Brazilian Painter of Visual Experience: Beatriz Milhazes

Brazilian painter Beatriz Milhazes brilliant work as a painter is by definition Post Conceptual Abstraction. Her work comes to form literally with the “return to painting” in Brazil in the 1980’s, after the Conceptual Artist era in Brazil had been fully realized. Milhazes works speak not merely of great visual beauty, but also raw energy orchestrated into a high symphonic episode that moves into both the greatest of dark and light. Mihazes continues to work in her small studio n Rio de Janero even with the call for more and more of her exhilarating and unique works, which get much more down and dirty with pattern and design, and break free into moments of explosive color emanating from what sometimes appears to be the salt of the earth turned into a universe of unequaled delight. I am completely aligned with what I see as Milhazes’ idea that art representing the beauty and pleasure of the world elevates us and brings us out of the darkness that can inhabit one’s life. This is something that I have personally dedicated to pursue in my own life’s work as an African American artist based in Los Angeles.

Vincent Johnson

131011-beatriz-milhazes-teaseBrazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes poses for a photo in front of one of her paintings in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. (Felipe Dana/Ap)

O Artista

Brazil’s Kandinsky: The Riotous Art of Beatriz Milhazes

Oct 13, 2013 4:45 am

With her exuberant murals bursting with Rio de Janeiro joie de vivre, Beatriz Milhazes is winning the art world’s heart.

In a pale lavender blouse under a gray blazer, Beatriz Milhazes is a portrait in understatement. Soft-spoken and with a bonnet of brown curls, she might be a docent or an art teacher on a class tour. But the bustle of museum handlers orbiting around her today and the scrum of reporters and television crews stalking the corridors of the Rio de Janeiro gallery quickly shatter the idyll.

“As a plastic artist you never think you’re going to be in the spotlight,” Milhazes tells The Daily Beast on a recent morning in Rio de Janeiro. We have fled the crowded gallery showcasing her career to a quiet room on the top floor of the Paço Imperial, a 18th century palace converted to a museum in downtown Rio. This is the last in a series of interviews for the week, and Milhazes is savoring the rare moment of quiet. “Now I guess it’s part of my life.”

Judging from the reception in Rio, and beyond, that is unlikely to change anytime soon. For the last two decades, Milhazes has been quietly raising the bar for the Latin American art world. More recently, her paintings have shattered auction records, floored critics, and mobilized dealers and curators from Tokyo to Chicago. In 2009, the Paris based Fondation Cartier dedicated an exhibit to Milhazes. She represented Brazil at the 2003 Venice Biennalle. She designed a wall mural for the restaurant at the Tate Modern and was commissioned to create 19 separate vaulted panels for the Gloucester Road station of the London Underground.

Fortune has followed fame. Her 2001 canvas O Mágico (The Magician), a bold work of deep blues and flying geometric shards, was an art house sleeper for years until Southeby’s sold it in 2008 for $1,049,000, at three times the floor price. In June of last year, O Elefante Azul (The Blue Elephant) auctioned for $1.5 million at Christies and in November, her picture Meu Limão (My Lemon), fetched $2.1 million at Southeby’s, a record for a living artist from Latin America. “She is a leading talent, and a huge influence,” says art dealer Ivor Braka. “There can’t be many examples Latin American artists who have impacted people’s minds and on markets that the way she has.”

The money trail is only one way to plot Milhazes’ career. Working from the same modest studio in Rio’s arbored Botanical Gardens neighborhood, she has spent the last three decades honing her craft. Fiercely single minded, she has painted through the market hype and the stream of visitors who have turned her atelier into a tourist shrine, turning out 11 or 12 pictures a year. Collectors are willing to wait 18 months or more for a new canvas.

Her rise has been described as meteoric, but that is hardly the case. “My overnight success took 30 years,” she likes to say, in a gentle takedown of the hyperventilating art market. “I used to have to go abroad to find collectors and curators. Now they come to the studio. My isolation is gone!”

For those interested in looking at the pictures behind the buzz, the sweep of her work is in full force in the Rio exhibit, a rare homecoming for the wandering artist. The show, Meu Bem (My Dear), which runs through October 27, is a retrospective of her career since 1989, featuring 60 paintings and collages, created out of crochet, lace and silk screens and acrylic paint. Displayed chronologically, each canvas is a starburst of shapes and colors, gathering intensity over the years.

The visual vortex begins even before you reach the main exhibition, as visitors are drawn into the museum rotunda to her giant mobile titled Gamboa 1—a cataract of baubles, orbs, stars, mandalas and cubes tumbling 30 feet from the skylight. Milhazes conceived the piece years ago as a stage prop for her sister, a noted Rio choroegrapher, dangling the sparkling ornaments just above the dancers’ heads. Later, with the help of a famous designer of Carnival floats, she rescaled it as ceiling-to-floor museum installation, transposing the sequined cadences of samba to sculpture.

Inside the gallery, each of the paintings on display has a fissile power of its own. Modinha (Little way) is a storm of arabesques, circles overlapping circles, and horizontal stripes, rendered in a brilliant tropical palette. Tempo de verão (Summer weather) is an eruption of Pop Art-styled stars, hearts and flowers gushing from glowing red and orange beams. The fashion designer Christian Lacroix once called her work a visual Big Bang. Milhazes herself celebrates in the chaos and “claustrophobia” of her works, many of which occupy entire walls.

The colors are rich and riotous, but the impact is complex and disorienting. I took my eight-year-old to the show, and she skipped through the five separate galleries as if on a sugar rush. Critics shoebox Milhazes as a decorative painter at their peril. “Sometimes people just don’t get her. Or they like her work almost for the wrong reasons, because they see it as facile or pretty,” says Braka. “In fact, her work is stunningly beautiful. And it’s not a la mode to be beautiful.”

One of the tropes about Milhazes style is that she is quintessentially Latin American. After all, her paintings at a glance are as big, as noisy and as over-the-top as Brazil itself. Her use of radiant primary colors and rudimentary looking shapes—circles, flowers, mandalas and stripes—flirts with tropical kitsch. “Sitting in gray, overcast London, you can perceive her work as delivering something we could hope for from Latin America,” says Tanya Barston, a curator at the Tate Modern. “As soon as I went to Rio I felt I could understand her work. Her studio is in the botanical gardens. The city of Rio emerges from forest, with exquisite tropical flora and fauna. There is incredible visual pleasure there.”

But that is partly an optical illusion. In Brazil, Milhazes says, serious contemporary artists steered clear of color, the use of which they associated with folk crafts and “low art.” That’s why so much of Brazilian modernism was done in drab, muted tones. Milhazes broke the rules, threw open the blinds and put color on steroids. Her canvases radiate shimmering gold and silver, burning orange, throbbing blues and even fluorescent green. “Color is frightening. Especially green, which has always been a stumbling block for painters. I love it,” she says.

Milhazes eludes tidy stereotypes even as she toys with them. She took the elements of pattern and decoration, a movement once dismissed as frivolous by art critics, and set them on a deliberate collision course. “She’s addressing you bodily,” says Barston. “There is a joyfulness and positivity there, but it’s wrongly interpreted as simplistic. She stands somewhere between tradition and carnival. There are a lot of other things going on in her painting,” she adds.

What distances Milhazes from the Latino cartoon is her willingness to trample boundaries and help herself to what the world serves up. And that in itself is a sensibility rooted in Brazil, a New World culture cooked up—like the national dish, feijoada—from scraps and flavors taken from just about everywhere.

One of her most visible influences is the work of Matisse, from which she learned to appreciate painterly issues of scale and composition. Yet she also proclaims her debt to Tarsila Amaral, the Brazilian modernist, whose work borrows heavily from the brash colors and blunt figures of popular art. Yet another influence is Bridget Riley, the British abstract artist whose storm of shapes and stripes translate vertigo onto canvas.

Pop Art and symbols of commercial culture mingle freely with modernism on her canvases. In one section of the gallery in Rio is a series of her paintings composed of candy wrappers and retail brands emblazoned on shopping bags, a nod to modernism but also to the seductive power of extravagance and consumerism. “I like to draw on elements that shout for attention,” Milhazes says. “They interest me chromatically and culturally, as emblems of exaggeration and extravagance.”

To Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon Guggenheim museum, that makes Milhazes a rebel. “She’s a visual omnivore, she celebrates color and is willing to embrace excess. That goes against the sensibilities of the mainstream, especially the chromophobes. But she’s working with vocabulary we haven’t seen since the early days of abstraction, which takes all the way back to [Wassily] Kandinsky.”

But don’t look to the Rio colorist for a soothing wall hanging. One of Milhazes’ “aha!” moments was when she read a statement by the famous French painter Yves Klein, who mastered painting in a single tone. “Klein said he painted in one color because once you add another, you have conflict,” she says. “That’s when I knew what I wanted and it was the exact opposite. I wanted the conflict.”

Picking a fight on canvas poses its challenges, as Milhazes readily admits. “It’s not easy to have one of my paintings at home, because it crowds out everything else,” she says with a laugh. (Asked if she had any of her own works at home, she smiled. “One, I think. I spend all day surrounded by them.”) At home, “most people, like to sit and gaze at something peaceful and serene, like the sea,” she says. “That’s not my work.”


pulsating brazilian art: beatriz milhazes

Beatriz Milhazes Art London Underground

The colorful fine art of Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes represent much of what we think of when someone mentions Brazil: bright tropical colors; pulsating energy and rhythm of Carnivale; a fluid movement mixed with a carefree passion for life.

Rio de Janeiro is a city that I love and have returned to many times.  There is just something so captivating about the people and the incredible beachside setting.  And when I learned that Milhazes’ studio overlooks the Botanical Gardens in the city, I wasn’t surprised: you can see the inspiration in her modernist still life paintings where floral shapes collide in a frenzy of vivid colors.


Beatriz Milhazes Brazilian Art

Born in Rio in 1960, Beatriz Milhazes has taken the international art scene by storm.  Well-known in Brazil, her first solo show in New York was held in 1996 and her career has been on a sharp rise since she was chosen to represent Brazil at the 2003 Venice Biennale.  This was followed with important commissions for public works in London – including a mural for the restaurant at the Tate Modern Gallery and an incredible series of paintings, which fill the arches of the Gloucester Road Station on London’s Underground (top image).


Beatriz Milhazes Art - Periquita

The contemporary art of Milhazes is often rigidly structured with repeating shapes and geometric patterns strewn across a canvas divided into ordered planes of intense colors.  Periquita (above) and Phebo (below), both of 2004, are a perfect example of her technique.  Rather than paint directly onto the canvas, Milhazes paints her spirals, circles and floral motifs on individual sheets of plastic that are allowed to dry and then carefully peeled off and layered onto the canvas to create a collage.  The overall effect is very flat and devoid of the artist’s brushstrokes.


Beatriz Milhazes Art _ Phebo

Continuing with the collage technique, as a New York City advisor of Brazilian fine art, one of my favorite pieces is entitled Brinquelandia (below) which roughly translates as Playland and is an homage to London’s retail scene with a mix of colorful shopping bags jostling for position amongst her trademark floral petals.


Beatriz Milhazes Art - Brinquelandia

One of Milhazes’ latest ventures has been the creation of fabulous mobiles and three-dimensional artworks (below).  Here we see the forms traditionally associated with her paintings suspended in time and space in a gentle ongoing dance.  They are simply entrancing for anyone who loves her work.


Beatriz Milhazes Art _ Mobile

Unlike other contemporary artists, Beatriz Milhazes actually produces less than a dozen of her soulful Brazilian artworks per year. This makes it difficult for her representing dealers who are limited by her output to mount gallery shows every four to five years. The good news for fans is that she is held in major museum collections.  The better news for collectors of Brazilian art is that her works can also be found through the secondary market via art advisors such as myself.

Richard Rabel, the|modern|sybarite


Centro Cultural Paço Imperial

Beatriz Milhazes at Centro Cultural Paço Imperial

Beatriz Milhazes, Dancing, 2007. Acrylic on canvas, 247 x 350 cm. Private collection. Photo: Ambroise Tézenas. Courtesy of Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain.



Beatriz Milhazes: Meu Bem

August 29–October 27, 2013

Centro Cultural Paço Imperial
Praça XV de Novembro, 48 – Centro
Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–18h

T 55 21 2215 2622

Beatriz Milhazes is about to hold her first solo show in 11 years in Rio de Janeiro. On August 29, Paço Imperial, a historical building located in downtown Rio, will host the most extensive overview to date of the artist’s production, featuring more than 60 artworks including paintings, collages and prints, as well as a large mobile conceived especially for the space. Curated by French critic Frédéric Paul, sponsored by Banco Itaú and the energy company Statoil, and produced by Base 7 Projetos Culturais, the exhibition Meu Bem will present some of the artist’s most striking works since the late 1980s, coming from various public and private collections in Brazil and abroad. The various events planned for 2014 include the release of the catalog raisonné of her oeuvre in a deluxe edition published by Taschen, a documentary on her career, directed by José Henrique Fonseca, as well as her first traveling show in North America, to be held in a series of museums starting at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).

Beatriz Milhazes’s most recent institutional exhibitions in Brazil took place in 2002 (CCBB-RJ) and 2008 (Pinacoteca do Estado – SP). Although the artist has continued to show her recent production in sporadic exhibitions at her gallery in São Paulo, interspersing them with a busy international agenda, Meu Bem (My Dear) is a unique opportunity to take another look at historical works, to learn about the most recent developments of her production, and to identify some common threads, procedures and compositional strategies running through this vast set, which have made it one of the highlights of contemporary art worldwide at this threshold of the 21st century. She has participated in various biennials, such as those of Venice and São Paulo, and has held 30 solo shows in 11 countries, most notably at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon) and Fondation Cartier (Paris), while also participating in dozens of group shows, including The Encounters in the 21st Century: Polyphony – Emerging Resonances, at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa, Japan).

The most evident aspects of her work are its intense relation with Brazilian popular art, the dialogue with segments of applied art, including handicraft and embroidery, as well as a fertile proximity with three important moments in the history of Brazilian art: the baroque, antropofagia, and tropicalism. Other key features of Beatriz Milhazes’s work are the organicity of the forms and the intense chromatic interplay, which establish a relation of complementarity and contrast with an increasingly rigorous compositional structure. “She asserts strong links with European modernity and is on equal footing in the contemporary scene, in which she abolishes the often less than wise codes of abstraction,” explains Frédéric Paul.

It may seem strange to attribute the term “geometric abstraction” to such a sensual painting. But as the artist herself explains, the elements of this more rigorous and formal universe are also part of her repertoire, along with those drawn from fields like popular art and design. Moreover, “in the solitude of the studio, what functions is shape, color, structure, composition: questions clearly linked to abstract painting and geometry. The flower functions as color and as shape,” she adds.




London: Evolutions and Revolutions

Event Date: 12 – 20, 2010

Beatriz Milhazes came of age during a pivotal moment in Brazilian history. Following the collapse of the military dictatorship when vivid imagery and lush colors were being reintroduced into the local art scene, Milhazes absorbed herself in this new opportunity, pushing color and shape to exciting new levels. For her latest exhibition, Beatriz has created five new paintings and a window mural. The works display new movement in her style as she incorporates geometric abstraction, grid-like compositions and neon colors into her art. As always, Milhazes exhibits a profound command over her unique aesthetic and the show is worth checking out if you’re in London. For more info, click here.

Stephen Friedman Gallery
25-28 Old Burlington Street
London W1S 3AN


Beatriz Milhazes

Milhazes is known for her work juxtaposing Brazilian cultural imagery and references to western Modernist painting.
The daughter of a lawyer and an art historian, Milhazes was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1960.She studied social communication at Faculdades Integradas Hélio Alonso (FACHA), Rio De Janeiro from 1978 to 1981 and studied at the School of Visual Arts (Escola de Artes Visuais – EAV) of Parque Lage, Rio De Janeiro from 1980 to 1982.

Milhazes has had solo and group exhibitions in a number of museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. From 4-21 July 2009, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris presented a major exhibition of her work.

Milhazes’ paintings are in the permanent collections in many institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Banco Itaú, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
Milhazes is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.



Brazil’s top modern artist gets Rio homecoming

Aug. 25, 2013 2:53 AM EDT

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    Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes poses for a portrait in front of one of her paintings in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. More than a decade after her last show in her native Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s highest-paid artist is gearing up for a homecoming of sorts, a major retrospective spanning most of her 30-year career. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — She’s the toast of New York and beloved in Paris and London, but Beatriz Milhazes thinks there’s no place like home.

More than a decade after her last show in her native Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s highest-paid artist is gearing up for a homecoming of sorts, a major retrospective spanning most of her 30-year career. The exhibition, opening Thursday at the Paco Imperial Cultural Center in downtown Rio, brings together more than five dozen paintings, silk screens and collages covered in Milhazes’ signature riot of saturated color, concentric circles, upbeat flowers and meandering arabesques.

“I’ve shown in places that are obviously very exciting for any artist, but in a way showing in your city — I was born here and still live and work here — kind of grabs you more, excites you more, stirs you up more,” Milhazes told The Associated Press in a Friday interview as she supervised the installation of the exhibit, entitled “Meu Bem,” Portuguese for “My Dear.” ”It’s being able to say, ‘Mom, look what I’ve done.'”

Milhazes has plenty to show off. The 53-year-old has exhibited in the Venice Biennial, had a solo show at Paris’ Fondation Cartier and has works in the Reina Sofia National Museum in Spain and New York’s Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art.

In 2008, her painting “O Magico,” or “The Magician,” sold for more than $1 million, or around four times what was expected, at a New York auction, making her Brazil’s highest-paid living artist. She broke the record again last year when her “Meu Limao,” or “My Lemon,” went for $2.1 million at another auction in New York.

Though she once quipped it took her 25 years to become an overnight success, Milhazes said her slow path to international fame helped her cope with the spotlight.

“The first decade of my career, in the 1980s, was very local. It was only in the 1990s that I started showing work outside of Brazil, first in Latin America, Mexico, Venezuela, and then in New York. Then came Europe and Japan, but all very gradually, little by little,” said Milhazes, running her fingers through curly locks that recall the wavy patterns of her work. “During that process, sometimes I would leave for a bit and spend time in these other countries. But I never cut my ties with Rio. And that was an important decision. I need to feel that link with home, that understanding of what home is.”

Rio, a chaotic, coastal metropolis of 6 million, has informed Milhazes’ work from the beginning. Early collages featured snippets of fabrics culled from the costumes worn in the city’s world-famous Carnival celebrations, and her work still bursts with the swirly paisleys and arabesques that recall the its exuberant vegetation. There’s also something very Rio in her eye-popping palette, with its fiery oranges and yellows that evoke the city’s fierce summer sun, the blue of its limpid skies, the pinks and purples of  ipe trees in lavish bloom.

So alive with colors and shapes, Milhazes’ work seems to vibrate off the wall. “Havana,” a large 2003-2004 acrylic that’s part of the Rio exhibit, keeps viewers’ eyes busy as they jump from the kaleidoscopic flower burst at the center to the peace sign camouflaged amid a patchwork of bright hues to the flitting butterflies, sagging bunches of grapes, droopy roses or piles of tropical fruit.

“Ilha de Capri,” or “Capri Island,” from 2002, explodes with superimposed flower burst and hypnotic bull’s eyes of concentric circles against a background of vertical stripes. Tentacles unfurl from the red-hot core of the 2006 collage “Ginger Candy,” made in part from the flattened wrappers of Chinese sweets.

Though she rejects the word “style,” Milhazes defines her approach to art as geometric abstraction.

“I was always trying to bring together ‘high art’ painting with elements from my own culture here in Brazil. They are two very different worlds,” she said. “To be a proper painter you obviously have to look at the tradition that comes from Europe but at the same time, I didn’t want to stray from my life here in Brazil.”

Instead of painting directly onto the canvas, Milhazes developed a technique in which she uses acrylics to paint shapes onto plastic and then transfer them onto canvas, building palimpsests of intricate layers.

In reproductions, her work can look so perfect it appears computer-generated. But up close, it’s alive with little imperfections that make it even more irresistible to the eye. The paintings’ resined surfaces are strewn with scraps of paint, and traces of lines and smudges of color are still visible beneath layer after superimposed layer.

Frederic Paul, curator of the Rio show, said that despite its festive appearance, Milhazes’ work is fundamentally inscrutable.

“When you look at the paintings from up close, you don’t understand them at all,” he said. “You will never really know Beatriz’ work. You will always discover it.”


“Meu Bem” runs at Rio de Janeiro’s Centro Cultural Paco Imperial from Aug. 29-Oct. 27.



Artista plástica Beatriz Milhazes apresenta suas obras na Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Artista plástica Beatriz Milhazes apresenta suas obras na Galeria Fortes Vilaça
Valéria Gonçalvez/AE Artista plástica carioca Beatriz Milhazes apresenta suas obras na Galeria Fortes Vilaça, em São Paulo


Beatriz Milhazes at Fondation Beyeler

Beatriz Milhazes. Solo exhibition at Fondation Beyeler. Video on VernissageTV:… Foto: Nicolas Rinderspacher.


Art in Review

By Roberta Smith
Published: March 22, 1996

Beatriz Milhazes Edward Thorp Gallery 103 Prince Street SoHo Through April 13

First, a simple assertion: If abstract painting makes a comeback — and it probably will — women will have a lot to do with it. Support for that thought can be found in several SoHo galleries this month, and especially in the singularly impressive solo debut of Beatriz Milhazes, a Brazilian artist in her mid-30’s who was included in this season’s Carnegie International in Pittsburgh.

Simultaneously festive, tawdry and melancholy, Ms. Milhazes’s elaborately patterned paintings have a strange faded glory and a sure intelligence, with a layering of references, forms and colors that keeps the mind in constant motion. Her drifting, spherical patterns often cluster toward the top of her canvases like lanterns (or chandeliers) at a party, or luscious pieces of fruit on a laden tree. They can seem related to the Pattern and Decoration painting of 1970’s artists like Miriam Schapiro and Robert Kushner, or, more recently, the work of Philip Taaffe and Fred Tomaselli. But something in her work’s emotional tone; colors, and thin, shiny surfaces aligns it with the less abstract efforts of artists like Manuel Ocampo and Julio Galan, who also come from Roman Catholic post-colonial cultures.

The list of applied arts, crafts and women’s work evoked by these more or less floral patterns is marvelously dizzying. Without getting too disjunctive about it, they conjure lace making, beading, crocheting, stenciling, open metalwork, furniture decoration, hand-painted signs, wrapping paper and wallpaper. For breathing room, there are flat areas of color broken by bits of drawing that suggest both old, deteriorating walls and modernist monochromes.

Ms. Milhazes’s motifs rarely behave with decorative precision — they aren’t arranged symmetrically, nor do they repeat regularly — which also weighs them toward painting. So does her palette, which is dissonant in both appearance and allusion. For example, in “In Albis,” a deep blackish blue, suitable to depict the robe of the Virgin Mary, jostles a shiny sour green that has the flavor of a backwater saloon, while rosette designs are highlighted with a hot pink that come from a different century altogether.

Ms. Milhazes juggles a lot and drops almost nothing in these paintings. They show an artist looking deep into herself and her cultural roots and figuring what to give painting that it hasn’t quite had before. ROBERTA SMITH


Beatriz Milhazes : Natural forms + rigorous geometry
Beatriz Milhazes
Natural forms + rigorous geometry
Linda Chenit, January 26, 2009
Beatriz Milhazes/Bibi, 2003
Beatriz Milhazes/Bibi, 2003

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is pleased to present an exhibition of the work of Beatriz Milhazes, one of the most celebrated Brazilian visual artists today. Offering an overview of her work of the past decade, the exhibition will include a selection of large-format acrylic paintings as well as a remarkable new collage that she has created specifically for the show. The Fondation Cartier has also commissioned the artist to produce a special architectural installation for the exhibition. Using a technique closely related to collage, she will apply motifs made of translucent adhesive vinyl directly onto the glass walls of the Fondation Cartier, creating an effect that is evocative of stained-glass. Reflecting her interest both in natural forms and rigorous geometry, this striking installation will enter into a powerful visual dialogue with the architecture of Jean Nouvel and the surrounding garden.

Beatriz Milhazes/Coisa Linda, 2002
Beatriz Milhazes/Coisa Linda, 2002

Brazilian Heritage

The work of Beatriz Milhazes occupies a unique position between Latin American and Western traditions. It is thus not surprising that she showed an early interest in the work of Brazilian writer and poet, Oswald de Andrade (1890–1954) and that of his wellknown companion, the painter Tarsila do Amaral (1886–1973). Andrade’s Manifesto Antropofago (1928) called upon Brazilian artists to develop their own unique culture by “devouring” European styles and melding them with elements derived from local culture. Tarsila do Amaral’s painting expressed this philosophy, combining the bright colors and tropical imagery of Brazil with the surrealism she discovered in Europe. Inspired by her predecessors, Beatriz Milhazes embraces a dizzying kaleidoscope of influences, following an approach that she describes as “culture eating culture.” Her canvases have an undeniably Brazilian flavor, filled with an abundance of brightly colored, highly decorative motifs. Much of the artist’s inspiration comes from the high and low art present in her native country, including sources as varied as ceramics, lacework, jewelry design, carnival decoration, and Colonial baroque architecture.
Beatriz Milhazes/A chuva, 1996

Beatriz Milhazes/A chuva, 1996
Beatriz Milhazes/Yogurt, 2008
Beatriz Milhazes/Yogurt, 2008

The delicate arabesques of tropical flowers and leaves have also found their way into her painting, revealing the artist’s fascination for luxurious vegetation. Other references for these works, which revisit the traditional genres of landscape and still-life, range from the contemplative works of Albert Eckhout – a 17th century Dutch painter who recorded the plants and animals of Brazil – to the modernist landscape designs of Roberto Burle Marx, known for his design of Copacabana beach promenade in 1970.

Beatriz Milhazes/Havai 2003
Beatriz Milhazes/Havai 2003

European Modernism

The paintings of Beatriz Milhazes express many of the formal preoccupations inherent in the history of abstract painting, from the vibrant color of Matisse to the rigorous structural composition of Mondrian. The underlying square fields of color that serve as the background for many of her works and the overlaying motifs, call to mind the work of early modernist abstract artists such as Kupka, Klee, and Léger. The artist has stated: “I am seeking geometrical structures, but with freedom of form and imagery taken from different worlds. Classical music, particularly the opera, as well as popular music such as bossa nova or tropicalia, motivate the “choreographed spontaneity” of the artist’s compositions. Stripes, rays, lines and circular forms evoke a synchronized rhythm while the dynamics of color articulate harmony and dissonance.
Beatriz Milhazes/Beatriz Milhazes

Beatriz Milhazes/Beatriz Milhazes

This clearly relates Milhazes compositions to those of other 20th century masters who have explored the relationship between music and art, such as Kandinsky and Delaunay. The use of intensely vibrant colors, such as fuchsia, gold or orange, endows her canvases with an explosive energy that many have compared to the breathtaking rhythm of fireworks.

Beatriz Milhazes/Ice Grape, 2008
Beatriz Milhazes/Ice Grape, 2008
Beatriz Milhazes/Set design for Tempo de Verão (Summertime),by Marcia Milhazes Contemporary Dance Company, 2006
Beatriz Milhazes/Set design for Tempo de Verão (Summertime),by Marcia Milhazes Contemporary Dance Company, 2006

Artistic Technique

To create this elaborate network of forms, Milhazes has developed a technique that is closely related to monotype and collage. The artist first paints the motifs and drawings of her work on translucent plastic sheets. She then applies them to the canvas and peels the plastic off, superimposing images and colors in a variety of combinations. During the transfer process, part of the motif sometimes tears, leaving portions of itself behind. These accidents create interesting surfaces marred by subtle imperfections. The slow and laborious process leads to rich palimpsests of overlaid images, some fully present, some masked, some only ghostly silhouettes.
Beatriz Milhazes/Taschen Store, New York City, NY, 2007

Beatriz Milhazes/Taschen Store, New York City, NY, 2007

During the past several years, the artistic production of Beatriz Milhazes has continued to expand, recently branching out into arenas such as, theatre sets, site-specific installations, and design work, including fabric and tapestry. She has also created two artist’s books, one in conjunction with the MoMA and one with the Thomas Dane Gallery, London, which explore the realms of printmaking and collage. Through her diversity of practice and multiplicity of sources, Beatriz Milhazes erases all distinctions between the high and the low, the national and the international, the classical and the contemporary, leaving her free to explore the entire realm of visual expression.

Beatriz Milhazes/In My Dreams
Beatriz Milhazes/In My Dreams

Beatriz Milhazes Bio_Express

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1960, Beatriz Milhazes entered Rio’s renowned Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage in the early 1980s. She emerged on the Brazilian art scene in the midst of what was known as “the return to painting” of the Geraçao Oitenta (the 1980s Generation), which followed the more austere conceptualist art that dominated the country in the 1970s.

Beatriz Milhazes
Beatriz Milhazes


Beatriz Milhazes

From April 4 to June 21, 2009Born in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro, Beatriz Milhazes emerged on the Brazilian art scene in the mid-1980s. Exhibited in many galleries and several international biennials, her work is represented in the collections of some of the world’s greatest museums.Intricately layered with a profusion of ornamental motifs, her vibrant and hypnotic paintings refer to sources as diverse as the Colonial baroque, high modernism, and popular Brazilian art.
For her exhibition at the Fondation Cartier, the artist presents a focused selection of large format acrylic paintings, chosen from her work of the past decade, as well as a monumental collage created especially for the show. She has also realized a monumental commission for the building’s glass façades. Her striking installations play with natural light to create a powerful visual dialogue with the architecture of Jean Nouvel and the surrounding garden.


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International art fair ArtRio only officially begins next week, but last night was a perfect kick-starter. Hundreds of cariocas and a few out-of-towners gathered downtown to see the largest exhibit to date of legendary artist Beatriz Milhazes.

The high ceilings of Paço Imperial, the Imperial Palace, came to life like never before with oversized paintings and collages that took over the two floors of the historic Portuguese colonial building constructed in 1738. The exhibit, curated by Frederic Paul, runs until October 27 and features 60 works by the artist from 1989 through the present day.

Ever since her painting, “Meu Limão,” or “My Lemon,” sold for a record-breaking 2.1 million dollars at last November’s Sotheby’s auction in New York, Milhazes has been widely recognized as the highest-paid living Brazilian artist in history. Her work can be found in the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Milhazes’ last exhibit in Rio was in 2002. Eleven years and many international headlines later, she remains true to her origins. “I’m happy. I think it all worked out,” a beaming Beatriz told me after I patiently endured a gigantic line of new and old fans who wanted a photo, a word, or just a moment with the charismatic artist. There was a familiar tone of anticipation in her voice, like that of a young girl right before her first art show in the neighborhood, and it made her all the more endearing. In all these years, Rio has remained her hometown, where she is constantly surrounded by her family and friends.

After two rounds through the exhibit, I returned to the first floor to revisit the larger-than-life four-painting series titled, “Gamboa Seasons: Summer Love, Autumn Love, Winter Love, Spring Love” [pictured]. Milhazes had always wanted to do the traditional four seasons-themed series, but she grew up in Rio, and we don’t really have four seasons here (some say we have two: sun and rain), so the paintings demonstrate instead a “variation of heat.” And there’s no doubt that her paintings warm up the place: On a “cold” winter night (it was 60 degrees—perfect excuse for me to wear my favorite Marni boots and for half of the crowd to pull out their leather jackets), the layered, kaleidoscopic spheres in vibrant, citric colors of “Summer Love” were beyond heart-warming. Definitely worth a second—and third—visit.

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Paula Bezerra de Mello

Public Relations Director

Paula Bezerra de Mello is the head of public relations and marketing for the famed Philippe Starck-designed Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro. A Brown University graduate, de Mello started her …


Color Inspiration: Beatriz Milhazes

By evad // April 10, 2008

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1961, Beatriz Milhazes works in the pure aesthetic style of the Pattern and Decoration movement. Influenced by her native land of Brazil, her vibrant and bold use of color and patterns create work that is as much playful, free and psychedelic, as it is geometric, organized and rhythmic.

The Pattern and Decoration movement was not originally popular in the art world because of the movements lack of political statements and stances, “art for arts sake:” “Though playful and innovative, especially in the use of materials, Pattern and Decoration didn’t make much of an impact in the art world. It was dismissed as frivolous, with the work regarded as purely decorative and thus not warranting serious critical or curatorial attention.” (NYT: Fresh Eyes on a Colorful Movement) What was deemed not worth talking about has now gained global visibility since its beginnings in the 70’s and 80’s.

Photo from

The Decoration and Pattern movement is not completely detached from society and the world around it. I feel the art, and artists involved, take a very positive stance that speaks not from the created politics and mottos of the mind, but from love and the appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us. And this philosophy of focusing more on the pleasures of life, rather than its hardships, is very evident in the shapes, colors and patterns of each of Milhazes’ piece.

Photo from James Cohan Gallery


Many of these explosions of colour originate in her small, compact studio, where she has been based since 1987. It is situated right next door to Rio’s luscious botanical gardens, and, inevitably, the forms and patterns of the flowers – delicate swirls and leaf-like shapes – have found their way into her paintings. She has also “taken advantage of the atmosphere of the city”, with its rich urban mix incorporating chitão (the cheap, colourful Brazilian fabric), jewellery, embroidery and folk art. Other influences range from architectural – the work of Roberto Burle Marx, the landscape architect and garden designer who created the five-kilometre Copacabana beach promenade in Rio – to Pop symbols such as Emilio Pucci fabric patterns. Painterly inspiration comes from the seventeenth-century Dutch artist Albert Eckhout, who travelled through colonial Brazil, and the Brazilian Modernist Tarsila do Amaral, as well as Mondrian, Matisse and Bridget Riley.
In the Studio,

Photo from James Cohan Gallery

Creative Process

“Evidence of her terms of reference can be found pinned to the walls of her studio – magazine fragments, postcards and pieces of clothing, as well as some of her own drawings.” She begins with an idea of colors and images, but “nothing is clear until the end”. And, maybe surprisingly, Milhazes is “very discipline in her creative routine.” (In the Studio)

She also incorporates a wide range of materials, including many that were original inspirations for the very piece:

In Cacao, for example, the gold foil squares of Ghiradelli chocolates play against the pastel packaging of Lindt, Lacta, and Nestle bars. Milhazes embellishes this brightly patterned surface with yet more floral shapes, here mostly cut from shimmering pieces of holographic paper. While some viewers may blanch at such sensory overload, preferring the relative austerity of a classic Cubist collage, I for one appreciate Milhazes’s decorative indulgence. Like the flowers and chocolates that partially inspire them, her works remain unstinting sources of pleasure.
Art in America, “Beatriz Milhazes at James Cohan”

Selected Work

Mariposa, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 98 inches Photo from James Cohan Gallery

An explosion of ornament is certainly apparent in Mariposa, where a pink and flesh-toned ground supports dozens of blooming flowers, including a dazzling dahlia whose deep violet core gradually fades to lavender petals. These floral fireworks are anchored on the right by a dark filigree of French curves that transforms the entire composition into a magnificent brooch.
Art in America, “Beatriz Milhazes at James Cohan”

Peace and Love, 2005-2006, Installation, Gloucester Road Tube StationPhoto by paulbence

Entitled Peace and Love, this monumental commission occupies an entire side of the station and creates a visual dialogue with both the architecture and the constant movement of trains and travelers within.

Each of the nineteen vaulted arches on the District Line platform at Gloucester Road contains a part of a dense, tightly-knit composition which skilfully combines many complex elements into an elegantly balanced whole. The work, like the station, has its own rhythm. The images run across the arches, creating their own momentum and mirroring the movement of the passengers and the trains inside the station. The vibrant colour and exuberant shapes within the work keep the viewer’s gaze in constant motion.
-Peace and Love

More Work

Photo from

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Photo by didier

Photo by smallbox

Photo by Bree Apperley

Photo by Bree Apperley

Title Photo from James Cohan Gallery
 Thursday, January 7, 2010

Artist: Beatriz Milhazes

I first noticed the work of Beatriz Milhazes in the March 08 issue of Elle Decor. The article features the Victorian apartment of Rosa de la Cruz Bonfiglio which is steeped in art from painting to drawing and sculpture. Not surprising, Rosa’s parents are major collectors in Miami who have opened their contemporary-art-packed mansion in Key Biscayne to the public.

Courtesy of Elle Decor, below are 2 photos from Rosa’s apartment featuring work from Milhazes.

Artist Beatriz Milhazes was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1960. Milhazes has work in the permanent collections of, among others, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I love her use of color incorporating elements of modern design with her own spin of Brazilian culture.


Beatriz Milhazes:
“No Fear of Beauty”

Her opulent compositions have made Beatriz Milhazes one of the best-known Brazilian painters in the world. Matisse, Op Art, the brilliant colors of the carnival-a wide range of influences merge in her stunning paintings. Achim Drucks introduces the artist, who lives in Rio de Janeiro and is represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection.

