LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Art Show, now in its 12th year, was held from Jan. 24-28 at the Barker Hanger, Santa Monica Airport, drawing an attendance of 20,000 and far surpassing last year’s total of 13,500 (ANL, 2/14/06). At the same time, the fledgling fair Art LA, which ran from Jan. 25-28 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, drew 6,500 visitors, up from 5,000 last year, the organizers report.
Sales were strong at the Los Angeles Art Show, topping out above the $10 million mark, according to fair organizer Kim Martindale. Also on the rise was the number of exhibitors—80 this year, compared with 56 a year ago; an added pavilion housed the gallery overflow. Available artworks ranged from Old Masters and 19th-century works to Western and California Impressionists as well as works by emerging and mid-career contemporary artists, with a notable increase in the latter. Interest and sales ran the spectrum, and galleries across the board reported sale successes and satisfaction with the organization of the event.
The fair was attended predominantly by buyers from the Southern California area, numerous exhibitors report. Jack Rutberg, of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, told ARTnewsletter that he had met a large number of local collectors, many of them new to the gallery.
Claire Oliver, whose New York gallery of the same name specializes in new media, reports selling more than a dozen pieces priced from $1,400/70,000, adding that there was notable interest in a stained-glass work by Judith Schaechter. It was sold for $70,000. Art by Carson Fox also fared well, says Oliver. A wall installation of resin flowers sold for about $12,000, while a woven hair-and-wire piece took $4,200.
Second-year exhibitor Julie Baker Fine Art, Nevada City, Calif., sold more than 20 pieces, including two encaustic wax works by Matt Duffin and a $20,000 picture in watercolor, gouache, colored pencil and crayon by Marnie Spencer.
Also strong were sales by Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. “The show was very successful for us,” says Novak. “Among works we sold were those by Jim Dine, Sam Francis, David Hockney and Frank Stella.” Prices ranged from $20,000/200,000, Novak says.
First-year exhibitor David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, Mich., reports selling a dozen works for prices ranging from $9,000/250,000 each, including a 1976 Fernando Botero bronze, from an edition of six, entitled Mano Grande. And PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, Ore., sold works priced from $600/20,000, including two pieces by Nancy Lorenz that were priced at $20,000 each.
Art LA Holds Its Own, Unevenly
Presenting more contemporary art, mainly by Los Angeles galleries, Art LA, now in its third year, showed promising results. Yet sales appeared inconsistent, with some galleries reporting few or no sales and others doing very well. The Spinello Gallery, Miami, sold out its 15 illustrative works by Santiago Rubino, costing from $1,200/4,500.
Patrick Painter, codirector of Patrick Painter Inc., Santa Monica, says he sold out all 12 works he had on exhibit and reports particularly strong interest in Won Ju Lim, Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley. Honor Fraser, Venice, Calif., reports about $250,000 in sales, including: an Andy Warhol painting, two Tomoo Gokita works on paper, an Amer Kobaslija painting, five Mark Licari works on paper and three Erik Parker pieces—two works on paper and a painting.
Show organizer Tim Fleming compared this year’s fair with last year’s more modest sales, noting, “It was night and day.”
CHERIE LOUISE TURNER