Frieze Week L.A. 2020: Your guide to talks, screenings, performances and parties


An art bonanza will unfurl across the city next week as Frieze Los Angeles and four other key fairs lure art makers, sellers, collectors and spectators from around the globe.

The occasion also has sparked a slew of talks, screenings, performances and parties, turning “Frieze” into “Frieze Week.”

Here’s our primer on the biggest public events plus a day-by-day curated guide to some of the most promising happenings:

The big five, plus one

Frieze Los Angeles: The weekend fair drew 30,000 visitors over four days to its premiere at Paramount Studios last year. Expect more than 70 galleries and a finer-point focus this year. The Frieze Projects series, site-specific artworks on the Paramount backlot, was curated by Rita Gonzalez and Pilar Tompkins Rivas and will center on issues of representation, identity and myth. Gonzalez also is organizing a section of the main exhibition tent called “Focus L.A.,” devoted to local galleries that opened within the last 15 years. Paramount Studios, 5515 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. Feb. 13-16. lists entry gate directions.)

A Frieze Los Angeles installation by Hannah Greely titled "High and Dry" at the Paramount Backlot in 2019.
A Frieze Los Angeles installation by Hannah Greely titled “High and Dry” at the Paramount Backlot in 2019.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Felix L.A.: This is a more intimate and unconventional fair that aims to keep exhibitor fees low. For the second year it takes over the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, with 60 galleries showing in guest rooms and poolside cabanas instead of booths. Its Special Projects series will highlight issues around gender, queerness and feminism. On Feb. 13, performance artist Dynasty Handbag will present her “Weirdo Night,” an evening of comedy, song and dance, around the hotel pool where a David Hockney mural shimmers underwater. Special guests include comedic writer-performer Morgan Bassichis, folk artist Smiling Beth, actress Cricket Arrison and “Hula Hoop master” Marawa. Artist Kris Lemsalu and musician Kyp Malone will give a sunset performance Feb. 14. 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. Feb.13-16.

Art Los Angeles Contemporary: The 11th edition of ALAC will take place at the Hollywood Athletic Club instead of Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar. The move east signals a desire to be closer to the art fair nexus. ALAC will host 45 international galleries in the historic space, which was founded by Charlie Chaplin in 1924. Hollywood Athletic Club, 6525 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Feb. 13-16.

Spring/Break Art Show: This event, which has run in unusual or historic New York spaces the last eight years, debuted in L.A. last year with a lively, new-kid-on-campus pop and sparkle. More than 45 projects by mostly L.A. artists and curators featured a unifying theme: fact and fiction. In its sophomore year, Spring/Break will have 65 projects centered on “in excess.” Opening day Feb. 14 is VIP-only, but that evening the VIP Valentine’s Day Party is open to the public for $25 per person, with art tours, food trucks and a cash bar. Skylight, ROW DTLA, 757 S. Alameda St., downtown L.A. Feb. 14–16.

Start Up Art Fair: In its fifth year here, this event is devoted to emerging contemporary artists who aren’t represented by galleries. It will again take over the charming Kinney hotel in Venice, with more than 80 artists turning guest rooms into galleries. Artist Lili Bernard, who was one of Bill Cosby’s sexual-harassment accusers, will host a talk about art and the #MeToo movement at 2 p.m. Feb.16. 737 W. Washington Blvd., Venice. Feb. 14-16.


All of those Frieze Week events come on the heels of the L.A. Art Show, which celebrates its 25th anniversary a week earlier. L.A.’s longest-running art fair, it’s showing 127 international galleries and, for the first time, a European Pavilion with 12 galleries from France, Italy, Spain, Britain, Germany and Denmark. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Broad, the Japanese American National Museum, the Museum of Latin American Art and others have staged installations and are involved in the programming. Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A. Feb. 5-9.

Day by day

Got any art moxie left? Here are select Frieze Week events for your consideration. Pro tip: Wear comfortable shoes.

Monday, Feb. 10:

Curious about the Michelle Obama portrait that will travel to LACMA in 2021? You can ask the artist about it. Art + Practice will host a conversation between artist Amy Sherald and Hammer Museum curator Erin Christovale. The two will discuss “Collective Constellation: Selections From the Eileen Harris Norton Collection,” organized by Christovale and on view at Art + Practice, as well as the critical role of figurative painting and portraiture in representation, among other topics. 4334 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park; 7 p.m. Free with RSVP.