Beatriz Milhazes, Beleza Pura, 2006; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Beatriz Milhazes, Beleza Pura, 2006; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Beatriz Milhazes, Rosa branca no centro, 1997; Deutsche Bank Collection; © Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery and Galeria Camargo Vilaco, São Paulo

Beatriz Milhazes, Rosa branca no centro, 1997; Deutsche Bank Collection; © Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery and Galeria Camargo Vilaco, São Paulo
Beatriz Milhazes, O Pato, 1996/1998; Deutsche Bank Collection; © Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery and Galeria Camargo Vilaco, São Paulo

Beatriz Milhazes, O Pato, 1996/1998; Deutsche Bank Collection; © Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery and Galeria Camargo Vilaco, São Paulo
Beatriz Milhazes, Bala de Leite, 2005; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Beatriz Milhazes, Bala de Leite, 2005; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Beatriz Milhazes, O Elefante Azul, 2002; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Beatriz Milhazes, O Elefante Azul, 2002; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Beatriz Milhazes, O Espelho (The mirror), 2000; Deutsche Bank Collection; © Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery and Galeria Camargo Vilaco, São Paulo

Beatriz Milhazes, O Espelho (The mirror), 2000; Deutsche Bank Collection; © Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery and Galeria Camargo Vilaco, São Paulo
Beatriz Milhazes, O Sabado, 2000; Deutsche Bank Collection; © Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery and Galeria Camargo Vilaco, São Paulo

Beatriz Milhazes, O Sabado, 2000; Deutsche Bank Collection; © Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery and Galeria Camargo Vilaco, São Paulo
Beatriz Milhazes; Chokito, 2006; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Beatriz Milhazes; Chokito, 2006; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Beatriz Milhazes,Nega Maluca, 2006; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Beatriz Milhazes,Nega Maluca, 2006; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Beatriz Milhazes, Sul da América, 2002; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Beatriz Milhazes, Sul da América, 2002; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
An explosion of form and color; circles of beautiful turquoise and silver surfaces, between them a blossom painted in hues of lilac that looks as though it had been made with a Spirograph set. The 1960s drawing tool also seems to have been used to draw the other violet spirals on the large-scale canvas. More stylized flowers hover around them, curlicues recalling seventies wallpaper; together with discs in orange and gold hues, they partially cover a massive black square-Malevich’s icon of a radically reduced abstraction is on the verge of being swallowed up by a colorful armada of ornamental forms.Beleza Pura, pure beauty, is the title Beatriz Milhazes gave her painting from 2006-it seems programmatic for the work of the artist, who was born in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro. “The word decorative is normally pejorative when it’s applied to art. I don’t have any fear of beauty,” she declared in 2006. Her title also refers to the hit of the same name by the singer Caetano Veloso, one of the chief figures of the Tropicalismo movement of the late sixties. Without being explicitly political, the vital energy of this movement of artists and musicians was directed against cultural monotony as it was propagated by the Brazilian military regime at that time. Folklore elements blended with American and European influences.Her paintings are the product “…of the mad struggle between baroque figuration and rigorous construction,” as Richard Armstrong, the current director of the New York Guggenheim Museum, formulates it. Armstrong was one of the first curators outside Brazil to take notice of the artist. In 1995, he invited her to take part in Carnegie International, the exhibition that led to her international breakthrough. In 2003 she represented Brazil at the Venice Biennale.But Milhazes’s painting with its disappearing black square can also be taken as a reference to another influential artistic movement in the country-Modernismo. One of the most important representatives of this Brazilian answer to the early European avant-garde movements was the writer Oswald de Andrade. In his Manifesto Antropófago (Cannibalistic Manifesto) of 1928, he developed his own, Brazilian version of modernism under the motto “Instead of pushing the foreign away, eat it.” He countered dominant European culture with tropical growth, naivety, savagery, and poetry. He recommended ingesting the most enriching parts of European culture, transforming them, and simply throwing the rest away.This strategy of transformation is crucial to Milhazes’s work. She operates from a variety of sources: along with the most important protagonist of Modernismo, Tarsila de Amaral, whose paintings blend European influences with indigenous forms, she cites Henri Matisse’s cut-outs and color combinations and the dynamism of Piet Mondrian’s late work as sources of inspiration-such as his famous painting Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43). Op Art influences and the wild fabric patterns of Emilio Pucci collide with decorative motifs from colonial architecture. The floral and plant forms she uses in many of her works-including O Pato (1996/98) from the Deutsche Bank Collection-were not made from nature, but based on various different models including Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, tablecloths, and the “exotic” jewelry Miriam Haskell made for Carmen Miranda, the “Brazilian Bombshell” who conquered Hollywood in the 1940s and who embodied, in her bizarre costumes and fruit-bowl hats, the exaggerated cliché of the temperamental South American woman. Milhazes re-imports this phenomenon of exoticism, so to speak.The tension in Milhazes’s work is not only between figuration and abstraction, but also between the global and local influences that merge in her work. “I am an abstract painter and I speak an international language, but my interest is in things and behaviors that can only be found in Brazil,” she explained in a conversation with the musician Arto Lindsay. And this can mean the delirium of colors and forms at the Carnival in Rio, the melancholy bossas of Antônio Carlos Jobim, or the wave-shaped patterned promenades the landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx designed for the Copacabana beach.To many viewers, her brilliantly colored painting seems typical for Brazil-an error, as Milhazes explains in a catalogue to her project for the Fondation Cartier in Paris: “We don’t have a strong tradition of painting in Brazil, and especially not painting with color. When I became internationally known as a Brazilian painter, the international audience thought that I came out of a strong tradition of Brazilian painting. This is because there is a general lack of information on Latin American art. Due to Spanish colonization, some countries like Mexico or Venezuela have a strong painting tradition. This is not the case for Brazil. The most important and well-known Brazilian art is conceptual and constructivist. There is no special interest in color. Brazil is a colorful country, but its art isn’t. That is why people get confused. I use elements from my culture, and color is one of them, but I’m the only one to do so.”Pink, dusty rose, turquoise, orange-red-her silkscreen Rosa branca no centro from 1997 in the Deutsche Bank Collection is drenched in intense color. A stylized flower appears in the middle, surrounded by circles of pearls and filigree patterns reminiscent of lace tablecloths. Milhazes’s paintings are rarely arranged around a center as this one is, which lends it a kind of quietude. The images usually seem as though one spectacular explosion of color outshone the next, like fireworks. The precise compositions prevent the paintings from falling apart into individual elements; despite all their differences and tensions, they cohere as a whole.This is also due to Milhazes’s unusual working process. She worked with collage early in her career by introducing fabrics into her paintings. In the late 1980s, she began to draw the contours of her flowers and mandalas on transparent plastic foil, coloring them in with acrylic paint and then cutting them out after they dried. She can then shift these forms around on the canvas until they find their final position, where Milhazes adheres them to the surface with the colored side down and then pulls off the plastic backing, which she often uses for other paintings. This is why identical shapes often appear in different paintings. The artist explains: “I like the resulting smooth texture, the way in which the painting seems ‘frozen’ in time. I love painting, but I do not want the texture of the brushstrokes or the ‘hand’ of the painter to be visible on my canvases.”This “anti-expressive” strategy makes her paintings appear cool, while the process of construction remains visible. This process takes place entirely on the canvas; Milhazes does not use sketches for her paintings, and the transference of painted forms doesn’t always go perfectly. The paint tears, or a portion remains stuck on the plastic foil. The resulting irregularities seem like points of erosion and give the surfaces the impression of being weathered. Her canvases recall palimpsests in which multiple layers of time are superimposed.This sets her paintings apart from Bridget Riley’s flawless, purist Op Art compositions. The 2001 Riley show at the Dia Art Foundation left such an impression on Milhazes that she began experimenting with rectangles and straight lines for the first time. Since then, the range of her paintings has expanded further. She’s gone back to her early collages, this time adding variously colored paper to her works instead of fabrics-shiny, metallic-blue candy-wrapper paper, marbled wrapping paper, chocolate wrappers. In this way, she further intensifies the overabundance of visual stimuli that characterizes all her work. She directs the viewer’s gaze around the picture surface, without providing anywhere for it to rest. Milhazes’s paintings hover between a stunning ornamental beauty and an overload of forms, colors, styles, and quotes. It is not the kind of beauty in which the eye can rest, however; instead, it absorbs the gaze and threatens to overpower the viewer.

Modern Motifs, With Echoes of Brazil

Published: October 24, 2008

STANDING in a back exhibition space at James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea, the Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes sounded like a rigorous Constructivist as she discussed her four latest paintings, which were propped against the walls.

Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

“Popeye” (2008)

Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

“Summertime” (2004) a chandelier designed as a set piece for her sister Marcia’s dance company. Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

Courtesy Maharam

“Horto,” a textile design.

Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

“Ice Grape” (2008)

Joao Wainer

Beatriz Milhazes, has a solo show at James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea.

 “This one is based on squares, kind of a grid,” she said, pointing to “Mulatinho,” whose blocks of color are broken up by dots, rippling stripes, paisleylike ornaments, stylized flowers and a piece of carefully painted fruit.

Mr. Cohan, her dealer, who had just walked into the room, started laughing. “You and Mondrian,” he said.

Although Ms. Milhazes clearly considers herself a geometric abstractionist, those are hardly the first words that spring to mind when regarding her work, the focus of a solo show at the gallery.

Squares often come laced with lines and dots, circles frequently mutate into eye-popping targets, and everything is laden with motifs that evoke the multilayered culture of her home, Rio de Janeiro. There are arabesques, roses and doily patterns, borrowed from Brazilian Baroque, colonial and folk art; flowers and plants inspired by the city’s botanical garden, which is next door to her studio; and thick wavy stripes — a nod to the undulating Op Art-inspired mosaic pavement that the Brazilian landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx created in 1970 for the promenade at Copacabana Beach.

Yet Ms. Milhazes, 48, maintains that her compositions are essentially geometric. “Sometimes I put the square behind,” she said, referring to the initial layer of the painting, “and I build up things on top of it. The squares may disappear, but they are still a reference for me to think about composition. And I’ve always been very loyal to my ideas.”

Today her career seems as jampacked as her paintings themselves. In addition to the show at James Cohan, which runs through Nov. 15, her first major career survey is on view at the Pinacoteca do Estado in São Paulo, Brazil. By early November, within a span of a month, three limited-edition projects — a tapestry, a textile design and an artist’s book — will have been issued. She has also just completed a new site-specific window installation for a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. (Sometime next year she will create a similar piece for the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center in New York.)

Then there is “Gamboa,” a sculptural installation that will be unveiled on Nov. 1 at Prospect.1, the contemporary-art biennial in New Orleans. Ms. Milhazes intends to transform one room of a 19th-century mint building into a shimmering chandelier hung with globes and flowers, all of which have been fabricated by workers at one of the many samba schools in Rio.

“It didn’t make any sense to organize a room with paintings,” Ms. Milhazes said of the project. “New Orleans was always about the vitality, the dancing and the music. So I link it — the carnival in New Orleans with the Carnaval in Rio. It will make this kind of dialogue between two cities.”

Growing up under the former military dictatorship in Brazil, Ms. Milhazes did not have access to the mainstream art world. Although Brazil has had an avant-garde art scene since the 1930s, opportunities for young artists in Rio were limited in the early 1980s, when she embarked on her career. Back then Latin American collectors typically focused on work from past eras. “We didn’t have any voice,” Ms. Milhazes said of her colleagues from that time.

For a young painter who longed to see the work of 20th-century masters like Mondrian and Matisse, the situation was especially arid. “Twenty-five years ago, if you didn’t travel, you never would see paintings,” she said. And today, she noted, painting is still only an undercurrent in Brazil’s art scene. “We have strong contemporary art,” she said, “but more in conceptualism and installation. So I am quite isolated here.”

But isolation also helped Ms. Milhazes develop her rather unusual working process. “You don’t have the history on your back,” she explained. She starts by painting with acrylic on sheets of plastic, working motif by motif, creating each image in reverse as if she were making a print.

Once a motif is dry she glues the painted side to the canvas, almost as if it were a decal, and then peels off the plastic to reveal a surface that looks handmade but is nearly unmarked by brushstrokes. Then she continues layering as if she were making a collage. When she developed this method in the late ’80s, she said, “it opened a huge door for me.”

The door opened further in 1992, when the Brazilian curator and critic Paulo Herkenhoff brought three Americans to Ms. Milhazes’s studio: Richard Armstrong, then a curator at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh and now the incoming director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York; Madeleine Grynsztejn, then a curator at the Art Institute of Chicago and now director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; and Fred Henry, president of the Bohen Foundation, a nonprofit group that commissions new works of art.

Mr. Henry soon became a devoted collector, and Mr. Armstrong eventually invited Ms. Milhazes to participate in the 1995 Carnegie International. “That was the opening,” she said. Through the Carnegie, she met a New York dealer, Edward Thorp, who began showing her work in SoHo the next year. Her career quickly became multinational. Now she frequently shows in Europe, especially London, as well as in Latin America, Asia and New York.

Ms. Grynsztejn said Ms. Milhazes’s widespread appeal lies in the fact that she is a “glocal” artist — someone whose work is grounded in the international language of modernism while also firmly rooted in her own place and time. “What I really loved about the work,” she said, “was the way that it merged figuration and abstraction, and even decoration and craft, within the highly intellectual enterprise of formal abstraction.”

She was also fascinated by the strong echoes of local culture in Ms. Milhazes’s work. After leaving the studio, she recalled, “I remember very vividly that when we sat down to lunch, the plastic tablecloth that covered the restaurant tables had the same bright, busy patterns” as Ms. Milhazes’s paintings. Later that day she experienced another jolt of déjà vu while passing the ornamental facade of a Baroque church. At that point, she said, “I understood that that vernacular had infiltrated at a very high level into Beatriz’s work.”

Yet despite the Brazilian feel of her work, there is nothing else quite like it in Brazilian art, past or present, said Adriano Pedrosa, a curator in São Paulo who has known Ms. Milhazes for years. “She seems to have a quite close relationship with Brazilian art history,” he said, “but that’s because she’s appropriating things.”

He also sees her oeuvre as being related to Antropofagia, a Brazilian movement of the ’20s and ’30s whose name means cannibalism. Mr. Pedrosa described it as “this concept where the Brazilian native artist appropriates foreign elements and digests them to produce something personal and unique.”

In fact Ms. Milhazes often says her major influence is Tarsila, a Brazilian painter who came out of that movement, as well as Mondrian and Matisse.

“In the beginning,” she said, “I felt a connection between Spanish Latin American and Brazilian, which is more Portuguese: the Baroque churches, the costumes, the ruffles, things that have volume or a sculptural shape.”

But ultimately, she said, although she wanted to incorporate all those things into her work, “I wanted to put them together based on a geometric composition. Because at the end of the day, I was only interested in structure and order.”

More Articles in Arts » A version of this article appeared in print on October 26, 2008, on page AR22 of the New York edition.


Beatriz Milhazes’ colourful canvasses

The Whitechapel Gallery’s Iwona Blazwick on why she’s co-curating a show by the Brazilian artist; alt=”Beatriz Milhazes, As Irmas (The Sisters) (2003)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Multi-coloured screenprint on Waterford 638g paper<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
131.4 x 151.2cm (51¾ x 59 5/8in)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
” width=”620″ height=”450″ align=”middle” />
Beatriz Milhazes, As Irmas (The Sisters) (2003)
Multi-coloured screenprint on Waterford 638g paper
131.4 x 151.2cm (51¾ x 59 5/8in)

Windsor Gallery, 3125 Windsor Boulevard, Vero Beach, Florida, 32963

Beatriz Milhazes, O Pato (1996 – 98)

The Whitechapel has always had a strong connection with Brazilian art (the gallery hosted the first UK show by Brazilian visual artist Hélio Oiticica in 1969 and has shown many Brazilian and Mexican artists over the years). With Brazil such a powerhouse at the moment the timing of the new show seems doubly resonant.

Blazwick was introduced to the work of Milhazes at Tate Modern when the artist was commissioned to create a mural at the end of level 7. “It was sensational and spanned the width of the building,” she says. “It’s absolutely extraordinary – a very immersive environment.

“The natural environment is omnipresent in Rio. It’s on the sea, there’s rainforest all around it but there’s also a darkness and an edginess and poverty. Beatriz’s work absorbs and celebrates that as well. She looks at traditional forms you might find in church interiors or peasant fabrics, love of lace and decoration and the excess of Carnival where the super poor become kings and queen for a day – or a week as it happens. You get these amazing head dresses festooned with glitter false eyelashes and all the rest of it. It’s very sparkly, very bling and about a conspicuous display of wealth and she draws that into her work. So there are all these different kinds of influences and an acknowledgement of the darkness of it and the oppressive nature of it.”

Beatriz Milhazes, Noite de Verão (Summer night) (2006)

Beatriz Milhazes, Noite de Verão (Summer night) (2006)

Eagle-eyed Phaidon readers might also spot the influence of Bridget Riley in some of Milhazes’ pieces from around 2003.

“There’s no European art visible in Brazil – no Matisses none of that great early foundational stuff that we’re accustomed to,” said Blazwick. “She only saw it in reproductions when she was at art school, books and magazines. Then the first time she went to New York she saw show by Bridget Riley and Sonia Delaunay. For her it wasn’t a trajectory across the 20th century from Delaunay in 1906 to Riley in 2000 – she saw them in the same time frame and they blew her away. The two bodies of work were profoundly affecting for her. And she discovered the stripe!”

At the time, Milhazes was already pursuing an idea of revolving forms where the viewer’s eye can never rest. “She wants this idea of a very dynamic pictorial surface,” continues Blazwick, “where that idea of revolution on every level is this idea of never having a beginning or an end or a centre. She talks about the eye being constantly drawn back and forth across the surface of her images. And she uses abstract geometry to give it a perspectival depth. She uses what the vertical and horizontal can give in sense of creating a sense of space, of layering of things seen through other things.”

Beatriz Milhazes: Screenprints 1996-2011runs from December 3 – February 28, 2012

Portrait of Beatriz Milhazes by Luis Gomes (2007) Portrait of Beatriz Milhazes by Luis Gomes (2007)
All See All Beatriz Milhazes


Beatriz Milhazes

Milhazes is known for her work juxtaposing Brazilian cultural imagery and references to western Modernist painting.
The daughter of a lawyer and an art historian, Milhazes was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1960.She studied social communication at Faculdades Integradas Hélio Alonso (FACHA), Rio De Janeiro from 1978 to 1981 and studied at the School of Visual Arts (Escola de Artes Visuais – EAV) of Parque Lage, Rio De Janeiro from 1980 to 1982.

Milhazes has had solo and group exhibitions in a number of museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. From 4-21 July 2009, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris presented a major exhibition of her work.

Milhazes’ paintings are in the permanent collections in many institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Banco Itaú, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
Milhazes is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.



Malba – Fundación Costantini

Beatriz Milhazes at Malba – Fundación Costantini, Buenos Aires
Beatriz Milhazes, Bye, bye love, 2012.

Panamericano. Beatriz Milhazes. Paintings 1999–2012

14 September–19 November, 2012

Malba – Fundación Costantini, Buenos Aires
Avda. Figueroa Alcorta 3415
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Guest curator: Frédéric Paul

Malba – Fundación Costantini is pleased to announce Panamericano. Beatriz Milhazes. Paintings 1999–2012, a selection of about thirty recent paintings by the renowned artist Beatriz Milhazes (born 1960 in Rio de Janeiro, where she lives and works), as well as a scenographic work specially designed for the gallery on the museum’s second floor. This is the first solo exhibit for Milhazes in a Latin American institution outside of her country, and it has been produced entirely by Malba.

Curated by Frédéric Paul, the exhibit focuses on the past ten years of the artist’s work, gathering pieces that are primarily from private and public collections in Brazil and the United States. Among these are two works on loan for the first time from the Guggenheim Museum in New York and one from the Museu de Arte Moderna in São Paulo. The local public will also have its first chance to place in their new context as part of the private collection of Eduardo F. Costantini, two important works, O mágico (2001) and Pierrot e Colombina (2009–10), which open and close this important decade for the artist.

The title of the exhibit, Panamericano, alludes to the to-and-fro between North and South, between new West and old West, a central theme of Milhazes. Exotic outside of Brazil, she continues to be so within it as well, and today she is recognized as one of that country’s most important artists.

“Numerous figurative elements are at play in Beatriz Milhazes’ paintings, but they appear there neutralized in relation to the real, which serves as their model. Her flowers are motifs of flowers. Her fruits are motifs of fruits. And it is without a doubt this reduction of their general form and the elimination of their substance which allow them to interact in the abstract painting with other forms from the decorative realm,” analyzes Frédéric Paul.

For the occasion of this exhibit, Malba has published a 124-page, Spanish-English bilingual catalogue, the first Spanish-language reference publication on a retrospective exhibit of Milhazes’ work. This book contains the essay “Beatriz Milhazes or The Advantages of Never Leaving the Labyrinth in Painting,” by curator Frédéric Paul; as well as the re-edition and the first translation to Spanish of two key texts about the artist: “Beatriz Milhazes – The Brazilian Trove” by critic and curator Paulo Herkenhoff, first published in 2001 for her exhibit at the Ikon Gallery (England) and at the Birmingham Museum of Art (United States), and an interview with fashion designer Christian Lacroix, which was originally published in Beatriz Milhazes/Avenida Brasil (Frédéric Paul ed., Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Centre d’art contemporain, 2004).

The artist
In 2003 Beatriz Milhazes represented Brasil at the 50th Venice Biennale. She also participated in São Paulo’s International Biennials (1998, 2004) and Shanghai, China’s Biennial (2006). Her most recently museum shows include Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo (2008); Fondation Cartier, Paris (2009); Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2011), among others. Her works are found in the collections of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, in Madrid.


Beatriz Milhazes. Hawaii, 2003. Screenprint. Edition : 40. 52 x 46 in. (132 x 117 cm.). Compliments of Durham Press.

Solo Show
Beatriz MilhazesIssue #84 Mar – May 2012United States, Vero Beach

Whitechapel Gallery
Silvia Medina

Beatriz Milhazes’ pictorial work begins with a confluence of artistic movements in her socio-cultural environment, from Tropicalia to Bossa Nova, dancing to the rhythm of the sublime and exotic beauty of her native Rio de Janeiro. Milhazes recreates the ancestral legacy of Rio’s sweet romanticism, fused to contemporary realities.

Many of the blossoming, colorful, spring-like images we see in Milhazes’ painting originate in her small and compact studio, where the artist, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1960, has worked since 1987. It is located right next to the city’s lush Botanical Gardens; inevitably, she finds there the inspiration for her flowery shapes and patterns, her delicate whirlpools, her leaf-like figures.

The artist has also been influenced by the atmosphere of her native city and its rich urban admixture, and her work incorporates chitão (the cheap, colorful Brazilian fabric), jewels, embroideries, and symbols from popular culture. Other influences include architecture—particularly the work of Roberto Burle Marx, the landscape artist and garden designer who created the Copacabana boardwalk—and pop icons such as Emilio Pucci’s fabric patterns. Her pictorial inspiration comes from Seventeenth-Century European artist Albert Eckhout, who traveled through colonial Brazil, and from Tarsila do Amaral, the modernist Brazilian artist, as well as Matisse, Mondrian, Le Parc, Bridget Riley, and Frank Stella.

Milhazes’ flowers are not a commentary on color, print, arabesques, or empty decorations, but on their role rituals, conceptualizing a vital parade of printing in her everyday environment; so, her inspiration emanates from transculturation and its endless aesthetic potential.

Milhazes’ art finds support on the precepts of the serigraphic pictorial tradition and in her experimentation with mixed techniques from contemporary art. Her paintings reveal for us a variety of readings and aesthetic paradigms, establishing a play of conceptualization where her work expresses the fact that description is unnecessary because it can mar the interpretive freedom of the artistic image.

Beleza Pura is the title Milhazes gave painting starting in 2006. “The word ‘decorative’ is usually pejorative when applied to art. I am not afraid of beauty,” she declared that year. The title also refers to a hit song of the same name by Caetano Veloso, one of the central figures in 1960s Tropicalia. While not explicitly political, the vital energy of that movement of artists and musicians was directed against cultural monotony during the military dictatorship in Brazil. Elements of folklore mixed with American and European influences are also present in Milhazes’ work.

Her paintings are the product “…of the crazy struggle between baroque figuration and rigorous construction,” as noted by Richard Armstrong, the current director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Armstrong was one of the first observers outside Brazil to make note of this artist. In 1995, he invited Milhazes to participate in the Carnegie International. In 2003, Milhazes represented Brazil at the Venice Biennale.

Milhazes’ work navigates toward the dancing circle of love. That carnival of passions surrounded by lush beaches and bohemian music, offers us the flavor and versatile rhythms of her tropical Olympus, where Latin America’s magical realism fertilizes the sanctuary she has built, proposing a fascinating mixture where orishás and angels come together in perfect harmony. Milhazes’ carnival is a confluence of poetics that emanate from the soul, evoking the warm lyricism that seduces the glamorous of her inner Rio de Janeiro.

Such glamour is also due to Milhazes’ unusual work process. Early in her career she worked with collages, through the introduction of fabric into her paintings. In the late 1980s, she began to draw the outlines of her flowers and mandalas on a transparent plastic sheet, coloring them with acrylic paint, and then cutting them out after drying. Afterwards she switches these shapes around the canvas until they find their final position; there they are attached to the canvas with the color surface facing down and the plastic cover is pulled away, often to be used in other works.

For the past decade, the range of her paintings has broadened even more. She has returned to her earlier collages, now adding paper in various colors rather than fabric; she uses a shining metallic blue, candy wrappers, marble paper, and chocolate wrappers. In this way, the overabundance of visual stimuli that characterizes her entire oeuvre is newly emphasized. Milhazes drives the viewer’s gaze around the surface of the work, without place for pause. Her works move between great ornamental beauty and an overload of shapes, colors, styles, and artistic assumptions.

Beatriz Milhazes

by Adriano Pedrosa

BOMB 78/Winter 2002, Artists on Artists

Beatriz Milhazes, My Baby, 2000, acrylic on canvas, 70×70”. All images courtesy of Edward Throp Gallery, New York.

Beatriz Milhazes’s paintings are executed in a small studio next to Rio de Janeiro’s luscious botanical gardens. The local flavor found in her work comes not as much from the picturesque location of the artist’s studio, but rather through the asphyxiating quality of her complex and overwhelming compositions, which somehow translate the specific site in which they are produced. Despite the multitude of colors and figures, seemingly appropriated from flora and fauna, populating Milhazes’s canvases, these paintings are above all urban — in a very Carioca fashion. Rio’s long-held image of opulence, epitomized by its beautiful scenery, has become enmeshed with associations of the violence found in its streets. Despite the exuberance and apparent joy in Milhazes’s paintings, they are implacably serious, with more than a dash of irony. It is revelatory to discover that they are not particularly easy to live with, and more than one collector has admitted to being misled by their irresistible lure.

In fact, tropical flora and fauna, Brazilian or not, have made their way into Milhazes’s canvases through several mediating layers and sources other than nature itself — call it secondhand experience in situ. A certain tropical fruit, for example, has been appropriated from the Dutch painter Albert Eckhout (who traveled through colonial Brazil in the 17th century), and rendered in blue.

Milhazes’s painting technique itself has mediating qualities: after painting most of her figures in acrylic paint on sheets of transparent plastic, she considers different possibilities of placement and position before gluing them to the canvas. These paintings are packed with references from high and low origins, both local and international, contemporary and historical: Brazilian Baroque imagery, sixties peace signs, carnival decorations, real and invented pieces of jewelry, embroidery, and lace. Modernism is a strong source here, from Brazilian masters such as Tarsila do Amaral (the leading figure of Brazilian Antropofagia) to foreign ones, such as Mondrian (think Boogie Woogie) and Matisse (especially the cutouts). Decoration is a major concern, again with local and foreign references, from Brazilian midcentury elements (through landscape architect Burle Marx) to more international ones (such as Art Deco motifs). The melting pot of sources from various times and territories is developed further in the making of the paintings, with the different elements either maintaining their characters or losing them in the vast and articulate net of references that make up Milhazes’s particularly New World lexicon. All this through a precisely constructed composition at once tight and tense, and an elaborate play of layers which at times short-circuits the relationship between pictorial background and foreground. A painting by Milhazes is like a rare Amazonian plant, both ravishing and deceiving, full of tricks and treats; as you approach it, you may discover that it is in fact carnivorous, and above all, a creation of human imagination.

Beatriz Milhazes, The Prize, 2000, acrylic on canvas, 39.5×39.5”.


Issue 40 May 1998 RSS

Beatriz Milhazes

Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, USA

Beatriz Milhazes’ work speaks of foreign things in a familiar language. This would perhaps account for much of the recent positive reception of this Brazilian painter in North American and European art circles. Facing one of her works, viewers may be pleased to recognise stereotypical elements that they have more or less carelessly constructed of the tropics (and Brazil stands in here, quite fittingly, for that vast, mysterious and sensual continent).

Milhazes is perhaps the only artist in Brazil to have critically addressed the exotic imagery identified with the country, doing so through the dextrous use of Modernist pictorial language. In her vividly coloured and intricately constructed paintings, Milhazes sets up an engaging play between low ‘foreign’ references and high European language. Figurative and abstract elements appropriated from tropical fauna and flora, folk art and craft, local pop culture, low fashion, jewellery, embroidery and lace, carnival and the colonial baroque are her major thematic sources, though recently Milhazes has also expanded her repertoire to include elements of a more ‘international’ origin (from Art Deco to 50s design motifs). Her palette of dazzling colours and hues could be taken, at a first glance, as being typically ‘native’; unsurprisingly, the use of black and white is scarce. Despite the unexpected colour juxtapositions, the overall result has a tense yet balanced pictorial effect (quasi-symmetry is one of the cunning compositional devices). In front of these carefully packed compositions with their elaborate play between figures, grounds, transparency and superimposition, your eye may wander through (if not fall prey to) labyrinthine trajectories.

It is curious to see how Milhazes’ paintings migrate from her studio in Rio to her gallery in SoHo. At her relatively small work space near the city’s beautiful Botanical Gardens (the flora, the fauna!), the paintings ­ which are rarely larger than 2.5 x 2.5 m ­ invade the compact rooms. There, due to the exiguous space (and far from Edward Thorp’s spacious white cube), the luscious, misleading and engulfing tableaux push you against the wall and force you to inspect the painting’s surface. Milhazes’ technique is to paint onto plastic, peel off the dried acrylic and glue it to the canvas. As a result, the brush strokes are still detectable, yet they have been frozen mid-way through the painting process, bearing a slick yet still gestural, duplicitous character (a feature which distinguishes her work from that of Pittman and Taaffe, two North American painters to whom she has been compared).

Milhazes’ painting bears an uneasy ironic character. In one painting a certain tropical fruit is in fact appropriated from Eckhout ­ the Dutch painter who travelled through Brazil in the 18th century ­ and rendered in blue. One enthusiastic New York reviewer described her paintings as ‘rare Amazonian plants’. But if the works are (stereo)typically Brazilian or Latin American, as Milhazes’ foreign commentators often proclaim, they play off this character with a less picturesque, less Edenic tone. The paintings are full of fictitious elements, small strategic forgeries and seemingly irreconcilable juxtapositions. Above all, they impose a sense of excess and confinement (in form and content) that is enlightening, suffocating and disorienting.

Adriano Pedrosa


Issue 161 RSS

Beatriz Milhazes

Paço Imperial, Sao Paulo, Brazil


Beatriz Milhazes Domingo (Sunday), 2010, acrylic on canvas, 2 × 3.1 m

Like it or not, the work of Beatriz Milhazes stands as a defining force in the history of contemporary Brazilian art. While often acclaimed internationally, her large-scale paintings, silkscreens and collages have long been sneered at by critics in her country of birth as frivolous, kitschy compositions grounded in the effects of colour alone, and lots of it. They have often been read – perhaps misread – as the blurry, ebullient aftermath of a carnival parade.

Milhazes has never denied Rio de Janeiro’s famous street parties and the exuberance of Brazil’s biggest national holiday as an inspiration for her work. Nor would it be possible to ignore the abundant colours of Rio’s botanical gardens, just blocks away from her three studios in the city’s lush southern district, where a deep blue sea meets a curtain of sloping green hills.

But Milhazes doesn’t do landscapes, far from it. Her latest retrospective – at the Paço Imperial, the former residence of the Portuguese royal family – makes clear that each canvas is painstakingly constructed. Milhazes’s geometric approach, which is often underappreciated, reveals her work’s deep connection to the matrix of moder-nity’s tropical manifestations. It is clear that her language is anchored in all things superlative: Milhazes likes the excess of gold, as well as the awkward luxury of the baroque churches that dot the hills of Minas Gerais, the southeastern state from where all the precious metals and stones were taken to fund Portugal’s colonial enterprise.

This is where Milhazes often confounds viewers. While she has always claimed to be an abstract painter, this declaration would seem to be at odds with the recognizable forms scattered across her compositions, from the figure of the
dove, fragments of church frescoes and wooden reliefs to flowers blossoming in psychedelic swirls. But these are not representations: Milhazes treats each and every detail – and this is evident in the sweet wrappers that appear in her collages – as a readymade, things uprooted from reality and transfixed in a picture plane that follows a logic of its own.

And it is a rigid, unflinching system. In a way, Milhazes’s paintings seduce the eye with more than their lavish displays of colour. The artist often overwhelms with a hidden mechanism of transfers, painting each layer on separate sheets of plastic that are later applied to the canvas. What seems spontaneous and whimsical is actually precisely calculated, obeying a grid of stripes and squares that has become more evident in her latest pieces but which has been there from the outset.

If this is Milhazes’s major strength, captured well by curator Frédéric Paul in his chronological display of some 60 works, it is also the point at which she comes closest to making a political statement. Together with her contemporary Adriana Varejão, Milhazes dared to break away from the legacy of concrete and neo-concrete art in Brazil, which to this day informs much of the country’s artistic production, diving instead into a hedonistic mass of sensuous forms.

But these lie only on the surface. What Milhazes seems to scream in her compositions is that Brazil was never as unilateral or rigid as the early stages of concrete art appear to suggest. Harking back to Tarsila do Amaral and the anthropophagy move-ment of the early 20th century, the artist fuses two distinct historical periods, the country’s opulent and at once miserable colonial heritage and its post-dictatorship state of tattered populist utopias.

Nothing is as crisp and clear as the concretists would have wanted it to be: flaws poke through the surface of their works, evidence of a social and political reality more concerned with appearance than with a sturdy support structure. Maybe this is why looking at a painting by Milhazes often translates to a guilty pleasure – too much sugar and reverie in a state still struggling with its very building blocks.

Silas Martí


-Vincent Johnson

Los Angeles, California

July 29, 2012

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles

New Abstract Paintings: The Cosmos suite (2012)

Golden Dream (2012), part of the Cosmos Suite of paintings

California Toilet, Filthy Light Switch (2010) by Vincent Johnson. Archival Epson print (Private Collection, Miami, Florida). I provided this image as I realized its clear similarity to Golden Dream, which I completed a week ago in my studio in Los Angeles.

This new painting series is part of my ongoing exploration of painting materials and techniques from the history of painting. The works combine knowledge of painting practices of both abstract and representation paintings. The works concern themselves purely with the visual power that paintings can do through the manipulation of paint. Some of the underpaintings are allowed to dry for months; some of those are built dark to light, others light to dark. None are made in a single setting. Most are worked and reworked using studio materials. Each new series takes a different approach to the painted surface from how the paint is applied, to varying the painting mediums. This suite concerns itself with the layering of paint by building up the surface and altering and reworking the wet paint with studio tools.

Two larger paintings will be completed and photographed on Sunday, July 15, 2012 and posted here.

Vincent Johnson, Grayscale painting: The Storm (2012). Oil on canvas, 30×40 inches, created in studio in Los Angeles, California

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles

Vincent Johnson, Nine Grayscale Paintings, Beacon Arts Center, Los Angeles, (2001). Oil on canvas. Each panel is 20×24 inches.
photograph of silver paint on my hands in studio, Los Angeles, during the creation of Nine Grayscale paintings.
Vincent Johnson – in Los Angeles studio working on Nine Grayscale Paintings, 2011

Vincent Johnson

Los Angeles, California

Vincent Johnson received his MFA in Fine Art Painting from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California 1997 and his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was selected for the Baum: An Emerging American Photographer’s Award in 2004 and for the New Museum of Contemporary Arts Aldrich Art Award in 2007 and for the Art Matters grant in 2008, and in 2009 for the Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship, Los Angeles. In 2010 he was named a United States Artists project artist. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art Slant and many other publications. His photographic works were most recently shown in the inaugural Pulse Fair Los Angeles. His most recent paintings were shown at the Beacon Arts Center in Los Angeles.


Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
10.09. – 05.11.2011The work of Rio de Janeiro born artist Beatriz Milhazes (1960) calls to mind cross-cultural references ranging from local flora, Rio’s urban verve or Brazilian Baroque.
Credits (from top): Beatriz Milhazes – Spring Love, 2010 // Mundy, 2011 // Manjary, 2011 //

LA Artist Mark Grotjahn: Interviews and Commentary

Untitled (Black Butterfly Dioxide Purple MPG 05) The Saatchi Gallery

Mark Grotjahn

Untitled (Black Butterfly Dioxide Purple MPG 05)

Oil on Linen

147 x 122cm

Mark Grotjahn infuses the detached genre of minimalist painting with a sympathetic playfulness. Bringing to mind Frank Stella’s black paintings, Grotjahn’s Untitled (Black Butterfly Dioxide Purple MPG 05) subverts the stark precision of modernism with impulsive centrifugal composition and skewed geometry. The attraction of Grotjahn’s painting lies in its subtle imperfections: brush marks expand with estimated gesture, and hand drawn angles and lines suggest an amenable humility. Painted in bold 80s power colours and hallmarked with tie-dye MG logo, Grotjahn’s Untitled celebrates instinct over analytical purity.
Mark Grotjahn - Untitled (White Butterfly Blue MG) [ Abstract America: New Painting And Sculpture ]

Mark Grotjahn – Untitled (White Butterfly Blue MG) [ Abstract America: New Painting And Sculpture ]

Untitled (pink butterfly) The Saatchi Gallery

Mark Grotjahn

Untitled (pink butterfly)

Oil on Linen

122 x 73.6 cm

Painted in superficial roseate hues, Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (Pink Butterfly) pits the frivolity of pop against the high-brow orthodoxy of formal painting. Executed with a connoisseur’s obsession, Untitled is spellbinding in its rich surface, tonal balance, and flawless concentrated brushwork. Flaunting a mastery of technique at odds with the low-culture connotations of kitsch plastic colour and bold egoist tagging, Grotjahn humorously approaches abstract painting with tongue in cheek, transforming artistic faux pas into an image of intense beauty.
Mark Grotjahn - Untitled (Lavender Butterfly Jacaranda over Green) [ Abstract America: New Painting And Sculpture ]

Mark Grotjahn – Untitled (Lavender Butterfly Jacaranda over Green) [ Abstract America: New Painting And Sculpture ]

MoMA | The Collection | Mark Grotjahn. Untitled (Blue Painting Light to Dark VII). 2006

MoMA | The Collection | Mark Grotjahn. Untitled (Blue Painting Light to Dark VII). 200

Mark Grotjahn at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

November 15~2013


at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

until 22 November 2013


Above – Untitled (Blush Pink and Kelly Green Butterfly 45.13), 2013


Untitled (Dark Brown and Black Butterfly 45.10), 2013

Untitled (Indigo Blue and Crimson Red Butterfly 45.14), 2013

Untitled (Orange and Grass Green Butterfly 45.12), 2013

Untitled (Black and Copenhagen Blue Butterfly 45.17), 2013

Untitled (Black and Canary Yellow Butterfly 45.11), 2013

Untitled (Violet and Canary Yellow Butterfly 45.05), 2013


- See more at:


Untitled (Black and Cream Butterfly) The Saatchi Gallery

Mark Grotjahn

Untitled (Black and Cream Butterfly)

Crayon and mixed media on board

122 x 89 cm

Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (Black and Cream Butterfly) combines the hard-edge of op art with the transcendental delicacy of abstract expressionism. Using crayon for its heavy waxy texture, Grotjahn’s black propeller forms cut through the mottled white ground as oscillating voids. Dividing the canvas down the centre with a razor like line, Grotjahn slices the vanishing point so that the bands on the left converge slightly lower than those on the right. Through this asymmetrical composition and ‘unstable’ medium Grotjahn creates a visually powerful emblem that’s both domineering and irresolute.



Making the Spirits Dance

Mark Grotjahn’s sinews of paint take on lives of their own.


Mark Grotjahn’s large new paintings abound with torrents of ropy impasto, laid down in thickets, cascading waves, and bundles that swell, braid around, or overlap one another. Noses and mouths appear in kaleidoscopic furrows. Eyes, too—sometimes in clusters, other times alone. Often these eyes are gouged out, opaque, blank, like those of some simian being or blind oracle. There are echoes of Cubism here and Vlaminck’s Fauvism, of mid-century abstraction, German and neo-Expressionism, rock painting, folk art, and fabric design.



I’m tantalized by the facture and physicality of these paintings. What Grotjahn (pronounced groat-john) paints doesn’t stay put on these variegated surfaces; instead, it shifts around the involuting centerless space. You can discern the ways in which this work is made, yet no formal system appears. (I surmise that the artist himself is sometimes caught off guard by what he’s produced.) His strangely shamanic art gives me a remnant of the pow I get from those ancient eternal faces in Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.



The winding rows of oil paint have been carefully laid on, wet-on-wet. Sometimes these lines look like colored grubs or raffia, in tones that are rich and saturated, ranging from mauve and apple to emerald and blood red. I think of magic carpets and magnetic fields. I spy networks of Martian canals and landscapes folding over themselves. I glimpse one of painting’s oldest purposes: the uncanny ability to conjure beings and invoke spirits.



I also take pleasure in the so-called negative power in Grotjahn’s work. That is, I love his paintings for what they are not. Unlike much art of the past decade, Grotjahn isn’t simply working from a prescribed checklist of academically acceptable, curator-approved isms and twists. His palette isn’t only the voguish trio black, white, and silver; images aren’t taken mechanically from newspapers, the Internet, or other media; his paintings aren’t comments about comments about Warhol; they’re not coolly ironic. These qualities don’t inherently make Grotjahn’s art brave or even good (although it is good). They make you realize just how locked-in and unsurprising so much market-driven work has become. Happening upon his paintings is a wild surprise; you’re reminded of the pleasures of the open, the out-there, and the untamed. It is the best show by a mid-career painter that I’ve seen in a long time.


Nine Faces
Mark Grotjahn
Anton Kern Gallery.
Through June 25.



