“Emerging” was the dominant theme at Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2012. Last Thursday night, people packed into the Barker Hangar to look at the third installation of Los Angeles’ defining art fair. Prior to entering, visitors were held sway by Judy Chicago’s reenactment of her 1968 Disappearing Environments performance. 25 tons of dried ice slowly melted, wafting ghostly drifts of atmosphere out and upwards.
Inside, brightly colored object-sculptures and painting-murals grabbed at your eyes with a pushy, yet quiet, desperation. It could have been attributed to the relatively young age of artists represented, Ed Moses excluded. Speaking of, I chanced upon Master Moses signing limited edition prints with two markers simultaneously, a gaggle of cameras surrounding him.
My favorite booths were the publications and book stands, featuring the heavyweight Printed Matter, the ubiquitous D.A.P./ArtBook, local artistic haven Ooga Booga, and Phaidon, among others. For those slowly edging into art buying, art fairs are the best places to examine and purchase art publications en masse. Paul McCarthy’s sculptures might be difficult to live with out on your lawn, encroaching on your neighbors’ territory, but his books are always a delight. It might not have been Basel, but ALAC’s efforts are well-appreciated in a city so sorely lacking in meaningful cultural exchanges. Here’s to a successful fourth installation.
Photos by: Yanyan Huang