What To See in Los Angeles During Frieze

The must-see installations and exhibitions both inside and beyond the city’s third installment of the international art fair, now in Beverly Hills



In the Light of a Shadow, 2020, Glenn Kaino, courtesy of the artist and MASS MoCA


Steps from the Beverly Hilton, 100 local and international galleries are converging in Beverly Hills for Frieze Los Angeles. This year’s fair, held in a new location with a tent designed by Kulapat Yantrasast and Mark Thoman of WHY Architecture, is Christine Messineo’s first as director. The former gallery director and Plan Your Vote founder has put together a fresh new lineup that includes a section devoted to emerging local galleries and artists as well as a communal space for social impact projects led by Tanya Aguiñiga. Additionally, there’s a full roster of happenings around town including Prada Mode Los Angeles, the traveling members-only social club popping up at Genghis Cohen with an immersive installation by L.A.-based artist Martine Syms. And London-based retailer Matches Fashion is hosting a by-appointment Los Angeles residency in Beverly Hills. Among those in town for the fair’s duration and exploring spots beyond it is ForYourArt founder and L.A. native Bettina Korek, a former Frieze Los Angeles director who is now chief executive of London’s Serpentine Galleries. Here’s what’s catching Messineo’s eye at Frieze and where Korek is planning to stop beyond the tent.


Spaced Out, 2019, Joan Semmel, courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates


“I’ve always admired Frieze’s commitment to galleries at all levels — from emerging spaces to the established canon”

Christine Messineo


Portrait of Aissatou Dialo Gueye, 2020, Kehinde Wiley, courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects


C Magazine: There’s a slate of solo shows by international women artists at Frieze this year. What attracts you to a collection with breadth?

Christine Messineo: Solo shows are an opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of an artist’s practice. It’s an opportunity for a collector, a curator, a student to delve into a generative dialogue with the galleries or spend a little more focused time looking at a few works in person and get a broader picture of the artist.


L.A. Energy, 2022, mural in progress, Betye Saar, at Roberts Projects


C: L.A. Louver is devoting its booth to London School painter Leon Kossoff who painted and sketched works inspired by Nicolas Poussin (the subject of a Getty Center show opening during Frieze week). Are there other such intertwined happenings to check out?  

CM: There are so many highlights to see. I’m personally very excited to see Betye Saar’s monumental 1983 Los Angeles public mural, L.A. Energy, presented by Roberts Projects, which she will be installing herself, onsite, at 95 years old. Another intertwining, as you call it, is new sculptures by Elaine Cameron-Weir together with a new series of enamel works by Nora Turato (a collaboration between Hannah Hoffman Gallery and LambdaLambdaLambda). It was just announced that Cameron-Weir will be participating in the Venice Biennale, so it feels extremely fortunate that her work will be here in anticipation. There are a number of other galleries who are also using this opportunity to put two artists in dialogue; Massimo De Carlo will exhibit a dual presentation with the artists McArthur Binion and Brian Rochefort and Kaufmann Repetto will show paintings from Latifa Echakhch’s Sun Set Down series, in conversation with ceramic sculptures by Simone Fattal. Both promise to be must-sees.


“Allow yourself the freedom to drift a bit, discover the new and explore beyond your usual favorites”

Christine Messineo


Long Quiet River, 2022, Iliodora Margellos, courtesy of Baert Gallery, in Frieze’s Focus L.A. section


C: As L.A.’s art scene continues to grow, what is Frieze’s role among emerging galleries and artists?

CM: I’ve always admired Frieze’s commitment to galleries at all levels — from emerging spaces to the established canon. Curated by Amanda Hunt, Focus L.A. is a section dedicated to younger galleries, many of whom are participating in an art fair for the first time. Each booth will exhibit either a solo or dual presentation and celebrate work by artists who are emerging, whose narratives or practices may be lesser known, and whose use of material is done in powerful and innovative ways. By presenting this work as part of a major international platform we aim for both artists and galleries to gain recognition for their work.


Beaver dam, Klamath lake, Oregon, Suzanne Husky, 2021. 


C: Artist Suzanne Husky is creating a participatory installation called Dam Beverly Hills, based on the ecological role of the North American beaver in California’s landscape. How does this work fit into L.A.’s history of immersive art?