May 12, 2011




Anton Kern Gallery

532 West 20th Street, Chelsea

Through June 25

Mark Grotjahn’s new paintings are harsh, elegant things that enthrall the eye and splinter the mind. They emphasize painting as a psychic and bodily process fueled in part by the devouring and digesting of previous art to formulate a new synthesis. In particular, these large, vertical cardboard-on-canvas works appear to feast on the painting and sculpture of early Modernism, when abstraction and representation were not seen as mutually exclusive. Possessing a torrential force, they are not so much covered with thatches of thrashing, tensile lines as bursting with them, as with live, barely controlled wires.

On first sight, they might almost be large, colorful drawings made by slashing the surfaces in long, full-bodied strokes of crayon or chalk that have some of the directness of Pollock’s drips. But the surfaces are also dense and tactile; as you approach they slow down. Up close, the lines are heavily textured, stuttering and multicolored, the result of a fairly careful palette-knife technique reminiscent of the French midcentury painter Jean-Paul Riopelle but without the unctuous flamboyance.

Pulling back again, you may notice ellipses and circles tumbling about among the lines, intimating eyes, nostrils and noses pushed this way and that by the onslaught and recalling the nominal masklike faces of early Picasso and Matisse, Jawlensky and Brancusi. Appropriately, one work is subtitled “Side Swiped and Carved Face 41.32.”

Mr. Grotjahn, who lives and works in Los Angeles, has long used schematic faces as the starting point for his abstract paintings, obliterating their features as he develops the generally symmetrical butterfly-wing geometries for which he is known. Here rawness rather than finish prevails. The radiating, ricocheting lines never submit; the flaring planes never emerge. The faces hold their own, if just barely, to affirm in staunchly contemporary terms the human presence behind all art.










at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

until 22 November 2013


Above – Untitled (Blush Pink and Kelly Green Butterfly 45.13), 2013


Untitled (Dark Brown and Black Butterfly 45.10), 2013

Untitled (Indigo Blue and Crimson Red Butterfly 45.14), 2013

Untitled (Orange and Grass Green Butterfly 45.12), 2013

Untitled (Black and Copenhagen Blue Butterfly 45.17), 2013

Untitled (Black and Canary Yellow Butterfly 45.11), 2013

Untitled (Violet and Canary Yellow Butterfly 45.05), 2013

Mark Grotjahn installation view at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, 2013

- See more at:


Issue 142 October 2011 RSS

Mark Grotjahn

Anton Kern Gallery , New York, USA

imageMark Grotjahn’s ‘Nine Faces’ (2009–11) are entropic portraits. Grotjahn’s starbursts, butterflies and radiating imagery, which speak so powerfully to the symbolism of beginnings and ends – sunrises and sunsets, genesis and apocalypse – have typically had a touch of coldness in their blunt delivery. The faces emanate from softer horizons, and they undulate and twist so as to distort and hide their previous associations. My initial impression on entering the gallery was of a wave of iridescent feathers from birds as various as exotic peacocks to familiar robins.

The intensely worked lines of oil paint, more scraped and manicured than painted, sit atop a base of cardboard. This, in addition to the globs of congealed scrapings from the palette knife at the edges of the canvas, lend an incredible bulk to the medium. There is a gravity that draws the eye closer and closer to the surface – a sensuality to the paint that resides somewhere between the abstract paint-scapes of Gerhard Richter and the gooey liquidity of flesh in Lucien Freud’s portraits. This thickness is something of a mirage, and Grotjahn toys with the cardboard: in Untitled (Side Swiped and Carved Face 41.32) (2009–10), for example, he cuts into it and excavates shapes, subtly alternating the depth of the surface. It’s all a matter of scale though – as the works appear initially to be thickly encrusted, so small differences in the topography of the surface seem to require massive quantities of paint.

The faces only emerge as a secondary theme, after the paint and the line. Evolution is at work, the sense of a living, pulsating organic force that has been injected into the earlier butterflies. But they are hardly human faces, and toy with the limits of recognition. Grotjahn’s eyes sometimes act in tandem (as on faces), but more often they behave as independent entities, and the ellipses populate the canvas without paying heed to orientation, becoming hieroglyphs for seeing more than anything else. At times it is only the eyes that need make the face, as in Untitled (S 1 Full Frontal Face 41.25) (2009–10) which has the morbid tantalizing simplicity of a woman hidden under a burkha. Untitled (Vertical Redand Black Face 41.59) (2011) features only eyes as well, but all pretense of symmetry has been dispensed with and what is left is alien and threatening, with a few circles and an ellipse inhabiting a seemingly uncontrollable streaked scarlet bloom, but still the conceit of the composition of the face holds; it just takes a moment to coalesce.

The faces in which Grotjahn adds more features achieve an even greater degree of foreignness. Slowly what emerges from the swirls of lines and textures are the noses – not necessarily human, they are more reminiscent of bonobos or mandrills – as in Untitled (Yellow Brown and Pink Big Nose Face 41.03) (2010). They have an unformed quality, just the nostrils: two holes, often merely two calligraphic circles. They are fearsome caricatures though, with very little humour, and share the fascination with the coldness of nature that Picasso conjured up with the animistic masks that he substituted for the faces of the prostitutes in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).

There are two types of organisms depicted in the exhibition, reminiscent of H.G. Wells’ descriptions of the Eloi and Morlocks in The Time Machine (1895); the more spiritual paintings that only depict eyes, and the earthier, more awkward werewolf-like faces. This primitivism lends itself to Grotjahn’s aesthetic, as the simple forms seem to emanate from a central point, an atypical symmetrical organization. Like the butterflies and previous faces, there is a gesture towards the simple and lighthearted, but it soon becomes profoundly mired in a much darker sinister side.

William Corwin



Print Article


Mark Grotjahn

by Jerry Saltz

 Mark Grotjahn’s large new paintings abound with torrents of ropy impasto, laid down in thickets, cascading waves, and bundles that swell, braid around, or overlap one another. Noses and mouths appear in kaleidoscopic furrows. Eyes, too — sometimes in clusters, other times alone. Often these eyes are gouged out, opaque, blank, like those of some simian being or blind oracle. There are echoes of Cubism here and Maurice de Vlaminck’s Fauvism, of mid-century abstraction, German and neo-Expressionism, rock painting, folk art and fabric design.

I’m tantalized by the facture and physicality of these paintings. What Grotjahn paints doesn’t stay put on these variegated surfaces; instead, it shifts around the involuting centerless space. You can discern the ways in which this work is made, yet no formal system appears. (I surmise that the artist himself is sometimes caught off guard by what he’s produced.) His strangely shamanic art gives me a remnant of the pow I get from those ancient eternal faces in Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

The winding rows of oil paint have been carefully laid on, wet-on-wet. Sometimes these lines look like colored grubs or raffia, in tones that are rich and saturated, ranging from mauve and apple to emerald and blood red. I think of magic carpets and magnetic fields. I spy networks of Martian canals and landscapes folding over themselves. I glimpse one of painting’s oldest purposes: the uncanny ability to conjure beings and invoke spirits.

I also take pleasure in the so-called negative power in Grotjahn’s work. That is, I love his paintings for what they are not. Unlike much art of the past decade, Grotjahn isn’t simply working from a prescribed checklist of academically acceptable, curator-approved isms and twists. His palette isn’t only the voguish trio black, white, and silver; images aren’t taken mechanically from newspapers, the Internet or other media; his paintings aren’t comments about comments about Warhol; they’re not coolly ironic. These qualities don’t inherently make Grotjahn’s art brave or even good (although it is good). They make you realize just how locked-in and unsurprising so much market-driven work has become. Happening upon his paintings is a wild surprise; you’re reminded of the pleasures of the open, the out-there, and the untamed. It is the best show by a mid-career painter that I’ve seen in a long time.

Mark Grotajhn, “Nine Faces,” May 5-June 25, 2011, at Anton Kern Gallery, 532 West 20th Street, New York, N.Y. 10011
JERRY SALTZ is art critic for New York magazine, where this essay first appeared. He can be reached at


at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

until 22 November 2013


Above – Untitled (Blush Pink and Kelly Green Butterfly 45.13), 2013


Untitled (Dark Brown and Black Butterfly 45.10), 2013

Untitled (Indigo Blue and Crimson Red Butterfly 45.14), 2013

Untitled (Orange and Grass Green Butterfly 45.12), 2013

Untitled (Black and Copenhagen Blue Butterfly 45.17), 2013

Untitled (Black and Canary Yellow Butterfly 45.11), 2013

Untitled (Violet and Canary Yellow Butterfly 45.05), 2013

Mark Grotjahn installation view at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, 2013

- See more at:


artdaily2012-09-28 07:03:30

Mark Grotjahn’s first exhibition of painted bronze sculptures on view at Gagosian Gallery

Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Green Eyes and Orange Cream Mask M6/7.f), 2012. Painted bronze, 27 3/4 x 10 3/8 x 16 1/2 inches. © Mark Grotjahn. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gagosian Gallery is presenting Mark Grotjahn’s first exhibition of painted bronze sculptures.

Grotjahn’s Mask sculptures are deceptive. Cast in bronze from spontaneous cardboard assemblages that he has been working on privately for over a decade, they record all the nuances of the original found material with its corrugations, dents, tears, and creases. Each original cardboard form—taller, deeper, flatter, or roughly cut away—spawns up to eight bronze casts, produced according to the lost-mold casting method. (In some instances, Grotjahn has even retained the channels that transport the molten metal into the slip, transforming them into powerful formal elements). The bronzes are vigorously painted, often with the fingers, in a riotous spectrum of color—deep violet with green accents, puce, scarlet, emerald, turquoise, scumbles of pastel shades, sober or fiery tones. While many of them are expressively and compellingly rendered in abstract terms, other seem primarily to be supports for the fact of Grotjahn’s authorship, their surfaces covered by his erratically blocked signature or initials. Most of them rest on pedestals, stubbornly sculptural, while a few are wall-mounted, referring directly to painting. Specifically, they speak to Grotjahn’s contrasting bodies of work, the Face and the Butterfly paintings—the former with their elaborate textures and primitive style, their savage quality underscored by the cardboard on which they are painted; the latter with their densely layered and nuanced monochromes.

The Mask sculptures recall the simple cardboard box constructions typical of early classroom activity— emulated so charmingly by Picasso for his own children during the idyllic Mediterranean years—flat, square faces with holes for eyes, a tube for nose, and a slightly larger hole or slash for a mouth. Sometimes the face is given just one of the three facial features. Replaying the inspirative relationship between the early Modernists and the arts of Africa and Oceania, they also explore the obsession with surface initiated by the Tachists and Abstract Expressionists. Like his predecessors, Grotjahn establishes an aesthetic remove from his referents via the processes of fabrication and production, thus his sculptures manifest both an undeniable primal intensity and a sophisticated yet endearing appeal.

Feral Formalism

by   |

June 28th, 2011

· ·
Mark Grotjahn at Shane Campbell Gallery

L.A.-based artist Mark Grotjahn has become widely renowned over the past decade for his “Butterfly” paintings. In this ongoing series, Renaissance perspectival techniques are used to create symmetrically composed radial patterns, with two or more vanishing points. Often containing subtle variations on a single pantone-derived color (like hot fuchsia, dusky indigo, ivory white), and painted with great precision, these works radiate order and composure. As such, they seem like glamorous updates on a particularly austere strain of geometric abstraction, a legacy that runs from Malevich to Reinhardt to LeWitt.



It was quite a surprise, then, to encounter Grotjahn’s new exhibition at Shane Campbell Gallery last month, “Three to Five Faces.” Here, the Apollonian reserve of his previous works is supplanted with feral, Dionysian energy, resulting in a show that’s as pleasurable as it is unexpected.

Each of the five large, vertically-formatted paintings (oil on cardboard, mounted on canvas) is a dense polychromatic skein, comprised of thick, rope-like lines of paint that have been applied with a palette knife. Each line is a uniform hue — primary colors abound, along with greens, grays and whites — and most stretch or curve diagonally across the picture plane, forming tense, dynamic compositions. Embedded within these impastoed tangles are sets of shapes that suggest the basic schematics of a face: almond-shaped eyes, cartoon noses, spherical nostrils (strangely, none of these paintings depict any mouths). But these visages have nothing to do with human likeness. Instead, they suggest zoomorphized masks, ironically recalling early modernism’s fascination with the “primitive,” particularly, the work of Picasso, Nolde, and Roualt.

As implied by the exhibition’s title, most of these paintings contain more than one visage; eyes and noses overlap and jostle for attention, resulting in facial features as abstract as the grounds in which they’re submerged. For example, Untitled (Hidden Tea, Face 41.30) contains multiple outlines of blank orbs and elongated proboscides, rendered in ashen whites and lemon yellows, over a mottled ground of alizarin crimson and muted phathlo blue. Although all the energy is directed towards the center of the picture, there is no resting point; as soon as you start to decipher one form, you’re immediately drawn to another. And another. The effect is kaleidoscopic and dizzying.

Untitled (Broken Down Beautiful Post Impressionist Face 41.71) is more structured, but no less wild. The upper half contains a group of leering eyes – in this case, with eyeballs – stacked on top of one another, while the lower half is a smattering of snouts. Only one painting, Untitled (Nagel Cover Face 41.62), could be considered remotely “representational,” in that it only depicts a single face. Overall, this work suggests some strange, simian-like beast, furtively peering through a candy-colored thicket.

As intriguing as these paintings are as pictures, their true subject seems to be the alchemical nature of the stuff from which they’re made. In reproduction they might look matte and dry — almost as though they’re mere collages made with colored pipe cleaners — but in the “flesh,” they’re imposing and viscous, with an undeniable visceral charge. And surprisingly, these heavily worked surfaces still invoke deep recessional space, an effect that recalls the abstract fields of Pollock, Tobey and Riopelle.

Grotjahn spent years refining his “Butterfly” paintings, and it’ll be interesting to see if he does the same with this series of works. Already, he’s set a wildly exciting precedent. These “Face” paintings demonstrate a deft conflation of form, content and materiality that results in a deeply immersive viewing experience. Once you’ve encountered the strange, primordial power of these works, it’s hard to step away.


Mark Grotjahn
May 13 – June 25, 2011
Shane Campbell Gallery
673 N Milwaukee Ave




Steve Cohen Eyes Grotjahn Masks; Big Necklace; Great Dane

Photographer: Robert McKeever/Gagosian Gallery via Bloomberg

“Untitled (Call Me Jackson Washed Black Brown Nose Morgan Mask M21.d) by Mark Grotjahn. The painted bronze sculpture… Read More

Photographer: Katya Kazakina/Bloomberg

“Untitled (Ribbons)” (2012) by Peter Coffin, part of the conceptual artist’s solo exhibition. The show also includes… Read More

Photographer: Katya Kazakina/Bloomberg

“Untitled (Unfinished OK Hand)” (2012), left, and “Untitled (Dog)” (2012) by Peter Coffin at Venus Over Manhattan… Read More

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

“Gigantic Necklace” by Jean-Michel Othoniel. The oversized necklace descends 50 feet through L&M Arts’s five floors… Read More

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

A view of the exhibition “Othoniel.” Nine new sculptures by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel are shown at L&M Arts.

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

“Untitled (Black and Purple Knot)” by Jean-Michel Othoniel. The work is on view at L&M Arts through Oct. 6.

Photographer: Katya Kazakina/Bloomberg

An installation view of “After Image: Paintings and Sculpture from the 1950s,” an exhibition of works by Alexander… Read More

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

“Red Fan” by Kazuo Shiraga at Hauser & Wirth gallery. The work is on view in “A Visual Essay on Gutai” through Oct. 27.

The opening of Mark Grotjahn’s latest show attracted collectors such as hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen and Donald B. Marron of Lightyear Capital LLC.

What they saw at Gagosian Gallery’s Madison Avenue headquarters resembles cardboard boxes, crudely cut up and splattered with paint to look like masks with protruding, Pinocchio-like noses.

The low-end appearance is deceiving. Displayed on pedestals, the pieces are actually cast in bronze. The daubs turn them into a hybrid of sculpture and painting, a direction the Los Angeles-based artist explored in his 2011 “Face” series.

Some of those semi-abstract paintings were so densely layered with oil paint, the viscous material actually projected about an inch off the canvas.

Humorous and just a tad menacing, the bronzes remain true to the rough physicality of the original cardboards, down to the smallest dents, tears and creases.

The works are unique. Prices range from about $100,000 to $250,000. “Mark Grotjahn” runs through Oct. 27 at 980 Madison Ave.; +1-212-744-2313;



Mark Grotjahn

Blue Paintings Light to Dark One through Ten
Anton Kern Gallery

January 19–February 28, 2007

Mark Grotjahn, “Untitled (Blue Painting Light to Dark VI)” (2006). Oil on linen. 86” x 47”. Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery, NY.

Mark Grotjahn’s recent exhibition of oil paintings qualifies as a half-waking Modernist dream. Unlike his exhibition earlier in the year at the Whitney Museum, where kaleidoscopic, electric colors crashed into dense perspectival distortions, these paintings are given a deeper, darker timbre. The solemnity of what, at first glance, appears to be a room filled with black monochromes, slowly gives way to radiating shades of indistinct, mesmerizing blues. And so we’re awakened, with the remnants of early modernist painting lingering in our brains and the metallic sheen of evasion honing our eyeballs.

Compositionally, Grotjahn relies on his standard format, in which various bands of color (in this case varying shades of blue) radiate out from a central vertical band containing two disjoined vanishing points. This kind of perspective, used since the Renaissance to create the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface, was also symptomatic of the privileging of the individual and a reduction of possibilities to the One–one view: one position, one authority over nature. It is this kind of didacticism that Grotjahn evades. Nothing here is stable, nothing fixed. When viewing Grotjahn’s canvases face-on, it is unclear whether we are meant to be peering down into, up at, or directly through something, or simply staring at a flat surface. Not even the surfaces, though, remain constant. As you move about the gallery, light is reflected and refracted in hypnotic movements off the paintings’ surfaces as a consequence of the artist’s thick and matter-of-fact application of paint. Sensations of vertigo multiply, as the surfaces seem to ripple and spin.

Grotjahn calls these perspective-bending compositions “butterflies,” which is a loaded, open term. While an obvious reading would relate Grotjahn’s outwardly radiating structures to the bug that transforms itself from worm to winged beauty, I lean more toward their spatial implications. A butterfly-wound is an exit wound of a projectile in which the flesh or bone surrounding its exit point spreads and opens in a wing-like formation. It is also a suturing technique that places tension on either side of an open wound, thereby closing it. To apply this metaphor to Grotjahn’s picture plane is to interpret it as a simultaneously opening and closing space. This amorphous reading is the point. It speaks of transformation, a place where things change before your eyes (and in your head).

It’s this kind of aesthetic opacity (one that disallows clear understanding) that denies Grotjahn’s paintings a pragmatic openness through which multiple views are admitted. If that were the case, the argument for a single authority, i.e. one-point perspective, would remain as one of many equally valid possibilities. In these paintings that position is excluded. Instead, Grotjahn creates a space in which multiple perspective points are the only possibility.

There has also been much speculation, most of it compelling, as to what lies beneath the surface of Grotjahn’s paintings, quite literally. The artist has made it clear that he often begins his canvases with brushy, expressionist renderings of masks and faces. The gallery press release for the exhibition states that Grotjahn “primed each one [canvas] with a layer of radiant orange-red paint. In some cases he added a brush drawing of a mask-like face…” In some of the paintings, traces of this action can be glimpsed—a small fleck of orange burning through the blue at the perspectival point of origin, or faint traces of lines and marks showing through the skin of surface painting. The reasons for this underpainting/overpainting, however, aren’t clear, since Grotjahn has never offered an explanation. I see this refusal as a political move, by which he refuses to control the discourse surrounding his art, much the same way his paintings refuse any fixed reading. Physically and metaphorically, his practice buries a region of painterly content deep into the thick, heavy mix of his radial mark making. To my eye, it adds a murky depth to his repetitive compositions, like vocals layered beneath musical fuzz. If you’ve ever seen Grotjahn’s expressionist mask paintings, you’d be hard-pressed to get their ridiculous, goggling eyeballs and idiotic expressions out of your mind. This imagery could be taken as a snide, smart-ass gesture (which it is), but it’s also hilarious, reminding us there’s a place just below the surface where order and rules fall apart, leaving us with nothing more than memories of our own idiocy, our own inability to ever know what exactly is going on.



Mark Grotjahn

by Marta Gnyp for Zoo Magazine # 38

Green butterfly

Untitled (Green Butterfly M. Grotjahn 03), 2003

The career of LA artist Mark Grotjahn has taken off in spectacular way over the last few years. His exceptional works but also to his unconventional behavior keep surprising the art world.

MG: Let’s start from the beginning of your job as an artist: you finished your artistic education at Berkeley then opened a gallery in LA. Why didn’t you concentrate on being an artist only?

MGR: The gallery that we opened was not exactly a commercial space. At that time there were only a few galleries in LA that would give a solo show to a young artist. So, for a young artist, the only possibility would be a big group show. We thought we had a better eye than other galleries and we decided to organize straight up solo shows. We have always thought that we were artists in the first place so we created a beautiful space in which the artists could do the show and the public could see what artists were capable of doing, not just showing one or two small objects.

MG: Why did you want to become an artist at all?

MGR: When I was 15 my art teacher showed me the book Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Kandinsky, in which I found an answer to what I was doing. It opened my eyes to the fact that the designs and drawings I was making could be considered art. In a way, this is the moment when a certain kind of my art education started. So from reading Kandinsky I went to Paul Klee, then to Schnabel and Baselitz.

MG: Always the painters?

MGJ: No, not always the painters. I went to Richard Prince and Mike Kelley as well.

MG: So always a very strong visual appearance.

MGJ: Yes. Although I also really like the dry conceptual works like those from Adrian Piper.

MG: One of your first well-known projects was a conceptual work – the Sign Exchange program that you started at school in Berkeley and in San Francisco and continued while running the gallery.

MGJ: I started it as a reactionary work. When I was in Berkeley, everybody was doing figurative work; barely any of my colleagues knew who Mike Kelley was. I was really bored with the work I was doing so I decided to give up painting the figure and started looking at people using painting and drawing but communicating effectively through these media. This drove me to the Sign Exchange program: people would paint a hotdog for a restaurant sign, or a picture of beer or hamburger because that was what they were selling. So I started to copy this work and tried to exchange my replicas with the “original” works.

MG: What was the reason for this exchange?

MGJ: When I started the project I thought that they were better than mine because they were communicating with their audience. I wanted their audience so I started to trade the signs in order to get their audience.

MG: Didn’t the restaurant owners think you were crazy?

MGR: In 90 percent of the cases when I tried to trade signs I was successful. Some of them thought I was weird, some of them thought I was funny. Sometimes they just wanted to get my sign and get me out of there as quickly as possible. Sometimes the owner would let me go to the back of the store and I would get to see where they kept their guns and money.

MG: Then you brought the ‘real objects’ to the gallery and you showed them as objets trouvé, like your art works.

MGR: I considered them as my art, although they were not found objects but traded objects.

MG: Was it a kind of exploration what makes art art?

MGR: I intellectually believed that art can be whatever you wanted it to be, but only by doing something does the idea become true. It is one thing to say you know something mentally but it is another thing to actually know it, physically. It is one thing to say I believe art can be like this and another thing to do it and know it.

MG: So you did it.

MGR: I did. I moved out here, opened the gallery, worked with different artists and took care of my conceptual needs in terms of working outside of myself, being with other people, like being in a band. Artists love to work and they love to talk about their work. It is great. Those were different kinds of human connections. At a certain moment, I started to look at why I got into art in the first place, why I was interested in art. Then I thought about line and color and then I started to make abstracts.

MG: Did you start to produce different paintings and drawings?

MGR: I was actually looking for one or two motif to exploit. I think because the Sign Exchange was a conceptual work I was always coming up with different ideas. I wanted to pick one idea and stick with it. See what I could do with one motif.

MG: So while doing abstract paintings and drawings you were looking for motifs that you could use as a structure.

MGR: Yes.

MG: This was the second part of the 90s and that means an extremely difficult time for painting; there was a clear anti-painting attitude constructed by many art theoreticians and art historians. Doing painting in the second part of the 90s was not so obvious.

MGR: That is partially true, especially regarding the handmade works where you could see the artist’s hand. At that time, I was also thinking about Gauguin, which was a very romantic notion of the artist. So again, it was a kind of reaction to what was going on in LA at that time.

Untitled (Butterfly Rainbow 151

Butterfly Rainbow 151, 2003, colored pencil on paper, Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery

MG: You were playing with the romantic notion of the artist and with the historically-oriented media and then you discovered that the mathematical perspective could be an option for a structure in your work. Did you realize that by doing that, you would immediately connect your works with art history?

MGR: While I was making the three-tier perspectives I was thinking of Kandinsky, Mondrian, etc. I thought I was doing non-objective work. I no longer see it like that in retrospect. I knew that the history of non-representational painting is already more than 100 years old and I knew that I’m part of that language. But it is like playing in a rock n’ roll band and asking: are you aware that you are part of the history of rock n’ roll?

MG: Still, using perspective is perhaps more than that, because the introduction of perspective was an extremely important moment in art history when painting became taken seriously since there were scientific methods applied to it.

MGR: I have never thought about my works in this way. I really like to have my cake and eat it too. Yes, I call them perspectives but I never saw of them as perspectives; I saw them really as non-objective. When I look at them, of course, they do look like roads or landscapes but I never thought of them in these terms when I was doing them. That came from other people and I think it makes sense they saw them in those terms especically considering the fact that I did call them perspectives. It was naïve of me not to have not seen them in their relationship to the scientific, the Renaissance, etc., but I just didn’t.

MG: What about the multiple vanishing points? Was it to experiment with optical effects?

MGR: It was strictly a formal device that I found interesting. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t find it interesting because of my knowledge of art history; I never thought of it specifically as an idea.

MG: Did you intend to make your works more controlled and less emotional by using these geometrical and mathematical devices?

MGR: Mondrian is geometrical and still highly emotional. When I went onto the ‘Faces’ I used different marks that are, I think, traditionally seen as expressive. The perspectives were very meditative and this is a different kind of emotion. There was a certain kind of peace and a certain kind of beauty that I was going for. I don’t think they are less expressive; it is just that the other ones, the ‘Faces,’ are viewed as more expressive.

MG: Speaking of contemplative and beauty, let’s go to the motif of the butterfly, which at some point arrived in your work.

MGR: The butterfly came because I tried to make some horizontal three-tier perspectives; the majority of my work is vertically orientated so I tried to work outside of that and make a painting with a horizontal orientation. I made the first two tiers vertical and I pointed the perspectives towards each other. As soon as I did that, and applied the color, it became a non-objective painting again. I got out of landscape. It certainly became more a painting and less a representation.

MG: Did you call it a butterfly yourself?

MGR: I called it a butterfly but it is just a way to categorize it as a group of works.

Untitled (Pink Butterfly Green MG03

Untitled (Pink Butterfly Green MG03), 2003, Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery

MG: When you read articles about this category, many art critics connect the butterfly motif with nature. Did you make this connection yourself as well?

MGR: It was not exactly what I was thinking about. I called some paintings perspectives but I’m not interested in perspective; I called some butterflies but I don’t think they are butterflies; I call my sculptures masks but they are not masks.

MG: You play with us.

MGR: I guess I play with words.

MG: There seems to be plenty of opposition in your works. You just mentioned one: contemplative versus expressive. Could we go further to say rational versus emotional, chance versus conscious decision, abstract versus figurative? Do you need them?

MGR: I don’t know whether I need them. Maybe somehow it is important for me to have structures to keep myself interested in making a work.

MG: Do you create the tension yourself?

MGR: It happens; I don’t consciously create it. I see it running through the work. It might be that I need the opposition in my work. I just consciously choose to work in different styles. When I moved here, nobody was signing their works because it was the cliché of the artist taking all the credit for the work, putting their ego in front. All of the work that was being shown in the hip and cool galleries in LA was conceptual work and nobody was signing their work. It was another cliché or an unwritten rule that I wanted to challenge.

MG: This is why you enlarged your signature on the canvas.

MGR: Yes, I put it in front and center. I wanted to say: stop thinking that as an artist you don’t have an ego and you don’t have a signature style. I wanted to challenge that: Actually, I am an artist, I have something to say, clearly I have an ego, I have the need to put this work in a gallery, and I want it to be seen. I definitely do.

MG: So you were not extremely popular among the conceptual artists.

MGR: No, I’m still not.

MG: How do you work? How long does it take to finish a painting, for instance a butterfly painting?

MGR: About three weeks, working 17 days straight. I couldn’t stop because otherwise the paint would start to change in consistency. But I haven’t made one since 2008; it’s been a while.

MG: I read that you injured your shoulder a couple of years ago and this is the reason you cannot make them any longer.

MGR: While skiing, I hit some ice and I went down. There was no choice in the matter so I went down. I didn’t see a doctor for two weeks until my wife told me that I should see one. He said that there was something wrong and my arm turned out to be broken. I couldn’t paint two hours straight, let along ten straight. I moved to the ‘Faces.’ This is something I could paint, I could look at, and step back from.

Untitled (S II Some of us didn't know we were Indian, Painting for RH, Face 41.72

Untitled (SII Some of us didn’t know we were Indian, 2011 MG: You don’t have any assistants?

MGR: I do have assistants, but my assistants don’t touch my paintings once a painting has started.

MG: Were you sad that you were forced to stop the butterfly paintings?

MGR: I don’t know whether I was sad. I knew that I had to stop for a while and that I might go back to it when my arm recovered. I just never did.

MG: Your recent exhibitions were with bronze sculpture which you called masks – interesting and provoking works. Again there were many comments on the dialogue with early modernism or folk art. You had always made them out of cardboard, so it was a special decision to make them in bronze. I also read that you considered them very personal, not for public consumption. Why did you decide to show them anyway?

MGR: I kept them private for 13, 14 years. I gave them away to friends or occasionally traded one. At a certain moment, I wanted to do a show with them. When you cast them in bronze they become different. In a way, I depersonalized them; they feel less as a diary and are more an armature for a painting.


Untitled (Green Eyes and Orange Cream Mask M6/7, 2012

MG: Let’s now talk a bit about the place you work and live, Los Angeles. Los Angeles is now considered as a very important artistic hub. Is this true for you? Is there a sense of an artistic community?

MGR: There are many galleries and many new spaces that I haven’t had the chance to visit yet.

MG: Are you so extremely busy with your own work that you don’t have time to visit other shows?

MGR: I’ve been into making my own work and not spending a lot of time looking at other galleries. I work five, six, sometimes seven days a week. You can see in the butterfly works that they are very obsessive. I am a compulsive person. When I’m not making my work I feel that I’m wasting my life.

MG: What makes you so popular among collectors nowadays? If you speak with American collectors, many of them admire you.

MGR: It is true. I guess I am popular. There are many peoples who would like to have my work. I don’t know what it is that I’m doing. For a long time I wasn’t like this.

MG: You really don’t know why Mark Grotjahn is considered the artist?

MGR: Am I the artist? I would like to be that, it sounds good to me.

MG: You have been part of the Gagosian gallery since 2007. Were you surprised when they asked you to join?

MGR: No, it was like a two-year process. I had three galleries already – Anton Kern, Blum & Poe and Shane Campbell.

MG: Many artists complain about the pressure of huge production for the market. Once you are with top galleries you are more or less obliged to produce many art works for the market. Do you mind?

MGR: I like to be rich. It is easier to be rich than to be poor. 100 percent. It is easier to have too many people wanting your work than to have nobody wanting your work. It is hard to be an artist no matter what, but it is harder to be a poor artist than to be a rich artist.

MG: But don’t you mind the pressure of delivering all the time works of a very good quality?

MGR: I don’t have to produce a lot. It is up to me. Since all my work is really handmade I don’t really produce that much; I wish I produced more. I wish that I was like Jackson Pollock and I could make a few paintings per day. He was a genius. But unfortunately I’m not that good so it takes me three to four weeks to make a good work.

MG: He had to hurry up, he died very early.

MGR: He died at 44, my age. I would like to produce a lot, but it is not the way I work. I try not to put out paintings that are not good. Here in the studio, sometimes I think they are great but then I try to look at them for at least six months before I release them. I’m pretty good at that.

MG: How interesting. Do you rework them sometimes?

MGR: Sometimes, but I just like to keep them around, at least three or four months to know whether they are good enough. In my mind, they might be good but I’m not always the best judge. If my work goes out and is not good that’s my fault, not the market’s fault.

MG: How many paintings are you producing per year?

MGR: 10 to 15 per year. Van Gogh did 800 the last ten years of his life.

MG: I can imagine that you like the idea that your paintings have become so expensive?

MGR: Yeah… All my high school girlfriends think they shouldn’t have broken up with me.

MG: How did it feel when you recently heard that one of your paintings was sold for $4 million at an auction?

MGR: I watched it live online, and it got me high.
I have personally never sold a work for that much. So this guy made more money on one of my paintings than I have ever made on one of my paintings. .

MG: In the end, this auction was also a kind of advertisement for you. Everybody knows that Mark Grotjahn is now worth $4 million.

MGR: I grew up looking at Picasso books, they seemed like magic to me. I want artists to own buildings; I want them to have financial power.

MG: Of course, there were great artists in history who were rich and very much involved in making money for themselves. What do you think about the role of the collectors nowadays? If I get you right they shouldn’t make more money with your paintings than you.

MGR: It is okay. I guess it is what I signed up for. I’m just sometimes disappointed that someone sells my work and he is one of the collectors who used to put an arm around me and say, ‘I will never sell your work, not even for five million dollars, never.’ And then they don’t want me to come over for Christmas because my painting is no longer on the wall because they sold it without telling me.

MG: Did it happen often to you?

MGR: Yes, it happened enough times to me that it is not shocking any longer.

MG: The idea of money must be comforting when you are making your paintings. When you work, do you sometimes think about the fact that the object you are creating can become so valuable and expensive?

MGR: I don’t let the fact that I sell my paintings get in the way of trying to make the best painting possible. I don’t take phone calls from my dealers when I’m working. I don’t want them to get into my head. So I have ways to protect myself against that and from it coming into my studio. But occasionally, I have to talk with my bookkeeper about the insurance on works.

MG: It must be interesting. But it is not only about being able to work. It’ s also about the very nature of the works. Your paintings are often connected with the idea of transcendence and spirituality; you said yourself that art started for you after reading Kandinsky’s “Spirituality in Art”.

MGR: When I was a teenager I believed that you could connect to this universal language. I don’t believe that any more, I believe that there is a language that you learn and that you can understand. Of course, I would like my paintings to be transformative; I would love my paintings to make someone happy to be alive.

MG: Do you think that your personality – you know what you want, you are provocative, playful, intelligent – is important in positioning your work in the market?

MGR: A few years ago a friend of my overheard my dealers talking to some collectors, they were telling them that I have narcolepsy, that I like to gamble, that I go to strip clubs, and of course they were using that as a marketing tool. Probably still are. The culture of the artist is extremely interesting. I love biographies of artists.

MG: From what you said about being an artist, I think that you like to cultivate the romantic idea of the artist, to break the rules, to be an outsider, to provoke and challenge assumptions.

MGR: At the same time, to be very traditional. I have two beautiful girls, I have a wife, a house. But I am an artist. It is a weird thing to be one. You come to work and you do this. This is a choice but it is a strange life.

MG: You chose to be involved in a court case against one of your collectors. Did you enjoy it?

MGR: Enjoy it! I hated it, it was terrible.

MG: It was unprecedented, what you did as an artist.

MGR: I’m in a position that I can afford to hire a lawyer to fight someone who doesn’t want to pay royalties. I didn’t enjoy doing it, but I felt like I didn’t have a choice.

MG: Did you want to set an example on behalf of other artists as well?

MGR: I did it for myself but I think it was important to do it.

MG: Are you part of the private life of many collectors?

MGR: I try not to be anymore. Because once you go skiing with them, all of a sudden they expect a painting from you for the price of a lift ticket.

MG: Do you consider yourself as an American artist?

MGR: I’m American although my father was born in Germany; I’m a first-generation American.

MG: Now I understand your name! I thought it was more Dutch.

MGR: All Germans are saying it is Dutch but it is German; it definitely traces back to Prussian roots. But I have never met any German who would give me the credit of having a German name. The maiden name of my grandmother was Gross, which is definitely German.

MG: It must be amazing what has happened to you the last 10 years.

MGR: Yes.



Behind the Mask: Mark Grotjahn Lifts the Veil on His Secret Sculptures

  • Mark Grotjahn, an artist best known for his laborious and intricate paintings, is something of a hoarder. Anyone who visits his Los Angeles studio comes back gushing about the strange cardboard masks that litter the space. He started making them 10 years ago, around the time he began the series of abstract paintings that launched his career: his so-called butterfly series, which consist of detailed rays of color bursting from various vanishing points. He would only paint the butterflies in natural light, so he worked in 12-hour bursts, but when the sun went down, he wanted to keep going. He started saving cardboard boxes—including the 12-packs left over from his wedding—and toilet paper rolls, fashioning them into masks with vaguely phallic noses (the toilet paper rolls) and eerily blank, jack-o’-lantern expressions. They are both primal and juvenile; a lot of artists have made masks, Mr. Grotjahn says, but, he hastens to add, so have a lot of kids.

    Last week, Mr. Grotjahn, 44, was on the sixth floor of the Gagosian Gallery’s labyrinthine Madison Avenue location, presiding over a small army of art handlers that included the artist Dan Colen. The latter was taking a break from installing his own show downstairs—a secret one on the walls of Gagosian director Andy Avini’s office, consisting of crookedly hung works on paper that spelled out the word “GOD” (“they’ll be straight when I’m finished,” Mr. Colen said). The upstairs gallery was filled with painted bronze sculptures that were based on Mr. Grotjahn’s masks. They looked like they were smiling at their maker, mockingly. The masks may have been lying around his studio for a while, but the work on display was a new direction for the restless artist, who has been nearly universally praised for his paintings. He looked stressed out. In the last two years, he’s sued one of his early champions—a collector and trustee at L.A. MOCA—in a controversial case over resale royalties that was eventually settled out of court; he’s passed out drunk on a lawn during an AIDS charity auction in Dallas where one of his paintings sold for $1 million; he’s been the subject of museum and gallery shows in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland and Aspen. But his sculpture has rarely been seen outside of his studio, and the Gagosian solo show, his third with the gallery, would open the next day.

    I’d been told earlier that whether or not Mr. Grotjahn would speak to me “depends on how he’s feeling.” The installation had been going on for the better part of six days, and Mr. Grotjahn was still rearranging his works obsessively, trying out every conceivable display. When I arrived, the masks had been marshaled into two parallel rows, and were staring at the entrance to the gallery in a way that felt more menacing than welcoming. “I can’t tell if the frontality is kind of pushing people aside,” Mr. Grotjahn announced to no one in particular, and asked for the works to be moved again, then started edging his way toward me.

    “This was a way of winding down from how attentive the other work was,” he said in a languid, beach-bum drawl. He was wearing a red flannel shirt, jeans and a trucker hat with the word “VENICE” printed on it. “I was trying to let go of the intensity that was involved in the other kind of art making. But I did really like these. In my mind, though, I thought of them as an exercise, as something very personal and not for public consumption.”

    In another part of the gallery, a group of men in suits—collectors—could be seen inspecting the sculptures, and, sotto voce, talking prices. Facing away from them, Mr. Grotjahn described becoming very attached to his cardboard masks “in a way that I don’t necessarily want people to have them.” He gave a few away and traded others, but for the most part kept them for himself. About two years ago, he started casting them in bronze, which he said gave him some distance from the work and made him feel “less exposed.”

