so much more exciting when Frieze comes to town each February, and suddenly your calendar fills up and you’re running into interesting people left and right, multiple times a day. For those of us who crave creative stimulation, it’s a boon, the time of year when galleries, stores, and makers sync up to showcase new works and new ideas.
During this year’s Frieze week, as usual, we didn’t just see great art and design inside the tents and hangars at the Santa Monica airport, but all over town, starting with the first solo LA gallery exhibition by Gaetano Pesce, at Casa Perfect, which spanned both iconic older pieces as well as new ones, like multicolor lamps made from resin “rocks” cast from stones the designer collected himself. Maarten Baas also had his first solo exhibition in LA, a retrospective at Carpenters Workshop, and Friedman Benda also staged a retrospective, featuring 35 years of work by the Campana brothers, honoring the memory of Fernando, who passed away last year. (Our favorite piece there was a forged-iron chair from 1989, part of an early series by the brothers called the Desconfortáveis, or Uncomfortable, collection.)
We also had the pleasure of attending three great happenings last week: First, a lunch by the roving pop-up culinary project We are Ona, which took over Willo Perron’s studio in Silverlake and served multi-course meals by French chef Thomas Coupeau on pottery by Peter Shire (you can hire them for private events, too!). Second, the third edition of Lobster Club — a buzzy new platform for artists residencies and pop-up group shows founded by painter Maja Dlugolecki — where work by 9 artists was offered for sale inside a home in Echo Park. (Many of the works are sold now, but you can inquire by emailing [email protected]) And last but not least, a party inside the Frieze fair hosted by partner Maestro Dobel, who wowed us with a cocktail bar setup — created in collaboration with the furniture gallery Clásicos Mexicanos — consisting entirely of iconic Mexican chairs from the 50s to the 90s, including a series (and the bar itself) made in 1971 by Ricardo Legoretta for the Camino Real hotel in Mexico City.
See (almost) everything we saw below, including our favorite art from the Frieze fair proper. (Pictured at top: Canada gallery’s booth at Frieze)
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