LOS ANGELES—Art dealers at the 11th annual Los Angeles Art Show, held Jan. 25-29 at the Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hanger, report buoyant sales and increased attendance. Fair organizers say the number of visitors rose to 13,500 from 10,000 last year.
The fair benefited from the “art extravaganza” taking place in the area at the time—including Photo LA, Art LA, and the Los Angeles Print Fair as well as many area museums that scheduled notable exhibitions to coincide with the fairs. Another factor that may have contributed to the show’s strength was the recent cancellation of the San Francisco International Art Exposition (SFIAE) that had been scheduled for Jan. 13-16. At least one gallerist, Nancy Hoffman, of New York, said she opted to attend the show after plans for SFIAE fell through.
A further show of success was the record total raised from the opening night gala (attendance was up to 3,200 people this year from 2,500 a year ago); the $170,000 take will benefit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
The fair featured 56 galleries. Most of them hailed from the Southern California area, but a number came from New York, Chicago, San Francisco and other U.S. cities. The lone international presence was Timothy Yarger Fine Art from Bangkok, Thailand.
Artworks ranged from Old Masters to contemporary art, and prices ran the spectrum from under $1,000 to just over $1 million. Notable this year was the increased amount of contemporary art shown. Julie Baker, of Julie Baker Fine Art, Nevada City, a first-year attendee, was very pleased with the show. On the first day of the show, she sold a $14,000 piece by Marnie Spencer, among others.
Red “sold” dots were visible throughout the fair. Having attended every Los Angeles Art Show since the fair’s inception, George Stern of George Stern Fine Arts, Los Angeles, said that sales this time were stronger than in any previous year. He reports selling a piece by Alfredo Ramos Martinez (1872-1946) that had an asking price of $375,000.
Tasende Gallery reported several sales of works priced over $100,000. Trotter Galleries, Carmel, sold an E. Charlton Fortune piece for $385,000. Many galleries reported total sales over six figures. Peter Fairbanks of Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco, said he chalked up total sales of $250,000.
Stuart Denenberg of Denenberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, told ARTnewsletter the gallery had sold prints and drawings by Diego Rivera, Pablo Picasso and Lovis Corinth during the fair. Sales consummated afterward included $50,000 for a John Saccaro oil painting and $16,500 for a Rivera drawing.
CHERIE LOUISE TURNER