    Mr. Grotjahn started out as a gallerist. Born in Pasadena, he moved to Los Angeles after graduate school and opened a gallery with his old classmate Brent Peterson called Room 702, on Melrose and Heliotrope. The idea was to only do solo shows so people could “see what the artists could do.” Despite an invitation to move into the 6150 complex on Wilshire—which already housed places like ACME and Marc Foxx and would soon become the backbone of L.A.’s nascent gallery scene—Room 702 closed after less than two years, and Mr. Grotjahn became a full-time artist.

    “It was great working with artists because, contrary to stereotype, they love to work,” he said. “They love to talk about their work, and they’ll do anything to see their work through.” The problem was visitors. “I didn’t like when people would come into the gallery and I would have to constantly be on. I hated that. There could be surprises at any moment. But it took care of a lot of my conceptual needs, because I’d been doing a lot of performance work and the gallery made me feel like I was part of a group.”

    The so-called “performance work” was the basis of a lot of what was to come. He’d go into a Safeway and take boxes and coffee cans and make sculptures in the aisles of the store, take pictures of people’s responses to the work, and then put everything back where it was. He’d paint exact replicas of storefront signs—mostly liquor and convenience stores—then get the store’s owner to exchange the copy for the real thing. It was a kind of secret that only the artist was in on; people would interact with his work without realizing it. But the precision that went into making those signs would eventually be put to use in the butterfly series, which required a great deal of patience. They were also physically taxing. Since injuring his shoulder a few years ago, Mr. Grotjahn hasn’t been able to make them. This turned out to be less hindrance than liberation: he focused more on his freeform face paintings—the only requirement is that they have eyes and a mouth, and everything that grows out of that is more extemporaneous—and put together an exhibition last year for Anton Kern Gallery, his longtime New York representative, that earned him more than one sincere comparison by critics to another painter, Pablo Picasso.

    The mask sculptures may be cast in bronze, giving them the material oomph that makes them commercial-gallery-ready, but they maintain the casual spirit of the cardboard originals. On these three-dimensional canvases, Mr. Grotjahn seems to be walking through a personal history of painting. In some, he has layered the paint in thick waves, letting its physical texture create its own kind of content, in the manner of Monet circa the Nympheas. Others are a self-conscious nod at abstraction, Jackson Pollock in particular, the paint chipped and cracked and dark, like a cloak concealing something underneath. Some are finger-painted, one with the help of his infant daughter (who took a fork to the original cardboard version, ripping out one of its eyes). He likes getting paint on his hands, working on his knees and just throwing acrylic at a surface and seeing what sticks. Looking at the sculptures, it’s clear he had fun while he was making them. Looking at the artist, on that day before his opening, was a different story—he was visibly nervous about how it would all come off. When I asked if there was a lot of anxiety putting the show together, he shook his head solemnly. “Mmhmm. Lot of anxiety,” he said. “Yeah, there was a lot of anxiety for the last two weeks. Because there was nothing more I could do.”

    By this time, the sculptures in the upstairs gallery had all been rearranged on separate pedestals. He was slumped in a chair, looking gloomily into the room, inquiring gravely of whomever was standing closest to him, “What do you think?” People were telling him to go to lunch, give the work some space, then come back and see what he thought. He decided he’d “eat some food, drink some wine, have a cappuccino, be a nice little gentleman on the Upper East Side,” but by the time I was getting ready to leave, he was still sitting.

    “I mean, I’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “There’s something to lose here.” He waited a moment before adding, “But I like that.”





Julian Schnabel may be one of America’s most famous living painters. But in a strange but appropriate twist for a man whose body of work now spans five decades, his paintings are less instantly identifiable—they elude the instant iconic familiarity that turned many of his contemporaries rising in the ’70s and ’80s into visual brand names. This paradox may be explained by Schnabel’s overwhelming success as a film director, helming such cinematic masterpieces as Before Night Falls (2000) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), ever since he broke into movie-making with Basquiat, his 1996 biopic of his late friend, the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. (In fact, Schnabel, along with his studio assistant Greg Bogin painted the works used in Basquiat to showcase the young artist’s feral spirit).

Triumph in cinema is seemingly always destined to eclipse development in the more rarefied circles of visual art. But the public’s inexperience with the breadth of Schnabel’s art productions is also due to the 62-year-old, Brooklyn-born artist’s ingrained painting strategy: He simply refuses to keep making one kind of work, or operate in one style, by splitting open the same vein until it runs dry. Ever since he created his early Wax Paintings series, starting in 1975, Schnabel’s range of materials and modes of construction have been so varied that it seems as if no fixed surface is safe from his application: There are velvet paintings, oil paintings, paintings on wallpaper, on mirror, on tarp, incorporations of photography, incorporations of found objects (literally found on the road or in water), a graffiti-esque stroke, a spill, a stain, and in his Hurricane Bob series he used his car to drag a tarp behind him on the road so the asphalt would leave a burning mark on the fabric, and then left the tarp exposed to Hurricane Bob in 1991. Perhaps most famous are his Plate Paintings series of smashed crockery that he procured from thrift stores and concretized on canvas as abstract destruction sites or in the form of vulnerable portraits.

Schnabel is an artist as equally obsessed with time—how all of these disparate elements come into union provisionally but eternally on one plane—as he is with exploring the possibilities of a how a mark can be left as a trace. With expected bravado, Schnabel follows the en plein air technique of painting; a lot of his work is made in his outdoor studio in Montauk, a roofless room that allows him to see color and shape in their natural light. In a sense, it could be argued that all of his works are landscapes of one variety or another.

This month, Schnabel brings his dedication to his first passion to the Brant Foundation in a carefully selected retrospective. It is a long-overdue opportunity for the public to survey a master mark-maker whose influence on a young generation of male painters has been colossal. One talent who has been inspired by Schnabel is L.A.-based painter Mark Grotjahn. The two took time out of their workshops (and Schnabel’s hectic travel schedule with his partner, May Andersen, and their new baby) to discuss Schnabel’s priestly commitment to his practice. And like a priest with the divine, Schnabel sees paintings everywhere. That might be the soundest definition of a calling. —Christopher Bollen

MARK GROTJAHN: Hi, Julian. Where are you?

JULIAN SCHNABEL: I’m in Copenhagen, in Hotel d’Angleterre, with May, the baby, and the nurse. I’m having a show in Frederikssund with Francis Picabia and a guy named [J.F.] Willumsen—who would have had his 150th birthday on Saturday, except he’s dead.

GROTJAHN: How old would Picabia be?

SCHNABEL: Picabia was born in 1879 and died in 1953. And the other guy was born in 1863.

GROTJAHN: When were you born?

SCHNABEL: I was born in 1951. The whole weird concept of this show is that this guy Willumsen is being redefined by work that came after him. He knew Gauguin in Brittany, he painted a lot in Venice, and he donated his collections to this museum. It’s a really odd and interesting show about hybrid painting—it’s about the imperfect.

GROTJAHN: I’d like to see it.

SCHNABEL: I guess I’m the only artist who’s alive in the show.

GROTJAHN: You had your first show in New York with Mary Boone in ’79. And then you had another one right after it that same year, correct?

SCHNABEL: Exactly. One was in February and one was in October.

GROTJAHN: Did you prefer one show over the other?

SCHNABEL: Well, I wanted to show the plate paintings that I had made in 1978. When I made them, I was excited. I think when Mary saw those paintings, she felt they were kind of terrifying or scary to deal with. I mean, she thought they were good but they seemed kind of radical, and she thought it would be better to show the wax paintings I was working on first and save the plate-painting show for later. Actually, I thought the show was going to happen much later, but a guy named Paul Mogensen dropped out for some reason that month, and all of a sudden I had the show in February.

GROTJAHN: You know, I got my first show at Blum & Poe because Paul McCarthy postponed his show, and they came to my studio and asked me if I could put together a show in two weeks. I just said, “Yeah, let’s do it.”

SCHNABEL: There’s always somebody applying for the job.

GROTJAHN: Yeah, I hear you. So how did those two shows work out?

SCHNABEL: I showed four wax paintings in the first show and I was happy with that. But, you know, when you’re young, you’re anxious to show things—you want to show the last thing you did. In the second show, I showed four plate paintings and one wax painting. It’s funny because Mary had this small gallery in the same building as Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend. It was a clever thing that she did, even if her gallery was the size of a closet compared to theirs, because she’d be in the same building, 420 West Broadway, where everybody would walk up the stairs and invariably see what was in her gallery. They were already there to see what was in Leo’s gallery or Ileana’s. [Gallerist] Annina Nosei was the person who ended up buying my first plate painting.

GROTJAHN: Which one?

SCHNABEL: The Patients and the Doctors [1978]. I think she bought it for, like, $3,500. I think I got $1,700 of it. Something in there—I’m off $200 one way or the other.

GROTJAHN: That might have paid for something back then.

SCHNABEL: Yeah. What happened was that when it came up at auction, she promised that I could buy it back. So I gave Sotheby’s the fifth plate painting for her and Annina sold that one and got $93,000 or something. So I have that first one back now. But we are talking less about painting right now than the machinations of the beginning of my relationships with art dealers. [laughs]

GROTJAHN: But those early interactions are interesting. You got to see how the public responded—more than just showing your friends your work. The reaction is really out of your hand


The New York Times
September 22, 2006

Art in Review; Mark Grotjahn

Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue, at 75th Street
Through Jan. 7Some younger painters seem to be countering the strictures of late Modernism by revisiting the early Modernist cusp between abstraction and representation, an area that includes Mondrian’s flower paintings, Jawlensky’s masks and Malevich’s robotlike peasants, where the figurative, the geometric, the spatial and the visionary still remain tangled. There they seek paths not taken, tangents not explored. That their searches have not been in vain is evidenced by work as varied as that of Tomma Abts, Wade Guyton, Eileen Quinlan, Sergei Jensen, Cheyney Thompson and a host of others, including the Los Angeles painter Mark Grotjahn.Mr. Grotjahn, who is 38, makes slightly obstreperous paintings of faces and flowers, as well as the thick-surfaced pinwheel abstractions for which is he becoming best known. In these, closely related colors radiate out from a central vertical band, creating a straight-edged butterfly effect that is destabilized by the use of two or more vanishing points. Together these elements can create the sensation of a distant light exploding at the center of the image even if the painting is largely monochromatic.

Two such works got a bit lost in the shuffle at last spring’s Whitney Biennial, but now Mr. Grotjahn has filled the museum’s ground floor gallery with 8 brash door-size color pencil drawings from a series of 13.

Some stick to the monochrome, as in several nocturnal black-on-black works full of shadowy contrasts. Others that fan outward in clattery Op Art black-white contrasts have more bark and bite, including one where this tonal combination softens to a visionary buzz. Elsewhere black is contrasted with spokes of red, orange and brown, or the fiery colors take over completely.

In this work the pinwheel or butterfly composition is doubled and further complicated by being steeply angled sideways, exposing big wedges of white paper and stressing the perspectival loopiness. The drawn elements seem to fold and wheel in space, like two big, off-register charts of the Big Bang placed on end. It is interesting to see Mr. Grotjahn abandon the shieldlike heraldic frontality that has characterized his work so far. After all, something has got to give, or his pinwheels will start functioning as emblems for himself, like a Kenneth Noland target painting. ROBERTA SMITH

Photo: Mark Grotjahn’s ”MG 638,” in color pencil on paper, at the Whitney. (Photo by Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, and Anton Kern Gallery, New York)



Jan Tumlir
Flash Art n.252 January – February 07 BIG NOSE BABY AND THE MOOSE


JAN TUMLIR: Hearing about your background and your childhood experiences with your grandfather, who was a wellknown local psychoanalyst, and together with whom you drew some of your earliest pictures, makes me look at your work a little bit differently. When one learns that you are actually reproducing some of your grandfather’s pictures in your own, that would seem to make the connection between art and psychiatry overt. On the one hand you have this psychiatrist who is indulging his aesthetic side, and on the other, an artist who is indulging an interest in psychoanalysis; it’s like you’re closing a generational circle. Mark Grotjahn: I think that maybe for me it’s more about going into my own personal history than finding a relationship between the work and psychoanalysis.
JT: But then there are these hints of something foreign in your work. I’ve always understood what you do as a negotiation between an autonomous modernist aesthetic and something else, like folk art, primitivism, outsider art…
MG: I think it’s true that some elements in the work, perhaps as a starting point, have come from things that would not necessarily be considered art. But these are things that interest me. And whatever form the art takes, it’s always something that’s interesting to me, whether it’s signs or people or the drawings my grandfather did or color or line or oil paint or whatever it is. These are things I’m interested in.

Untitled (Multi-Red 4 Wings White Background), 2006. Color pencil on paper; 180 x 121 cm.
JT: Well, you do take on a variety of subjects and you do work them out in different ways, but what strikes me is that, as opposed to the example of painters like Martin Kippenberger or, better even, Mark Bidlo, who
reformulate their stylistic approach for each show or each work, your repertoire is actually quite limited. You keep coming back to the same three or four subjects and styles as if to insist on the relation between them.

MG: I guess they were involved in deconstructing style, which is not really something I’m interested in pursuing.
JT: Those painters from the ’80s switched styles so often that they rendered the relation of self to style almost arbitrary — or, at least, that was the intent — whereas in your case, that relation seems much more
motivated. When you switch from the relatively streamlined formalism of your “Butterfly Paintings,” for instance, to the “Face Paintings” or the “Masks,” it seems like a deliberate regression. And when one follows your moves in this way, something like a narrative arc begins to take shape…

MG: There are four simultaneous styles going on, that’s true, but what is taking precedence right now is the “Butterfly Paintings.” That’s where my current interest lies. Perhaps some of the other work is not ‘hard-edged’ and is closer to what would traditionally be considered ‘expressive,’ but I’m not sure that it is literally more expressive… I think that way of working fits the thing I am making. The form follows function.
JT: Even if one style takes precedence, then the others still remain relevant as part of your history. Also, although there was a majority of “Butterfly Paintings” in your show at Blum and Poe last year, you still included a very unhinged “Face.” It was maybe to remind the viewer that there is more to your practice than, say, ‘straight’ formalism.
MG: That’s true. And even in the “Butterflies” there’s still always an ‘out.’ If you wanted to dismiss them as ego-driven or something like that, the signatures made that available to you. But I’m not so sure I’m interested in presenting that anymore, at least not like that, not as an ‘out.’ Possibly more as an ‘in.’
JT: You could look at those very rough “Masks,” for instance, as bearing some sort of relation to a pre-aesthetic, maybe even pre-subjective sort of experience. Then you have the “Face Paintings” that begin to suggest the formation of a selfimage. And then, that thing that might be called expression is dissolved into the abstract, non-objective view of the “Butterfly Paintings.” That’s one narrative arc you could latch onto if you wanted to, but I don’t think you’re proposing anything quite so straightforward. They’re simultaneous, as you say; these various practices never cease to inform each other.
MG: The “Face Paintings” allow me to express myself in a way that the “Butterflies” don’t. I have an idea as to what sort of face is going to happen when I do a “Face Painting,” but I don’t exactly know what color it will take, or how many eyes it’s going to have, whereas the “Butterflies” are fairly planned out. They’re still intuitive, but I generally know where they’re going. It’s a different kind of freedom, a different kind of expressionism. It’s personal without being overly personal.
Untitled (Black and Cream Butterfly), 2006. Color
pencil on paper; 165 x 121 cm.
JT: Maybe you’re more interested in talking about things at the level of process, but even there, I think, there’s this openly rational side to the “Butterfly Paintings,” the way you divide the canvas into radiating sections and then systematically fill it out, moving from one section to the next almost like the hand of a clock. Then there are the open-ended “Faces”…
MG: But there’s a process for both… They’re different processes.
JT: I’d say that the “Butterfly Paintings” follow a rational line of development that is easily grasped; they communicate their process in a relatively straightforward manner. Whereas the “Faces” suggest an intuitive grappling with the materiality of the paint as well as with the image of self — maybe even a grappling with representation as such. And, for their part, the “Masks” could be seen to emerge from an even more primitive part of oneself. As the different products of the same person, they bespeak the sub-division of the self into these different compartments.
MG: So you’re seeing it as compartmentalizing the self as opposed to integrating?
JT: I would say both. As a viewer I am struck by the disjuncture between these modes of paintings, these very different propositions included in the space of the same show…
MG: …I ran up against that a lot when I did my first shows, where I was working in a whole bunch of different ways, and it was really surprising to me that that this was even a discussion. In a post-Richter world, it seemed to make sense; I couldn’t see why the audience didn’t get it… But in my case it isn’t to show an audience all the things that are now possible; I’m doing it because this thing is interesting, and this other thing is interesting. And I think that it’s worth looking at. It’s worth making art about.
Untitled (Green Butterfly
M. Grotjahn 03), 2003. Oil on linen, 175 x 137 cm.
JT: These ‘things’ might be related in various complicated ways.
MG: The “Butterflies” started out as threetiered perspectives, but at the same time I wasn’t particularly interested in perspective. And I’m not particularly interested in masks per se. I don’t see them as “masks” in the metaphorical sense; it’s more just a way to categorize them. Art always seemed like it could be anything, and when I started trading the signs (with the “Sign Paintings”) it went beyond an intellectual process, actually. It became more than just about what the signs themselves meant. It became a way to enter a different place, which would literally be in the back of a liquor store, talking to the owners about making a trade, seeing how they operate.
JT: I’m also interested in the way that the signs you traded, and also the paintings you copied from the sides of these stores, might suggest a kind of immigrant experience. There is that theory that American abstraction came out of a process of uprooting. When artists — Gorky is the case in point — were more integrated within their original cultures, they had specific things to paint, and then they wind up in these big American cities and, to some extent, abstraction is a way of acclimatizing to this new open condition.
MG: I don’t know. The sense that everything’s possible, for me, that’s kind of a given. I don’t feel restricted, or I don’t want to feel restricted, by any rules.
JT: Yes, but then what do you do with the freedom?
MG: Well, I do the things that I want to do. I paint abstract paintings because I like abstract paintings. I paint faces because I paint faces. I made abstract paintings and drawings when I was a kid; they were a kind of design. In high school I had a teacher that showed me Kandinsky, and then I read The Spiritual in Art, and that helped bring me to a point where I thought the designs I did were art.
JT: You’re saying that you always bring it back to some private, early experience?
MG: Not always. When you look at the “Flowers” and the “Faces,” would you know that they were personal? Would you know that they were based on pictures originally drawn by my grandfather who was a psychiatrist? I don’t think that this information is readily available. I guess it is out there. It comes out in interviews like this, or if you talk to the gallerist, you can get it that way. But, in terms of the actual exhibition, I’m not sure how much this information really matters.JT: But it is, at least, implied… You brought up perspectivalism, which is traditionally understood as a systematic means of situating the subject with respect to the object of vision. When you forcibly warp that system, like you do in your most recent suite of drawings which is up right now at the Whitney Museum in New York, that has direct psychological repercussions. So, again, I wonder: If everything is possible, but if you don’t want to do everything, like Richter does, then what do you do? It sounds like you’re saying that what you do is what you’ve always done, which takes us back to your earliest experiences and your earliest happiness in art-making.
MG: I’m talking about what I do. All I can say is that this is what I’ve chosen to do with my art.
JT: But if you answer that question solipsistically, then all those biographical details do start to matter to a viewer. And this is just as true at the level of process: The fact that you actually copied your grandfather’s drawing, that you used an opaque projector, this suggests to me that it was important to get it right, let’s say, in an historical sense. Your insistence on the particular quality of his line, on keeping it from becoming completely absorbed into your own production, and even the way you’ve tended the archive of your grandfather’s drawings, each one carefully sealed away in its protective envelope, leads me to believe that it does matter. You’re clearly attaching some sort of importance to these things-in-themselves.
MG: My grandfather’s drawings are very important to me; they have a lot of personal significance. I also find them very beautiful. The flowers, which comprise the main body of his work that I’ve chosen to appropriate, are probably the most beautiful and at the same time, they are the least autobiographical when you consider that the majority of his drawings were actually cartoons of himself and his family and his life. So I guess part of the reason I chose to copy his flowers over, say, the drawings he made of his family, is to keep the personal a little bit at bay… At the time, I was copying the signs; I’d make a sign, then I’d trade for it, and then I’d bring the other sign in too. So I was doing this appropriation work, and then I wanted to make the appropriation a little bit more personal, like appropriation for personal expression.
JT: Right…
MG: And so I started doing the funny “Faces” in the spirit of my grandfather, in the same way that when I trace his drawings, I know the sounds he made with every movement. I know what it sounds like, and I know what it looks like, when he drew them… The “Faces” came out in the spirit of him, although I don’t know that he would actually like the work, and maybe he would feel I was ripping him off, but, for what it’s worth, it’s still in the spirit of him. And, recently, among the last few “Flower Faces,” I did a portrait of myself and then a portrait of my wife… Maybe I captured something; if not the likeness, then maybe something else…
JT: It sounds like you want to personalize a type of practice that is, historically at least, opposed to the personal. That is definitely one answer to the question of what do you do when everything is allowed. You can actually start dealing with your own personal history in a more intimate or meaningful way. But then you’re also talking about wanting to keep a part of the personal ‘at bay.’
MG: That’s true. It’s funny because the two parts of me and my wife come together when I do the “Butterflies,” now that I’ve actually taken out the name. And before that, before taking out my signature, I put in “Big Nose Baby and The Moose,” which is something that a friend of mine used to call me when I came out of the pool. He thought I looked like a baby moose.
JT: These sorts of personal anecdotes are important in generating some aspects of the work, but then you seem to be ambivalent about the relationship between these and the finished product.
MG: I don’t know if it’s that I’m ambivalent. I believe there are relationships; it’s just that I’m not sure how concerned I am with being able to verbally exact them. There was a time when I really believed that if you were going to put out work in the public, as a responsible artist you should really know exactly what it is that you’re doing and be able to speak about it. Well, I definitely don’t think that you have to. Let’s just leave it at that.Jan Tumlir is an art critic based in Los Angeles.
Mark Grotjahn was born in Pasadena, CA, in 1968. He lives and works in Los Angeles. Selected solo shows: 2007: Anton Kern, New York. 2006: Whitney Museum, New York. 2005: Blum & Poe, Los Angeles; Stephen Friedman, London; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. 2003: Anton Kern, New York. 2002:Blum & Poe, Santa Monica.
Selected group shows: 2006: “Dark Matter,” White Cube,London; “Figures in the Field,” MCA, Chicago; “New
Work/New Acquisitions,” MoMA, New York; “Painting in Tongues,” MOCA, Los Angeles; Whitney Biennial, New York. 2005: “The Painted World,” P.S.1, New York; “Drawing from the Modern,” MoMA, New York; 2004:54th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh.


Reviews of the Frieze New York Art Fairs




Is ninety the new twenty?

Several dealers at the fair are showing work by artists more than twice their own age

Sam Gilliam’s Out, 1969, at David Kordansky Gallery. The 80-year-old painter’s work is proving a draw for collectors and curators alike

New York. At this year’s edition of Frieze New York, numerous dealers are displaying the work of older artists, many of whom are gaining commercial and critical recognition for the first time. As prices continue to escalate in established areas of the market, from very young artists to post-war masters, a growing number of collectors are betting on overlooked talent.

During the fair’s VIP preview on Thursday, Lisson Gallery (B58) sold three paintings, priced between $20,000 and $100,000, by the 98-year-old artist Carmen Herrera, while Alison Jacques Gallery (A29) sold two drawings by Irma Blank, who turns 80 this year, for $15,000 each in the first few hours of the fair. Also on the first day, Sfeir-Semler Gallery (B4) sold an untitled painting by Etel Adnan, 89 this year, for €25,000. Just seven years ago, the Lebanese artist was selling similar works from her studio for $800. “The sexiest thing… right now is to rediscover an artist of at least 95 years old,” joked Chris Dercon, the director of London’s Tate Modern, at a talk last year.

In some cases, dealers are rediscovering bodies of work that were considered unfashionable when they were made but are now back in style. The Tel Aviv-based gallery Tempo Rubato (B30) sold half of its works by the Israeli artist Joav BarEl, who died in 1977 and has never been shown before in the US, for $20,000 to $30,000 each, during the fair’s preview day.

“He was interested in these very Western ideas of consumerism and mechanical production,” says the gallery’s owner, Guillaume Rouchon, of the artist’s neon Pop paintings, “but at the time, Israel was interested in expressive abstraction and post-Holocaust art.”

Some artists had other jobs and “didn’t compete in what they saw as the rat race of the art world”, says the curator and art dealer Peter Falk, who adds that he hopes to organise an art fair called “Rediscovered Masters” in either New York, Miami or Silicon Valley. Elaine Lustig Cohen (b. 1927), whose vibrant paintings are on show at the Nada fair (until 11 May), made her living as a graphic designer and rare book dealer, but her art developed a cult following among her friends, including the artist Mel Bochner. Etel Adnan, meanwhile, has painted almost daily since the 1960s but was known primarily as a writer until her work was shown at Documenta in 2012. A solo exhibition devoted to the artist, which has been organised by Hans Ulrich Obrist, the co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery, is now on show in Doha (until 6 July). “She’s flattered by all the attention, but she would paint even if nobody was watching,” says Sfeir-Semler’s Sven Christian Schuch.

Other artists have been overlooked by the mainstream market because of “race, gender or geography”, says the art dealer Alexander Gray (D26). The painter Sam Gilliam, who is 80 and is based in Washington, DC, showed largely at galleries specialising in African-American artists until an exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery (C3) last year exposed a broader group of contemporary art collectors to his work. Since then, Gilliam’s prices have doubled and museums are taking a second look. Walking past Kordansky’s solo presentation of paintings by the artist from the 1960s, Dan Byers, a curator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, said: “We have one in our collection from the same period, but we’ve never shown it. Now’s the time.”

For collectors priced out of the blue-chip market, these artists offer an alternative opportunity to buy a piece of history. “Much of this interest has been accelerated by dramatically rising prices and dramatically decreasing supply for the artists who have formed the central canon,” says the art adviser Allan Schwartzman. Billboard-sized works by Gilliam can be bought at Frieze for $250,000 to $350,000; paintings by his better-known peers, such as Morris Louis, are more than $1m.

Working with older artists can also be a windfall for emerging dealers at a time when “the more established galleries are going younger and younger”, says the dealer James Fuentes (C2). The blue-chip Upper East Side gallery Skarstedt, for instance, is opening an exhibition of work by the 25-year-old painter Lucien Smith (15 May-27 June), while global powerhouse David Zwirner now represents 28-year-old Oscar Murillo.

At Frieze, Fuentes nearly sold out his stand of works by the Fluxus artist Alison Knowles, aged 81, during the VIP preview, at prices ranging from $6,000 to $120,000. “We’re still seeking talent, and it often makes sense to go where others aren’t looking,” he says.



Highlights from PULSE Art Fair New York 2014

Highlights from PULSE Art Fair New York 2014

PULSE is a contemporary art fair that gets a lot of love in Miami Beach during Art Basel, but due to the proliferation of New York fairs since its inception in 2005, it may get overshadowed in the Big Apple. However, it shouldn’t, because it continually provides a fresh take on today’s art scene with galleries who don’t always get the platform to share on such a wide level.

Enjoy our brief walk-through of highlights at the fair this year and visit it today in New York through 7 p.m. at the Metropolitan Pavilion.


Entering the fair, you encounter Andy Yoder‘s Early One Morning, a PULSE Project presented by Winkleman Gallery. Made of 300,000 match sticks and weighing in at 200 lbs., it’s named after an earlier piece by the late Anthony Caro and references the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Nearby are the works of Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj , who takes traditional, vibrant portraits of his creative friends and the “Kesh Angels,” who are a group of female bikers. He often frames or creates entire works out of found materials and products found in localized regions of the Middle East. This year, Hajjah is a PULSE Prize finalist with the Gusford Gallery.

Around the corner, there’s a fascinating work by Arlés del Rio called Nearness, which was brought by Times Square Arts and the Cuban Artists Fund.

Gallery Joe hosts a work by Mia Rosenthal titled iPad, which is actually ink, gouache, and graphite on paper (including the cord at the bottom). It’s a tongue-in-cheek reduction of an interface that we hardly think twice about anymore.

Pavel Acosta‘s multiple pieces at Zadok Gallery, including María Teresa, Infanta of Spain, after Diego Velazquez, (Stolen from the Met), are brilliant mosaic-style works made out of paint chips (because originally, the artist had very limited access to materials). The attention to detail in each is mesmerizing.

Michael Scoggins‘ work may be on view at lots of art fairs, but this singular piece is comic relief, if nothing else. Brought by Freight+Volume, Decorative Piece (one in violet) costs $6,000 and just might be designed to perfectly fit over your fucking couch.

Eric Firestone Gallery brought multiple impressive works by BÄST, whose popularity continues to grow since his recent Marc Jacobs collaboration. Snoopy and Box Top are two of the most exciting ones the gallery brought, which appear alongside photographs by Tseng Kwong Chi and Henry Chalfant of Basquiat, Haring, and graffitied subway cars.

On a crowded wall of works across the way, one simply cannot miss Shawn HuckinsUlysses S. Grant: Hashtag Um at Keeler & Co. We did a Portfolio Review with him earlier this year.

Walk a little further and find Jessica Lichtenstein‘s Winter (Four Seasons Series at Gallery Nine5. Look closer and see the multiplied collage of computer generated nude girls in an orgy-like setting.

Lisay Levy‘s Self Portrait has been at PULSE previously, but it’s no less striking or fun to see again. Schroeder Romero Editions brought the piece, which is from an edition of 50, and costs $150.

Coburn Projects has brought all RETNA this year, and the arrangement alone was worth spending time pondering the language he’s created in his works.

Planking may no longer be a trend (lest we forget, it was referenced in Watch the Throne‘s “Gotta Have It”), but Anibal Vallejo may be bringing it back? Her Plank after Freud multi-panel piece has an astronaut in various, well-colored moments of planking.

Shantell Martin‘s YOU ARE YOU booth is a Haring-like journey into the mind of a very promising, rising young artist whose drawing has no limits. Having recently been commissioned to paint the Viacom office, she has a solo show at MOCADA in New York right now and is also in a major group show at Brooklyn Museum later this year. She is signing prints for $20 and live-drawing in the booth.

Next door, Kai Schaefer‘s stunning, large photograph of a Licensed to Ill record being played feels like a proper homage to the intricacies of analog music…and an awesome album, too.

There may be no better way to end one’s time at PULSE than with Paco Pomet‘s history-meets-comic-books-and-destruction pieces at My Name’s Lolita Art.

Until next PULSE…


Art Market

Highlights From NADA New York 2014

By Artspace Editors

May 10, 2014

Highlights From NADA New York 2014

Sara Cwynar’s Toucan In Nature (Post-It Notes), 2013

SARA CWYNAR at Cooper Cole

Sara Cwynar’s solo booth with Toronto-based gallery Cooper Cole is a victory lap for the artist after her recent solo show at Chelsea’s Foxy Production, which was reviewed very favorably in the New York Times by Roberta Smith. Cwynar is a graphic artist by day, and fine artist by night, and its shows; her works flex their power to expand and flatten space in layers of built-up and re-photographed collaged images.



Matthew Brandt has carved out a niche for himself in the sub-genre of what might be called “process photography.” He uses unconventional materials in traditional photographic techniques to produce unique photographic prints with a conceptual twist; for example his “dust” series, which uses collected dust and adhesive in place of the usual photographic chemicals to print delicate, gossamer images; or his photographs of lakes and rivers that are developed in liquid collected from the bodies of water themselves. In a two-person booth with Jesse Stecklow, M+B is showing Brand’t new series of fragile, subtle dust photos.

DAVE HARDY at Regina Rex

Hardy’s sculptures are shown in Regina Rex‘s group booth alongside works by John Dilg, Kristen Jensen, Elisabeth Kley, Anna Mayer, Sarah Peters, Nicholas Pilato, and Hayal Pozanti. His minimalist found-object assemblages are made from cast-off materials like liner foam, sheets of glass, and squares of carpet. They’re gravity-defying—sometimes frighteningly so (especially in the hustle and bustle of a fair)—and show an economy of means that highlights Hardy’s acumen as a sculptor.

SUMMER WHEAT at Samsøn Projects


In her own words, Summer Wheat makes artworks—one of which is currently included in the show “Expanding the Field of Painting” at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Arts—that are “ugly but beautiful.” Through juxtapositions of texture, color, and sensibility, they’re also bold and gripping; particularly her paintings, which show the fecundity of unrestrained mark-making. Our favorties are her ‘tapestries,’ made by layering aluminum mesh with acrylic paint.

XAVIERA SIMMONS at David Castillo Gallery


Working in photography, performance, sound, sculpture, video, and installation, Xaviera Simmons (pronounced zy-VEER-ee-a) explores history, experience, and memory through abstraction. Working in “cycles” of photography, performance, and various other media, her work is in constant rotation. At NADA, Simmons is showing a series of works that tackle “cognitive capitalism” in quasi-portait photographs that point to the self’s design through external aesthetic means, as well as text-based black-and-white paintings that signal a new direction in her ever-evolving ouevre.

DAVID X. LEVINE at Steven Zevitas Gallery


David X. Levine works in colored pencil on paper, sometimes layered with collage, in super-large scale, creating pieces that area formally reminiscent of Sol LeWitt‘s well-known wall drawings. Levine has been working in New York for close to 20 years, but it’s only recently that Brooklyn-based gallery Knowmoregames has been promoting his work. The fair will surely be an eye-opener for those not already familiar with his work.

LENA HENKE at Real Fine Arts


We’re not sure what exactly to call Lena Henke‘s printed-on boxes of transparent plastic—in the traditional of Donald Judd‘s “specific objects,” they hang on the wall but are clearly sculptural, and they use photographic images, but in abstracted forms. Based on her recent installation at MOCA North Miami last year, it’s clear that Henke likes making works that are in proximity to, but don’t quite fit, standard notions of objecthood. At a fair where 90 percent of the work is two-dimensional, these clearly stood out.

DOUGLAS MELINI at Eleven Rivington


Speaking of painting—if you’re going to go the two-dimensional route, consider Douglas Melini‘s example. His tidy canvases are layered with tape, then piled on with thick oil paint; he also hand-paints his frames. The color palette is swamp-monster green, which gives Melini’s works a pleasurably vegetal quality.



Style & Design 5/10/2014 @ 9:38PM 71 views

Frieze Art Fair VIP Preview Attracts Serious Collectors, Celebrities

Frieze New York has established itself as an international destination for serious collectors. The Frieze Art Fair is being held on Randall’s Island for a third consecutive year, in a clean, white, spacious tent, with great buzz and enthusiasm. Thursday’s VIP opening brought a mix of celebrities, collectors and advisers. Leonardo Di Caprio, Uma Thurman, Michael Mayer and Marc Jacobs joined Jessica Seinfeld, Renee Rockefeller, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Yvonne Force Villareal and Beth De Woody in their quests for the perfect piece(s). Mark Ruffalo and Gavin Brown cooked and served anti-fracking sausages. But the real star, of course, was the work.

“Frieze New York feels like it’s been established longer than three years,” said international art dealer Thaddaeus Ropac. “There is a strong American and European audience this year. We know everybody, it’s great to feel the energy.”

Many pieces in Ropac’s gallery had already been purchased.

Michael Mayer, Uma Thurman Photo J. Grassi / Patrick McMullan

“We sold well,” Ropac continued, “but this we almost did beforehand, because today the art market is so strong and the collectors want to know everything we’re bringing before they arrive. We happily give this information, and the sales are kind of done before we start the fair. But the energy is very important. People are eager to come here, and we feel it. I’m amazed how many Europeans are here. Frieze New York has become one of the top fairs in the world. Besides discovering emerging artists, there have been rediscoveries of forgotten artists. I even bought some myself.”

Art dealer and curator Jeffrey Deitch was somewhat distracted by the social aspect of the preview, but still managed to spot some favorite pieces.

“I’m a big fan of Roberto Cuoghi whose show just opened at the New Museum last night. there’s a superb conceptual self portrait of his at Massimo de Carlo; I was very enthusiastic about that, and about Sam Gilliam’s astonishing paintings from the late sixties at David Kordansky,” said Deitch.

“The first day it’s just as much about saying hello to friends as it is seeing the art. Today I’m focusing on people; tomorrow I’ll come back and focus on the art.”

Jessica Seinfeld  Photo J. Grassi / PatrickMcMullan

Paul Kasmin Gallery  Photo J. Grassi / Patrick McMullan


4:29 pm ET
May 9, 2014


Five Stand-Outs From the Frieze Art Fair

At Frieze, art installations include a hotel that isn’t really a hotel, a ferry that isn’t really a ferry and a soccer field that isn’t really a soccer field. And one other thing: more than 190 booths of art. The contemporary art fair, which opened Friday and runs through Monday on Randall’s Island in New York, grabbed attention with its brassy headliners: Al’s Grand Hotel, a restaging of a 1971 project by artist Allen Ruppersberg with two working guest rooms; New York artist Marie Lorenz’s salvaged rowboat shuttling visitors around the harbor, and Argentine artist Eduardo Basualdo’s soccer field with glass-filled goals. Beyond the hoopla over the installations, there is the actual business of selling art, with more than 1,000 artists at galleries from 28 countries. Here, five stand-outs from the booths:


Carrying the Skeleton, 2008

Marina Abramovic Archives/Sean Kelly, NY

The artist created this photograph of herself dragging a skeleton custom made for her body during a 2008 studio performance, and it has since become one of her most famous images. The New York-based Sean Kelly Gallery priced the picture, one of an edition of nine, from about $165,000 to $206,000.


Library II-II, 2013

Liu Wei/Lehmann Maupin, NY/Hong Kong

The Chinese artist takes books from second-hand markets in Beijing, compresses them and carves them into haunting cityscapes—an allegory for the lost memories of a fast-developing city. The work, priced at $295,000, takes up about half the booth for Lehmann Maupin gallery.


The Head of W.P., 2014

© Paul McCarthy/Hauser & Wirth

Curator Gianni Jetzer tries to evoke the human heart by dividing the gallery’s space into two chambers with artworks moving circulation-like from blue to red—from a huge detached head of Snow White by the artist Paul McCarthy in bright blue to Louise Bourgeois’s 36 red gouaches featuring babies in a womb.


Snake Drawing I, performance, The Shape, The Scent, The Feel of Things, 2005

Joan Jonas/Wilkinson Gallery

Art-world insiders are seeking out this conceptual artist, who will represent the U.S. at the 2015 Venice Biennale. London’s Wilkinson Gallery has dedicated its entire booth to Jonas, with prints from her 1969 mirror performances and snake drawings like this one from 2005, priced at $65,000.


Photograph wearing rain boots, 2014

Shimabuku/Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin; Photo: Valentina Jager

The Japanese artist—who has created an art exhibition for monkeys and a movie about an octopus on a trip to a fish market—riffs on the self-portrait. The image of the sea of Okinawa near his father’s childhood home is paired with rain boots, priced at around $11,700 from Berlin’s Galerie Wien Lukatsch.



Screaming for attention

Pulse art fair may not have found its voice, but it’s not keeping its mouth shut

Background 2, 2013, Marko Tadic (Ikon Arts Foundation)

Pulse is not exactly an uneven art fair. For the most part, its greatest peaks are not too far and above its lowest valleys, some of which truly plunge. The multi-artist booths are often full of paintings, photos or light installations that barely speak to one another, or to the rest of the art on view throughout. Eclectic and aesthetically scattered, this fair embodies the problems that accompany pluralism. In an art world that seemingly knows no bounds, which has colonised large swaths of New York real estate for an entire week, there is certainly room enough for this event. But organisers are still figuring out what to do with their allotted space. More than anything, this is a show that is still finding its voice.

