Frieze LA 2020 took place last week — over 70 eminent galleries from Los Angeles, the United States and around the world participated. The fair included on-site artist commissions and events extending throughout the city. Frieze came to the city for the first time last year, bringing artwork from the most sought after talent in the contemporary art world to Los Angeles.
Although Frieze LA wrapped last week, Hyperallergic does a great job describing the event and the vibe…worth a read! Perhaps to plan your trip next year? If you missed it, here are some of our favorite pieces from the fair. If you were there, please share your picks in the comments!
An abstract artist, Odita places his work in the tradition of black abstract painters from the 1970s and 1980s including Stanley Whitney. Odita is recognized as a master colorist, not only in the visual or technical sense (like Josef Albers) but for his exploration of the historical, social and political connotations of color.
In my paintings, I am dealing with memory, the presence and absence of experiences removed; nostalgia for a lost past, and the hope for something new and better.Odili Donald Odita
Born in Nigeria in 1966, Odita was forced to leave home due to the Biafran war and his family fled to the US. Subsequently, Odita grew up in Columbus, Ohio. His work, like Displacement (above), is inspired by his dual identity, fusing elements of Western modernism with African culture, combining “hard-edged bands of color with an earthy African palette, in patterns that also suggest West African textiles.”
Odita studied art at OSU and Bennington College. In addition to his career as an artist, Odita is active as an art critic and instructor, currently serving as Associate Professor of Painting in Philadelphia at the Tyler School of Art / Temple University.
Marley Freeman (b. 1981) draws from the combined disciplines of abstract and representational painting. She is interested in mixing her own pigments and materials, using hand-mixed gesso, acrylic, and oil paints she uses to create “meticulous, psychologically-charged color fields.” Freeman was born in Boston, but currently lives and works in New York. She has an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College, New York, and a BFA from SAIC in Chicago.
A Bejing-based artist, Liu Wei is known for his political and social commentary on Chinese culture. Wei works in many types of media including installation, video, drawing, painting, and sculpture. Wei began his career as part of a subversive movement called Post-Sense Sensibility. The group of artists aimed to create extreme experiences for those seeing their work and embraced improvisation, irrationality, and intuition.
More recently, he has shifted his focus to the relationship between man and nature, as he explained in an interview at his debut at the Venice Biennale with E Jane Dickson in 2019. He has said his art always starts with a question, it “[doesn’t] begin from a material or a technique […] I have an idea and then think about how to express it.” Concerned with the limitations placed on artists by their dependence on social media, Wei has returned back to basics, and two paintings and one sculpture were presented at Frieze LA by Lehmann Maupin this year.
Teresita Fernández (b. 1968) is a contemporary American artist living and working in New York. She is best known for her large-scale public sculptures and her exploration of place and landscape in the broadest sense of the word. Fernández focuses on altering the viewer’s perception by changing light or space in a direct way. During a residency in Japan, Fernández was struck by the “elegance and utility of the traditional Japanese lifestyle and architecture, an experience that left a profound impact on her artistic process and work.”
In fact most of my work [is what] that’s all about – the idea that darkness, the revered beauty of shadows, is not really “just” dark emptiness, but that darkness is actually very much alive, dynamic. So it’s about that reciprocity where darkness only exists where there’s light and light only exists where there’s darkness—they exist in tandem with one another, they define one another much more than being distant opposites.Teresita Fernandez
Born in Miami, Florida to a Cuban family in exile, Fernández studied at Florida International University and Virginia Commonwealth University, receiving an MFA in 1992. The artist won the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2005.
Jordan Casteel is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, who lives and works in New York. Castell paints colossal portraits of friends and neighbors with an incisive insight that is reminiscent of another New York woman painter, Alice Neel. Casteel’s works have been widely exhibited and celebrated for their tenderness and keen social commentary.
Liam Everett is an American artist who currently lives and works in Paris, France. Everett is a process-oriented painter, who creates abstract, mixed-media paintings and sculptures. Everett’s work is entirely grounded in the present moment, and he is “inspired by dance, theater, and philosophy, he produces work abundant with human traces. The gestural smears, smudges, lines, and creases in his works on panel and fabric reflect his elaborate, labor-intensive method, in which he alternately builds up and erases layers of pigment.” Everett’s process is also unique in that he uses salt, lemon juice, and alcohol to remove sections of color, “aligning painting with the practice of alchemy while simultaneously foregrounding its earthiness.” If you would like to learn more about his work, I’d recommended checking out this excellent video.
More about Frieze LA
The original Frieze, began in London in 2003 and is held annually in Regents Park. The fair was launched by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, the founders of frieze magazine, and is led by Victoria Siddall, global director of Frieze Fairs. Frieze Art Fair features more than 170 contemporary art galleries, and the fair also includes specially commissioned artists’ projects, a talks program, and an artist-led education schedule.