September 23, 2023
6 of the Greatest Artworks at Frieze Los Angeles 2023, From a Jennifer Bartlett Masterwork to a Highly effective Debut by a 24-Yr-Outdated Rising Star

Ah, Frieze Los Angeles—it’s a fairly nice artwork honest. There’s loads to see, pleasure within the (unseasonably chilly) air, the occasional frisson of a celeb sighting, and wonderful discoveries to be created from artists each younger and outdated. Listed below are a couple of of the standout artworks within the honest this 12 months.


Jennifer Bartlett
The Comic because the Letter C for Max Gordon (1990)
Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Value: $675,000

6 of the Greatest Artworks at Frieze Los Angeles 2023, From a Jennifer Bartlett Masterwork to a Highly effective Debut by a 24-Yr-Outdated Rising Star

Photograph: Object Research. Copyright: © Jennifer Bartlett Courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen; Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; and the Jennifer Bartlett 2013 Belief.

These conversant in the artistically and intellectually potent work of Jennifer Bartlett, the painter who died final 12 months at age 81, could also be stunned by her work on the honest. Whereas she is greatest identified for her rigorously structured, mathematics-derived canvases—the type of work that led Roberta Smith, her nice essential champion, to name her a “conceptual painter on huge scale”—the central portray on view at Boesky’s sales space is explosive, horrifying, nearly cinematic. Stemming from a shift wherein Bartlett transitioned away from her acclaimed aluminum-plate sequences of the Nineteen Seventies towards a freer, looser hand, the paintings depicts a human skeleton standing in an abstracted home setting engulfed in flames, surrounded by sequences of enjoying playing cards, dominoes, wood chests, sport boards, and squares of tartan plaid.

By no means earlier than displayed in California, the place Bartlett was born, this portray has doomy native resonance in a time when one 12 months of huge wildfires has been changed by certainly one of cataclysmic rains. It wasn’t so completely different throughout the artist’s youth. As her buddy Joan Didion wrote, “Kids [in California] develop up conscious that any extraordinary morning their home might slip its basis in an earthquake…. Jennifer Bartlett’s most persistent imagery, her apprehension of the potential for catastrophe within the on a regular basis, derives from her California childhood.” In fact, the artist’s curiosity in methods and pattern-making is current amid the chaos: the video games and plaid strewn across the portray are situations of math made quotidian, issues you’ll find round your house.

At this time, Bartlett occupies a humorous place within the artwork dialog. She’s not a family identify, however she’s not precisely under-recognized. Her market has been evolving steadily. The January opening of her posthumous present of drawings at Boesky’s New York gallery was jam-packed together with her artist and critic followers. However has she gotten her due? One nearly hopes that somebody from the tech group will see her work on the honest, acknowledge a kindred spirit within the pursuit of that quasi-mystical intersection of knowledge and on a regular basis life, purchase some work, inform their buddies, and make her into an actual phenomenon.

Lee Bae
Issu du feu (1998)
Johyun Gallery
Value: $207,000

Photograph: Andrew Goldstein.

With unaccountably luscious surfaces that darkly shimmer within the gentle, the artist Lee Bae’s charcoal work draw you in for nearer inspection to discern how they do what they do—it’s no surprise that the sellers at Johyun Gallery have come to name them “individuals magnets.” The thriller one way or the other solely deepens whenever you study that these work will not be made with charcoal, laying it down on paper or canvas, however fairly from charcoal, with the artist slicing thick slabs of burnt pine after which inlaying it like black mom of pearl to create the floor.

Bae started working with charcoal as a signature materials three a long time in the past when, residing in Paris, he discovered lumps of it on the market in a retailer and realized that it not solely reminded him of his native South Korea, the place it’s a staple of day by day life, however that it was an inexpensive and plentiful materials he might depend on. Moreover, its standing as a tree that had turn into fireplace after which a carbonized relic able to turn into fireplace once more appealed to him as having a sure circle-of-life poetry to it. 

Now 67, Bae is a famous person in South Korea with lengthy ready lists for his work, however his gallery is intent on increasing his market into new territories. Final 12 months, they introduced his work to the Armory Present in New York, the place one was purchased by a “well-known collector” straight away. Right here in Los Angeles, one other one—they usually vary from $100,000 to $250,000—offered to a outstanding U.S. collector within the opening hours of the honest. 