There is a sustained amount of aesthetic shouting, and it begins early on. At the front entrance of the fair, the main doors are covered in an ugly abstract pattern of purple, green, orange and yellow stripes, and the weakest work inside complies with the adopted colour scheme, as if it were screaming for attention. Appropriately, the best art is the most tranquil. At the stand for the Ikon Arts Foundation, a group of small collages by the Croatian artist Marko Tadic elbows practically everything else aside, even though these hushed works are still lifes. One interior, Background 2, 2013, depicts a room with a table, a painting, and four chairs, but no people. It’s a silent space, and the intimate scale of the work—15 inches by 10 inches—echoes the lack of noise. Tadic’s work is on the right track. Getting to the end of a busy week for the New York art world, it’s time for some peace and quiet.




Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times


The amazing spectacle that is Frieze New York is up and running on Randalls Island. With more than 190 contemporary art dealers from around the world inhabiting a temporary, quarter-mile-long white tent, it’s a dumbfounding display of human creative industry. Reasoning that in the time allowed, no one reviewer could hope to achieve a comprehensive overview of all there is to see, we both went to look and report. What follows is a sampler of things that caught our attention.

GLADSTONE GALLERY (Booth B6) This museum-worthy show includes more than 200 small drawings from the painter Carroll Dunham’s archives. Dating from 1979 to 2014, they are presented on three walls in grid formation chronologically. Like pages from a personal diary, they track the evolution of Mr. Dunham’s antic imagination. From sketches of blobby, surrealistic forms to pictures of battling, cartoony male and female characters to images of naked, hairy wild women and men in edenic scenes, these irrepressibly lively, cheerfully vulgar drawings suggest a psychoanalytic pilgrim’s progress. (K. J.)

GAVIN BROWN (B38) This booth is filled by Rirkrit Tiravanija’s installation “Freedom can not be simulated.” It consists of about a dozen plywood walls arranged in parallel about a foot and a half apart. On one side of each wall hangs a large black canvas covered with squiggly chalk lines that you can only see fully by squeezing in between the walls. The first canvas in the series has the title drawn on it in big block letters. The installation offers itself as a pointedly coercive metaphor about the eternally necessary tension between freedom and constraint. (K. J.)

ANDREW KREPS (B54) Goshka Macuga’s “Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not 2” is a giant black-and-white tapestry made on looms in Flanders. Over 10 feet high and 36 feet wide, it presents a panoramic scene copied from a photoshopped collage representing an incongruous gathering of art world luminaries and political protesters at Documenta 13, an exhibition in Germany in 2012. Ms. Macuga’s work pictures the moral and political contradictions of contemporary art and its social support system as powerfully as anything at the fair. (K. J.)

MARIANNE BOESKY (A30) This gallery offers “Revolution,” a sculpture by Roxy Paine that expresses a more ambiguous political sentiment. A chain saw with a bullhorn attached, both realistically rendered in wood, it’s a piece of impressive craftsmanship and a surrealistic dream image of political violence. (K. J.)

RATIO 3 (C56) For technical magic, nothing beats Takeshi Murato’s “Melter 3-D.” In a room lit by flickering strobes, a revolving, beachball-size sphere seems made of mercury. A hypnotic wonder, it appears to be constantly melting into flowing ripples. (K. J.)

303 GALLERY (B61)Many works at the fair meditate on art and the artist. Rodney Graham’s big, light-box-mounted phototransparency “The Pipe Cleaner Artist, Amalfi, ’61”, at 303, depicts Mr. Graham in a lovely Mediterranean studio, leisurely making sculptures from white pipe cleaners. With a sweetly comical spirit, it spoofs a kitschy romance of bohemian avant-gardism. (K. J.)

CROY NIELSEN (C1) In a tall, plexiglass display case here is a simple but philosophically resonant assemblage by Benoît Maire. Titled “Weapon,” it consists of a three-sided ruler attached to a rock by a wrist watch’s metal bracelet. It’s about rationalizing the irrational, an enduring task for art. (K. J.)

GALERIE LELONG (B12) A neon sign by Alfredo Jaar that reads “Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness” is a fine prayer for what art might do for our troubled times. (K. J.)

One thing this fair allows you to do is to sample in one location what critics see around the city and the world. This includes emerging artists and historical shows. You’ll find many of them under a special designation, Frieze Focus, indicating galleries founded in or after 2003, and in Frame, a section that features solo presentations by galleries under eight years old.

SIMONE SUBAL (B21) This Bowery gallery is showing a Florian Meisenberg installation that fits in perfectly at an art fair because it takes its cue from another “nonspace”: the airport, with its spectacle of architecture, patterns, moving people and digital screens. It includes a video with excerpts from the film “Lolita” and an episode of “The Simpsons” in which Homer becomes a lauded outsider artist. (M. S.)

LAUREL GITLEN (B28) This gallery offers Allyson Vieira’s “Meander,” a structure made of metal building studs that uses the ancient meander pattern (also found on classic New York coffee cups) as its floor plan and suggests how certain graphic patterns are recycled throughout various empires. (MS)

CARLOS/ISHIKAWA (B34) This London gallery is showing Richard Sides’s collagelike assemblages, made from a personal archive of what he calls “good trash” collected outside his studio. (M. S.)

MISAKO & ROSEN (B20) This Tokyo-based gallery has objects by Kazuyuki Takezaki, who was inspired by the great ukiyo-e printmaker Hiroshige to recreate “landscapes” that sometimes take the form of sculptures, and include materials like a braided rug. (M. S.)

LE GUERN (A2) Dominating the space in this Warsaw gallery’s booth is a solo presentation of the Brooklyn artist C. T. Jasper, a tent made from around 160 sheepskins. (Get it? a tent within the big tent of Frieze). Inside the tent is a remix of the Polish director Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s 1966 film “Faraon (Pharaoh)” — but with all the human figures digitally removed from the film. (M. S.)

Gallerists are getting good at organizing historical shows, and several at Frieze are standouts.

JAMES FUENTES (C2) This Delancey Street gallery offers a presentation of the Fluxus artist Alison Knowles, best known for performance events like “Make a Salad” (1962). Here you can see objects made by Ms. Knowles from the ’70s to the present. If you hear a loud cascading sound at the south end of the fair, it is someone flipping over her “Red Bean Turner,” which is like an opaque hourglass filled with dried beans. (M. S.)

THE BOX (C14) This Los Angeles gallery has a great roundup of work by NO!Art, a group founded in 1959 that was distinctly (paradoxically, for this setting) anti-commercial. Collages and silk-screens by Boris Lurie, Stanley Fisher and Sam Goodman look incredibly prescient — like Mr. Lurie’s painting “Sold.” (M. S.)

GREGOR PODNAR (A22) In a smaller historical presentation you can see 1970s photographs and Conceptual drawings by two Gorans: Goran Trbuljak and Goran Petercol, Croatian artists who were routinely mistaken for each other in their local Zagreb art scene because of their first names. (M. S.)

PROJECTS Just outside the tent, the Projects section includes the Czech artist Eva Kotatkova‘s “Architecture of Sleep,” an outdoor installation with performers resting on platforms (and who should not be disturbed). Marie Lorenz, who works on New York’s waterways, is offering rides in a rowboat made with salvaged materials. Unfortunately, her “Randalls Island Tide Ferry” doesn’t offer service to or from the fair, but it accomplishes what most art tries to do: It transports you. (M. S.)



Frieze Woos Billionaires With $375 Sleepovers, Pricey Art

By Katya Kazakina and Mary Romano May 7, 2014 9:00 PM PT

Source: Graham Carlow, Frieze

Visitors inside the Frieze Art Fair in New York in 2012.

Source: Naho Kubota, Frieze

A white serpentine-tent houses 190 contemporary-art galleries from 28 countries.

Source: Carroll Dunham and Gladstone Gallery

New York’s Gladstone Gallery will show more than 200 drawings by Carroll Dunham created between 1979 and 1014.

Source: David Zwirner

Untitled (Menziken 88-84), 1988 box by artist Donald Judd made in anodized aluminum clear with red and chartreuse Plexiglas.

Source: Shane Campbell Gallery

Cast bronze champagne corkscrew by emerging artist Chris Bradley.

Inside the Frieze Art Fair on New York’s Randall’s Island, there’s a hotel with two beds so guests can sleep among the artworks for as much as $375 a night.

A security guard will keep tabs on the slumber party to make sure no one is wandering around the white serpentine-tent housing 190 contemporary-art galleries from 28 countries. They can hang out in this art installation and watch hotel-themed films such as “Grand Hotel,” the 1932 Greta Garbo classic. Breakfast and dinner will be served.

The art world elite including billionaire collectors Eli Broad and Alice Walton are expected to converge today on the fair, a short car or ferry ride from Manhattan. Now in its third year, Frieze, which runs through May 12, is cementing its role in New York as a hip marketplace for emerging and blue-chip art.

Wealthy collectors can grab a $2,000 cast bronze champagne corkscrew by emerging artist Chris Bradley or drop $650,000 on a Donald Judd minimalist box. Frieze also commissioned surprising art projects like the sleepovers and organizing brainy talks, which this year will include a conversation between members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot and New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick.

“I always keep in mind it’s an art fair,” said Cecilia Alemani, who coordinated Frieze Projects, the site-specific artworks commissioned for the fair such as the “Al’s Grand Hotel.” “It’s not just collectors. People can listen to great talks or a concert or just enjoy an afternoon on the lawn.”

Auctions, Fairs

The fair coincides with two weeks of semi-annual auctions in New York, which are expected to sell as much as $2.3 billion of art. It also anchors at least eight other art fairs including Pulse, New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) and mini-fairs Seven and Salon Zurcher.

Frieze, which started in 2003 in London, where it will hold its next edition in October, is considered one of the world’s three most important contemporary-art fairs, along with Art Basel in Switzerland in June and Art Basel Miami Beach in December.

“Most collectors believe it’s a must-see event,” said Wendy Cromwell, director of New York-based art advisory firm Cromwell Art LLC. “They have a really nice high-low strategy, with a good representation of high-end art and emerging art. It’s taken them three years to get to this point.”

Solo Shows

More than 20 galleries are dedicating their booths to solo artist presentations, ranging from American veteran Ed Ruscha at Gagosian gallery to emerging Brit Eddie Peake at Lorcan O’Neill.

New York’s Gladstone Gallery will show more than 200 drawings by Carroll Dunham created between 1979 and 2014. David Kordansky Gallery from Los Angeles is showing Sam Gilliam’s beveled-edge paintings from the 1960s and 1970s.

“For us, it’s a prime arena to meet new collectors and curators,” said Eric Ruschman, manager of Chicago-based Shane Campbell Gallery, a third-time participant. “Especially people who are not able to come to Chicago and see the art in person.”

The hotel installation is a restaging of Allen Ruppersberg’s project in 1971 in Los Angeles, in which he converted a Craftsman house in Hollywood for six weeks into a fully functioning hotel with seven rooms and a performance and party space. The Frieze hotel is a collaboration between Ruppersberg and the Los Angeles project space Public Fiction. It comprises three booths: two rooms, each with a queen-size bed, and a lobby.

Row Boat

Those in need of a break from art can peruse other site specific projects. New York artist Marie Lorenz will take passengers around the harbor for about 20 minutes in a row boat built from salvaged materials. Participants will wear life jackets and will be expected to do some rowing.

Lorenz offers “a unique perspective on the city we love,” said Alemani, who has taken one of the artist’s rides. “It’s astonishing how you feel immersed in nature and yet you can see the Manhattan skyline. It was amazing. You feel really tiny and the boat is tiny.”

Among the trendy restaurants serving food at the fair are Marlow & Sons, from Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, and Italian eatery Frankies Spuntino. Mission Cantina, the Mexican restaurant on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, will offer burritos and Roberta’s, the Italian restaurant housed in a converted Brooklyn garage, will serve pizza.

Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) is the lead sponsor of Frieze in New York and London. Its foundation funds and develops the fair’s educational programs. High school students from the South Bronx and East Harlem will tour the fair; one group working with the Bronx River Art Center will create a digital guide.

“Our hope is to give broad access to school children of all ages to the various arts and culture programs that we sponsor,” Jacques Brand, chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank’s North American unit and chairman of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, said in an interview.

Frieze is open to VIPs today by invitation and to the public May 9 through May 12.



Frieze New York, May 9-12, 2014

May 9 / 11:00 am–7:00 pm

Organized by: Frieze New York
This event happens from May 9, 2014 to May 12, 2014
Choose a different date

This event is: Public
Admission Fee: From $10 plus fees
Opening Party Date and Time: Private View, Thursday May 8
Sponsored By: Deutsche Bank

About the event:

Frieze New York, May 9-12, Randall’s Island Park

‘Frieze Art Fair electrifies New York’ The Wall Street Journal
‘Ground-breaking’ Financial Times

Visit Frieze New York and take part in the contemporary art event of the year.

Housed in a distinct serpentine structure overlooking the East River, the fair brings together the most dynamic and forward-thinking galleries, both local and international, working today.

In addition to being able to see and buy art by over 1,000 of the world’s leading artists, you can experience the fair’s critically acclaimed Projects, Talks, Sounds and Education programs.

The fair also includes Frame, a section dedicated to solo artist presentations by emerging galleries and Focus, which features artworks specially conceived for Frieze New York.

For the first time this year, a thousand tickets priced at $10 are available for 17-25 year-olds or full-time students with valid ID, visiting the fair on Monday, May 12. Limited offer. Booking fees apply.

Buy your tickets now at




On the Floor at Frieze New York 2014

Frieze New York 2014 (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

Some dating wisdom has it that the third date is make or break, the one when you decide whether or not to move forward. This is the third year of the Frieze New York art fair, and I’m just not sure I see us having a future together.

The quintessential Frieze New York booth (click to enlarge)

Last year I was charmed by the performances and booze, but this year the booths at Frieze feel stale. It’s a fair, so that’s not really a problem — shiny work, as well as purposefully ugly and purposefully weird work abounds, and collectors will buy much of it — but for those holding out hope for a flash of experience, an artwork that will stop you in your tracks … don’t. The tent still feels airy and looks nice. The food is still delicious and overpriced. Randalls Island is still a lovely place to visit, even in the rain. Yet Gagosian Gallery still shows Ed Ruscha. David Zwirner brought Yayoi Kusama. Andrea Rosen Gallery set up a small, completely uninspired Ryan Trecartin installation, and White Cube has a new diorama featuring crucified Ronald McDonalds by Jake and Dinos Chapman. Frieze New York feels nothing if not rehearsed. And why not? Art fairs basically happen year-round at this point. Dealers know what works. Little effort required. Sucks for the rest of us.

Jake and Dinos Chapman, "Wheel of misfortune" (2014), at White Cube

Still, I can’t help but wish that someone somewhere had proposed something even just slightly outside the art fair box, and that someone else somewhere had said “yes.” As it stands, the closest thing to that at Frieze is a re-creation of a past work, Allen Rupersberg’s “Al’s Grand Hotel” from 1971, for which the artist turned a two-story house into a hotel and performance space. As part of Frieze Projects, and in collaboration with Los Angeles project space Public Fiction, Rupersberg has restaged “Al’s Grand Hotel” inside Frieze. It features a cozy chic lobby with a bar and welcome desk, where you can reserve a room for the night starting at $350. Be careful which room you choose, though: one is a bridal suite that includes flowers on the bed and presents on the table; the other is the Jesus Room and features an enormous wooden cross blocking the bed. “You’re staying here … in that room?” one woman asked another as I was standing nearby. The future occupant — unassuming, middle-aged, dark gray hair — smiled cheerily.

The Jesus Room in Allen Rupersberg's "Al's Grand Hotel (1971) with Public Fiction (2014)"

Sonia Gomes, "Untitled," from 'Torção' series (2014), sewing, binding, different fabric on wire, 100 x 60 x 40 cm (click to enlarge)

Even within the bounds of traditional gallery booths, it’s possible to do something new: consider this year’s Armory Show, which presented a surprising exhibit of art from China and its first-ever gallery from Saudi Arabia. Frieze 2014, on the other hand, is painfully Western-centric, with a welcome sprinkling of participants from South and Central America and Asia. It was almost a uniform truth this afternoon that the art I found most intriguing was being shown by galleries I don’t know well, if at all, including: visionary collages from the 1960s and ’70s by Kikuji Yamashita and Hiroshi Katsuragawa at greengrassi; an oversized carpet that looks like a messy painting out of Bushwick by Steinar Haga Kristensen at Johan Berggren Gallery; a challenging new assemblage sculpture by Abraham Cruzvillegas at Galerie Chantal Crousel; part of a conceptual installation focused on the hands of figures in Old Master paintings by Iñaki Bonillas at ProjecteSD; and sewn fabric sculpture contraptions by Sonia Gomes at Mendes Wood DM.

The Frame section, devoted to galleries established fewer than eight years ago, also contained some standouts, due in part to that relative newness and to the required solo-presentation format, which at a fair offers a cherished moment of possible concentration. (As a side note, Derek Eller Gallery’s solo presentation of Karl Wirsum, not in Frame, is excellent.) There, I was drawn to Lena Henke’s dissonant mix of materials, the simultaneous fluidity and rigidity of her sculptures shown by Real Fine Arts, as well as Kazuyuki Takezaki’s scrambled landscapes that look both handmade and digital at Misako & Rosen. Nearby, Ariel Reichman constructed a literal landscape, an oasis of green amid the desert of white that functioned as PSM gallery’s booth.

Ariel Reichman's garden installation at PSM

But white wins out at the end of the day; Frieze New York feels more than ever like what it quite simply is: a very pretty trading floor. Not everyone is making out well, though: the kids working the coat check have a jar out asking for tips.

Tip jar for the coat check workers

Sculpture by Lena Henke at Real Fine Arts

Sculpture by Kazuyuki Takezaki at Misako & Rosen

Three works by Karl Wirsum at Derek Eller Gallery

People resting by Koki Tanaka's Frieze Project

Work by Kikuji Yamashita at greengrassi

Steinar Haga Kristensen's carpet painting at Johan Berggren Gallery

Iñaki Bonillas's installation at ProjecteSD

The lobby of "Al's Grand Hotel"

Installation view, Frieze New York

Frieze New York 2014 continues on Randalls Island through May 12.


Frieze New York Fumbles

Benjamin Sutton, Friday, May 9, 2014



For Frieze New York, the third time is most certainly not the charm. The fair’s 2014 outing drew press and VIPs to Randall’s Island on Thursday, with the aisles of the vast Frieze Tent becoming jam-packed by the end of the day, but the booths, too, have succumbed to overcrowding. Since launching in 2012 Frieze New York’s greatest strengths have been its roomy, sparsely hung booths—tempering the exhaustion borne of navigating such mega-fairs—and the relative eclecticism ensured by the very international makeup of its exhibitors. But all that is starting to change, and not for the best.


The 192 galleries involved in the fair’s 2014 edition are increasingly maximizing their wall space with ever-more homogenous works. The result is the flimsiest Frieze New York to date. The epitome of this comes at a major juncture near the fair’s south end, where competing mega-dealers Larry Gagosian and David Zwirner have adjacent booths; The former’s is lined with ho-hum Ed Ruscha text paintings, the latter packed with selections from the gallery’s roster. Zwirner easily wins the intersection, thanks in no small part to defecting Gagosian artist Yayoi Kusama’s giant polka dot-covered pumpkin sculpture, but the dueling dealers’ uninspired presentations mean we all lose. Luckily, a smattering of local galleries and others from cities outside the art world’s traditional axis of power are keeping things interesting with strong presentations of works by little-known artists and booth-filling installations.


Foremost among these is the São Paulo gallery Vermelho, which has given over most of its booth to a pair of giant paintings on unstretched canvas by Dora Longo Bahia. One features a green-hued replica of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica splashed with a huge streak of blood-red paint, while the other shows a matching emerald-tinted scene of death and grief in which all the figures have been de-Cubist-ified and rendered more figuratively. It’s one of surprisingly few works at the fair overtly engaging with art history.


Which isn’t to say that there aren’t other works on view memorializing contemporary art—after all, one of this year’s Frieze Projects is a re-staging of Allen Rupersberg’s 1971 hotel. Drawing on the more immediate past, New York gallery Andrew Kreps has brought one of two tapestries that Goshka Macuga produced for Documenta 13. The 38-foot-long piece shows the artist receiving the Arnold Bode Prize in Kassel in 2011 before a bevvy of art world power players—many of whom will no doubt be setting sail for Randall’s Island this week. Occupy Wall Street protestors seem to be crashing the award ceremony in Macuga’s cinematic, black-and-white scene, lending a little tension to the otherwise overly insider-y mega-quilt, which is on reserve and priced at $230,000.


In a far more compelling historical presentation, New York’s Derek Eller Gallery has devoted its booth to Chicago Imagist Karl Wirsum, whose wild, sci-fi figures are an absolute delight. His three stylized mannequins—Mary O’Net, Chris Teen, and Nurse Worse (all 1972)—provide a nice contrast to the Isa Genzken mannequin sculptures on view a couple aisles over in the Hauser & Wirth booth.


Similarly conspicuous for its retro-futurist feel is the booth of Warsaw-based art space Galeria Le Guern, which contains an irregularly shaped video pavilion cloaked in lambswool by C.T. Jasper. The installation, and the video playing therein—an abstraction of Polish filmmaker Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s feature film Pharaoh (1966) in which all the human figures have been edited out—is one of the few offerings at this year’s Frieze New York that is genuinely transporting. The entire installation, titled Sunset of the Pharaohs (2014) is available for a relatively affordable $69,000.


It’s a testament to how bland this year’s offerings at Frieze New York are that the installation by Cuban artist Wilfredo Prieto in Madrid- and Barcelona-based gallery Noguera Blanchard‘s booth stands out. Amid all the over-stuffed booths, the artist’s simple installation of a suspended shark cage—a sculptural readymade named Shark Tank (2012) that the artist purchased from a treasure-hunting company—stands out for its sparseness. The Damien Hirst-like sculpture is on sale for $85,000.


A similarly irreverent installation can be found in Copenhagen-based Galleri Nicolai Wallner‘s booth, where Jonathan Monk’s All the Possible Combinations of Eight Legs Kicking (One at a Time) (2013) has four pairs of mannequin legs, each clad in a different color of tights, kicking in sequence until every possible suite of kicks has been enacted. With the full range of possibilities playing out over 177 hours, the $110,000 installation (available in an edition of two) promises plenty of entertainment for your money.


A conspicuous number of dealers filled their Frieze New York booths with the same exact sets of artists as last year, giving the whole fair the feel of reheated leftovers. But this strategy paid off for the Warsaw-based Foksal Gallery Foundation, which once again wowed with strange and beautiful paintings by Jakub Julian Ziólkowski, among others. Sadly, though, this was the exception to the rule, reinforcing the overwhelming sense of staleness at Frieze New York 2014.

The 2014 edition of Frieze New York continues on Randall’s Island through May 12.




Top Five Things to Eat at Frieze NY 2014

The Frieze Art Fair has hit New York! While the fair officially opens to the public tomorrow, international collectors, gallerists and culture-seekers have descended upon the city for the incredible invasion of exhibitions and events that make up Frieze week. Our diary is stacked with un-missable events and projects, from David Remnick’s talk with Pussy Riot on Friday, to Naama Tsabar’s music festival, to a reprisal of Allen Ruppersberg’s Al’s Grand Hotel. As we gear up for a full weekend of art, we can’t help but let our minds wander to the A+ line-up of restaurants, snack bars and food trucks that will grace Randall’s Island for fair-goers. Below, a highly subjective list of the top five dishes that we shall be Instagramming, for your exclusive food-spiration.

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  • Mission Cantina Burritos

    Danny Bowien’s Cali-style burritos are rare delicacies in NY. Takeout-only from the Lower East Side location, their pan-seared  “super burrito” confections will be available at the fair. Much has been said about Bowien’s considered technique, which includes pre-frying the handmade tortillas and omitting the rice. We will be killing two birds with one burrito by snacking on this puppy whilst riding Marie Lorenz’s ‘Tide and Current Taxi’ boat around the island.Image Courtesy of T. Tseng

    Courtesy of T. Tseng
  • Omakase Menu at Furanku

    When we called Frankie’s Spuntino restaurant this morning toinquire about the menu atFuranku, the team’s new sushi concept pop-up for the fair, the guy who answered was understandably sceptical. “I don’t think so. We’re an Italian restaurant.” While spaghetti and sushi are not typicallysympatico, Frank F. and Frank C. will be debuting their Japanese outpost to a good deal of anticipation tomorrow. Book now for the $69omakase menu (“omakase” is derived from the Japanese word for “to trust”) at the 50 seat bar.Image courtesy of Frankies Spuntino 

    Courtesy of Frankies Spuntino
  • Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich

    Brooklyn residents bike, jog, and skate to Prospect Park on the weekends to eat the bizarrely satisfying ice cream sandwiches from theCoolhaus food truck. With their mix-and-match menu, you choose from a dizzying list of ice creams (including “beer and pretzels” and “cuban cigar”) and cookies (best: “s’mores”) to build your own frostysammy. They call it, er, “farchitecture”, from food and architecture.Coolhaus joins the Red Hook Lobster Pound truck outside the fair for breezy outdoor picnicking.Image courtesy of Emma Story

    Courtesy of Emma Story
  • Roberta’s Pizza

    Bushwick pizza joint Roberta’s will be holding it down at the fair with acafe deck furnished with two wood-fired pizza ovens. Last year, fair-goers could be seen clutching Roberta’s boxes as they perused the fair, and this year should be no different. We are partial to the superlative Margherita pizza with mozzarella, tomato, and basil, but the “Baby Sinclair” withdino kale andmaitake mushrooms looks pretty dope too. Rosé and beer on tap mean that this will be a sweet spot to meet friends post-fair.Image courtesy of Roberta’s

    Courtesy of Roberta’s
  • Momofuku Milk Bar Crack Pie

    To round out the group of NYC cult restaurants at Frieze, Christina Tosi’s sweets emporiumMomofuku Milk Bar will be making its first appearance at the fair. We will be lining up for a slice of New York classic Crack Pie, with its rich, distinctive salty-sweet filling. Special bonus points for the Birthday Cake Truffles, dense little nuggets of rainbow goodness which will also be available at the Milk Bar outpost.Image courtesy of Momofuku Milk Bar

    Courtesy of Momofuku Milk Bar

Inspired by Allen Ruppersberg’s mythic project, ‘Al’s Grand Hotel’, 1971, Los Angeles-based gallery Public Fiction has restaged the hotel to incredible detail as part of Frieze Projects, a series of specially commissioned site-specific works. Photography: Marco Scozzaro

1 / 47

As far as art fairs go, the Frieze franchise knows how to deliver. Despite being dampened by drizzle, the London fair‘s younger New York sibling got off to a good start yesterday with visitors venturing over choppy waters to Randall’s Island for a first look at what the weekend has in store. Officially opening today, Frieze New York (9-12 May) touts a more cohesive programme this year, along with its consistent roster of big name contemporary art gallery participants.

There may not have been many surprise additions to the line-up, but Frieze has taken pains to create a memorable experience for art aficionados and casual gallery-goers alike. Its Frieze Projects programme of specially commissioned artworks is a particular highlight this year. The series of site-specific projects take place all over the island, even on water, with New York-based artist Marie Lorenz offering fairgoers the chance to join her in a makeshift rowing boat and tour Randall’s Island’s surrounding shores. Extending her previous concept, for which she led people around New York Harbour by boat, Lorenz’s tour offers visitors a rare, fresh perspective of viewing Frieze.

Another Frieze Projects triumph is the re-staging of Allen Ruppersberg’s mythic project, ‘Al’s Grand Hotel’. Back in 1971, the artist created and opened a fully functioning hotel for six weeks. The seven rooms were functional, themed installations and provided a place to congregate and generally have a good time. Despite being asked repeatedly over the years to reprise the hotel, Ruppersberg refused, until now. The persuading factor came in the form of Public Fiction, an Los Angeles-based gallery and publication run by Lauren Mackler, who produced an iteration of Ruppersberg’s concept for her own exhibition back in 2011. Says Mackler about the project: ‘I was inspired by Al’s concept and reached out to him. We had several conversations and he gave me a box full of ephemera from the original hotel – photographs, receipts, postcards, the original letterhead, everything.’

After several attempts over the years to return the ephemera to Ruppersburg, Mackler finally tracked him down again in 2013 – good timing since the older artist had been asked by Frieze Projects’ curator, Cecila Alemani, to recreate the hotel. Together, Ruppersburg and Mackler have re-staged the lobby and two rooms right in the middle of Frieze. Complete with hotel stationery, a seating area, a front desk, the new hotel has been recreated to impressive detail. Even the backdrops and textiles have been contributed by Maharam. Best of all, it will receive guests in both rooms, each night of the fair.

On scoring this coup, Alemani said, ‘I think [Ruppersburg] really liked the idea that this fictional space would only be around for five days, and then cease to exist. It really is in keeping with the spirit of his original concept.’

Elsewhere around the fair, we were particularly struck by Modern Art’s series of pixilated paintings by British artist Mark Flood, which each depict a familiar icon, and Andrew Krep’s installation of large, wood-framed tapestries by Goshka Macuga. David Zwirner packed a punch with its combination of Yayoi Kusama and Donald Judd pieces, while Gagosian Gallery played it cool with a series of new lithographs from Ed Ruscha.

Even the food at Frieze is worthy of acclaim. This year’s selection sees pop-ups from some of the New York’s most loved and fashionable names, such as Danny Bowien’s Mission Cantina, Carroll Garden’s Court Street Grocers, Roberta’s in Bushwick, Momofuku Milk Bar, The Fat Radish and Marlow & Sons. We’re not ones to go hungry, even for the sake of art.


Frieze New York 2014 highlights: from a re-staging of Al’s Grand Hotel to artful boat trips round Randall’s Island

Inspired by Allen Ruppersberg’s mythic project, ‘Al’s Grand Hotel’, 1971, Los Angeles-based gallery Public Fiction has restaged the hotel to incredible detail as part of Frieze Projects, a series of specially commissioned site-specific works. Photography: Marco Scozzaro

1 / 47

As far as art fairs go, the Frieze franchise knows how to deliver. Despite being dampened by drizzle, the London fair‘s younger New York sibling got off to a good start yesterday with visitors venturing over choppy waters to Randall’s Island for a first look at what the weekend has in store. Officially opening today, Frieze New York (9-12 May) touts a more cohesive programme this year, along with its consistent roster of big name contemporary art gallery participants.

There may not have been many surprise additions to the line-up, but Frieze has taken pains to create a memorable experience for art aficionados and casual gallery-goers alike. Its Frieze Projects programme of specially commissioned artworks is a particular highlight this year. The series of site-specific projects take place all over the island, even on water, with New York-based artist Marie Lorenz offering fairgoers the chance to join her in a makeshift rowing boat and tour Randall’s Island’s surrounding shores. Extending her previous concept, for which she led people around New York Harbour by boat, Lorenz’s tour offers visitors a rare, fresh perspective of viewing Frieze.

Another Frieze Projects triumph is the re-staging of Allen Ruppersberg’s mythic project, ‘Al’s Grand Hotel’. Back in 1971, the artist created and opened a fully functioning hotel for six weeks. The seven rooms were functional, themed installations and provided a place to congregate and generally have a good time. Despite being asked repeatedly over the years to reprise the hotel, Ruppersberg refused, until now. The persuading factor came in the form of Public Fiction, an Los Angeles-based gallery and publication run by Lauren Mackler, who produced an iteration of Ruppersberg’s concept for her own exhibition back in 2011. Says Mackler about the project: ‘I was inspired by Al’s concept and reached out to him. We had several conversations and he gave me a box full of ephemera from the original hotel – photographs, receipts, postcards, the original letterhead, everything.’

After several attempts over the years to return the ephemera to Ruppersburg, Mackler finally tracked him down again in 2013 – good timing since the older artist had been asked by Frieze Projects’ curator, Cecila Alemani, to recreate the hotel. Together, Ruppersburg and Mackler have re-staged the lobby and two rooms right in the middle of Frieze. Complete with hotel stationery, a seating area, a front desk, the new hotel has been recreated to impressive detail. Even the backdrops and textiles have been contributed by Maharam. Best of all, it will receive guests in both rooms, each night of the fair.

On scoring this coup, Alemani said, ‘I think [Ruppersburg] really liked the idea that this fictional space would only be around for five days, and then cease to exist. It really is in keeping with the spirit of his original concept.’

Elsewhere around the fair, we were particularly struck by Modern Art’s series of pixilated paintings by British artist Mark Flood, which each depict a familiar icon, and Andrew Krep’s installation of large, wood-framed tapestries by Goshka Macuga. David Zwirner packed a punch with its combination of Yayoi Kusama and Donald Judd pieces, while Gagosian Gallery played it cool with a series of new lithographs from Ed Ruscha.

Even the food at Frieze is worthy of acclaim. This year’s selection sees pop-ups from some of the New York’s most loved and fashionable names, such as Danny Bowien’s Mission Cantina, Carroll Garden’s Court Street Grocers, Roberta’s in Bushwick, Momofuku Milk Bar, The Fat Radish and Marlow & Sons. We’re not ones to go hungry, even for the sake of art.


Reviews of Berlin Gallery Weekend 2014


Art May, 5 2014 A Recap of Berlin Gallery Weekend 2014 By

Following our comprehensive guide to this year’s Berlin Gallery Weekend, we present a recap of this past weekend’s most popular exhibitions. Beginning in Mitte, we checked out Katja Novitskova’s latest post-Internet work at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery before moving on to Sprüth Magers where an entire wing was dedicated to Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s iconic Hustlers series. Afterwards, we stopped by CFA Gallery, located directly across Berlin’s famous Museum Island, to take in “Maximalism” featuring the work of Borden Capalino, Sachin Kaeley, Rosy Keyser, Sam Moyer and Kaari Upson. Located one floor above, Christian Rosa’s solo presentation “Love’s Gonna Save the Day” left a lasting impression on us. Later on, we headed to Johann König to see Michael Sailstorfer’s Antiherbst in full before checking out Coming II by Jessica Jackson Hutchins. Of course much more was seen throughout and with most shows running for at least a few more weeks, we recommend checking out a few more exhibitions. Filed under:Photography: Ryan Hursh for





Gallery Weekend Berlin: Post-poor, Post-sexy

An installation by Pae White at Neugerriemschneider (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

BERLIN — Gallery Weekend Berlin wrapped up its tenth edition on Sunday evening. What began in 2004 as a small group of local gallerists teaming up to lure outside collectors to the “Land of Poor but Sexy” for one weekend has grown from 21 to 50 galleries in the past decade. Its model — each gallery mounting its best show and shuttling VIPs between galleries in sponsored black BMW sedans instead of making them trudge through packed art-fair corridors — has spawned imitators around the world, most of whom (Vienna, Chicago) just don’t have Berlin’s cool factor. Gallery Weekend is still going strong and moving into the future — in numbers and prestige, that is. More than a few dealers have told me over the years that GWB can be their highest sales weekend (even more so than major art fairs like Art Basel). Word on the street this weekend was that double the visitors came (20,000 versus 10,000 last year) and many shows sold well, like Gerold Miller at Mehdi Chouakri and Chris Martin at KOW.

Friedrich Teepe’s sculptural manipulations of canvas at Arratia Beer (click to enlarge)

But this year, in terms of the art on view, I felt catapulted into the past. After popping into a dozen galleries on and near the Potsdamer Strasse hub on Friday, I realized that the exhibitions I liked best were showing decades-old work. I knew that Philip Guston at Aurel Scheibler would be great — the show is a lean presentation of drawings and paintings from the 1960s to late 1970s showing Guston’s move from abstraction and figuration. But I was surprised to find Friedrich Teepe’s sculptural manipulations of canvas, and studies thereof, at Arratia Beer (beautiful stuff, most from the 1970s), The Living Theater’s Julian Beck at Supportico Lopez (1950s), primitivist sculptures by Lynn Chadwick at Blain | Southern (1970s again), even the late Swiss artist Friedrich Kuhn’s 1960s paintings at Tanya Leighton (an Glasgow-educated English dealer known for her work with trendy emerging artists).

Over at Sprüth Magers in Mitte was Reinhard Mucha’s sprawling and jaw-dropping work group FRANKFURTER BLOCK in the gallery’s main hall (the work itself covers decades; it’s dated 1981–2014). Also at Sprüth Magers was Philip Lorca DiCorcia’s seminal photography series Hustlers, a haunting set of portraits of male prostitutes taken in Los Angeles in the 1990s.


Installation shot from Georges Adéagbo, "Les artists et l'écrtiture"...! at Wien Lukatsch.

Okay, with 50 participating galleries, plenty of new art was on view as well: notable were Liam Gillick’s excellent but oh-so-cold show at Esther Schipper; a perfect install of Adam McEwan sculptures on Capitain Petzel’s ground floor, a funky 20-year anniversary group show at Galerie Neu’s new space in former housing project heating block, then there’s David Claerbout’s meditative films at Johnen Galerie, Pae White at Neugerriemschneider, and Chris Martin’s psychedelic paintings at KOW. But the presence of so much history made me wonder whether some galleries were playing it safe, or hoping for higher prices with established positions on this flushest of Berlin sales weekends. There were moments in which I felt like I was moving between Art Basel’s main hall ground floor (modernist art by lots of dead artists) and upper level (contemporary work whose paint might still be drying).

Claire Fontaine, Arbeit Macht Kapital (K font), 2004, Galerie Neu

A pleasant surprise on a rainy Friday morning was an odd mashup of local and global sensibilities: At Wien Lukatsch, Berlin-based Benin-born artist Georges Adéagbo shows vitrines and full-room collages that are explosions of associations consisting of writings, musings, photocopies, and everyday objects (many of them from Africa, others from Berlin’s GDR era). Initially seeming way too kitschy, these assemblages and their associations suck the viewer into the artist’s complex world, which mixes high culture and low, north and south, east and west.

Gallery Weekend's Michael Neff (who runs GWB VIP program), Maike Cruse (GWB CEO, former communications director at Art Basel) and Nicolas de Quatrebarbes (Managing Director of Audemars Piguet Germany) giving dinner speeches at Tempelhof airport's museum plane.

Speaking of east and west, the Saturday night gala dinner for 1,000 people in the vast departures hall of the decommissioned Tempelhof airport — a Third Reich edifice still used for events, and guests were invited to walk into a vintage plane (one of the “raisin bombers” from the Berlin airlift) — was a fitting celebration for the past decade of gallery development here, at least for the galleries involved (which pay around 8,000 euros to cover the costs for fancy dinners and cocktails and overall organization).

"20 Years Galerie Neu" at Neu's new venue, here, Karl Holmqvist's Untitled (2012) elephant dung, Cosima von Bonin's THE MK2 FORMULA (ART & IDEAS + SMOKE (CVB & MICHEL WÜRTHLE), 2010- 2014, and Jana Euler's Untitled 2, 2014, on wall.

One bone of contention in the scene has always been that participating in Gallery Weekend Berlin is by invitation only, and if you’re not invited, well, you’re out. Berlin as a city has changed dramatically in the last decade; its art world has both matured (it’s interesting to see how artistic positions shift in ten years, and these days no one seems to mind the black Beamers shuttling visitors, which so irked us in the mid-2000s), and, obviously, fragmented into sometimes disparate subscenes.

But where to now (besides hitting the shows I missed but still want to see, like Jessica Jackson Hutchins at Johann König)? Berlin’s layers of history are starting to include the recent past — Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit’s now-tired statement “poor but sexy” is, after all, a decade old as well. Walking around Gallery Weekend this time, I couldn’t help asking myself — what comes after poor but sexy?

Gallery Weekend Berlin took place May 2–4 throughout Berlin, but many of the shows continue past the weekend event. Please check with the galleries for exhibition closing dates.


by Astrid Mania

May 5, 2014

Gallery Weekend Berlin

VARIOUS LOCATIONSBerlinMay 2–4, 2014

Klaus vom Bruch (b. 1952) is something like this Gallery Weekend’s wicked fairy godmother. Even though he and his gallery SASSA TRÜLZSCH were rightfully invited to participate in the event’s tenth anniversary, vom Bruch’s “In the Future …” series (2008–14) casts some rather sardonic prophesies upon the (art) world. In this utopia/dystopia, prospects are pretty grim for everyone. But after a tour around the galleries, you really hope he’s wrong, especially when he posits: “In the future art dealers will be very lonesome.” As in Berlin, it is still the dealers that dig out the treasures of recent art history and stage positions that you don’t see (enough of) in public institutions.