CM: Our partner Ruinart has commissioned Husky to create this work as the latest iteration in their series of artist-led presentations. For Frieze Los Angeles they have a track record of presenting pieces that reflect environmental concerns specific to California — in 2020 they showed David Horvitz’s Air de LA. I didn’t know how specifically important the North American beaver is to the Californian ecosystem and I’m looking forward to seeing how Suzanne’s exploration of this issue captures the imagination of our visitors.


The Water, 2021, Minjung Kim, courtesy of Gallery Hyundai


C: As a former exhibitor, what are some inside tips to touring the fair?

CM: It’s always good to prepare a bit — to work out in advance what you really want to see and map that out. But fairs are also so good at throwing you off course so do allow yourself the freedom to drift a bit, discover the new and explore beyond your usual favorites.


Jannet Galdamez of Contra-Tiempo Activist Dance Theater, photograph by Steve Wylie


C: What are particular sections that you won’t miss?

CM: Tanya Aguiñiga’s BIPOC Exchange across the street from Frieze. Tanya is an artist and founder of Art Made Between Opposite Sides and we’re collaborating with her to make an open-to-the-public communal space, within the Beverly Hilton, at Wilshire Garden, which will present 10 Los Angeles-based, artist-led social impact projects.

A Deep and Abiding Dance, 2021, Diedrick Brackens, courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles and Seoul


C: What adjacent L.A. exhibitions are you planning to see beyond Frieze?

CM: I’m looking forward to seeing Diedrick Brackens (through May 8) at Craft Contemporary, Ulysses Jenkins (through May 15) at the Hammer, and “how we are in time and space: Nancy Buchanan, Marcia Hatiff and Barbara T. Smith” (through June 12) at Armory Center for the Arts.


Beyond the Fair: Bettina Korek Shares Her Must-Sees Around Town


Untitled (Revival), 2021, Jennifer Packer, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, Corvi-Mora, London


Bettina Korek: Serpentine presented a Jennifer Packer exhibition last year, which is now on view at the Whitney in New York. One of the most exciting American painters, her portraits of commemorative still lifes are at MOCA’s “Jennifer Packer: Every Shut Eye Ain’t Sleep” (through Feb. 20). Her works transfixed viewers in London.

At the last Frieze L.A. we worked with Gary Simmons to restage his 1992 Backdrop Project on the Paramount Backlot. For the original, Simmons set up his paintings as backdrops at a Harlem basketball court and the African Street Festival in Brooklyn, offering free Polaroids to people who posed against them. “Gary Simmons: Remembering Tomorrow” (Feb. 17 through May 22) at Hauser & Wirth spans paintings, wall drawings, sculpture and installation.


“At the last Frieze L.A. we worked with Gary Simmons to restage his 1992 Backdrop Project on the Paramount Backlot”

Bettina Korek


Jeff Wall is a Vancouver-based photographer whose work revolves around studies of place and documentary and his Gagosian show (through March 26) is his first in L.A. in nearly 20 years. These ten photographs blur the line between what is real and imagined in an uncanny way that demonstrates Wall’s signature style.

Moss, 2021, Rachel Harrison, courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Rachel Harrison is a modern-day master of readymade sculptural techniques, and always brings fresh takes on popular culture and politics with her unexpected amalgamations of textures, colors and things. “Rachel Harrison: Caution Kneeling Bus” (through Feb. 20) at Regen Projects focuses on her major mid-career survey at the Whitney in 2019–20.


Future Zoo, 2021, Jonas Wood, photograph by Marten Elder, courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery


The David Kordansky Gallery show of new works made over the past three years by L.A. artist Jonas Wood, “Jonas Wood: Plants and Animals” (through March 5), delves deep into his creative processes and extensive iconography of — as the title implies — plants and animals. While Wood is known for bright colors and hard-edged lines, there are almost subliminal painterly subtleties in these works that mesmerize.

Frieze Los Angeles, Feb. 17-20, 9900 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills.
Prada Mode Los Angeles residency, Feb. 16-17, by appointment.
Matches Fashion, Simon House, Feb. 12-18, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., by appointment.



Feature image: Sadie Jane, 2021, Brian Calvin, courtesy of Almine Rech and I be… (xlii), 2021, Ryan Gander, courtesy of Lisson Gallery


February 17, 2020

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