Veronica Fernandez
I Don’t Wish to Die (2023)
Sow & Tailor Gallery, Los Angeles
Value: starting from $14,500 to $26,000

Courtesy of Sow & Tailor Gallery, Los Angeles.

As an artist, Veronica Fernandez is one thing of a miracle: she is barely 24 years outdated (she was born in 1998), has solely been portray for about three years, and is clearly a supercharged expertise, utilizing the comb each gesturally and with precision to create riveting, dreamlike scenes. And, in an artwork world stuffed with nepo infants (and grandbabies), Fernandez skilled an impoverished upbringing, spending a lot of her youth altering houses and dealing with eviction in New Jersey together with her household—and nonetheless, via her expertise, was capable of earn a BFA from the Faculty of Visible Arts final 12 months and now has come to a spot the place her work is on the market on the Frieze artwork honest.

The work on view right here meld her expertise and story. Based mostly on poems she wrote about her household’s ordeal and pictures from her and her sister’s childhood, the scenes present her conjuring an imaginative house of consolation and residential amid instability: making a play fort in a single portray, driving a barren mattress like a gondola via a sea of colourful disco balls in one other, or right here, on this one, cheerfully driving her bike amid barking canines and unsavory characters as her relations watch with concern. (Its title, I Don’t Wish to Die, is chilling.)

Fernandez paints shortly and with urgency, laying down her reminiscences and imaginings in a method that creates a particular temper. In her largest canvas on the honest, figures of adults and kids trudge via a wasteland, tied collectively by ropes looped round their waists. They’re on a protracted trek, those within the entrance carrying ahead those behind. Perhaps Fernandez’s artwork can lighten the load.


Joana Choumali
Silence, Too, Is an Reply (2022)
Sperone Westwater, New York
Value: $45,000

Photograph: Andrew Goldstein.

Based mostly in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Joana Choumali used to go to the seashore resort of Grand-Bassam together with her household as a toddler. After a 2016 assault on the resort left 19 individuals useless, unsettling the shaky peace following the nation’s civil wars, she returned there to make artwork in an try to make sense of the atrocity, memorialize the victims, and heal wounds. The ensuing collection consists of images that she took of lonely figures in desolated settings after which printed on canvas, permitting her to embroider the figures and their environment with lustrous threads, imbuing the scenes with a colourful feeling of hope. Known as “Ça va aller,” or “It’s Going to Be Okay,” the physique of labor gained her France’s prestigious Prix Pictet in 2019. 

This caught the eye of Angela Westwater, the fabled supplier and cofounder of Sperone Westwater Gallery, which is greatest identified for its work with Bruce Nauman and postwar Italian artists like Carla Accardi, however which lately has been bringing on a youthful era of abilities. On a visit to London, Westwater noticed a powerful triptych by Choumali in a 2021 group present on the Royal Academy. That piece, plus the truth that the Victoria & Albert Museum had acquired a piece, led to a collection of Zoom calls with the artist and now gallery illustration—although Westwater and Choumali haven’t but met in individual, a lingering product of the pandemic.

On the honest, the paintings on show by Choumali has wow issue to spare. Stemming from iPhone snapshots the artist takes on early-morning walks in Abidjan after which prints onto canvas, this floor is then enlivened by a solitary portrait she cuts out of a separate shoot after which stitches on prime, painstakingly overlaying the strains of her imagery with thread earlier than lastly masking the entire composition with a diaphanous piece of tulle. The gauzy impact comes throughout properly in a photograph, however in individual it’s hypnotizing. Subsequent up? One other Zoom name between Westwater and Choumali, after which, if all goes properly, a present on the New York gallery by the top of the 12 months.


Carroll Dunham
Untitled, 3/29/22, 3/30/22 (2022)
Gladstone Gallery, New York
Value: $50,000

Photograph: Andrew Goldstein.

That the painter and printmaker Carroll Dunham is without doubt one of the best artists of his era nonetheless appears to be one thing of a secret, which is humorous as a result of he has all of the hallmarks: an immediately recognizable hand, distinctive material that gives timeless swimming pools of mysterious reflection, and a profession’s value of labor that exhibits continuous evolution. Lately, he has been working with an enigmatic male determine dubbed “the Wrestler” (the successor to the feminine “Bather” of his earlier work), who has a behavior of partaking in primeval fight with doppelgängers of himself but in addition getting misplaced in what seems to be deep, philosophical thought. 