Just take the wonderful Zofia Kulik (b. 1947). ŻAK | BRANICKA made photographic prints from her 1970/71 diploma work, which were originally 35mm slides. Demonstrating the artist’s early and rigorous turn towards an art that takes the body as its material and starting point, this exhibition titled “Instead of Sculpture – Sequences 1968–71” features work made at a time when her native country of Poland was still under communist rule, and so was the art. Or Geta Brătescu (b. 1926) at Galerie Barbara Weiss who, under the rigid Ceaușescu regime in Romania, also resorted to the intimacy of the body and the mundane; however, her paintings and drawings unleash the forces of many a mythological creature at the same time. Sadly, and just as predictably, the works of these two significant figures are among the very few established, female artists on display at the height of Berlin’s gallery season this year, reflecting the art market’s unfortunate status quo.

Thankfully, there was also American artist Lutz Bacher at Galerie Buchholz, whose work looked a bit like a softer Cady Noland, with her assertion of an aggressively male, Go-West-mentality. Bacher’s crude “Bison” sculptures (2012), her “Homer” series (2013) of Greek soldiers off-duty, and “Yamaha” (2010–12), uncannily automated organ music, coalesced into an almost psychoanalytical simulacrum of male behavior—without resorting to a word of Freudian language.

Still, Julian Beck’s drawings and paintings dating to the period 1944–58 at Supportico Lopez were another Gallery Weekend gem. Beck (1925–1985), mostly known for co-birthing New York’s The Living Theatre in 1947, evidently also had a healthy practice in the visual arts. His rather intimately-scaled, and often vibrant and colorful works are clearly infused by Tachism, but, owing to their clothesline-style presentation, look little more dated than last year. ARRATIA BEER, in contrast, introduced the ascetic work of the late Friedrich Teepe (1929–2012) from Osnabrück, an art world hermit who based his sober and serene work from the 1970s and 80s on stretching, folding, and shaping canvases.

This was no doubt the Gallery Weekend of contemporary art’s parents or even grandparents, and it was hard not to feel nostalgic about the urgency or intransigency that characterizes so many of these works. And some of these qualities seemed to have rubbed off on the gallerists as well. While in recent years, resorting to the old boys’ club (albeit always including one or two exceptional women) often looked little more than playing it safe, exhibitions this year seemed a lot more spirited. There was even the odd presentation of video works, which require—as demonstrated by any art fair or market survey—a bit of faith and bravery. But with a classic like American site-specific artist Gordon Matta-Clark (1942–1978), you really can’t go wrong. Galerie Thomas Schulte’s presentation of the 1970s Matta-Clark films, which document his incisive interventions within the urban space and structure, was both an homage to the artist and something like an overview of his work. With Peruvian artist Antonio Paucar, who  lives in Berlin, and Belgian artist David Claerbout, Galerie Barbara Thumm and Johnen Galerie ventured, respectively, into more recent work of performance-based or hypno-narrative video art. Carlier|gebauer even risked a themed group show—“Memory Palaces”—a rarity by Gallery Weekend standards, and Galerie Wien Lukatsch had their premises turned into the geo-eclectic worlds of Beninese sculptor Georges Adéagbo (b. 1942), who, though internationally renowned, is not a Berlin household name.

Having said all that, it didn’t feel as if painting ruled, and there was very little that would have fallen into the “over-the-sofa” category. You certainly wouldn’t attach the label “flatware” to Berlin-based Dominik Sittig’s heavy builds with their scabbed and chapped surfaces at Galerie Nagel Draxler or to Brooklyn-based Chris Martin’s glittering collages and hallucinogenic reflections on pop (music) and American abstract art at KOW. And then there was grandmaster Philip Guston (1913–1980), as featured by Aurel Scheibler, who offset Guston’s chewing-gum palette with two darker, somber canvases, The Light (1960) and Winter II (1961). It surely was also the manageable, nearly intimate size of presentations like Guston’s that—compared to many size-matters museum and certainly size-matters-even-more dealer shows—added to the allure and accessibility of these artists, making you feel more like you’re welcomed by family than greeted by imposing ancestors.

So, what were the youngsters up to? Doing what kids do…  playing with their gadgets. New York-based artist Hugh Scott-Douglas, for instance, worked around the software that prevents most scanners from reading and digitizing bank notes. He found that many a bill is, when in use, imprinted with mysterious signs or stamps that semiotics simply can’t grasp. (In somewhat shadier economies, they might also function as an ad-hoc communication system. But this is only a guess.) These marks, however, override the anti-scanning software and now form the seemingly abstract, ornamental patterns of Scott-Douglas’s large-format “Chopped Bills” prints (2013) at Croy Nielsen. At Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Katja Novitskova—a participant in the (in)famous “Speculations on Anonymous Materials” exhibition at Kassel’s Fridericianum who currently lives in Amsterdam—takes a similar “Blow Up”-style approach. She looks at the cognitive patterns that rule perception, whether that of humans or intelligent machines. Her exhibition starts with the conspiracy theories that evolve around NASA’s Mars images, which some people tend to over-scrutinize. Yet, instead of analyzing or deconstructing the mechanisms that feed these fantasies, Novitskova adds to the confusion by inhabiting Pattern of Activation (on Mars)(2014), a live video projection of a Martian landscape, with unexpected life forms. (She, in fact, set it up herself in an in-house photography studio, but the viewer has no indication of this.) And at WENTRUP, Florian Meisenberg covers the walls with Photoshop’s transparency grid, which becomes the surface for “Somewhere sideways, down, at an angle, but very close {about:blank}” (2014), his series of raw canvases with sparse, but thick and oily painterly elements. They serve as a backdrop for his smartphone-format screens with videos likeWembley, farewell my Concubine (2013) of (computer) surfaces.


It’s not at all as if the so-called post-internet generation would make the work of the older artists look like bores. Rather, we could imagine that this data-processing-like take on the world might satiate the lingering appetite for the raw and analog, almost DIY approach of a generation that still knows the materiality of 35mm slides and celluloid. This Gallery Weekend certainly had a strong, back-to-the-roots feeling, a longing for the familiar, and the economically sound. And while the attendant social events are under pressure to top last year’s locations (and, admittedly, they do), most galleries were content with their own premises—with the exception of Isabella Bortolozzi. This is a gallerist who simply has a knack for finding the more unusual spaces. She spread her generation-spanning shows across multiple venues (some temporary and semi-public), with Pierre Klossowski’s “Catholic-homoerotic” exorcisms in a picturesquely dilapidated apartment upstairs on Bülowstraße, Seth Price’s conceptual paintings downstairs in a corner-shop-pharmacy-turned-art-paradise (EDEN EDEN), and Wu Tsang’s intense video installation A day in the life of bliss (2014), featuring performer boychild at her gallery’s permanent space on Schöneberger Ufer. So, all in all, this was a very adult celebration of Gallery Weekend’s anniversary, but art world years surely don’t convert to human years.


Astrid Mania is a critic based in Berlin.

Klaus vom Bruch, In the Future Art Dealers will be Very Lonesome, 2014.

1Klaus vom Bruch, In the Future Art Dealers will be Very Lonesome, 2014.

View of Zofia Kulik, “Instead of Sculpture – Sequences 1968-71,” ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin, 2014.

2View of Zofia Kulik, “Instead of Sculpture – Sequences 1968-71,” ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin, 2014.

Geta Brătescu, The Gate, 1991.

3Geta Brătescu, The Gate, 1991.

Lutz Bacher, Homer, 2013.

4Lutz Bacher, Homer, 2013.

View of Julian Beck, “Now in Paradise – 1944/1958,” Supportico Lopez, Berlin, 2014.

5View of Julian Beck, “Now in Paradise – 1944/1958,” Supportico Lopez, Berlin, 2014.

View of Georges Adéagbo, "Les artistes et l'écriture ..!," Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin, 2014.

6View of Georges Adéagbo, “Les artistes et l’écriture ..!,” Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin, 2014.

Philip Guston, Untitled, 1979.

7Philip Guston, Untitled, 1979.

View of Hugh Scott-Douglas, “eyes without a face,” Croy Nielsen, Berlin, 2014.

8View of Hugh Scott-Douglas, “eyes without a face,” Croy Nielsen, Berlin, 2014.

View of Katja Novitskova, “Spirit, Curiosity and Opportunity,” Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, 2014.

9View of Katja Novitskova, “Spirit, Curiosity and Opportunity,” Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, 2014.

View of Florian Meisenberg, "Somewhere sideways, down, at an angle, but very close," WENTRUP, Berlin, 2014.

10View of Florian Meisenberg, “Somewhere sideways, down, at an angle, but very close,” WENTRUP, Berlin, 2014.

View of Seth Price, EDEN EDEN, Berlin, 2014.

11View of Seth Price, EDEN EDEN, Berlin, 2014.

View of Wu Tsang, “A day in the life of bliss,” Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, 2014.

12View of Wu Tsang, “A day in the life of bliss,” Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, 2014.

  • 1Klaus vom Bruch, In the Future Art Dealers will be Very Lonesome, 2014. Archival inkjet print on satin paper, 111 x 137 cm. Image courtesy of SASSA TRÜLZSCH, Berlin.
  • 2View of Zofia Kulik, “Instead of Sculpture – Sequences 1968-71,” ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin, 2014. Image courtesy of ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin.
  • 3Geta Brătescu, The Gate, 1991. Collage and tempera on paper, 157 x 180 x 4 cm. Image courtesy of Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin.
  • 4Lutz Bacher, Homer, 2013. Black-and-white photograph from a series of 45, 20.32 x 25.4 cm. Image courtesy of Galerie Buchholz, Berlin and Cologne.
  • 5View of Julian Beck, “Now in Paradise – 1944/1958,” Supportico Lopez, Berlin, 2014. Image courtesy of Supportico Lopez, Berlin.
  • 6View of Georges Adéagbo, “Les artistes et l’écriture ..!,” Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin, 2014. Image courtesy of Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin. Photo by Nick Ash.
  • 7Philip Guston, Untitled, 1979. Oil on canvas, 121.9 x 106.6 cm. Image courtesy of Aurel Scheibler, Berlin. © the Estate of Philip Guston.
  • 8View of Hugh Scott-Douglas, “eyes without a face,” Croy Nielsen, Berlin, 2014. Image courtesy of Croy Nielsen, Berlin. Photo by Joachim Schulz.
  • 9View of Katja Novitskova, “Spirit, Curiosity and Opportunity,” Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, 2014. Image courtesy of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
  • 10View of Florian Meisenberg, “Somewhere sideways, down, at an angle, but very close,” WENTRUP, Berlin, 2014. Image courtesy of WENTRUP, Berlin.
  • 11View of Seth Price, EDEN EDEN, Berlin, 2014. Image courtesy of the Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin. Photo by Nick Ash.
  • 12View of Wu Tsang, “A day in the life of bliss,” Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, 2014. Image courtesy of Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin. Photo by Nick Ash.

Berlin Gallery Weekend 2014

The Berlin Gallery Weekend has reason to celebrate: 2014 marks its tenth anniversary and the selected gallery tour is luring the audience with shows by 50 participating galleries dispersed throughout the city.

Unsurprisingly, it’s difficult to strike resembling curatorial choices in the participating parties in a weekend that is built around attracting buyers, dealers and collectors to the city, wooing them with dinners and lavish parties, and providing the general audience with an overload of book launches, performances and talks about collecting and the art market. However, two things stood out: A more research-based and historical approach and a clear interest in painting.

In line of the former, Blain|Southern presents “the largest ever international survey” of English artist and sculptor Lynn Chadwick. With a heavy focus on his bronze sculptures tilting back and forth between the figurative and the abstract, the show explores a 50-year career in a triptych of exhibitions in Berlin, London and New York.

Installation view: Lynn Chadwick at Blain Southern

Another retrospective – though it concerns a contemporary artist – is found at Helga Maria Klosterfelde who chose to display all of German artist Christian Jankowski’s editions, dating back to 1992 marking the beginning of his career. A multi-media installation of records, photos, prints, and a guitar shaped CD player titled And your bird can sing (2008) in the front room leave it up to the viewer to mark discrepancies and overlaps in his work. To further engage and activate the audience, video editions such as Die Jagd (1992) and Mein Leben als Taube (1996) can be viewed upon request in the back room.

Installation view: Christian Jankowski “Wasser, Käse, Feuer” at Helga Maria Klosterfelde

Tanya Leighton‘s space highlights the creative collaboration and first ever showing alongside each other of the post-war Swiss artist and design couple Robert and Trix Haussmann.

Installation view: Friedrich Kuhn and Robert and Trix Haussmann at Tanya Leighton

Robert and Trix Haussmann, ‘Lehrstück’, 1987/2014

A brave choice and valuable effort by guest curator Eva Wilson, can be found at Arratia, Beer that engages in the work of fairly unknown German artist Friedrich Teepe, who passed away in 2012. Here, the discipline of painting is put to the test; Teepe experiments with the canvas as a starting point for spatial and sculptural forms by folding, cutting and sewing fabric over the stretcher focusing on corporality of both the work and the body that consumes it.

Installation view: Friedrich Teepe at Arratia, Beer

Björn Dahlem, Orbits of High Velocity Stars at Guido W. Baudach

It is no news that the search for unexplored processes in and around the painterly form continues and that painted abstraction has become a new focal point. Both Sommer & Kohl and Supportico Lopez located next to each other dab into this, the latter (again) from a more historical standpoint of paintings created between 1944 and 1958 by Julian Beck who headed The Living Theater, a collective of artists and film-makers, and the former with large scale canvasses by contemporary Swedish artist Andreas Eriksson.

Andreas Eriksson, Untitled, 2013

Installation view: Julian Beck “Now in Paradise” at Supportico Lopez

Julian Beck at Supportico Lopez

His patchwork paintings composed of dark greens and different shades of brown are no landscape paintings, yet that is exactly what they evoke. In stark contrast with Eriksson’s blurred lines are the meticulous ink and gouache drawings by Moroccan/French artist Achraf Touloub for whom Plan B has organized his first ever solo show. When viewing from a distance, the delicate lines are barely noticeable, but when approaching the work it bombards you with shapes and figures seemingly growing out of the paper in front of your very eyes.

Achraf Touloub, Converted Memory (2014) at Plan B

Achraf Touloub, Untitled (Landscape Stream), 2014

Apart from galleries, many art locals open up their private spaces, gardens and courtyards to offer new ways of engaging the audience in the event. However, the Potsdamerstrasse and it’s immediate surroundings are becoming more dense with gallery space and keep proving to be the expanding hub of Berlin’s gallery scene.

Gallery Weekend Berlin
May 2 – 4, 2014




David Claerbout at Johnen


Gallery Weekend Berlin 2014 0

Jurriaan Benschop

Gallery Weekend Berlin, May 2-4, 2014, most shows remain open into June

Fifty galleries joined forces for the 10th edition of the Berlin Gallery Weekend and opened new exhibitions on Friday night to stay open all weekend. As a consequence all art institutions in Berlin opened doors to profit from the extra traffic in town. A tour through this year’s edition proves that the gallery weekend is a success and Berlin can stop lamenting that it lost it’s art fair, since it doesn’t need one anymore. There are good shows, there are all kinds of events and there are visitors. Instead of walking through an art supermarket, the gallery weekend offers the chance to see real exhibitions, with the specifics of the gallery space involved and also the city becomes part of the experience, while moving through Berlins different neigborhoods.

Philip Guston at Aurel Scheibler

The most dense gallery area is currently the Potsdamer Strasse where several galleries reshaped the buildings of Tagesspiegel newspaper and others moved into stylish residential apartments around the corner at Schöneberger Ufer. The highlight of this year’s gallery weekend can be found here: Philip Guston at Aurel Scheibler gallery. The heart of the show are 7 paintings and 3 drawings that are considered to be late works by the artist. There is a drawing with pointed hoods, like the Ku Klux Klan wears them. As in a lot of Gustons work, scary things look funny. The artist moved in his painting between abstraction and an existential, cartoon like figuration and made clear that all these things, unlike some people thought, go well together in one person. Initially the response to his late work was hostile, but meanwhile Guston has gained the status of a painter’s painter – an example to be studied.

Björn Dahlem at Guido Baudach

At Guido Baudach gallery Björn Dahlem has build a structure of an ongoing wooden lat curving through the space, going around columns, with a bouquet of lamps at both ends. The artist researched for this sculpture high velocity stars. He has an interest in things that cannot be really observed or grasped, since they are too small, like an atom, or too big, like a galaxy. But as an artist he can approach and picture them, a bit like scientists do, through models.

Andreas Eriksson at Sommer and Kohl

Sommer and Kohl shows the work of Swedish painter Andreas Eriksson who paints from natural motives close at hand slow and well considered formations of colour. The two very large size works seems to be the trophies here, they could be called abstract trees.

Friedrich Teepe at Arratia Beer

Arratia Beer shows the work of a German artist that passed away in 2012, Friedrich Teepe. For him the way to relate to painting was to change the shape of the canvas, and make “spatial paintings” out of them.

Isaac Julien at Sammlung Wemhöner

A nice surprise in the side programs was an artist talk with Isaac Julien in the temporary showroom of the collector Wemhöner, in the Osram Höfe in Wedding. The London based artist commented on his latest work ‘Playtime’ and his interest in the speed of life, as it is defining our days, for instance in split second stock market trade. His movie developed against the background of the bank crisis in 2008 and touches on the way the financial system shapes the lives of people and can imprison them or make lonely.

Francois Morrelet at Jordan / Seydoux

In the Augustrasse Jordan/Seydoux shows limited editions by François Morellet, some departing from the irrational number π. The artist engages in playful systematics that define the composition of a work, such as ’16 huitièmes de cercle au hasard’, from 2008.

David Claerbout at Johnen

David Claerbout shows three new works at Johnen Galerie in Berlin Mitte. His movie ‘Travels’ is made on basis of therapeutic music by Eric Breton, meant to relieve stress. Claerbout created his visual response to this music in a movie that develops as a walk into the forest. It’s an artificial and ‘too real’ looking forest. To view this movie he created a kind of relax room, where you can sit and lay down on pillows. All works in the show slow down the pace of every day life. They require a kind of synchronisation in looking at them, and they also irritate because of that; there are people leaving the movie. After seeing the work though, and once outside the gallery, it strikes how quiet the street in the heart of Berlin is on a Saturday afternoon. The main sound is a bird song. To notice this may well be an effect of Claerbout’s work.



The New Los Angeles (2011;2012; 2013; 2014)

The Cedd Moses award winning bar, The Varnish, at the back of Coles, a restored century old formerly run down restaurant. We enjoyed a great hot pastrami sandwich at Coles just after it opened. The Varnish was recently named best bar in America.



11 Key Restaurant Openings In Los Angeles

Feb 4, 2014 12:00 pm

Sandwiches, super omakase and the Egg Slut indoors

By Joshua Luriestatic
The busy dining room at Josef Centeno's new tasting menu only restaurant Orsa & Winston.
The busy dining room at Josef Centeno’s new tasting menu only restaurant Orsa & Winston.

The last four months have been a boom time for the Los Angeles dining scene. The culinary wealth extends from LAX to downtown and hits appear at all price points, from  breakfast sandwiches to a “super omakase” at an exclusive chef’s counter. We’ve done our homework. As in, eaten some serious meals. And with that here are 11 of the most promising openings from the past four months in L.A. County.

Orsa & Winston
Chef Josef Centeno, a well-known grinder who seems most comfortable in the kitchen, steps into the spotlight at Orsa & Winston, which features a refined combination of Italian and Japanese cuisines and a more open design that keeps the main man front and center. The menu changes daily and gets as ambitious as diners will allow, from a four-course family-style menu that costs $50 per person to seats to a “super omakase” meal at the chef’s counter. The menu is highly seasonal, but you might catch dishes like koshihikari rice with uni and Pecorino cream or pork loin with chicken liver mousse and huckleberries. Centeno already captured the attention of Angelenos with Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá in the Old Bank District, and Orsa & Winston is likely to keep it. 122 West 4th Street, Downtown, 213-687-0300,

The Factory Kitchen
This concrete and steel showpiece in the downtown L.A. Arts District features flashes of color from reclaimed wood tables and fire red chairs. Matteo Ferdinandi is running the front of the house while longtime Valentino chef Angelo Auriana is at the stove at this Italian-to-the-core restaurant. House-made pastas have been early hits, including marjoram-speckled corzetti stampati with veal and tomato sauce. Really though, plenty of people would visit just for the focaccia calda di recco al formaggio, thin focaccia stuffed with crescenza cheese and dressed with arugula and Ligurian olive oil. 1300 Factory Place, Downtown, 213-996-6000,


The Egg Daddy sandwich includes an all-beef patty and cheddar with a fried egg on a brioche bun.

Egg Slut
Chef Alvin Cailin and co-owner Jeff Vales generated plenty of interest by serving refined egg dishes from a truck. Now they’re running an open-air counter in downtown’s increasingly epic Grand Central Market. Sure, they’re still serving breakfast options like coddled eggs with bacon-braised cannellini beans and crostini. Also, The Fairfax — a sandwich with scrambled eggs, onions, cheddar and Sriracha mayo on house-baked brioche. But the duo’s also added steak and eggs served with crispy potato pave; egg salad tossed with honey mustard aioli and served with arugula on Texas toast. There’s even talk of a burger with coffee bacon jam…of course topped with a fried egg. Wonder if Burger Coffee Bacon Slut is going too far? 317 Broadway, Downtown,

L.A. Chapter
Sadly, Ace Hotel founder Alex Calderwood didn’t live to see the opening of L.A.’s Ace Hotel, which has inspired triumphant praise since reviving the United Artists building on the south end of downtown’s historic Broadway Theater District. On the ground floor, chef Ken Addington and business partner Jud Mongell of Brooklyn’s Five Leaves have opened L.A. Chapter, a two-tiered restaurant that features checkerboard tile floors, copper tables and serves three seasonal meals daily. Yes, they’ve imported the Five Leaves Burger, which hosts grilled pineapple, pickled betters, egg, harissa mayo and Lindy & Grundy beef. 929 South Broadway, 213-623-3233,

LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal
A long LAX layover is no longer dreaded thanks to the influx of new dining options at the retooled Tom Bradley International Terminal. The multi-tiered deck in the Villaraigosa Pavilion food court, named for L.A.’s previous mayor, now houses chef-driven restaurants like Border Grill (modern Mexican from Mary Susan Milliken and Susan Feniger), Larder at Tavern (seasonal sandwiches and salads from Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne), and ink.sack (Michael Voltaggio’s reimagined sandwiches). Fast casual options include 800 Degrees (wood-fired pizza) and Umami Burger. Petrossian’s caviar emporium adds a luxe touch, and Vanilla Bake Shop delivers a sweet finish.

Din Tai Fung
Persuasive developer Rick Caruso convinced Frank Yang to expand his family’s Taipei legacy at The Americana at Brand, a 15 1/2 acre mixed-used development in downtown Glendale. Din Tai Fung already dominates the doughy San Gabriel Valley arms race with weekend-only soup dumplings, pan-fried rice cakes, airy steamed buns and more. So it was good news when this location opened closer to downtown. In Glendale, Yang’s upped Din Tai Fung’s game with juicy pork dumplings studded with shaved Italian truffles, potstickers and a full bar. Poon Design has also cranked up the ambiance, including towering wooden doors, overhead wood slats, jumbo box chandeliers and an exhibition kitchen fronted by rings that resemble dumpling steamers. Thankfully, DTF kept playful touches like a cartoon dumpling character, which greets diners at the reception desk. 177 Caruso Avenue, Glendale, 818-551-5561,


République already boasts one of the city’s finest selections of fresh morning breads and pastries.

Classically trained powerhouse Walter Manzke and talented chef/wife Margarita joined forces with restaurateur Bill Chait to replace famed Campanile with a multi-faceted restaurant and bakery. The airy space features a counter up front, which hosts pastries by day and oysters by night. High-top tables and detailed tile work give way to an open kitchen, communal tables and high ceilings. In terms of the menu, the well-traveled couple’s culinary offerings are by no means limited to France. République is already one of the best L.A. places to find morning pastries, seasonal salads, oak-cooked meats and inventive dishes like ramekins of escargots with puff pastry and garlic butter; or beignets with porcini mushrooms and Parmesan. Margarita Manzke’s desserts include stupendous panna cottas, tarts and bombolini. A seasonal bar program from Erik Lund and a varied wine list from beverage director Taylor Parsons rounds it all out. 624 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, 310-362-6115,

Mud Hen Tavern
Susan Feniger of Top Chef Masters, Food Network and Border Grill fame, joined chef/partner Kajsa Alger in flipping STREET into an everyday neighborhood hangout. The space now features an inviting patio, a more welcoming bar with high-top tables, comfortable booths, craft beer and cocktails. The menu still embraces global influences, including multi-textured tuna ceviche, and Greek-inspired lamb meatballs anchored in tangy tzatziki, though Mud Hen does feature a Cheeseburger with Lindy & Grundy grass-fed beef. After all, the name evokes Feniger’s childhood in Toledo, home of the Mud Hens minor league baseball team, so some things are all-American comfort. 742 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, 323-203-0500,

Scopa Italian Roots
A culinary wave is washing over the Westside, starting with Venice, and now extending to Marina del Rey. One chef riding the crest is Antonia Lofaso, who teamed with Black Market partners Mario Guddemi and Salvatore Aurora and bartenders Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix on Scopa, who draw on the chef’s Italian roots. The glass-fronted space features brick walls, communal wood tables, and a backlit bar. Of course the bar is clearly visible, since Livigni/Moix are one of the most accomplished bartending duos on the West Coast. Lofaso’s sprawling menu can get pretty inspired at places, whether it’s a stuffed shells flavor bombed with duck sausage, ricotta and tomato sauce. There’s also rigatoni with oxtail and bitter dandelion greens, as well as a seared T-Bone served with salsa verde. For dessert, request Livigni’s favorite Amaretto, which drinks like a liquid cookie. 2905 West Washington Boulevard, Marina del Rey, 310-821-1100,


Floral custom tile flooring and communal tables are part of the dining room at East Borough.

East Borough
Chloe Tran & John Cao have opened an upgraded “Fraîche Vietnamese” restaurant in Culver City with restaurateur Paul Hibler and chef Jason Neroni, partners in the American Gonzo Food Corporation culinary incubator. This builds on the success of Tran and Cao’s more casual and small Camp in Costa Mesa. Sandwiches and salads are featured at lunch, and more ambitious fare is available at dinner, including head-on blue shrimp with tart pomelo in a funky crab paste butter bath. Neroni, also the chef at Venice’s Superba Snack Bar, has finally brought phocatini to Los Angeles, al dente pasta dotted with fresh herbs, oxtail, hoisin, sambal and onion. A large format pork shank slow cooked with Vietnamese spices and served with Sriracha, butter lettuce and sliced pickles for wrapping. For dessert, think bittersweet Vietnamese coffee…budino. Tran, a longtime designer, built the space with floral custom tile flooring and communal tables. 9810 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, 310-596-8266,

Warren’s Blackboard
Until chef Warren Schwartz opens The Frontyard this spring in North Hollywood’s Beverly Garland Hotel, the accomplished chef (Saddle Peak Lodge, Westside Tavern) is operating a sort of food & drink workshop complete with blackboard menu at night. Popular early selections include popovers, based on grandma’s recipe, sliced open and layered with mushrooms, bacon and pencil-thin asparagus spears; a bone-in braised lamb shank with orange gremolata and house-made pappardelle. White Boy Fried Rice is stir-fried with Spam, broccoli, egg and sambal, just like Schwartz makes for family at home. 4222 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood, 818-255-7290,

Joshua Lurie is the L.A. based founder of Food GPS.



Downtown: The 11 New Bars You Need to Know About

Drinking downtown has never been better

Photograph courtesy of Bar Jackalope

Downtown L.A. has been getting more love than usual, not just from Angelenos but the rest of the nation. (Thanks, GQ and Bon Appetit!) And amazingly it continues to grow and develop. To think it all really started gaining momentum back in 2007 when Cedd Moses first opened Seven Grand. Cut to seven years later and we have a boom of new watering holes, underground and overlooking the city, to add to the mix of already successful bars, sealing the deal that DTLA is THE place to do an epic barhop. Either take the Metro in or book a room at one of the many hotels.

Bar Jackalope at Seven Grand: This new bar-within-a-bar, which opened in January, only accommodates 18 drinkers, emulating those intimate whiskey bars you find in Japan. In fact you can’t just saunter in from Seven Grand outside. Rather, you flick a light switch to get instructions on how to get in. Once in, enjoy the selection of 120 different whiskies, including rarities like Pappy and Balvenie Tun 1401 or the three classic whiskey cocktails. Ballers may choose to purchase a bottle of their own and store it in their very own whiskey locker at the bar.

City Tavern DTLA at Figat7th: This downtown outpost is, frankly, bigger and better than its Culver City sister what with more space, more taps and a thoughtful and extensive cocktail program created by Brent Falco and Cari Hah (both formerly of Cole’s Red Car Bar). Thanks to their cocktail menu, you’ll probably end up staying here from happy hour, when you can get a decent cocktail for $5 to $6, through dinner for a desserty Grown-Ass Milkshake, to close with a flight of Manhattans.

The Continental Club: From the folks who brought you The Room in Hollywood and The Association comes this basement bar which opened two weeks ago beneath Bar Ama. Meant to resemble the sort of gentlemen’s club you’d find in London it holds 300 stylish attired guests. Sip on fancy-pants cocktails like the Rolls-Royce or a “ferociously shaken” Sloe Gin Fizz.

Crane’s Downtown: The first of two new downtown bars with “Crane” in its name, this one is where Crane’s Hollywood Tavern moved and opened in November. Take the steps down til you come across a massive door leading into an old bank vault. Thankfully, it’s not a speakeasy, but rather a chill, upscale dive bar. Here you get no frills, just straight-forward drinking.

Honeycut at the O Hotel: True, this discotheque/craft cocktail bar opened in October of last year but it still bears mentioning. It’s where bartenders go to boogy down and lay back. With one room dedicated to a carefully crafted drink and the other a fun selection of cocktails on tap, you can’t go wrong.

Nest at WP24: Wolfgang Puck’s new 4,100-square-foot venue, which takes the place of the WP24 lounge on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, opened just this month. Stop by for a bar bite like tiny dumplings or a dinner of crispy black pepper pork belly but definitely stay to explore the 300-wine list. Or there are cocktails like the Bourbon Buddha with sage, Buffalo Trace, Aperol, lemon juice, and simple syrup, and the Bird of Paradise with 209 Gin, lemon juice, orange wedge, simple syrup, and club soda.

Peking Tavern: Rounding out the basement boozeries, this Chinese gastropub is located in the basement of NCT Lofts and boasts to be “Home of the Bai Jiu Cocktail.” For those unfamiliar with this pungent Chinese liquor, best tread lightly. Definitely an acquired taste but you can ease into it with their Peking Coffee, a mix of Bai Jiu, coffee and horchata liqueur. Or try out their Peking versions of an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan, both made with Peking bitters.

Tom’s Urban: Taking the place of ESPN Zone in L.A. Live and opening just this week, this gigantic two-level sports bar is the place to go if you want to catch the game, any game, on one of the 80 TV screens. For your immediate drinking needs, there are cocktails on draft by barman Joel Black (Comme Ca).

Upstairs Bar at the Ace Hotel: Everyone keeps talking about this gorgeously, romantic new poolside roof bar at the stunning Ace Hotel. It’s definitely THE place to take that special someone, aka the person you want to get it on with. Just make sure to come early to avoid the long line. The cocktails here are twists on tropical cocktails, showcasing aperitifs, gin and whiskey.

Wendell: Former Bukowski dive bar hang Craby Joe’s was made new again, openinglast October. Even though it’s sleek with its dark wood and long, polished bar, it’s still all about chill drinking for the neighborhoodies rather than the next big cocktail trend. Settle in and order up a tasty craft brew or a canned Schlitz while pondering the fact that you’re under the roof where U2 filmed that “Where the Streets Have No Name” video.

Wolf & Crane: This Little Tokyo bar, which opened in December, celebrates the Japanese trend of highball bars and features 10 different highballs, simple cocktails made with booze and soda. You’re in a hurry to get your drink on, then this is the place.



Restaurant News As 2014 Arrives, Downtowners Hunger for These New Restaurants

Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 5:00 am

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Foodies had plenty to chew on in Downtown Los Angeles in 2013, with a number of buzzed-about restaurant openings. It seemed that every time you threw a bread roll you hit a celebrity chef working on his or her own place in the Central City.

It appears that the momentum will continue in 2014. The new year is slated to feature fresh ventures from old faces, expansions of already popular L.A. joints, potential rising stars and everything else on the food spectrum.

In short, Downtown diners are already looking at a plethora of new eateries, even if some are still in the early planning stage. Here’s a look at some of the hottest restaurant arrivals slated for the coming year.

Lucky 57: Beau Laughlin has had plenty of success with West Hollywood gastropubs The Hudson and The Churchill. Now, he has set his sights on fine dining in the Arts District. Fifty Seven is scheduled to open at 712 S. Sante Fe Ave. — at the old Heinz loading dock, near Italian hotspot Bestia — in the first quarter of 2014. It will offer a unique conceit: The kitchen will feature a rotation of chefs from around the country who stop by, do their thing for a few months, then give way to the next big name. First up is David Nayfeld, a veteran of New York’s lauded Eleven Madison Park.

Market Madness: The Dec. 23 opening of DTLA Cheese at Grand Central Marketis just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the venue’s foodie revolution. Up next are three new eateries: Wexler’s Deli, Olio Pizza and Oyster Gourmet. The former comes from chef Micah Wexler and partner Michael Kassar (both from the shuttered Mezze in Beverly Grove) along with Pitfire Pizza co-owner David Sanfield. The restaurant is aiming for a February opening and will serve old-school deli classics such as house-made pastrami, corned beef and smoked salmon. Olio Pizzeria is an addition to chef/owner Bradford Kent’s restaurant of the same name in Beverly Grove, and will feature wood-fired pies and appetizers. Oyster Gourmet, meanwhile, is the brainchild of oyster expert Christophe Happillon. He has been wowing eaters with impeccable shellfish at pop-ups in several restaurants (including Downtown’s Perch) and farmers markets throughout Los Angeles.

Check, Please: It’s not every day that you eat a burger with ketchup “leather” and a kombu-infused revision of cheap American cheese. Then again, Plan Check isn’t your average restaurant. Come the spring, Downtowners will no longer have to trek to the Westside or Fairfax to get their hands on owner Terry Heller and chef Ernesto Uchimura’s inventive food. Instead, they’ll just head to 1111 Wilshire Blvd. in City West, where Plan Check’s third location will be on the ground floor of a recently opened apartment complex. Expect stellar burgers, beef-fat fries and smoky fried chicken.

Pub Love: Plan Check is not the only gastropub moving across town. Culver City favorite City Tavern will be opening in the FIGat7th shopping center by the end of January, joining a slew of new eateries; like neighbor Mendocino Farms, it will have its own large standalone spot near the mall’s bustling food court. This City Tavern will be twice as big as the original location, with enough space for a cocktail lounge and patio. The menu will feature comfort-food classics such as grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, along with new options, among them a selection of chilled seafood.

Flying High: From the we’ve-been-waiting-for-this-one-for-years corner, there’s Redbird. Chef Neal Fraser has long influenced the Southern California dining scene, both at his own restaurants (BLD and Grace, which shuttered in 2010) and at others through his consulting work. He’ll be returning to the kitchen at Redbird, which will open — at an unspecified date — in the rectory next to the old Vibiana cathedral. Fraser’s wife and business partner Amy Kroll took over management of the space last year and Fraser is partnering with Bill Chait (who helped open Bestia and Rivera, among others) on the venture. As for the food: “It will be as fine-dining as we can make it,” he told Zagat in April. “Not small plates, not a bistro, not a gastropub.”

Due (Middle) East: Bestia chef and co-owner Ori Menashe has made the Italian restaurant one of the toughest reservations in all of L.A., but he’s working on something decidedly different for his next project: He hopes to open a Middle Eastern restaurant, also in the Arts District, by the end of 2014. Though it might seem like an odd transition, the new joint will pay homage to his favorite comfort foods — Menashe was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Israel. Expect dishes with the rustic-but-modern aesthetic found at Bestia; Menashe has mentioned wood-fired tagines (stews), house-made pita breads and Middle Eastern-spiced charcuterie.



Top 5 Nightclubs in Los Angeles


Courtesy of AV
Courtesy of AV

Where are the hautest spots to party in the City of Angels? It’s a tough job, but we’ve done the digging for you. With great fanfare, we present our picks for the top five nightclubs in Los Angeles. Get ready to put on your dancing shoes!

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643 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (310) 652-2012

Greystone Manor Supperclub

Hollywood’s hottest stars come to party at Greystone Manor. Dinner service from sbe’s executive Chef Danny Elmaleh begins at 6 pm, but late night is when the club is at its best. The beautiful people come out to play and party in the old Hollywood-style venue, whose interior can best be described as neo-Renaissance meets neo-Gothic décor.glamour and decadence. Like the best of its peers, its door is tight. Unless you’re one of the Hollywood elite, get there early for a shot at glory. Booking a table for dinner or reserving bottle service should also do the trick if you’re not into an early bird special.
9229 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (310) 274-7500

Bootsy Bellows

Bootsy Bellows is the best new club to hit Hollywood in ages. Under the direction of owners David Arquette and John Terzian, the Sunset Strip spot is a mixture of vintage cool and complete whimsy. It’s nearly impossible to get in the door, but should you be one of the lucky few, you’ll be guaranteed to have the best time of your life.
8713 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048 (310) 274-7500

Hooray Henry’s principals John Terzian, Brian Toll and Markus Molinari have created a brand new British-themed club called Hooray Henry’s, and it’s a smashing good time. As conceived by John Sofio of BUILT Inc., Hooray Henry’s is like an aristocratic English manor with the modern touches only an Angeleno could enjoy. Dance the night away while imbibing hip Brit-themed cocktails like the bourbon-based “Royal Fashion” and gin-soaked “Oxford Lad.”
1645 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 871-8233

The Sayers Club

The Sayers Club has credibility because it’s so unassuming from the outside. Though it’s hidden behind a hot dog stand, don’t be fooled: this hot spot attracts some of the biggest names — and DJ’s — in Hollywood. The nightclub is bigger and better after undergoing a revamp in 2013; it took over an area that formerly housed Papya King and converted the space into a dark and masculine den of relaxation with pre-party snacks for pizza lovers courtesy of its new wood-burning oven. Haute!
1601 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (310) 334-9619

AV Nightclub

AV nightclub may be located inside the historic 1920′s Marion building, but trust us, its interior is completely modern. There are three platforms for go-go dancers, aerial rigging for theatrical performances and staging for dancing behind each table. If you think this sounds like a party you want to be at, you’re right.




Your Handy Guide to the 2014 LA Art Book Fair

;;; designed this LA Art Book Fair car freshener that smells citrusy fresh! (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic unless otherwise noted)

LOS ANGELES — Shannon Michael Cane knows he has big shoes to fill as the new director and curator of the highly anticipated second edition of the Los Angeles Art Book Fair (LAABF). “Taking over the fair from someone like [artist and curator] AA Bronson, who is a mentor to me, is a lot of pressure to see what you can do to improve it,” Cane told Hyperallergic.

