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Get Your Contemporary Art on at Frieze in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills Sign with statue in front.
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After a year’s hiatus, the most dynamic contemporary gallerists reconvene in Beverly Hills next week to celebrate Frieze 2022.

The Frieze art and media fair plays out in leading cultural centers around the world—think New York, Seoul and London—but for Director Christine Messineo, greater Los Angeles has a special standing. “Los Angeles has always been a place for creative undertakings, but I think what’s shifted recently is that people from outside are paying closer attention and are interested in getting more involved and having a presence. The fair is a reflection of that energy,” she says.

Messineo says she’s especially thrilled to be in Beverly Hills this year at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard, adjacent to The Beverly Hilton, nestled between the Hammer Museum and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

“Beverly Hills has a strong history of arts patronage and its own exceptional permanent sculpture collection,” she says.

The Frieze Experience

Sarah Rosalena Brady artwork - Cosmic Microwave Background visualization, beads, beeswax, pine sap, gourds
Sarah Rosalena Brady CMB | RBG, 2021 Cosmic Microwave Background visualization, beads, beeswax, pine sap, gourds 16 x 8 x 10 inches
(Courtesy of the artist and Garden)

Sure, you can see art online or wander through a gallery on your own, but there’s a kind of magic to experiencing art in community with others.

“A few years ago at Frieze New York, there was a solo presentation of work by the painter Louise Fishman. Throughout the fair, I kept returning, on one occasion with another painter who took me through the paintings in an entirely new manner. This kind of study is a real totem of Frieze, and with over 100 local and international galleries participating in Frieze this year, I know that every visitor can have that same experience,” Messineo says.

In addition to the stalwart foundational exhibitors Blum & Poe, The Box, Château Shatto, Commonwealth and Council, Jeffrey Deitch, Kayne Griffin, David Kordansky Gallery, Regen Projects and Various Small Fires (VSF), Frieze shines a bright spotlight on emerging galleries that have been open fewer than 15 years. Come see the offerings from Baert Gallery, Garden, Gattopardo, In Lieu, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Marta, Stanley's and Stars. Returning participants include Bel Ami, Charlie James Gallery and Parker Gallery.

Be Here Now

María Berrío_Victoria Miro.jpg
María Berrío City of Walls, Empire of Glass II (detail), 2022 Collage with Japanese paper and watercolour paint on canvas 182.9 x 152.4 cm 72 x 60 in © María Berrío
(Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro)

Los Angeles’ art scene has its own energy, unlike any other in the world. This fair helps to capture that uniqueness.

“At Frieze, we always strive for our fairs to reflect the unique cultural landscape of their host cities,” Messineo says. “This includes ensuring a strong presence of local galleries from across all levels of the market, but also working together with the city’s leading artists, curators and institutions on a range of programming and special projects.”

To do that, Frieze brought in Amanda Hunt, director of Public Programs & Creative Practice, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, to curate the Focus LA section highlighting the region’s most exciting emerging galleries and artists. “We’re also thrilled to be working together with artist Tanya Aguiñiga who has organized BIPOC Exchange, an initiative for Los Angeles’ social-impact artist-led initiatives,” Messineo says.

Sharing the Space

CarmenHerrera_LissonGallery.jpeg
Carmen Herrera Untitled, 2012 Acrylic and pencil on paper 50 x 70 cm 19 5/8 x 27 1/2 in
(© Carmen Herrera, Courtesy Lisson Gallery)

Traditionally, women and people of color have been excluded from mainstream contemporary art spaces. That’s changing, and Frieze is taking notice.

“We’ve come to this moment where, if you don’t have Black artists or female artists within your orbit – whether you’re a museum, whether you’re a gallery owner or whether you’re a collector – you’re looked upon in a certain way,” says patron and collector Troy Carter in an interview on the Frieze website. “What’s interesting, though, is where it’s going. Whether it’s businessmen, athletes, musicians – you’re seeing a lot of wealthy African Americans that are beginning to collect. These are people who want to hang Black faces in their homes as well. I feel like we’re creating our own platform for artists. So even if the bottom drops out of these artists the community is creating a space where they’re still going to have a home regardless.”

How to Participate

Frieze runs Feb. 17-20 in Beverly Hills. Though individual tickets may be sold out, it’s still possible to buy memberships for tours, access to the exhibits and other Frieze-related activities.

In addition to the show, Frieze Week plays out across Los Angeles all week, Feb. 14 through Feb. 20, with a broad spectrum of programming at galleries, museums, civic organizations, and other artist-driven spaces. Major institutional exhibitions include: ‘Selected Acquisitions of a Decade’ at The Broad; ‘LaTroya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze’ at California African American Museum; ‘Lifes’ and ‘Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation’ at Hammer Museum; ‘Black American Portraits’ at LACMA; and ‘Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor’ at MOCA.

To learn more, visit frieze.com.