Tuesday, Feb. 11

The gallery Sprüth Magers will host a public opening party for French artist Cyprien Gaillard’s “Reef to Rigs” exhibition. His most recent film installation, “Ocean II Ocean,” is about fossils and the fossilization of oceans; the exhibition also will feature new wall-based limestone and aluminum sculptures. 5900 Wilshire Blvd, L.A.; 6-8 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, Feb. 12

Otis College of Art and Design will release its annual “Otis Report on the Creative Economy” for 2020, taking a deep dive into the growth of California’s and Los Angeles’ creative sectors. It will discuss its findings over a free breakfast at the L.A. Public Library’s Central Branch. Keynote speaker Amir Whitaker, staff attorney for ACLU of Southern California, will discuss equity in arts education, and a Q&A will follow. 630 W. 5th St., downtown; 9 a.m. Free.

"Hahn/Cock," by Katharina Fritsch, on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth. It stands about 15 feet high.
(Tom Politeo / For The Times)

You may remember Katharina Fritsch’s enormous blue rooster, “Hahn/Cock,” which was on view for years in London’s Trafalgar Square and subsequently exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. But the German artist has never had a solo show in Los Angeles. Matthew Marks Gallery will host a public opening reception for Fritsch’s L.A. solo debut, an exhibition of new, large-scale sculptures. 1062 N. Orange Grove Ave., West Hollywood; 6-8 p.m. Free.

L.A. artist Calida Rawles’ photo-realistic paintings — portraits of family members and other loved ones submerged in water, typically in white clothing — touch on racial identity and spirituality. Her exhibition “A Dream for My Lilith,” which kicks off with a public reception at her gallery, will consist of new large-scale works. Various Small Fires, 812 N. Highland Ave., L.A.; 5–8 p.m. Free.

L.A. artist Martine Syms, who was part of the Hammer Museum’s “Made in L.A.” biennial in 2016, will present her latest video installation, “Ugly Plymouths,” a three-channel work. Opening reception at 5239 Melrose Ave., L.A.; 6-8 p.m. Free.

Thursday, Feb. 13

Hong Kong curator Venus Lau organized Frieze’s Film & Talks series. One highlight: Japanese director Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 animated cyberpunk feature, “Akira,” set in a post-apocalyptic, war-torn “Neo-Tokyo.” Paramount Theatre at Paramount Studios, 5515 Melrose Ave., L.A.; 1:45 p.m. Included with purchase of “Program-Only” or “Galleries + Program” fair tickets.

You’re invited to the opening reception of ArtCenter College of Design’s inaugural exhibition of work by black alumni. The event’s title, “90/300: A Measure of Representation, in Celebration of Cultural Influence,” is a reference to the college’s “helping to shape 300 artists and designers of African descent” over its 90 years, it says. The show is at ArtCenter’s new satellite space in downtown L.A., a building that had housed the Main Museum. Many of the artists will be in attendance. ArtCenter DTLA, 114 W. 4th St., L.A.; 7 p.m. Free.

New York painter Lucien Smith’s nonprofit organization, Serving the People, will host a short film festival. Artists — many of whom are in town for Frieze — include Casper Telly, Aisha Amin, Robin Comisar, Francesca De Fusco, Johann Rashid, Oliver Shahery, Sam Stillman, Hunter Ray Barker and Tucker Tripp. The films will be screened in the former Silent Movie Theatre. Directors Ray Barker and Tripp will host a Q&A afterward. Fairfax Cinema, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 7-9 p.m.; donation voluntary but RSVP necessary.

Friday, Feb. 14

Romance? Meh. This Valentine’s Day celebrate “the saving grace of friendship” instead at the California African American Museum. “Be Ours: Palentine’s Day With Danez and the Homies,” a co-presentation with PEN America, is an evening of poetry and performance featuring Danez Smith and celebrating their new book, “Homie.” The author will appear in conversation with poet Fatimah Asghar, and a DJ set will follow. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, L.A.; 7:30–9:30 p.m. Free.

Frieze Music is presenting an off-site evening of electronic and experimental music. Featured acts include L.A. artist Moses Sumney, singer-songwriters Caroline Polachekand Zsela and DJ UwuQi. NeueHouse Hollywood, 6121 Sunset Blvd., L.A.; 9 p.m.; $75 ticket includes show and program-only fair access that day.

Saturday, Feb. 15

The Museum of Contemporary Art will host its second annual Brutally Early Club featuring free doughnuts, coffee and conversation between museum director Klaus Biesenbach and Swiss art curator and critic Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director of London’s Serpentine Galleries. Over the three hours they will weave artists Simone Forti, Shirin Neshat, Patrick Staff and others into the conversation. Gerard & Kelly performances follow at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo; breakfast, 7:30 a.m., talks and performances 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Free.

