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Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) takes place January 25–28 at the Barker Hangar. Now in its ninth year, it is the preeminent contemporary art fair on the West Coast, bringing together emerging and established galleries on an international platform. Whitewaller spoke with director Tim Fleming about what visitors can expect to see for the 2018 edition, including a focus on Latin America and gender equality.
WHITEWALLER: This is the ninth edition of Art Los Angeles Contemporary. How has the fair’s audience evolved? Are you seeing a growth in L.A.-based collectors?
TIM FLEMING: Growth in the collecting base has been twofold for ALAC. On one hand, the fair has deepened relationships with both young and seasoned collectors in Los Angeles, whether they are buying their first works or making a larger acquisition. The second aspect is the sustained growth of international collectors who attend ALAC and see the fair as a direct link to the artists and galleries that power the L.A. art world.
WW: Who are some of the fair first-timers we should keep an eye out for?
TF: We are very proud to continue the momentum coming off of PST: LA/LA, which broadened the audience in Los Angeles for Latin American artists, institutions, and galleries. ALAC includes exciting newcomer Latin American galleries, including Instituto de Visión of Bogotá, Colombia, and Revolver, from Lima, Peru. In terms of local and domestic newcomers, SEPTEMBER will be joining the fair from Hudson, New York; Los Angeles–based gallery The Pit will be joining with their recently expanded their gallery space The Pit 2; and also L.A.-based Edward Cella Art + Architecture will be joining the fair with a solo presentation by Raúl Cordero.
WW: What can we expect from the Freeways section, now in its third year?
TF: The Freeways section remains a popular entry pathway to ALAC as well as the Los Angeles art and collecting community, focusing on the new galleries throughout the United States and abroad. This year’s roster contains a significant contingent from Chicago, which helps link together disparate emerging artists and art centers throughout the United States and abroad. This year’s Freeways section includes Good Weather, from Little Rock; and M. LeBlanc from Chicago, who will be presenting artists including Lilian Martinez, Hans-Jörg Mayer, and Lukas Geronimas.
WW: Can you share some of the performances, talks, and lectures you’re looking forward to?
TF: One of the many performances we’re looking forward to hosting is a piece by the experimental Mexican artist Carmina Escobar, who will be performing a piece adapted from her artist commission in the current special PST: LA/LA issue of the Art Los Angeles Reader. The piece, entitled Passing through dimensions, instructs the reader how to turn the newspaper into a musical instrument, which she will perform herself during this year’s fair.
WW: Outside of the fair, what should visitors be sure not to miss this January in Los Angeles?
TF: On top of my list would be the “Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA” organized by REDCAT that caps The Getty’s PST: LA/LA initiative, and takes place from January 11 to January 21 just before the ALAC weekend. It takes place between a variety of locations that include Downtown venues such as the REDCAT theater, The Broad, as well as less traditional spaces, such as the area outside the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro Station. It is a wonderful way to connect with the current generation of artists through the heavy and extensive scholarship and cultural examination that has occurred throughout the PST: LA/LA initiative. It’s also important to mention that Rafa Esparza, who presented an onsite installation at last year’s ALAC with Timo Fahler, is among the participants of the festival, and who I feel embodies the urgency of the current cultural moment in Los Angeles.