Some of the 15,000 people that attended the 2013 LAABF. (image via Printed Matter)

A native of Australia, Cane has worked at Printed Matter in New York for the last six years after extensive experience as the independent publisher of They Shoot Homos Don’t They?, a cult classic zine that was part of the surge of queer zine making a decade ago. Cane was invited by AA Bronson back in 2007 to exhibit at one of the first New York Art Book Fairs (NYABF), and he found the experience exhilarating, as he was able to meet his zine and artist-book idols all in one place.

Cane is also a perfect spokesperson for the rise of a scene that is smart, diverse, and global. His enthusiasm for artist books and zines is obvious, and probably comes from his own experience of learning about the power of community through the page. ”I’m trying to keep what people love about the fairs that AA produced but slowly putting my spin on it,” he said.

Curator Shannon Michael Cane with Farra's mural inside MOCA's Geffen Center, where the LAABF is taking place.

While the New York incarnation of Printed Matter’s popular art book fair has continued to grow, attracting a whopping 27,000 visitors over three days in 2013, the Los Angeles fair is still coming into its own, even if it’s clear that Angelenos are hungry for the event (15,000 people attended last year). Roughly 650 applicants applied for the 260 spots available at the 2014 edition, and the publishers range from blue-chip galleries (including Gagosian) and antiquarian booksellers that have no websites or shops to the $150 zine booths that welcome exhibitors who would probably never have access to such a vast pool of potential readers in any other way.

A visitor to last year's LAABF peruses the colorful material. (via Printed Matter)

What binds all these diverse exhibitors and visitors together is a love of books — more specifically, artist books and zines, or as Cane characterizes it, “art for the page.” ”Art books are retaliation towards the gallery system,” he explained, adding that people who can’t get gallery shows have often turned to alternative outlets to communicate with an audience. “It was a reaction against the gallery system, as artists said ‘I want something I can give to people — an object but it’s not a catalogue of my work. It’s more than that.’”

But book sellers will not be the only draw this coming weekend, as the 2014 LAABF will also feature an exhibition of queer zines curated by Philip Aarons and AA Bronson, Fabulousity, an exhibition of ephemera and photographs by Alexis Dibiasio about 1980s and ’90s New York club kid culture, a conversation between LA-based artist Piero Golia and Andrew Berardini for the duration of the fair (presented by Gagosian, the entire dialogue will be transcribed in shorthand by a court stenographer), and so much more.

A view of the large MOCA Geffen Center during the 2013 LA Art Book Fair. The large warehouse space will also be the location of this year's LAABF. (via Printed Matter)

One of popular features of the NYABF that’s coming to LA is the Classroom, which has a full schedule of programming organized by David Senior, bibliographer of the Museum of Modern Art library.

“The Classroom has functioned at the NYABF as a change of pace to the bustle of fair. People can listen for an hour to someone read or an artist’s talk about their practice or a recent work. It also usually has a few zany performances to keep things fun and irreverent,” Senior told Hyperallergic.

“In LA, I’ve sort of followed the same idea. We created a pretty packed program with a lot of different artists and publishers, while also emphasizing the community of people that are out here working with this genre of artists’ publications. And this takes on a wide range — I am excited to hear Martine Syms read from her screenplay Most Days on Sunday, as well as Anna Sew Hoy in discussion with the writer Laurie Weeks. These are some highlights that feature individuals from the LA community.”

Hyperallergic will be reporting from the LAABF all weekend, but until then we’ve compiled a short list of some choice events to check out.

Thursday, January 30

6:30–7:30pm: Donelle Woolford kicks off the 2014 Whitney Biennial (yes, seems random) with a re-creation of Richard Pryor’s 1977 comedy routine from his short-lived TV show.

7–8pm: Artist Jack Pierson signs his latest book, Tomorrow’s Man, Lynn Valley 9, presented by Presentation House Gallery and Bywater Bros. Editions.

Friday, January 31

1–2pm — Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW) leads a casual conversation (which I guess means it is non-hierarchal) about the use of the word “feminism” and why people shy away from it.

4–5pm — Artist Laura Owens will be in conversation with Ooga Booga’s Wendy Yao about their recent book collaborations. Owens is one of those rare artists who has fully integrated artist books as an important part of her body of work.

Saturday, February 1

11am — Dynasty Handbag, the performance-arty-leotardation-comedy-psychic-meltdown-voiceover-stretchpants/antipants-lezbiananationalarmy vehicle of Jibz Cameron, will put on a show that is sure to raise questions about the role of art and comedy … and probably make you laugh out loud.

2–3pm — Psychologist Dr. Alan Castel will discuss his research on human memory and why we remember some things while choosing to forget others. Related to the release of Michael Schmelling’s Land Line from J&L Books, Castel will also discuss metamemory (our thoughts about our own memory) and its influence on memory.

3–4pm — Johan Kugelberg, an author/curator and proprietor of Boo-Hooray, will discuss the problems and possible solutions of archiving counter-culture narratives. Kugelberg has created university archives for Yale, Cornell, Oxford, and Columbia on punk, hip-hop, May 68, Living Theatre, Larry Clark, and Angus MacLise, among others. He is currently working on the Printed Matter archive.

Sunday, February 2

1–2pm — Martine Syms‘s “Most Days” is what what she calls a “Mundane Afrofuturist sound work” that will be released on vinyl next month. The piece by an artist who considers herself a “conceptual entrepreneur” looks at “what an average day looks like for a young black woman in 2050 Los Angeles.” She will be reading from her sci-fi anti-adventure.

1–3pm — Artists and special surprise guests will read from More Than You Wanted to Know About John Baldessari (eds. Meg Cranston and Hans Ulrich Obrist), a new two-volume publication from JRP | Ringier. This event requires an RSVP, which you can do here.

3–4pm — Aram Saroyan is most famous for his minimalist poem “lighght,” which caused NEA-related controversy back in the 1960s, and his four-legged “m” poem, which was cited by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s shortest poem. He will be launching the second edition of his Complete Minimal Poems, which collects his renowned works into one definitive volume. Saroyan will give a rare reading of these works at the LAABF.

Hyperallergic is a media sponsor of the LA Art Book Fair.



The Best New Restaurants In LA, According To The Pros (PHOTOS)

2012-08-16-Screenshot20120816at4.00.54PM.png  |  Posted: 09/10/2013 7:04 pm EDT  |  Updated: 09/10/2013 8:05 pm EDT

This story comes to us courtesy of Refinery29.

With new restaurants popping up everyday, deciding where to eat dinner in LA is no small feat. So, we’ve turned to the pros! Ahead, six influential local foodies give us the scoop on their favorite new restaurants, which tasty trends are getting them excited, and why Los Angeles is such an exciting place to be hungry right now. We hope you’ve got an appetite…

connie and teds

Who: Ellen Bennett, Founder, Heldley & Bennett Aprons

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“Connie & Ted’s is definitely my favorite restaurant! It looks like a giant boat parked in the middle of West Hollywood. The quality of the ingredients is at the level of Providence, but it’s way more casual.”

Food trend predictions:
“It seems like everyone is revolutionizing the typical ice cream!”

What’s most exciting about the LA food scene right now:
“The coolest thing about the LA food scene is how the farmers and their produce are becoming the stars.”

Connie & Ted’s, 8171 Santa Monica Boulevard (at Crescent Heights Boulevard); 323-848-CRAB.

tar and roses

Who: Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, Founders, Spoon Fork Bacon

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“Tar and Roses in Santa Monica! We’re both big fans of cheese and charcuterie, and this place definitely specializes in it. The space itself is cozy and the brick walls are a nice touch.”

What’s most exciting about the LA food scene right now:
“What makes the L.A. food scene so exciting right now — and always — is that it’s such a multiculturally influenced city that there are constantly new and different foods to try. It’s impossible to get bored with so many fun and unique options.”

Tar & Roses, 602 Santa Moinica Boulevard (at 6th Street); 310-587-0700.

moon juice

Who: Kat Odell, Star of Bravo’s “Eat Drink Love” and Editor of Eater LA

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“This is actually more of a shop/cafe, but I am over the moon for the new Moon Juice in Silver Lake. I love the celestial meets clean-hippy aesthetic and energy. The space is studded with crystals, there’s a refrigerated case up front with a rainbow of cold-pressed juices and nut milks in fun flavors like ‘tomato-watermelon’ and ‘pumpkin-seed ginger,’ and chef/owner Amanda Chantal Bacon is serving a sophisticated raw snack menu with the likes of strawberry geranium bars. I am by no meats a raw foodist — or even a vegetarian — but her healthful snacks are the kind even carnivores will appreciate.”

What’s your favorite current food trend:
“I have to say, as over-saturated as the ‘cronut’ trend is at the moment, I love me some fried dough! My favorite iteration has been from ConfeXion in Pasadena. It makes a serious brioughnut, which is glazed and topped with maple bacon.”

Moon Juice, 2839 Sunset Boulevard (at Silver Lake Boulevard); 213-908-5407.

bar ama

Who: Matthew Poley and Tara Maxey, Chefs/Owners, Heirloom LA

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“We love Chef Josef Centeno’s restaurants downtown, Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá. And, we can’t wait for his new place Orsa & Winston to open. His food is playful, but not experimental. It’s food you can eat everyday.”

What’s most exciting about the LA food scene right now:
“The fact that chefs are growing some of their own produce on their rooftops, in their parking lots, and even on their counters!”

Bar Ama, 118 West 4th Street (between Main and Spring streets); 213-687-8002.

the hart and the hunter

Who: Talamadge Lowe, Founder and Drinkist, Pharmacie LA

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“I love The Hart and The Hunter. Being from the South, I’m a sucker for fried-chicken skin and pimento cheese! And, even though it is a beautifully designed restaurant, it feels like a quiet little hole-in-the-wall discovery.”

What’s most exciting about the LA food scene right now:
“Two things: The availability of just about anything and everything from produce to sprits as well as the inclusive nature of the city’s bars and restaurants and caterers. It seems like everybody knows just about everybody. I love that!”

The Hart and The Hunter, 7950 Melrose Avenue (at Fairfax Avenue); 323-424-3055.


Who: Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg, Chefs/Owners, Spork Foods

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“Crossroads is our new fave. We love the space because it’s clean, modern, and elegant. It shows food lovers a mature side of vegan cuisine that Los Angeles hasn’t seen yet. The menu changes seasonally, which we enjoy!”

What’s your favorite current food trend:
“We are constantly inspired by DIY techniques, and have even experimented with making our own scorpion-pepper-infused vodka and home-made bourbon vanilla extract.”

Crossroads, 8284 Melrose Avenue (at Sweetzer Avenue); 323-782-9245.


Eat 5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away

By Jeff Miller

Los Angeles

  • Honeycut, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away
    Joey Maloney (Honeycut)

Nobody likes a know-it-all. Unless that know-it-all is providing valuable information about five new LA spots you most definitely want to check out. Everybody likes that guy… right? RIGHT?! Check out the newest deliciousness to open in LA so that YOU can be that likable know-it-all…

  • 643 North, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away
    Moretti Photo

    643 North
    Gastropubbing-up the normally traditional Downtown ‘hood, this new hops-packed grubbery is letting you lay a base with fennel sausage pizza and ossobuco ravioli before you move onto craft beer flights… that ironically make it far more difficult for you to lift off the ground.

  • Phillipe, Beverly Hills-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away

    Beverly Hills
    It’s ba-ack!! After closing its Mid-City location more than a year ago, the longtime power-meal Chinese resto’s back in Beverly Hills, serving up signature dishes like their Peking duck, pan-crispy salmon, and “nine seasons spicy prawns”, which’re delicious Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, and wait, what are the other five seasons? We didn’t pay attention in Earth Sciences.

  • Honeycut, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away
    Joey Maloney

    This collab between the 213 dudes (Las Perlas, 7 Grand, etc.) and the NY bros behind Death And Co. is a decidedly Manhattan-esque underground lair sporting pool tables, an extensive cocktail list, and a second room with bottled drinks and a light-up dance floor… so tread carefully if you’re epileptic.

  • Orsa and Winston, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right awayOrsa & Winston
    The Bar Ama and Baco Mercat guy’s at it again, this time with a small, fixed-menu-only joint named after his dogs (but not his dawgs, ’cause then it’d be called, like, Ted and Brent’s). The menu’s got some Asian influences with dishes like rice w/ uni & Pecorino cream.
  • Stumptown, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away

    You know how anyone you meet from Portland’s all like, “we have coffee that’s way better than anything you’ve got in LA”, and you’re like, “there’s no way that’s true”, and then they make you some Stumptown and you’re bashed over the head with caffeinated amazingness? Yeah. Now they have a store here.


The Best New LA Bars To Check Out This Fall/Winter

October 29, 2013 6:00 AM

Los Angeles is home to many bars, but finding the perfect watering hole to call your own is no easy challenge. Whether you’re looking to class it up with a view or just enjoy that classic SolCal vibe, we have a newly-opened bar that’s perfect for you. Be sure to check out our Fall E.S.P. Guide to guarantee a great night out on the town. By Rex Sakamoto

(Photo credit: Alen Lin)

(Photo credit: Alen Lin)

Pearl’s Liquor Bar
8909 West Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 360-6800

There’s nothing classier than a pearl, and this spot is nothing short of classy. A three-level, expansive slab of sophistication that’s straight out of the 1920’s, Pearl’s features a scenic front deck overlooking Sunset Strip and supreme handcrafted cocktails for which even Mr. Gatsby would travel to LA. Opened late summer. 8909 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA

(Photo credit: Alen Lin)

(Photo credit: Alen Lin)

6507 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 460-6667

After opening last September 2013, this plush cocktail lounge is already the hottest place to be on Sunset Boulevard. What used to be a dingy lingerie bar has been transformed into a swanky space adorned with comfy leather couches, circular chandeliers and photos of naked ladies. Yep, the high brick walls are covered in artsy full frontal nudes of women. So grab your friends and join the party.

(Photo credit: Las Palmas Furniture Warehouse)

(Photo credit: Las Palmas Furniture Warehouse)

Las Palmas Furniture Warehouse
1714 N. Las Palmas Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 464-0171

There’s always a party at this recently opened crazy neighborhood dive bar filled with remote controlled sumbarines, piñatas, glowing neon signs and Simpson posters. Imagine bashing a piñata, while sipping on a couple of beers. Pretty cool right? If you need to take a break from all the action, head out to the patio and enjoy a few mint juleps and Berry Manilows (blueberry vodka, soda, lime). With all the action, there’s never a down moment.

(Photo credit: Frank Ishman)

(Photo credit: Frank Ishman)

Dirty Laundry Bar
1725 Hudson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

From the men who brought you No Vacancy & Pour Vous, the Houston Brothers bring you the brand new Dirty Laundry Bar. During the prohibition it served as the personal speakeasy for silent film actor Rudolph Valentino. In order to preserve the speakeasy atmosphere, the 1,500 square foot space hosts an exposed brick ceiling, deconstructed light fixtures and black leather couches.


NYTimes T Magazine

Accommodations | A New Hotel in L.A. Celebrates its Koreatown Surroundings


October 21, 2013, 2:00 pm Comment

Clockwise from left: Chef Roy Choi at Pot; a guest room overlooking Koreatown; the hotel's sleek exterior.Photographs by Adrian GautClockwise from left: Chef Roy Choi at Pot; a guest room overlooking Koreatown; the hotel’s sleek exterior.

A stately yet unstuffy hotel injects style into the vibrant Los Angeles neighborhood.

In L.A.’s golden age, when streetcars clanged past urban orange groves and Carmen Miranda was Hollywood’s nod to ethnicity, the high life thrived on a stretch of Wilshire Boulevard near Vermont Avenue. Today, a generation after gang wars and riots sapped the life out of this district, it has re-emerged as the lively epicenter of the city’s Koreatown, bustling with restaurants, nightclubs and shops. The area has long been off the tourist map, but this is about to change with the opening of the Line in November.

The hotel’s creator, Andrew Zobler, is the man behind the Beaux-Arts-style NoMad Hotel in Manhattan and the cheap-chic Freehand Miami hostel. But the Line, designed by Sean Knibb, is something different for both Zobler and Los Angeles. Korean-American culture — or at least a high-end permutation of it — is the 388-room establishment’s organizing theme. ‘‘There is so much good stuff coming out of Korea today, and nobody has really captured that in a hotel,’’ Zobler says. Setting out to educate himself on Korean culture, he encountered the celebrated chef Roy Choi, who will preside over the hotel’s two restaurants: Pot, which serves a new take on hot-pot cuisine, and Commissary, a vegetarian eatery. The 24-hour thrum of the neighborhood inspired Zobler to make the hotel an all-hours social hub. There will be a late-night bakery, a newsstand that never closes and a nightclub that stays open until the wee hours, called Speek, created by the twin brothers Mark and Jonnie Houston, who grew up just four blocks from the hotel.

A version of this article appears in print on 11/03/2013, on page M256 of the NewYork edition with the headline: The Scene: Koreatown Cool.


Drink An editor’s guide to drinking around town

By Jeff Miller

Los Angeles

  • An editor's guide to drinking around town

Los Angeles has long been marketed as the birthplace of the Moscow Mule, so perhaps its fitting that there are hundreds of fantastic drinking establishments here willing to help you make an ass of yourself. Unfortunately, the urban sprawl means a self-guided crawl is a dicey situation, which is why local editor Jeff Miller is here with his picks for the top places to get your booze on.

Best Club: Clubland is fickle around here. By the time you’re reading this, it could already be closed, but I was impressed when I was recently at The Emerson Theater, a glittery, gilded room that feels sufficiently majestic to justify the wallet-emptying cost of bottle service.

Best for Work: The Montage in Beverly Hills has a slightly-hidden bar called Ten Pound directly above Scarpetta. You should make a reservation first, but, once you’re in, it feels like an old boys’ club: huge leather couches, a massive Scotch menu (they’re exclusively Macallan, with all the pricey, ancient, partner’s-expense-account-ready blends that entails), and a private patio for making discreet calls.

Best for Partying: Hollywood’s recently renovated Three Clubs is an old-school gem: a two-pronged bar with a classic-feeling LA lounge on one side, and a darkened dance floor room on the other where DJs push everything from oontz-tacular electronic jams to 90’s hip-hop. It’s a great place to party because it walks the line: you can dance your ass off with a cute girl, then actually seal the deal next door. Bonus: no (or very cheap) cover.

Best Drink: I’m a big fan of letting bartenders go nuts, and no one does it better than the guys at The Varnish, who — through their booze-addled haze — have somehow retained an encyclopedic knowledge of alcohol and how to mix it. The only problem is that it’s different every time, and after you’ve had a couple it can be hard to remember what you drank and which one was better than the last.

Best Cocktail Bar: The Houston Brothers — a pair of identical twins — kind of have this category on lock. La Descarga is a rum-centric Cuban speakeasy with a cigar lounge; Harvard & Stone‘s rear R&D room’s where barmen from all over the world head to get nuts; and Pour Vous has an extensive list of fresh, fruit-forward cocktails and, um, an actual train in the backyard, so they all tie for first, second, and third.

Best Beer Bar: Another tie! Both Blue Palms and The Surly Goat are manned by hops lovers who’ll talk to you for hours about the difference between an IPA and a double IPA, if you’ll let them. Bonus points to The Surly Goat, though, as last time I was there the TVs were screening Reservoir Dogs.

Best Wine Bar: Though their Hollywood location didn’t make it (R.I.P.), the Westside is still lucky to call Bodega their own. Knowledgeable staff, heavy pours, and inexpensive options make this longtime favorite a, uh, longtime favorite.

Best Local Beer: I recently visited Angel City‘s now-open-to-the-public Downtown brewery and tried their Eureka! Wit out of the tap. It’s simple, it’s refreshing, and it has unusual complexity. They can definitely count me as a fan.

Best Brewery: No question on this one: Golden Road keeps blasting out winner after winner (their 16oz cans of smooth-drinking Hefeweizen are my favorite part of seeing a band at the Bootleg), and they’ve created a mini bar empire as well, as the owners are also the behind Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, and Mohawk Bend in Silverlake.

Most Local Place (aka Where Locals Hang Out): Every single neighborhood in LA has at least one stellar dive where you can find 63-year-old wizened barflies and recent college grads discussing the best route for avoiding police checkpoints. The Drawing Room, Tom Bergin’s, The Backstage in Culver City, the Chimneysweep in the Valley — I could go on. But I won’t.

Best Place to Day Drink: I’m partial to the patio at El Coyote. They make a mean margarita, the tortilla chips and salsa duo never stop coming (insider tip: mix ‘em together!) and they’ve got the perfect combo of shade and sun. That said, if you want something more unique than Cuervo and marg mix, the back patio at Eveleigh has wood tables, foliage on the walls, an odd birdcage in the back, and housemade cocktails on par with anything you’d find at a more dedicated cocktail bar.

Best Jukebox: Koreatown’s HMS Bounty isn’t just one of the best nautically-themed dive bars in LA — it’s also the only nautically-themed dive bar in LA. And it has a sick jukebox. Sinatra? Check. Obscure punk rock? Check? THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK? Yep.

Best Outdoor Spot: On a sunny day, there’s nowhere I’d rather throw one or five back than Ray’s & Stark at LACMA. Their bar snacks — flatbreads, charcuterie, and more — are top-notch, their modern-artsy chairs are equal parts pretentious and lounge-y, the drinks are proper and strong, and their live jazz on Fridays is actually, like, bee-pop-a-bop good (as opposed to “wanka-blllepabap” unlistenable).

Hottest Girls: If I can jump to the conclusion that you like college girls (safe conclusion), then Happy Ending in Hollywood, The Lab at USC, and either location of Busby’s are sure bets for eye candy. If your tastes could be better described as “aspiring actresses”, The Churchill will do juuuuuust fine.

Easiest Place to Get Laid: Head West, for sure. The Basement Tavern in Santa Monica has a ventilation problem, which means that all the girls in there are shedding clothing and inhibitions nightly, and Venice’s well known cougar hangout James’ Beach is an in-at-1:15, in-and-out-and- well, you get the idea, by 2:15.


10 Great Los Angeles Bars With Truly Excellent Food

By Erin Lyall
Published Mon., Oct. 7 2013 at 7:00 AM

Erin Lyall
Deviled Eggs at Library Bar

There’s a thin red line — or perhaps a fuzzy purple one — between restaurants with good bar programs, and bars with good food. This is a list of the latter: The following are drinking establishments in which you don’t feel guilty pulling up a chair just to have a drink, but where the food is much better than it needs to be. These are the perfect places to head after work when you’re starving — to meet up with your friend who already

ate. No one’s going to look down their nose at you if you just order a glass of wine and pick at your friend’s fries.There are a gazillion bars in town that serve a good burger. But on this list you’ll find burgers and dogs and nachos — as well as salads, sushi, mole and charcuterie. It’s bar food, elevated. And there’s a nice bonus when you eat dinner in bars: Happy Hour. Many places will slash prices on booze and bites, potables and provisions, spirits and snacks. Keep reading for the best of the bunch. We know there are more bars in town than days in the year, so if we’ve missed your favorite, add it to the comments section!

Chris Jolly
The interior at El Carmen

10. El Carmen
El Carmen is a tequila bar serving stick-to-your-ribs Mexican fare. The tables are bar-sized; the lighting is dim-to-dark; and the menu, a thick little booklet of 16 pages, only dedicates two of those to food (the rest is the tequila list). But the guacamole is top-notch, the tamales are rich and creamy, and the tacos (particularly the pork taco) more than serviceable.During Happy Hour here (Monday thru Friday, 5-7 p.m.) eleven bucks will get you a freshly squeezed margarita and a platter of tacos with rice and beans. Plus, this place is just cool. There are Mexican wrestling masks on the ceiling and Mexican wrestler portraits on the walls and you have to walk through a velvet bordello curtain to get in. It’s fun. You want to be there. So go. 8138 W 3rd St., Los Angeles; (323) 852-1552.

Erin Lyall
Greek Nachos at Pour Haus

9. Pour Haus Wine Bar
Tucked into the Warehouse District, just beyond the bistro fare of Church & State, you’ll find an industrial little wine bar serving food that’s filling and flavorful and far better than you’d expect from their teeny little kitchen. During Happy Hour (4-7 p.m. daily) there are six food options for five bucks: bruschetta, oxtail tacos, white flatbread pizza topped with artichokes and olives, papitas bravas (roast baby potatoes with aioli), a grilled vegetable sandwich, and the insanely addictive Greek nachos.Crispy pita chips are topped with melted feta, roast eggplant, tomatoes, olives and a tangy tzatziki sauce; you’ll wonder why no one thought of these before. Pour Haus serves beer and wine, including generously poured $10 wine flights, and every patron gets a bowl of truffled popcorn to start their evening. Come for a bottle, stay for a plate — the Mediterranean-influenced menu pairs beautifully with fermented grapes. 1820 Industrial St., Los Angeles; (213) 327-0304.

Erin Lyall
The deli counter at Spring St.

8. Spring Street Bar
Compared to so many East Coast cities, Los Angeles is woefully short on delis. Good news, meatball sub fans — one of our better delis is located inside a bar! Take that, New York! At Spring Street Bar, a high-ceilinged, casual spot of bar stools and communal high-tops, the back corner is dedicated to a cold cuts case and a toaster oven. From that humble spot emerge warm, crusty sandwiches like prosciutto and burrata, Cubano, roast beef, and a killer veggie melt of smoked cheese and avocado.You may not think you’re hungry but once the table next to you puts in an order, the smell alone will inspire you to get one of your own. Don’t worry, they’re big enough to share — but be aware, you need to order at the bar, and keep an ear out for the bell meaning your meal’s up. Wine, booze, and a good rotation of interesting draught beers will round out the experience. Ding! 626-B S Spring St., Los Angeles; (213) 622-5859.

Erin Lyall
Fried chicken at The Prince

7. The Prince
You have out of town guests staying with you for the weekend, and you want to show them something uniquely L.A.? Take them to The Prince. It’s got Hollywood street cred (with cameos on Mad Men, The New Girl, and Chinatown), it looks mid-century swank (with red leather banquettes, a horseshoe bar and funky carved lights), and it serves Korean food. No kidding. The thing to get here is the deep-fried chicken — fried Korean-style, with no batter. A whole bird is spatch-cocked and served with Korean chili paste and picked radishes, all crispy skin and moist meat and salt.Pair it with some kimchi fried rice, maybe a seafood pancake, and some galbi for a full meal. The Prince has beer and soju but also a full bar, and during Happy Hour (’til 8pm) all drinks are half off; be aware that like most Korean establishments in town, you’ve got to ring the tableside doorbell to get service. Bonus: This may be the one bar in town in which you can snack on spicy sea snails. How’s that for “Welcome-to-LA” impressive!? 3198 1/2 W 7th Street, Los Angeles; (213) 389-1586

Villains Tavern
Salad at Villains Tavern

6. Villains Tavern
The first time you drive up to Villains Tavern, you think you’re lost: it’s out in some weird Gotham City no-man’s-land that is kind of Little Tokyo and kind of Downtown L.A. and kind of the “warehouse district” but seems way too dark and scary and then BAM you arrive. And there is this strange place that looks like a circus-tent-slash-New-Orleans-Victorian bar and you’re like “what is this place,” but then you get one of their incredible cocktails (like the Bluebeard: Jameson, blueberries, lemon, cranberry and egg whites) and you’re like “OK, I can get behind this.”And then you look at the menu and order some things that sound interesting and then you are totally pleasantly surprised when a burger with bacon marmalade, spicy roasted corn on the cob topped with cayenne and cotija, and a bowl full of Bourbon-bacon caramel corn make their way to the table. And you eat your above average meal while listening to above average live music and drinking above average libations and you think “I’m in heaven” but then you look around at all the red lighting and steampunk décor and you wonder if maybe you’re just having a really good time in hell. 1356 Palmetto St., Los Angeles; (213) 613-0766.

Erin Lyall
Bacon-wrapped dates at Library Bar

5. Library Bar
Hidden behind Sixth Street Tavern, Library Bar has a speakeasy-ish vibe: dark, book-lined, candlelit, sultry. Cocktails, wine, and beer are top notch — muddled, mixed and poured by well-trained (and well-dressed) bartenders. Yet the beautiful people populating the mirrored bar and the leather couches are looking good and eating well – dipping into garlic fries, pork belly skewers, chorizo sliders.The bacon-wrapped dates are salty and sweet, oozing sharp blue cheese hot from the oven. There are deviled eggs, roast artichokes, and edamame tossed with lime juice and flakes of sea salt. Go big with a burger or pork belly sandwich, or go decadent with grilled cheese made with buttered raisin bread, apricot jam and three kinds of dairy. Just wipe your fingers before you start thumbing through those hardcovers on the shelves behind you. 630 W 6th St #116A Los Angeles; (213) 614-0053.

Adam O’Connor
The York

4. The York on York
The York just might be the Cheers of Highland Park. It’s the perfect neighborhood spot: there’s usually a game or an old movie on the TV, and there’s usually no trouble finding a seat. Local artists hang their work up by the bar, and it’s the kind of place where the bartender won’t just remember your name — she’ll remember your drink.But next time you pull up a stool for a beer (and they have a serious selection), do yourself a favor and pair it with an impeccable burger, juicy and oozy with melted cheese, or a bowl of mussels — spicy, garlicky, and served with grilled bread. Fries are crisp, hot, light on the grease, and ideal to share with friends (for a slightly more “healthful” snack, go for the fried garbanzos, tossed in cayenne and lemon). On weekends you can brunch to cure your hangover with croissant French toast or eggs Benedict — just don’t be surprised if you find yourself hanging out there all day. 5018 York Blvd., Highland Park; (323) 255-9675.

Erin Lyall
Grilled Artichoke at Laurel Tavern

3. Laurel Tavern
Bustling at nearly every hour of the day, Laurel Tavern is one of those great neighborhood joints that feels like the place to be. Once you’re in the door, the energy is infectious. It’s casual — you seat yourself, and have to walk up to the bar to order both booze and food — and convivial, with people chatting between tables and standing out on the sidewalk. They’ve got a dozen beers on tap, wine by the glass and craft cocktails; but pay close attention to the chalkboards on the wall.Listed there you’ll find a range of things to nosh on: from the light (a fabulous marinated/grilled artichoke, beets with burrata, grilled shishito peppers) to the substantial (chorizo fondu, patty melt, bbq ribs). They’ve got five yummy burger options, and claim to have the best one in the neighborhood: we’ll let you be the judge. 11938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City; (818) 506-0777.

Erin Lyall
Taco Tuesday at Mission Cantina

2. Mission Cantina
Mission Cantina is tough to characterize, but right there on their website they qualify themselves for this list: “The Mission is a bar with fresh homemade Mexican food.” Mission is in fact a tequila bar, an impressive gothic-looking cave with bottles stacked all the way to the ceiling. But it’s got some of the best Mexican food in this part of town, including chile rellenos, enchiladas (verde & rojo), and a rich chicken mole poblano, deeply flavored with chocolate, spice and spiciness.They also serve tamales on the weekend. But the day to go is (Taco) Tuesday — when their tacos are a dollar apiece: carne asada, carnitas, chicken, potato and veggie. Top a couple of those carnitas tacos with onions, cilantro and salsa, pair it with one of their top-notch jalapeno margaritas. Life doesn’t get much more bueno than that. 5946 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood; (323) 469-3130.

Erin Lyall
Trout Toast at Black Market Liquor Bar

1. Black Market Liquor Bar
This relative newcomer to Ventura Blvd. (opened in 2011) is fast becoming the local favorite, filling up quickly and staying busy ’til closing time — 2 a.m. every night of the week. The room is vaguely reminiscent of a tunnel, long and dark under a curved ceiling of inlaid brick. Candles flicker on every table, booths ring the walls, marble high tops cluster in the center of the room, and a polished wood bar hugs the length of the place. There’s a full bar, a list of “fancy drinks,” two-dozen beers and an interesting wine list — but the real stunner is the food menu.Follow your gut. Want a few beers and guy food? Dig into the homemade dill potato chips, the sweet-spicy kimchi chicken wings, or the highly addictive fried cauliflower. On a date? There is very little sexier than the ricotta gnudi, sautéed in a brown butter sauce (eaten over flickering candlelight with a few glasses of wine). Smoked trout toast is a thing of casual beauty — and a good indicator of chef Antonia Lofaso’s skill in the kitchen — open-faced baguette strewn with hard-boiled egg and pickles, served on a cutting board. Still hungry? They’ve got a deep fried fluffer-nutter for dessert. ‘Nuff said. 11915 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 446-2533.


Vogue Daily — Trois Mec

“Our place is more like a little kitchen,” Lefebvre says of the 900-square-foot open layout. ” (Vogue magazine)

Trois Mec is the hottest new restaurant in LA, with three superstar LA chefs at the helm.

Photographed by Austin Hargrave


6. Create

Create, a new 20,000 sq. ft. gallery in Los Angeles

8. Willie Jane

Willie Jane, a beautiful new Southern style cooking restaurant in Venice, CA by Govind Armstrong.

3. Vanguard

Vanguard, a new nightclub in Los Angeles

10. Le Ka

Le Ka, a new French inspired artisan restaurant in downtown Los Angeles


Much good news is on the way in terms of the continuing range of offerings in downtown Los Angeles. The Grand Central market already has six new vendors; several others are on the way, including Olio pizza, who is bringing in an oven from Italy and who will only cook by fire. The Medallion building, originally designed to showcase wholesalers and discounters, has changed course. Now they’re planning for ten restaurants to move into their 125 million dollar space, plus a 27,000 square foot farmers market, instead of trying to lure a supermarket. And check this out – the Alamo Draft House from Austin, Texas is opening an eight screen independent film showcase. You will be able to order food and drinks at your seat.

Sticky Rice brings authentic Thai street food to Grand Central Market

 Hinoku & The Bird has opened in a plus new Century City Los Angeles condo tower, whose penthouse is owned by Candy Spelling.
The New York Times did a phenomenal advance review of it in January 2013. It noted:
“The cocktails, by the Milk & Honey mixologist Sam Ross, are as refreshing as the food.”
Hinoku & the Bird – some dining options.

Le Grand Fooding comes to MoCA Geffen from Paris in April, 2013.

Chi Spacca is the latest restaurant in the Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton, Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza LA Italian food empire.

Baryard Restaurant in Venice is one of the best new places that have opened in LA in 2013.

Barnyard Venice exterior. Its chef worked at the French Laundry in Napa.

Superba Snack Bar in Venice is also adding to the how new LA dining scene.

Bestia is one of the most months in advanced booked new Italian restaurants in California. Its in downtown Los Angeles.

A sample of Bestia’s in-house salumeria offerings.

A dish at Bestia.

Figaro Bistro has opened in downtown LA.

alma new american french 952 s broadway los angeles ca is getting superior reviews from LA’s genius restaurant critic Jonathan Gold. He says there is no one cooking like Alma in LA, its on its way to being a global destination restaurant.

An example of Alma’s cooking.

Over 15,000 Attend Inaugural LA Art Book Fair at LA’s MoCA Geffen museum

Artist A.A. Bronson’s LA Art Fair was covered by the NYTimes T magazine. There were 220 exhibitors from 21 countries. There were small showcases of exceptional collections of art books that I found fascinating, particularly the one featuring Yves Klein and his International Blue. The LA books fair received a huge amount of press from New York.

The book fair attracted thousands of people from all parts of Los Angeles. (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

The book fair attracted thousands of people from all parts of Los Angeles. (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic). The entire museum’s space was given over to the first annual LA Artist Book Fair. We went on Sunday afternoon and it was packed. Afterwards we ate in nearby at an amazing noodle bar. So many choices – most directly from Japan.


The main lobby of The Geffen, on the second day of the Book Fair before the rush (over 15,000 visitors in the three-day fair).


In late 2012 and early 2013, LA will experience a new wave of most remarkable new restaurants. (photo)

Bestia, an amazing new Italian restaurant that will open in the downtown LA arts district. It will feature 30 kinds of salumi and an Acunto pizza oven from Naples, Italy.

–Le Grand Fooding Announce LA Event

By FDL on September 24, 2012

The team at Le Grand Fooding, publishers of the Le Fooding Restaurant guides and organizers of food events in New York, Paris and Milan, have announced plans to stage a food event in LA.

The team have recently held their fourth annual New York event – this time with a focus on upcoming chefs and say that tell the LA Times that they picked Los Angeles because it’s just a lively as New York but still very different from the Big Apple.

Known for throwing quirky events that mix social and dining experiences perfectly with some of the worlds best chefs, Le Fooding has built a solid reputation over the years. With New York offices now opened and the announcement of an LA event in the works – it’s seem there’s a Le Grand Fooding revolution taking place State sid

Campanille Exterior - H 2012

“Republique, a concept from acclaimed chef Walter Manzke and prolific restaurateur Bill Chait, will replace the Cal-Mediterranean restaurant at the landmark 1929 address originally owned by Charlie Chaplin.Beginning in 1989, chef/owner Mark Peel and his then-wife Nancy Silverton, who now nurtures industry hotbed Mozza not too far away in Hancock Park, helped define a quintessentially L.A. sort of white-cloth yet rustic Cal-Mediterranean menu that would eventually emerge as one of the most dominant trends in the city’s restaurant culture in the 1990s.”

the historic property was  first built for Charlie Chaplin in 1929



Jeremy Fox Launches Barnyard Restaurant In Venice

“Los Angeles, CA(July 17, 2012) – Chef Jeremy Fox, formerly of Ubuntu and Manresa, is readying Barnyard Venice for a 2012 opening. In his first solo project since Ubuntu, Fox’s Barnyard will showcase his own interpretation of peasant cuisine, offering shareable plates of rustic, seasonal fare. Says Fox, “Barnyard will be a product of everything I have learned on my cooking journey. Not only do I look forward to exploring the flavors of the Mediterranean and North Africa, and incorporating elements from my childhood in the South, but to continuing the voyage as the Barnyard menu evolves.” Barnyard is located at 1715 Pacific Avenue in Venice.””About Jeremy Fox
Jeremy Fox opened Ubuntu in 2007, where he was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef 2008, Bon Appetit’s 2009 Best Chef, and received James Beard Best Chef Pacific Award nominations in both 2009 and 2010. In Fall 2009, Ubuntu became the first modern vegetarian restaurant to receive a Michelin Star. Prior to Ubuntu, Jeremy spent five years working for his mentor, Chef David Kinch, at Manresa, eventually rising to the position of Chef de Cuisine. During his tenure, Manresa received two Michelin Stars and four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle. Fox has also staged at the Michelin three-star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and the widely acclaimed St. John, both in London, as well as the Michelin two-star De Snippe in Belgium. Since leaving Ubuntu, Jeremy has been working on a vegetable cookbook for Phaidon Press and has consulted for restaurants including Plum, Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie & Wine, Freddy Smalls, and Paper or Plastik Cafe.”

Plan Check restaurant and Bar, West Los Angeles

  • Redefining Classic American Food with Plan Check's Ernesto Uchimura
  • Plan Check restaurant and bar just got the review of the century (10.20.2012)  for its technology driven modernist cooking ultra burger by Jonathan Gold in the LA Times. Gold also mentions that Plan Check may have more Japanese whiskey than all of the other restaurants in LA combined.

    “Plan Check (West Los Angeles) – Industrial atmosphere, small batch liquors, and wagyu burgers.” (Text and Photo by Blackbook/Los Angeles)

New Los Angeles restaurants and bars, July 2012

Kitchen 24 downtown LA ( photo)

Perch restaurant and bar downtown LA ( photo)

The Parish downtown LA true 2 story gastropub (photo: Longrada Lor)
We went to The Parish for Sunday dinner at 6pm during opening week. The tomato soup and wonderful toast with Grafton cheese started the evening, along with cocktails. Broth infused tasty clams and other dishes followed.
The dining area is on the second floor of a Flatiron shaped building on South Spring street. The bar is also on the second floor and was packed even at this early hour.


