Just as we were catching our breath from the recent wave of art fairs, another is about to hit Thursday night, when opening receptions for Art Los Angeles Contemporary and the L.A. Art Book Fair are held. Both events run through Sunday.
Art Los Angeles Contemporary is a smaller but more focused art fair than the recent L.A. Art Show. Now in its fifth year, Art Los Angeles Contemporary runs in a converted airplane hangar near the Santa Monica airport and features established and emerging artists at more than 70 galleries from Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Dubai and beyond.
The fair also hosts film screenings, artist talks and performances. “Girls, Girls, Girls” screens on Friday afternoon; presented by Vanity Projects and curated by Rita De Alencar Pinto, it explores the multifaceted female psyche via 10 female video artists.
On Saturday, artist Dave Hickey appears in conversation with art writer and Los Angeles Times contributor David Pagel. They will discuss Hickey’s new book, “Pirates and Farmers.”
“ALAC makes January the moment for people in this city to engage with art,” founder Tim Fleming said in a statement. “And for an international audience to support and engage with our cultural landscape.”
The second annual L.A. Art Book Fair is proof that print is most assuredly not dead (not least of all, lovingly handcrafted, limited edition art books). The fair opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Geffen Contemporary on Friday, with a reception the night before at the Chinatown boutique Ooga Booga.
The free event is presented by the New York-based nonprofit Printed Matter, which also puts on the N.Y. Art Book Fair. It features an explosion of books, art catalogs and zines from more than 250 distributors, including international and indie presses, antiquarians and individual artists from about 25 countries.
“It’s really exciting to be here in Los Angeles. I’m a big fan of the city, working with Californian artists and interacting with publishers here,” L.A. Art Book Fair curator Shannon Michael Cane said. “There’s a really great scene here. People are really excited about independent publishing. Last year MOCA predicted we’d have about 5,000 people, but we had 15,000.”
For its second go-around, Cane said, the L.A. Art Book Fair is kicking up its programming. Events will run almost hourly, including an N.Y. Art Book Fair staple, the Classroom. Curated by Museum of Modern Art librarian David Senior, the Classroom will hold about six sessions a day, including conversations, lectures, readings and signings featuring authors and artists showing on the event floor.
KChung Radio will broadcast live from inside the Geffen and it will pick bands to play throughout the weekend in the courtyard.
Among event MOCA is organizing: Friday it will screen punk ephemera collector Bryan Ray Turcotte and producer Bo Bushnell’s “The Art of Punk,” a three-part YouTube series that originally premiered on MOCAtv in mid-2013. It's about the artists who created iconic punk logos for bands such as Black Flag and Dead Kennedys. Turcotte will appear on a panel after the two screenings to discuss the series as well as his obsession with punk rock and collecting.
Whether you hit art or books, downtown or in Santa Monica, wear comfortable shoes this weekend and clear out room in the car trunk.