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Matt Johnson Art Production Fund Frieze LA

Art Production Fund Honors Local History at Frieze LA

At this year’s Frieze Los Angeles, Art Production Fund presents an exhibit that explores the rich history of set design in Hollywood.

This week, the nonprofit Art Production Fund returns to Frieze Los Angeles for the second time with “Set Seen,” a series of large-scale works by renowned artists Sharif Farrag, Ryan Flores, Derek Fordjour, Pippa Garner, Matt Johnson, and Cynthia Talmadge.

Open to the public through March 3, this exhibit focuses on the rich history of set design in Los Angeles—and more specifically, the role Hollywood set designers played in disguising the Douglas Aircraft Company factory at Santa Monica Airport during WWII. It’s a logical focus point, given that Frieze LA itself is hosted in the Santa Monica Airport.

Derek Fordjour Art Production Fund Frieze LA Derek Fordjour, “No. 72,” 2017, oil pastel, charcoal, acrylic and newspaper on canvas, 30 x 24 inches, courtesy of the artist.

Works range from petite to sprawling. The eight-foot-tall Giant Shell Swan (2023), created by Johnson, is made of seashells and perches in the grass outside the venue. Fordjour’s PROCESSIONAL (2024) comprises dozens of small, vibrant oil paintings of the human form, drawing inspiration from wanted posters, trading cards, mugshots, and yearbook photos. Farrag has organized races on the sports field at Santa Monica Airport which will take place throughout the fair, titled Rat Race (2024) to serve as an allegory for the endless cycle of capitalism and its implications on survival, work, and money.

Pippa Garner Art Production Fund Frieze LA Pippa Garner, “Hauling Ass!,” 2023. 2003 Ford Ranger pickup truck, truck nuts, bumper stickers. Courtesy the artist and STARS Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo by Gregory Carideo. Commissioned by Art Omi. Fabricated by ARCANA.

With the blessing of The City of Santa Monica, Talmadge and Johnson’s works will continue to be on display until April 7. Notably, “Set Seen” is entirely free to the public—making its offerings accessible to the community of Los Angeles and beyond. Art Production Fund Executive Director Casey Fremont remarked of the exhibit, “Through their support of the program, Frieze and The City of Santa Monica demonstrate their commitment to public art and making art widely accessible. It is truly an honor to be a part of this incredible gift to the city.”

Cynthia Talmadge Art Production Fund Frieze LA Cynthia Talmadge, “Class Gift,” 2022, polystyrene (EPS) coated with polyurea and natural oxides and acrylic, aluminum, and resin inserts, courtesy of the artist, 56 Henry, New York and Carl Kostyal, London.




Whitewall spoke with Melissa Joseph about her first-ever public art exhibition for Art in Focus at Rockefeller Center. 
Whitewall spoke with the designer Kelly Wearstler about her favorite spots in LA in celebration of Frieze Week.


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