In Los Angeles, Gladstone Gallery has reworked its workplace house right into a showroom for a collection of monoprints within the latter, contemplative vein, whereas the the bottom canvas for the collection is on show on the honest. It exhibits the Wrestler from a rear three-quarter view, coloured inexperienced like some historic chthonic entity, lengthy hair and beard falling from a physique that’s limned with thick, decisive strains. His forehead is furrowed and his gaze skilled on the middle of a pink vortex within the background. Round him is a Bacon-esque cage—are these pink strains under him are flames?—the strains and squiggles give the setting a pulsating really feel, like he’s touring between dimensions.

Who is that this inexperienced Wrestler, and what’s he as much as? A clue, apparently, is that Dunham has a longstanding curiosity in science fiction. What’s sure is that he furnishes an ideal alternative for the artist’s formal explorations, and the collection of prints that arose from this base canvas—produced at Two Palms press in SoHo—are splendidly bizarre, with blottings of diluted ink making a hallucinatory impact. Proper now, Dunham’s prints are additionally the topic of a serious survey on the Nationwide Gallery in Oslo (the place the Queen is an avid printmaker herself), and this Could, Gladstone will unveil a brand new collection of drawings in New York that can introduce a never-before-seen formal component to his work. What adventures will our buddy the Wrestler embark on subsequent? Keep tuned.


Ernie Barnes
Defend the Rim (1976)
Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
Value: $1.25 million

Photograph: Andrew Goldstein.

It was within the early, scary, lonely days of the pandemic when the artwork supplier Andrew Kreps was googling some artists he was inquisitive about and fell down a rabbit gap of ignored American painters that led him, search question by search question, to Ernie Barnes. An enchanting determine whose life story strikes as movie-ready right now however which didn’t fairly make sense to the artwork institution of his time, Barnes had wished to be an artist ever since he was a child, however as a Black youngster in segregated Durham, North Carolina, that path was probably not open to him—whereas soccer was a path that, as a gifted athlete, he might run down at full pace. So he received a full athletic scholarship to attend the all-Black North Carolina School, the place he majored in artwork whereas dazzling scouts on the soccer subject, main him to a professional profession first with the Baltimore Colts, then the New York Titans, then the San Diego Chargers, then the Denver Broncos. All through his soccer profession, Barnes made artwork, sketching even throughout workforce conferences—one thing his Denver coach would tremendous him $100 for when caught—and incomes the nickname “Huge Rembrandt” amongst his teammates. (He and the Dutch grasp share a birthday.)

After enjoying for 5 years, Barnes grew to become eligible for a pension and stop to do artwork full time, portray in a method impressed by Thomas Hart Benton, Andrew Wyeth, and different midcentury American regionalists that he dubbed “Neo-Mannerism.” That expressive, elongated model is on full show on this portray of two basketball gamers leaping right into a sky paying homage to a brighter El Greco, framed by uncooked wood planks that one way or the other handle to concurrently evoke a southern shack and a Renaissance icon. He shortly discovered success—his first post-retirement present in New York offered out, he grew to become the “official artist” of the 1984 Olympic Video games in Los Angeles, he gained celeb collectors within the Black leisure world like Richard Roundtree and Berry Gordy, and his artwork was featured in seminal pop-culture contexts from a Marvin Gaye album cowl to (most famously) the set of the TV present Good Occasions. However, throughout his lifetime—he died in 2009—the tremendous artwork world saved its distance.

Suffice to say, all that has modified. In 2020, the UTA Artists Area in L.A. gave Barnes a solo present, Kreps mounted a present in 2021, and momentum started to develop behind his market till, bang, his 1976 portray The Sugar Shack woke everybody up when it offered for $15.3 million at Christie’s in Could 2022. Since then it’s been off to the races, and Kreps’s sales space at Frieze was the equal of a landing dance in the long run zone, with the artist’s household hanging round in “Workforce Barnes” sweatshirts and stars like Lionel Richie and Tyler the Creator coming by to pay respects amongst artworks starting from $2.2 million (for a portray titled Avenue Track) to works on paper within the $60,000-to-$125,000 vary. And simply assume: UTA, the eminent expertise company that introduced Barnes into the present-day highlight—and which is at present displaying Sugar Shack at its West Hollywood artwork house—is principally inquisitive about his life rights for movie and TV tasks. Count on Barnes’s fame to solely develop from right here.

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