As part of its “The Un-Private Collection” event series, the Broad museum will host a conversation between artist and Sonic Youth cofounder Kim Gordon and artist Christopher Wool. The talk, focused on how art and music have influenced their practices, will be moderated by music writer and Chicago gallerist John Corbett. Colburn School’s Zipper Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.; 2 p.m. $20.

Swiss artist Nicolas Party’s Marciano Art Foundation mural may not be viewable anymore, since the museum closed, but the public can see new paintings, sculptures, site-specific murals and an immersive architectural work at Hauser & Wirth. The gallery will host a public party to celebrate Frieze and exhibition openings by Party as well as Lucio Fontana and August Sander. Portraits by the German artist Sander and excerpts from Weimar Republic-era gay and lesbian journals are exhibited in a partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and were curated by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Stephanie Barron. Hauser & Wirth also will host a conversation that day between artist Avery Singer and the Hammer Museum’s Aram Moshayedi to discuss the use of technology in the artist’s painting. 901-909 E. 3rd St., downtown L.A.. Party 3-7 p.m.; talk 4 p.m.; Free.

Author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates will appear in conversation with painter Calida Rawles to discuss Coates’ new novel, “The Water Dancer.” The event, moderated by LACMA curator Christine Y. Kim, is a copresentation of LACMA and Frieze. Paramount Theatre at Paramount Studios, 5515 Melrose Ave., L.A.; 4 p.m.; $20 (includes a copy of Coates’ book).

A day before LACMA opens “Luchita Hurtado: I Live I Die I Will Be Reborn,” a survey of the 99-year-old Venezuelan artist‘s work, the museum will host a conversation between Hurtado and curator-critic Obrist. LACMA curator Jennifer King will moderate. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; 2 p.m.; free but advance tickets required.

Frieze and Regen Projects gallery will screen artist Matthew Barney’s new film, “Redoubt,” a wilderness movie set in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains where dance replaces language. A Q&A between Barney and artist-curator-filmmaker Shari Frilot will follow. Paramount Theatre at Paramount Studios, 5515 Melrose Ave., L.A.; 6 p.m.; included in the purchase of “Program-Only” or “Galleries + Program” fair tickets.

Oakland rapper and spoken-word artist Ruby Ibarra, who’s from the Philippines, will join forces with contemporary and traditional musicians at the Getty Museum for two evenings of song and stories that give voice to immigrants and communities of color. The event, part of the Getty’s annual Sounds of L.A. series, is a copresentation with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A.; 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Free.

Conceptual artist and country singer Terry Allen will appear at Zebulon with his Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band. He’ll perform music from his latest album, “Just Like Moby Dick.” Times writer David Pagel called Allen’s 2019 survey exhibition, “The Exact Moment It Happens in the West: Stories, Pictures and Songs From the ’60s ’til Now,” his favorite art show of that year. The Frieze Week show is presented by his gallery, L.A. Louver. 2478 Fletcher Drive, Atwater Village; doors open 7 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. $35-$45.

Sunday, Feb., 16

The inaugural Los Angeles Art World Conference, cofounded by curators Dexter Wimberly and Heather Bhandari, is all about financial literacy for artists and art-world professionals. The daylong event will cover debt management, budgeting, the art of negotiation, copyright, marketing and more. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.; 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; $150-$350. Includes reception 4-6 p.m. Saturday at UTA Artist Space, 403 Foothill Road, Beverly Hills.

Curators Holly Jerger and Andres Payan Estrada of Craft Contemporary, formerly the Craft and Folk Art Museum, walk visitors through the museum’s second clay biennial, “The Body, The Object, The Other.” Many artists will be in attendance. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; 2 p.m. Free.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles will hold an open house to celebrate the openings of “Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison,” a retrospective featuring 38 works created from 1971 to 1977, and “Ann Greene Kelly,” a show of drawing and sculpture by an artist who’s also part of this year’s “Made in L.A. 2020: a version” biennial. ICA LA curator Jamillah James will appear in conversation with “Ree Morton” curator Kate Kraczon. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown L.A.; 2-5 p.m., with talk at 2 p.m. Free.

Close out Frieze Week with a clean conscience. The Hammer Museum is hosting a dance party that will spotlight organizations tackling climate change, voter registration and other issues. The event will feature plant-based food and include T-shirt screen-printing, short films curated by Plastic Pollution Coalition and tunes from Cumbiatón DJs Sizzle Fantastic and Funky Carmelo as well as DJ Suga Shay. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; 5-8 p.m. Free.