With the West Coast fair now just a few weeks away, many artists and spaces have put their best work into play. Galleries, museums and even architectural wonders do more than utilise the excitement generated by Frieze LA — they add to it — providing fair-goers with plenty of must-see art activations beyond the fair.
At The Broad, where special exhibitions continue to shine, the latest William Kentridge exhibition with over 130 artworks is considerably noteworthy, following another show of similar scale at the Royal Academy during Frieze London.
As a thirty-year survey of Los Angeles-legend Henry Taylor's work winds down at MOCA Grand Avenue, the late jazz great from the opposite coast, Milford Graves, is honoured at ICA LA with the presentation of his experiments in music, medicine, movement, and art.
The life of writer Joan Didion, another giant in their respective field who recently passed, is reflected and narrated in a Hilton Als curated exhibition at the Hammer Museum.
Transitioning to gallery shows, Hollywood is the neighbourhood of particular interest this season, especially with the new David Zwirner and Hauser and Wirth outposts.
Jammie Holmes, the self-taught artist whose Dallas studio we recently visited, presents Somewhereinamerica at Various Small Fires beginning on the 14th of February. Also opening in time for Frieze week, renowned Dutch sculptor Mark Manders gives form to a mythical narrative during his first solo LA show in over a decade at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.
Staying in the Hollywood Neighbourhood, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions presents its first artist unresidency. The inaugural edition of this unique program will feature an installation from Thinh Nguyen, titled HOBOLLYWOOD, in front of LACE's Hollywood Blvd space. The artist has lived in a car, gathering objects found on Los Angeles County streets since 2020. Visitors can converse with Nguyen about their experience as an unhoused artist during tea ceremonies on February 11 and 12.
Further down Hollywood Blvd lies the UNESCO World Heritage site set to host its first-ever artist intervention. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed over 1,000 structures in 70 years, including the Hollyhock House, which now serves as a centrepiece of Barnsdall Art Park. The first formal collaboration of the artist couple Louise Bonnet and Adam Silverman will see new paintings, drawings and ceramic works engage with the historic site.
Focusing finally on Frieze, the fair's ambitious public art section will be on-site at the Santa Monica Airport venue this year. Art Production Fund will curate this year's iteration of Frieze Projects. The non-profit arts organisation is responsible for many well-known public art installations, including Prada Marfa by Elmgreen & Dragset and Ugo Rondinone's Seven Magic Mountains. Fair attendees should be sure to make time for Frieze LA's most enterprising section.
Learn more about Cultivist membership offerings in relation to art fairs and more here.