Los Angeles Art Gallery Tours

Illuminating the Los Angeles Art Scene

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Test Your Artistic Compass; Bill Kleiman Explains Art Fairs (Paramount Ranch, ALAC, LA Art Book Fair this weekend)

Posted January 31, 2014 by 

Bill Kleiman ALAContemp 2012

Two weeks ago hundreds of galleries and thousands of people descended on downtown for the LA Art Fair at the Convention Center and Photo LA at LA Mart.

Now the Art Los Angeles Contemporary fair is at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica through Sunday. Also this weekend, the Paramount Ranch in Santa Monica will bring 30-plus galleries and artist-run spaces to the mountains of Santa Monica. And don’t forget the LA Art Book Fair, at the Geffen Contemporary through Sunday. That’s five art and art-related fairs already and we are barely out of January.

But the question arises for those of us who like to go see art but don’t feel expert in who’s who and what’s what in the art world, which of these art fairs matter? What should we be looking for? DnA turned to Bill Kleiman, left, artist and director of Los Angeles Art Gallery Tours, for his opinion.

DnA: First off, why are there so many art fairs these days?

Bill Kleiman: Art fairs are among the big driving engines of the art world, along with the internet.

I think it may have to do with time-budget. In a major art city like LA or New York where there is so much to see, it’s hard to tackle the art scene effectively. So while they are huge, the art fairs are more manageable. As it is, people sometimes pick something up at a fair and bring it home. I think it has to do with immediate gratification.  (more…)


Kristian Burford, Audition, Scene 1: In Love, 2013

Kristian Burford, Audition, Scene 1: In Love, 2013

Australian born and bred Angeleno, Kristian Burford, pulls off a Los Angeles miracle in his exhibition, Audition, at Culver City’s Nye + Brown gallery.

 

In an alchemical transformation, Burford combines three familiar visual components to reveal something new, poignant and ripe for interpretation.

 

Two life-size, fluorescent-lit, beige office cubicles are each inhabited by a sculpture of a similarly beige-hued female nude, who appears bored in one tableau and frightened or anxious in the other. Each cage-like diorama is walled with two-way mirrors, visually multiplying the cubicles and nudes ad infinitum and from all vantage points. (more…)


Ron van der Ende, Fm3m / Salt, 2013, bas-relief on salvaged wood, 191 x 170 x 15 cm

Ron van der Ende, Fm3m / Salt, 2013, bas-relief on salvaged wood, 191 x 170 x 15 cm

One intriguing facet of today’s international art world is the way in which some styles and sensibilities, once considered distinctly regional, now pop up as the apparent inspiration for work generated thousands of miles away.

A case in point: the sculptures of Ron van der Ende, a Dutch artist working in Rotterdam, whose show, Phasmid, is on display at Ambach and Rice until July 27. Phasmid, by the way, is a reference to Phasmatodea, which are an order of insects known as walking sticks – animals that survive by camouflage and mimicry.

Van der Ende’s wooden bas-relief constructions confront viewers with aggressively 3D images of relatively ordinary objects, which – by sheer force of craft and depth mimicking illusion – are transformed into the extraordinary – with a pinch of piquant technological dread. And, intriguingly, beyond his virtuosic use of shadow and perspective, this Dutch sculptor seems to reference work by influential California artists Robert Irwin, Tony Berlant, Ronald Davis and John Okulick, not to mention George Lucas’ iconic vision of the Death Star. (more…)