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Frieze to launch a Los Angeles art fair at Paramount Studios in 2019

Frieze to launch a Los Angeles art fair at Paramount Studios in 2019
A visitor to the Frieze art fair in New York in the booth of Brazil's Galeria Fortes Vilaça. (Frieze Art Fairs)

Frieze Fairs, which manages prestigious art fairs in London and New York, will soon be landing in Los Angeles. Frieze LA, which will feature work from 60 international galleries at Paramount Studios, will kick off in February 2019, the company is expected to announce Thursday.

Serving as executive director of the Southern California fair will be L.A. native Bettina Korek. Korek is a member of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, has organized gallery programs as part of the Getty Foundation's Pacific Standard Time initiative and is founder of ForYourArt, an L.A.-based arts organization that staged artist projects, exhibitions and events.

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The announcement comes almost two years after Endeavor, the Hollywood entertainment firm, announced it would buy a major stake in the fair.

"Frieze LA will extend beyond the fair at Paramount Studios into greater Los Angeles," Korek said via email. "As in New York and London, we want to create a week for artists, collectors, curators and galleries from around the world to come together to interact and engage with the art scene across the city."

Frieze had been rumored to be establishing a West Coast beachhead — as reported by Artnet.

Beyond the appointment of Korek as executive director, Frieze LA is collaborating with other local figures. The fair will be held in a temporary structure designed by Kulapat Yantrasast of the L.A.-based architecture firm wHY. L.A.-based curator Ali Subotnick, formerly of the Hammer Museum, will oversee a series of artist projects and a film program.

How much appetite there will be for another art fair in Los Angeles, however, remains to be seen. L.A. is home to a pair of established fairs: the L.A. Art Show, which is generally held downtown, and the glitzier Art Los Angeles Contemporary, staged at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica.

But the city is not generally regarded by collectors as an art market destination. In recent years, fairs such as Paris Photo and FIAC have attempted to establish a presence in L.A., only to shut down after failing to draw enough interest.

Korek says Frieze isn't dissuaded by that history.

"Frieze has unparalleled experience developing new fairs and integrating them into the cultural fabric of international art world destinations," she said. The fair, she noted, "has the backing of the local community and Endeavor to create an annual event that will bolster L.A.'s art landscape."

Frieze LA will take place next year from Feb. 14 to 17. Participating galleries and other curated programs will be announced later this year.

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