The List by Ruby Kean: LA Art Week

A Hotel Life's Design Editor on the best design to see during art week in Los Angeles

Photograph by Sean Davidson, courtesy of Marta, Los Angeles
Photograph by Sean Davidson, courtesy of Marta, Los Angeles

By Ruby Kean on 02.15.22

LA Art Week is upon us and true to form I’ve been planning my time meticulously around emerging, outsider art and design and my favorite local galleries — hunting down the most exciting in lighting and furniture. Whether you are planning on going to the fair or just happen to be in the city for Art week, here are my top five moments and alternative experiences that should be dipped into.

Minjae Kim At Focus

I always love checking out Focus at Frieze, this year Amanda Hunt, the Director of Public Programs & Creative Practice, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, will oversee Focus LA, the section of the fair that shines light on 11 Los Angeles-based spaces aged 15 years or less.

One of my favorite galleries, Marta Los Angeles will be exhibiting one of my favorite designers Minjae Kim. A true artist, his work has become amongst the most sought-after furniture and object in contemporary design. Minjae’s use of materiality and form is exceptional, an undeniable expression of his playful point of view on the world. Marta are also presenting work by artist couple Chase Biado and Antonia Pinter otherwise known as A History of Frogs. Be sure to head straight to Marta Gallery and check it out. 

Photograph by Sean Davidson, courtesy of Marta, Los Angeles
Photograph by Sean Davidson, courtesy of Marta, Los Angeles

Blum and Poe at Frieze  

I love Blum & Poe gallery for their mission to champion artists at all stages of their careers, “cultivating the lineages that run between emerging and established practices”. This year at Frieze, Blum & Poe will be showcasing an extensive and curated selection of work from the gallery’s esteemed program of global artists. The pieces shown here are a foreshadowing of the galleries anticipated upcoming exhibitions — Alvaro Barrington, Lonnie Holley, and Lauren Quin, for instance, will all have solo exhibitions at the gallery’s Los Angeles location in 2022 — in addition to showing those artists that have long been on the gallery’s roster.

Blum & Poe Gallery
Blum & Poe Gallery

Sam Stewart At Felix 

As an interior designer I am constantly on the look out for lighting that feels more like artwork than functional. When I saw that Sam Stewart was exhibiting at Felix Art Fair with Volume Gallery my heart skipped. Sam Stewart is known for his considered and witty objects, a use of material that encourages the eye to explore. The first of the two collections Stewart is presenting, Da Capo lamps are an homage to the bonnets worn by Shaker women. Shaker principles centred on simplicity in daily life which included design guidelines for their handcrafted furniture and attire. These communal styles of dress — including unadorned bonnets for women and a specific hairstyle for men — served as a visual equalizer, a symbol of their belief that all are equal.

Sam Stewart Da Capo Installation — Courtesy of the artist and Volume Gallery
Sam Stewart Da Capo Installation — Courtesy of the artist and Volume Gallery

The second collection is Stewart’s “ultralight” lamps, inspired by the aesthetics of emergency — naked light bulbs, life rafts, and camping tents. Similar to the modern camping tent, each ultralight can be easily assembled and disassembled, fitting into a small travel bag due to its component parts: collapsible fiberglass rods and ripstop nylon fabric. 

Sam Stewart Ultralight Lamps — Courtesy of the artist and Volume Gallery
Sam Stewart Ultralight Lamps — Courtesy of the artist and Volume Gallery

Every day Rituals by Tiwa Select and Farago

With a manifesto close to my heart, Tiwa Select is an emerging gallery that champions craft above all else. This Art week Alex Tieghi-Walker of Tiwa Select and Max Farago of FARAGO are co-curating a collection of works by visionary artists and accomplished makers. The exhibition, held at 322 South Broadway (2nd floor), is a celebration of artists who have spent decades finessing their practice. These two and three dimensional works span a variety of media, including ceramic and metal, textile and wood, paper and canvas. Many of the included works were not intended for display in a formal art environment. Rather, these pieces were made for another purpose; utilitarian or spiritual, public or private.

The show runs from the 17th – 20th of February.

Untitled, Noel Guzmán Boffill — Courtesy of Tiwa Select and FARAGO
Untitled, Noel Guzmán Boffill — Courtesy of Tiwa Select and FARAGO

Block Party at the Mackey Apartments

Only last week whilst wandering the incredible Schindler House I was made aware of the upcoming MAK Center’s Block Party at the Mackey Apartments. The Apartment building is a rare four-unit property built in the 1930s by R.M. Schindler. Currently home to the MAK Center’s Artists and Architects-in-Residence Program. The Block Party is a unique opportunity to learn more about MAK Center’s Mid-City location through an open house of the Mackey Apartments, a presentation of projects by current Artists- and Architects-in-Residence, an artist book launch featuring 2021 CalArts MFAs, a playlist by Kristin Posehn, and a peek into Lindsey Adelman’s studio. Head over on Sunday 20th of February for an intimate experience with friends and collaborators of the MAK Center. 

Image Courtsey of the MAK Centre
Image Courtsey of the MAK Centre
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