Departures magazine names n/naka one of the Top 1- World’s Top Tasting Menus for 2012


© Zen Sekizawa

n/naka, Los Angeles

At n/naka, the tasting menu is modeled after kaiseki, the Japanese analogue to a multi-course haute cuisine dinner. Chef Niki Nakayama’s Modern Kaiseki is a 13-course affair that showcases her inventive twists on traditional kaiseki progression, which specifies a first course of “something common and something unique,” a second course of a “main seasonal ingredient presented as an appetizer,” a third course of sashimi and more. At n/naka, these specifications yield dishes like Maine lobster tartare with uni butter and California sturgeon caviar, and Muscovy duck houba yaki with foie gras. The meal comes with similarly diverse beverage pairings—sake to start, Portuguese port to finish and wines in between.


File:Stumptown Coffee Roasters window.jpg
Stumptown Coffee is expanding to LA.

Pour Vous bar, Hollywood

“The space is separated into four main parts: a lengthy marble bar to the left, w/ antiqued mirrors and a steampunk-ified vintage espresso maker rejiggered to pour four tap beers; a sunken seating area to the right, w/ plush velvet couches and a fireplace under a domed skylight; a formerly working train trolley (!) that’s been refurbished into a backyard smoking area” Thrillist

Pour Vous Opens on Melrose
oysters at Pour Vous
Wolfslair Biergarten, Hollywood

“This dark-wooded biergarten kinda feels like that taxidermy-wolf bar in Hostel where the kids talk about how much fun they are having in Europe before they have much less fun being killed.” Thrillist

Wellesbourne Bar

The Wellesbourne in West Los Angeles

Picture brass reading lamps, a bar menu printed on textured paper, oversized bookshelves jammed with books and guest checks issued in miniature novels…”

Los Angeles Brewing Company Opens
Los Angeles Brewing Company
av nightclub!
AV nightclub, Los Angeles / Photos: Genie Fitzgerald

The Blue Whale jazz club is LA’s hottest. Located on Astronaut street in Little Toyko.

Parc bar, Beverly Hills

“It’s that living room-y space located across from Scarpetta on the ground floor of the Montage in Beverly Hills with sweeping vistas of Canon Gardens. Each evening at Parq,  different musical genre such as jazz, R&B or blues and a fresh lineup of talented local and regional artists are featured. From 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. nightly, you can settle in with a glass of wine, Champagne or a classic cocktail and enjoy house-made charcuterie, beef and Fourme d’Ambert sliders or fresh farmer’s market produce. Get this! They even offer fresh, hand-crafted sushi.”


Black Hogg, in Silverlake neighborhood, Los Angeles from Chef/owner Eric Park (The Spotted Pig, Eleven Madison Park in New York City)

Little Bear Belgian beer bar in east of downtown Los Angeles is rolling. (Photo: Savory Hunter blog)

Umamicatessen’s Soft Opening, DTLA (Photo: Darin Dines/Eater National Flickr Pool)

Burger Demand in Los Angeles Grabs Hold in New York Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg
Customers eat lunch at UMAMIcatessen in Los Angeles.

Beautiful Pork @ PIGG, UMAMIcatessen

TOP 1: Burgers Ozark (CA, MO)
2: Finchville (KY)
3. Iberico de Bellota (Spain)
Bottom 4. Iberico de Bellota paletta (Spain)

bacon and dipping sauce from PIGG. It has an off the chain selection of tastes of the worlds finest hams from Spain.

For years Water Grill was the only Michelin starred restaurant in downtown LA. Now its has completed a $1.5 million upgrade and is more fabulous and phenomenal than ever.

Fresh seafood displayed at the bar counter at the Water Grill in downtown LAGovind Armstrong’s new Post & Beam is the first truly upscale restaurant and cocktail bar in Central Los Angeles, south of the Santa Monica (10) freeway in a predominantly African-American community. Nearby is one of the wealthiest black communities in the U.S. in Baldwin Hills.

Pasta at Post & Beam in Central Los Angeles

Beacher’s Madhouse at the Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood

“And fourth, saving the wildest for last is Beacher’s Madhouse — a revolutionary Vaudeville-inspired theater on the hotel’s lower level, with European influences and echoes of the Folies Bergére. The venue extends 3,000 square feet, featuring a mirrored passageway, a 1920s-inspired main stage, antique brass accents and red velvet curtains. Eighteen VIP banquettes of various sizes are available throughout the theater including an exclusive birdcage booth with seating for 20. Concessions and catering are offered to guests as they enjoy the performances and order drinks from the Beau Joie Flying Midget bartender mixing up cocktails at the fully operating Midget Bar.”

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Beacher’s Madhouse Theater, Thompson’s Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Artisan House Interior - H 2011
Artisan House joins Botegga Louis and many new restaurants coming to the quickly transforming Broadway corridor.

Artisan House
Officially opening today, this massive, high-ceilinged complex full of reclaimed marble on the ground floor of the Pacific Electric Lofts in the Historic Core is remarkably ambitious. The sit-down restaurant serves foie gras terrines just a block from Skid Row. The bar finds mixologist Elden McFeron III, a vet of The Bazaar, whipping up margaritas cryo-frozen with liquid nitrogen. And the market annex sells made-to-order deli sandwiches—as well as gelato, wine and more—until 2AM (and an hour later on weekends). 600 S. Main St., L.A., 213.622.6333, (Hollywood Reporter)

Oldfield’s bar

Pattern Bar opened in the fall of 2011 on  9th/Main in Downtown LA

batch-restaurantBatch, a new gastropub in Culver City.

Batch Restaurant & Bar is now open in Culver City offering artisanal food and handcrafted cocktails in a sophisticated and lively environment.

Short Order is one of several new LA gourmet burger bars. They recently added a selection of savories by Walter Manszke, whose won restaurant, Republique, is on the most anticipated new dining destinations in LA. It will be downtown.

Golden Road Brewing , Los Angeles

Chicago has seen the rise and collapse of brewpubs since the late 1980′s. The now famous Goose Island (an actual tiny island with a superb brewing facility and lively bar and restaurant in Chicago) hails from that time and is a standard-bearer today. The Chicago Beer Society’s Real Ale Festival started in 1996 and was closed in 2003, when the were forced out of business by the liquor commission who said they had to license the former steel factory they used each year as a year round tavern. The festival closed and relocated to San Diego. Chicago’s global beer bar – the Map Room – opened in 1992. The Chicago Beer Society was formed in 1977. Ray Daniels Cicerone Certification Program has so far produced 38 Certified Cicerone’s in Chicago and 8 in Greater Los Angeles. The 6,000 square foot The Publican (Belgian beer and grub bar, every waiter and bartender is a certified beer server (level 3 in the Beer Cicero education program, with Master Cicerone and Certified Cicerone being levels one and 2. There are now 2 Master Cicerone’s in Chicago). Unbelieveably, and unlike in the past, when major breweries were out to destroy the smaller breweries, Goose Island has been absorbed into Anheuser-Busch In Bev, yet Goose Island remains a true artisanal brewer with its full arsenal of flavors. Chicago is building neighborhood breweries to compliment the rise of their city’s culinary programs to being at the upper strata of American cuisine. Since it was city-based breweries that did not ship out their beer that were at the start of the American beer industry, what we have then is a return to the same place that the industry started, but this time, actually producing product in America that has already been on this planet for somewhere between 700 and 2000 years, depending on the place of the earth you choose as a starting point.

Ray & Stark bar, LACMA

Cook’s country is one of the most rewarding new artisan restaurants in LA.

Handsome Coffee Roasters

A sneak peak at the new flagship store in LA’s downtown Arts District

by Julie Wolfson in Food-Drink on 15 February 2012 / Coolhunting


For the last few months, the corner of 5th and Mateo in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles has been abuzz with activity as the WoodSmithe team puts the finishing touches on Handsome Coffee Roasters‘ flagship store. Handsome has made a splash in the specialty coffee world since they announced that Tyler Wells and Chris Owens would be teaming up with World Barista Champion Michael Phillips to launch the coffee company of their dreams.


With the space nearly ready to open its doors, the collaboration between the roasters and the builders—who also happen to be neighbors—seems like a natural one. Also in on the operation is Na Young Ma’s Proof Bakery, whose pastries will be served alongside the coffee.


“Frank Gehry Designing New Jazz Bakery Theater in Culver City” (Curbed LA)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012, by Adrian Glick Kudler

“Current site photo via Culver City Times The Jazz Bakery is getting a new permanent home in Culver City and it’ll be designed by Frank Gehry, who we don’t often see around these parts anymore. The jazz nonprofit has been itinerant since 2009, when it lost its lease in the Helms Bakery complex, but about a year ago it got a $2 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation and made a deal with the Culver City Redevelopment Agency for a piece of land on Washington Blvd., next to the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Last night, the city council signed off on the land deal (probably in advance of the redevelopment agency apocalypse going down tomorrow), reports the Culver City Times. The Jazz Bakery will get the land for free on the condition that it goes ahead with plans for a “premier live performance state of the art jazz venue with two hundred and fifty (250) seats, ground level lobby, a jazz museum, black box performance area and a bakery/café with outdoor dining,” as described by the staff report on the matter. The Bakery plans to hold about 250 shows a year. According to the CC Times, the whole project will cost $10.2 million, so the Jazz Bakery will be holding a capital campaign to supplement the Annenberg grant.” (Curbed)


LA To Get Film Museum next to LACMA in 2016

Film News

Posted: Tue., Mar. 27, 2012, 4:45pm PT

Academy adds to future museum (Variety magazine)

Ruby slippers just one recent acquisition

The recently acquired ruby slippers are just one centerpiece for the future Academy museum. The recently acquired ruby slippers are just one centerpiece for the future Academy museum.
The Acad collection includes sketches from “There Will Be Blood.”
“The Acad collection includes sketches from “There Will Be Blood.”

When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences gathered for a recent staff meeting at the Pickford Center in Hollywood, the group had the opportunity to see a piece of movie history that impressed even the most senior executives: a pair of ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”

It was the first time since AMPAS made the acquisition in February that anyone within the org had seen the shoes, and everyone celebrated with red velvet cupcakes embellished with tiny, garnet-colored shoes.

The footwear unveiling was a tangible sign of how much closer the org is getting to opening the decades-in-the-making Academy Museum of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the centerpiece of which will be Dorothy’s magical shoes. The Academy recently named execs to run the museum, which is targeted to open at LACMA’s May Co. building in 2016.

“The experience of seeing (the slippers), especially in a crowd, puts everyone in touch with their inner film geek,” said Anne Coco, graphic arts librarian.

The high-profile pair of shoes is just one of the recent additions to the Academy’s massive collection of scripts, press clippings, biographies, costume sketches, movie posters and personal papers, amassed over more than eight decades, that will provide fodder for a wide scope of exhibits when the museum opens.

The library is also processing late-2011 donations from producer Stephen Chin, who gave the library several kung-fu movie posters, and Chicago-based real estate developer Dwight Cleveland, who provided rare film posters from his collection.

“The library is the history of our country, the history of our culture,” Hudson explained.”

Berggruen builds collection for Los Angeles (excerpted)

The German collector shelves plans to build a Berlin museum in favour of long-term loans to the US

By Gareth Harris. News, Issue 231, January 2012
Published online: 05 January 2012

Berggruen is focusing on German and West Coast artists, including Chris Burden, whose Metropolis II (right) is already on loan to Lacma from the collector

The private collector and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, son of the late German-Jewish art dealer and philanthropist Heinz Berggruen, is set to follow in the footsteps of the collector Eli Broad by sending several works on long-term loans to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma), where Berggruen is a trustee. “I’m building up a collection for Lacma,” he says, “focusing on German artists such as Thomas Schütte, Martin Kippenberger, Gerhard Richter and Joseph Beuys.” Works by West Coast artists such as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Charles Ray, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman and Mike Kelley from Berggruen’s collection are also due to end up at the museum. “Los Angeles is still a developing cultural centre and that’s why one can make a difference there,” he says.27 Jan 12

A ‘very special’ city.

“I find L.A. super vibrant. The city is not always considered a serious place, but it has a lot of serious creativity,” he added. “Notwithstanding its problems, California is the idea center of America. If you take away Hollywood and Silicon Valley for the last 20 years, you would have a different world. If you erased New York, I hate to say it, if you erased Frankfurt, even London, the world would not have changed.”

LA MOCA Teams with YouTube for Art Video Channel

By Stephanie Murg on January 23, 2012 9:51 AM

Get ready for MOCA TV! The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles has teamed with YouTube to create a new video channel for fresh contemporary art and culture programming. The online programming venture, part of YouTube’s new original programming push, is expected to debut in July with an identity designed by L.A.-based Studio Number One. “Contemporary art is the new international language, unifying leading creators across art, music, fashion, film, and design,” said MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who has always struck us as a natural VJ. “MOCA TV will be the ultimate digital extension of the museum, aggregating, curating, and generating the strongest artistic content from around the world for a new global audience of people who are engaged in visually oriented culture.” Slated for the MOCA TV line-up? Global art news briefs, programs focused on the latest collaborative projects (art and music, art and fashion), looks inside artists’ studios, the street art beat (natch), and an interactive education series called MOCA University. The musem has tapped social media company theAudience to help get the word out about MOCA TV as the launch approaches.

The Bordello is now the One Eyed Gypsy!

The re-model looks gorgeous, and I’m glad to see they haven’t lost their steam-punk circus vibe! They just added an old-school fortune-teller, a love-o-meter, and two skee ball machines that distribute tickets redeemable for drinks & food! And they didn’t leave out the grub, The Brite Spot guy will be slinging an extensive fried menu (corn dogs, sweet potato tots, funnel cakes, deep-fried Chocodiles, etc.) as well as share-eats like a reuben pizza with sauerkraut, corned beef, and thousand island.
The Escondite burger bar in downtown LA

United Artists Theater to Be Ace Hotel

photo by Gary Leonard

Exterior view of Trinity Auditorium Building, 9th Street and Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, ca.1914-1920

United Artists Theater

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 7:45 pm | Updated: 3:53 pm, Tue Jan 24, 2012.

By Ryan Vaillancourt, Staff Writer | 0 comments

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Oregon-based Ace Hotel has confirmed plans to open in the historic United Artists Theater on Broadway.

The hotel chain’s plan calls for 180 rooms in the former office building’s 13 floors, and it will include a 1,600-seat entertainment venue in the structure’s namesake theater. The plan also calls for a pool, restaurant and bar in the edifice that has not been fully activated in decades, according to the office of 14th District Councilman José Huizar.

The Broadway landmark had long been owned by the University Cathedral, a congregation made famous by its late founding pastor, Dr. Gene Scott. The church has maintained the building, which was built in 1927 by United Artists founders D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.

The building was the tallest privately owned building in Los Angeles until 1956, Huizar’s office said.

King & Grove Coming to LA, Possibly with Two Hotels

December 23, 2011 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Lanyard key chains at Ruschmeyer’s, a King & Grove Hotel in Montauk.

Downtown LA blog Brigham Yen found out earlier this month that indeed King & Grove would open up inside the old Hotel Clark near 4th and Hill Streets in downtown’s Historic Core district (and just a few blocks away from the intended Ace Hotel.) A rep for King & Grove confirmed the scoop but was not able to release any further details. Still, Brigham Yen had noticed some renovations going on at the hotel including a new pool deck and some new orange curtains.

But one hotel might not be enough for King & Grove as the blog now says that the old Trinity Auditorium at 9th and Grand Ave in downtown could possibly be a second King & Grove hotel as well.

Breaking News: Hotel Clark to be Reborn as King & Grove Hotel in Downtown LA

“King & Grove is a new lifestyle hotel brand defined by modern luxury with eclectic influences. Dedicated to creating intriguing hotels that are sophisticated yet accessible, King & Grove is launching a collection of iconic destinations themed by a sense of nostalgia delivered through thoughtfully crafted environments. With an emphasis on immersive service, King & Grove hotels will feature honest and aspiring restaurants and bars, progressive retail, and unique amenities.”After sending an inquiry to King and Grove asking about their involvement with the Hotel Clark, I received a reply back from Jennifer Foley Shields, VP of Media Relations for King and Grove Hotels, “The Clark will become a King & Grove property, you are correct. At this point, I’m not able to provide any further detail.”Examples of King & Grove’s hotels:

King & Grove Hotel in Miami South Beach (Photo: King & Grove)
King & Grove Hotel in Montauk, New York (Photo: King & Grove)
King & Grove Hotel in Montauk, New York (Photo: King & Grove)
Downtown bar“NEW COCKTAIL LOUNGE THE AVIARY Calling The Aviary Chicago’s best cocktail lounge is needless and obvious, considering the oceans of ink already expended on this months-old Fulton Market bar, but it must be said: This brainchild of Alinea’s chef, Grant Achatz, and his business partner, Nick Kokonas, is the most ambitious, fully realized, innovative twist on drinking the city has ever seen. One sip of its take on an old-fashioned (In the Rocks, $18), which requires the drinker to crack a bourbon-filled egg of ice with a miniature slingshot, and we were hooked. Not to mention attentive, polished service; a gorgeous room blissfully devoid of false Old World charm; and finger food straight out of the Alinea playbook.”

Aviary molecular cocktail lounge from Chicago will be expanding to LA

Macao Trading Co. is one of New York City’s most fun bar.restaurants that is coming to LA

“Bagatelle has long been a St. Tropez-infused phenomenon in New York, feeding the city’s elite for years. Now emerging hospitality group Brand Essence and industry leaders The ONE Group will bring Bagatelle’s legendary dining experience to the West Coast with a multi-room indoor/outdoor establishment located in the heart of West Hollywood. Created by design firm Studio BRASA, the 2,700 square foot restaurant’s motif resembles the salon of the Parisian apartment of an international jet setter. Bagatelle’s patrons will be treated to seasonal, French-Mediterranean menu offerings by Chef Scott Quinn, whose inspiration and experience are sure to provide a lively and fine dining experience for L.A.’s globetrotters, foodies, celebrities and tastemakers.”



Bardot supperclub at the Avalon in Hollywood

Bardot at the Avalon, Hollywood

The Spare Room lounge, inside the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel

A decade ago Los Angeles seemed unconcerned with the new American phenomenon of artisan and craft beer bars, Belgian beer bars, artisan cocktail bars, adventurous upscale dining. It was only six years ago that the Los Angeles Times ran articles where local restaurants said there were only 500 serious diners in LA, and that group moved from new restaurant to new restaurant, causing the recently hot place to go under. The same newspaper chronicled the rise into the heavens of the new Las Vegas restaurant scene,  while slamming much the restaurant scene here at the time. Las Vegas,which is no doubt the most stellar today in the West at the uppermost levels of dining, as it now offers a dazzling array of European and America Michelin starred chef driven dining destinations, seems to have educated the palates of Angelinos as to the degrees of playful elegance that a truly global restaurant could offer its guests. Perhaps because of this influence of the Los Angeles palate, a new world of exceptionally good restaurants is now in Los Angeles as never before. Over the past couple years LA has gained authentic Noodle Bars from Tokyo, high-end steak houses and Italian eateries from New York, and finally we in LA now have several of the most coveted cocktail and beer bars in America, with several more planned, including one by a LA entrepreneur who promises to bring to LA a bar that he considers the best in the world. Los Angeles of course has benefited tremendously from the New York cocktail world expanding into the warm weather climate without a beach of downtown Los Angeles. I have to say that this is the first time I have been as excited about going out in LA to a great new bar or restaurant, as verses planning on have a phenomenal time in San Francisco and spending quiet evenings in LA to rest up for another trip to a mecca for entertainment like Miami Beach or New York City.

The Writers Room, enter via the back of historic Musso & Franks, Hollywood. The bar is named after the major fiction writer’s meeting place that the space once inhabited. (photo: Vogue Daily)

So here now refer to you some of my choices for the best of the new Los Angeles, 2011.

(Please note that this post will grow throughout 2011)

Downtown Los Angeles breaks into the extensive beers selection beer store with the beautiful and dark woods of 8th’s Street Bottle shop. “The 8th Street Bottle Shop will be housed just inside the entrance door at Golden Gopher whose rare 1903-issued liquor license provides for on site and packaged liquor to go sales. ” Beer Chicks Los Angeles

Sunset Beer in Echo Park promises to grow to over 1,000 different bottles of beer, giving LA a real neighborhood place to pick up something special, just like in Portland.

The sensational Total Wine and More has entered the Southern California adult beverage market

Total Wine and More has raised the everyday experience of buying beer, wine and spirits in LA/Orange County region. It has to be the case that the emergence of artisan and craft beer bars and haute cocktail lounges in Los Angeles over the past two years is the reason Total Wine and More saw there was a market in LA for their level of shopper. The largest store is in Tustin, at 50,000 square feet, yet even the Northridge store blows away every other place in town, from variety to price. Total Wine carries all the truly deluxe bottles of tequila, and has $2,000 gorgeous bottles of wine. The store has several hundred kinds of artisan and craft beer, possibly as much as the incredible Berkeley Bowl gourmet low-priced – yes – it’s true! supermarket in Berkeley, California, where we make twice a year trips just to shop and bring home countless provisions not available to us here in LA. When people here first visit Total Wine and More they start calling their friends and telling them they’ve got to get over there now!  Total Wine and More has in store ads saying they are crushing another beverage store here, from the handsome look of Total Wine as compared to the LA low rent warehouse way of selling product, to astounding variety, to pricing that blows the competition away.

Steingarten in West Los Angeles has 20 beers on tap and a menu of exotic meats to devour

In the coming months watch for several new craft beer bars in LA, including Beer Belly in Koreatown, Mohawk, a 10,000 square foot bar in Echo Park, and Smith House, in Century City (West LA), which will have 120 beers on tap. Steingarten has opened in West Los Angeles. The LATimes reports that the Houston brothers will also be opening a German beer hall in LA.


Mohawk Bend patio, Echo Park

Mohawk Bend, restaurant and bar interior, Echo Park

The second venture from owner Tony Yanow and manager Paige Reilly of Tony’s Darts Away fame, Mohawk Bend debuts in April in newly hipsterized Echo Park. The 10,000-square-foot facility is an ode to beer and farm-fresh California cuisine, with half of the menu (and the kitchen) dedicated to vegan fare. (But don’t expect a pushy, green-fiend staff; “We like to open the vegan door but not push anyone through it,” says Yanow.) For herbivores, there’s mochi-crust pizza; meat-lovers will relish the duck-pork Dork Burger. Every palate will savor the whopping 72 taps—including five nitro faucets and two hand pumps—pouring strictly Cali brews, like house favorites Hangar 24 Orange Wheat. 2141 Sunset Blvd. (Draft magazine)

The Hemingway lounge in Hollywood has ten thousand books on its shelves and is known for its strong cocktail program. Future plans for this lounge are to open a Cuban  coffee and African tea lounge next door.

Las Perlas, Cedd Moses mezcal and tequila bar in downtown Los Angeles

“Those who want ready-to-go ice for their cocktail should reach for Névé ice (available at Barkeeper in Silver Lake). Founded by former barman Michael Dozois of Seven Grand, Névé delivers perfect Collins and Rocks Glass cubes to consumers and bars anywhere in the United States.” (Seven Grand is also one of Cedd Moses’ collection of high quality LA bars.)”

Villains Tavern, on the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles.

Villains Tavern opened in 2010

The Tar Pit opened in 2010 with beverage direction from the Pegu Club in New York. (Photo: Caroline on Crack)

The bar at the Tar Pit

La Descargas bar, on Western Avenue in East Hollywood, by the Houston Brothers. This is the first bar they transformed for LA.

Harvard and Stone bar, East Hollywood, by the Houston brothers, opened in March 2011

Library Ale House, Santa Monica, California

Wood and Vine, Hollywood
L.A.’s Smart Summer Art Hang: Ray’s Restaurant & Stark Bar

Stark bar at LACMA is one of the hottest new bars in Los Angeles

Bar concepts

Only about a decade after the Belgian beer bar boom happened in New York and San Francisco, downtown Los Angeles will finally be getting an authentic Belgian beer bar called Little Bear. Royal Clayton’s was in this space during the time that Walter Manske manned the stoves at across the street Church & State, which while he was there was the most sensation restaurant in Los Angeles. The bar will feature L.A.’s first certified beer cicerone. Chicago has three and also has a full on 3 tier cicerone training program that is providing core educations to hundreds of first tier Chicago bar helpers. (10.21.11)


The Gin Palace, a new bar planned for downtown Los Angeles

New York’s new gin palace will be fancier than this one.

“Ravi DeRossi, co-owner of an East Village mini-empire that includes Desnuda, Mayahuel, Cienfuegos, and Death & Co., is opening a new spot called Gin Palace, a spin on the original Victorian dive bars.

Gin Palace will be an upscale spin on the louche enterprises where Victorians boozed up. It will focus on gin, with a majority of cocktails made with the spirit. As for food, DeRossi says that he’ll offer “hundreds” of kinds of tea sandwiches, served on three-tiered silver platters.”

Legendary New York barmen Alex Day and David Kaplan, of Death & Co. bar NYC, have plans to open either an LA Death  Co. or another establishment or both. They are already in Los Angeles, reconfiguring cocktail programs across the city.

By summer LA will have two authentic currywursts that will be open late for the all night party crowd.


Manhattan Beach Post gives LA its first authentic dining destination restaurant a block from the Pacific Ocean.

At Manhattan Beach Post, we loved out entire meal. This restaurant and Playa on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles gave us our two most rewarding meals in LA this year. Please make sure to order the cheese and bacon biscuits….

…and the asparagus dish – which transported us into Paris. One could only wonder what LA would be like were our oceanfront dotted with restaurants and bars of this caliber.

Son of a Gun restaurant, a new seafood palace, whose parent restaurant Animal received mountains of national press for its creativity with pork dishes. Bon Appetit just named Son of A Gun one of the top 10 new restaurtants in America for 2011.

Picca will be Richardo Zarate’s highly anticipate modern Peruvian restaurant.

Picca will be a “contemporary anticucho, ceviche, causa and cocktail concept.” We are certainly looking forward to this experience, especially because of the extraordinary food we had at Moi Chica on South Grand Ave. in South Los Angeles. Picca will be in The Townhouse, along with Sotto, in LA’s West Side. There are reports that Moi Chica, Zarate’s original LA restaurant sensation, will reopen in a downtown LA setting. We have waited years in LA to have upscale food of this kind.

Lukshon, the just opened luxury Pan Asian restaurant from LA’s first serious quality cult burger bar, Father’s Office. One of our favorite dishes is the spicy chicken pops, get some!

Lukshon, second interior

Playa, the global Latin cuisine inspired new restaurant on LA’s West Side. Its parent Restaurant, Rivera, in downtown LA, is just as memorable an encounter. (LATimes photo)

Sotto’s Ferrara pizza oven from Naples, Italy is only one of 10 in the U.S. It is the first in Los Angeles.

Lazy Ox Canteen, Little Toyko, downtown Los Angeles. Go for the lamb burger! This restaurant garnered major press in LA when it opened in 2010.

Waterloo & City, one of the top new gastropubs in Los Angeles, it serves a contemporary take on British pub food.


Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles is the best pizza we’ve ever had. It is one of the places that has brought LA to a new level of casual yet superior dining experience. At sometime this year, the third Mozza will open in Newport Beach. The image here is of a projected 3,500 sq. ft restaurant for Pizzeria Mozza Newport Beach. It will have all of what the LA version has, with an updated Mozza-to-go.

Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen food network television program will cause his soon to open LA restaurant, will make his upcoming LA restaurant an instant sensation. This television showing of his working method, his interest in employing the latest in food technology devices, and his excellence in transforming high concept into exquisite new dishes, will make his projected 60 seat LA restaurant concept fill up with reservations like few other places have experienced in Los Angeles.

The Daily Truffle reports that “Michael Ovitz will open Ink (with Michael Voltaggio of Top Chef) is his old restaurant space which housed Hamasaku.”

There are also reports that Thomas Keller will open his Ad Hoc restaurant in Los Angeles.

Bastide veteran Paul Shoemaker (the greatest restaurant contemporary LA’s histor with multiple star chefs) has announced plans to open an artisan pizza parlor and craft beer bar that promises to be “Father’s Office meets Pizzeria Biano in Phoenix

The owners of Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry – perhaps LA’s best breakfast, certainly it is awesome! is opening an artisan pizza parlor and bakery in Santa Monica later this year. So of a sudden the West Side will have a real artisan pizza scene.

This coming July 2011, on Venice, California’s Abbott Kinney boulevard, already one of the hottest scenes in all of Los Angeles, Local 1205, a 3,500 square foot gourmet market. I spoke to my partner about how we in LA are not getting true gourmet food encounters like never, yet we still have miles to go before we catch up to San Francisco and the Bay area, whose restaurant, pizza and artisan cocktail bar scene is on fire. It will really be really nice to not have to go up Northern Cali to get some satisfaction.

“His partner is Steve Carlin, founder of the Bay Area’s Oakville Grocery and Napa’s Oxbow Market, and project manager of SF’s Ferry Building Marketplace and the recent organic market addition in the city’s airport.” (The Feast)
a nearly 24-hour emporium that combines retail and sit-down eat-in options. The 3500-square-foot space will have sidewalk seating, a juice bar, a patio, a raw bar, and will be similar to Dean and Deluca and other famed gourmet Bay area/New York City food emporiums.

“The food will be half organic/Slow Food movement, half rich, luxurious, snotty food”—by which he means oysters, caviar and foie gras. Smoked fish, bagels, charcuterie, cheese, Portuguese-style pizza, sandwiches, rotisserie meats, frozen custard, and flowers will also be on offer.” (The Feast)

Local 1205 will be at 1205 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and will be open daily from 7 a.m. – 4 a.m.  [The Feast]”

Ken Friedman, co-owner of New York’s West Village (with April Bloomfield), Michelin starred British gastropub The Spotted Pig, has promised his Mom who lives in San Diego that he will be opening a major seafood restaurant in LA by the end of the year. My partner and I fell in love with his white-hot restaurant in the Ace Hotel in New York City, The Breslin, which is named after the original name of the building that  too cool The Ace Hotel now resides in. The hotel features a Stumptown Coffee café and a new seafood dream of a restaurant  called The John Dory. I have covered this in another blog post about a trip to New York. By the way – the best slice of pizza I’ve ever tasted was a smoked black olive pizza that my daughter ordered at Pulino’s, which is a recently opened a Friedman establishment on The Bowery. As it turns out, Mario Batali’s restaurant group is also partnered in with Friedman and Bloomfield, which may explain why Friedman is expanding to Los Angeles at this time.

In a November 2007 New York Observer interview, Friedman said this about gastropubs: “Pub means public house. In England, it was where the poor people went, and the animal hanging outside the door [as it does at the Spotted Pig, in place of an actual sign] was because they couldn’t read. It was literally, ‘Meet me at the pig at eight!’

Friedman said this about his Los Angeles plans: “For some strange reason there are very few seafood places here even though we’re on the ocean. We’re at a certain point where we can open restaurants in places we want to be, like London or San Francisco or L.A.. ”  (Paper magazine, April 2011)

Friedman also recently noted that Los Angeles is on the ocean, it seems to not be engaged in eating from the sea. Many others have observed this, but may not take into account the orgy of sushi bars in LA, that are part of growing LA’s fixation of Japanese products, from cars to sushi bars and now to robata bars and beyond.


Michael Voltaggio’s ink.sack


Walter Manzke to open Republique in downtown Arts District

The Factory Place Arts complex will be expanded with 8,00 sq. ft. 140 seat restaurant space in a 1920’s warehouse called Republique that will be home to former Bastide Chef Walter Manzke. The bistronomy inspired Republique restaurant will have a curated good and full baking department via his  wife, called the Factory Baking Co. The Los Angeles Times reported on August 22, 2011 that “The Manzkes took several Paris trips that included visits to restaurants such as Le Comptoir, Chateaubriand, Spring, Frenchie and Chez Dumonet.”

I went to The Tasting Kitchen for my birthday earlier this year. Both it and the next door Gjelina are two of my top special occasion restaurants in LA (actually on ultra cool Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach). So when I read that The Tasting Kitchen was opening what they are describing as “a true gastropub” – this got my attention on the spot and it will soon be on my dining calendar. Scheduled to open at the end of 2011. The Tasting Kitchen’s crew is from Portland. They ran the best restaurant in the city when they were in town, called Clark & Lewis. When their newest venture opens, it will mark the warehouse arts district downtown Los Angeles as a major new dining hotspot of LA.


From Chicago’s Bill Kim we have a noodle bar concept called Belly Pop that will open in downtown Los Angeles. Kim’s Belly Shack in Chicago was  food world sensation when it opened, and has since garnered a Michelin Bib Gourmand award. Studio City has already been blessed with Ramen Jinya, an authentic noodle bar from Japan, which itself has expanded to the  Japanese restaurants district of Sawtelle avenue in West LA, but this one has a liquor license. Nearby yet another direct from Japan noodle bar import has opened, called Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle. It is part of a Tokyo based chain and is the first U.S. location.

los angeles: tsujita restaurant opening

© tsujita – artisan noodles anyone? (photos by Superfuture magazine online)

“if your craving for good noodles is as regular as ours, and you live in los angeles…lucky you! artisan noodle restaurant tsujita hails from tokyo and has just opened a rather spectacular new branch in california, the first one stateside. designed in a clean contemporary yet japanese style, tsujita’s most striking interior feature is an intricately designed ceiling installation of sorts.

crafted by japanese designer takeshi sano, it’s poetically inspired by clouds surrounding izumo shrine in japan’s shimane prefecture, using 25,000 drum stick-shaped wooden sticks. obviously tsujita serves noodles or ramen, but also a wide range of typically tokyo-style japanese fusion food. you just have to drop by and taste it yourself. location: 2057 sawtelle boulevard [west los angeles].” Superfuture magazine online


“Why did you choose L.A. for Lindy & Grundy?

Erika: Amelia is born and raised in Los Angeles, so we would come visit her family here a lot, and we saw that there was a great need for a whole animal, sustainable butcher shop. We try to source as close to L.A. as possible. Everything other than our lamb comes from a 150-mile radius of our butcher shop.” from Cool Hunting’s interview of Lindy & Grundy.”

Sabatino & Co. Roma supplied several of Americas top restaurants with truffles. Soon the store will open in LA and offer truffles as well as gourmet foods and products from Italy. This  certainly makes up for LA/OC not having a Dean & DeLuccas

The news of the year in food for Los Angeles is that the world’s largest Italian gourmet food emporium, Eataly, will be opening in LA, in the Fairfax district. Eataly has several eating stations, and will be making fresh pasta daily. There will be an astounding array of prepared meats, wonderful rustic breads, and so much more. The NYC Eataly opened last fall. It has a free-standing restaurant that is mobbed. It is about to open its 4 part craft beer bar on the roof of its building on at 24th street and 5th avenue in Manhattan. It will be amazing to watch LA go from having none of the major gourmet markets to having one of the top places on earth. There are already three Eataly locations in Japan, and five in Italy.  Perhaps now we’ll also get a Berkeley Bowl supermarket from Northern California, which would be a dream.

Eataly in Turin, Italy (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)

Eataly NYC bread station

Eataly NYCs fresh pasta station (photo AliceQFoodie)

Performing Arts venues arts

In 2011 several new performing arts venues opened or broke ground in Los Angeles. Already the performing arts scene is more dynamic than ever, with several major events happening in a single month, so much so that LA now has a dedicated Dance Calendar. In the past two years alone I’ve seen Pina Bausch Dance Wuppertal, the Berlin Phiharmonic, the Munich Symphony, Kidd Pivot Frankfurt dance company, the Wooster Group at Redcat Disney (three different tremendous experimental theater plays!), and a lot more. With these new venues LA will be able to have wall to wall performances.

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills, CA

Valley Performing Arts Center, Cal State Nortridge

Performing arts hall, Cal State Northridge

The Broad Stage, Santa Monica College



New York’s Perry Rubenstein gallery has announced that it will relocate to LA into a 7,500 sq. ft space in fall 2011.

“I’m bringing to Los Angeles the perspective of someone who has lived and worked his entire life on the Atlantic seaboard,” says Rubenstein. “Los Angeles is a new center. It looks today the way New York looked compared to Paris after the war.”

Rubenstein is one of many New York art world personalities who is convinced that Los Angeles is post-war New York City. This is of course the time when NYC overtook the 300 year old Paris artworld  and became the new center of Western world international art. What is interesting is that NYC has been talking about LA for over 60 years, first as a no place, then a place with potential that always seemed to fizz out. Now it is being seen for the first time as THE PLACE WHERE CONTEMPORARY ART COMES FROM IN AMERICA.

In 2011 LA’s first art parade will tale place in downtown LA, courtesy of West of Rome, the LA nonprofit visual arts presenter.

LA really separated itself from the rest of the West Coast in 2011 with recent announcements of their being the first LA Biennale in 2012. Yet the major news is in 2011, with LA finally getting a layer of its own art history on paper, with the 50 some exhibitions planned that open as early as late September 2011. The major shows will be at the Getty and MoCA, with several other equally significant but smaller group shows throughout Southern California in 2011 and 2012. In the fall of 2011 LA gets the first West Coast version of the Armory Show with Art Platform Los Angeles. The Pulse Fair of Miami and NYC is also expanding to LA and will put on a huge exhibition during the same time as Art Platform Los Angeles. There are also more powerful artist run spaces in Los Angeles than at any time in its history. These spaces are serving as both project spaces for artists yet serving as commercial galleries but without the backroom storage. They are promoting the artists they show to an international audience that now visits LA monthly, as LA is now unquestionably one of the most important centers of art production and exhibition in the worl

May 2011:

London based contemporary art collector and curator Kay Saatchi moves to Los Angeles to be at the forefront of the new LA art scene. Over the next month more press reveals her plans to create major exhibitions of LA art, which she also will be collecting.


The Swiss/US based HUB Foundation announces an exciting new exhibition program in Los Angeles that will use multiple venues in winter 2012. (from the Artnewspaper, London)

LA Art collector Dean Valentine launches Bowmont Art, in 7,000 square feet of space at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Initial plans are to showcase his collection, and to have performances, talks and other programming.

summer 2011:

 L&M Arts talks about their expansion to Los Angeles (from Artinfo)
“Why did you open in LA

DL: There’s a creative energy there right now, and a fabulous number of talented artists living there. Not just young ones. If you think of the living established artists there, you think of Ed Ruscha, Baldessari, Charles Ray, Paul McCarthy, Barbara Kruger—they all live in LA. There are museums with an energy that’s quite unique. The creativity is comparable to what New York was like at the time of the [abstract expressionists]. Plus, we found a gorgeous building—it’s very beautiful.

RM: I was there last week, I was so proud of just standing in front of that building. I felt like it was one of my kids.

And the focus of the LA gallery is the primary market?

DL: Absolutely. It was a natural evolution of the gallery. There’s always been a major interest in contemporary art. We had done some primary shows: Bob was the first to do a major Jeff Koons show. But in New York, the market is saturated. You have to enter into a big fist fight to work with some of the artists. In LA, that happens less.

How is the market in LA?

RM: The only totally honest thing to say is that we see a tremendous amount of interest. We did one traditional show just to give a feeling of the range of what we do: a De Kooning show that I’m very proud of with great works on paper from 1947-52. But nothing was for sale, so the market could have been phenomenal and we wouldn’t have known one way or another.”

New York/Miami art fair veteran Fountain Art F announces it’s participation in Pacific Standard Time. Art Platform LA Weekend for 2011.

The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, to be built in downtown Los Angeles, opening in 2013

Art Platform Los Angeles will be the first major new art fair in LA. It is the creation of the same folks who own and put on The Armory Show in New York City, and the Volta Show. It promises to be an exciting time, from its gala opening on September 30, through the shows closing October 3, 2011. It opens along with Pacific Standard Time, which will see over 60 California arts institutions showcase the history of the Los Angele art scene from 1945 through 1980. This is an unprecedented event for Los Angeles.  The Getty museum’s history of LA painting and sculpture of the aforementioned period will be traveling to the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin. The Blues show at MoCA on historical African-American artists in Los Angeles will travel to three other venues and will have a full compliment of ancillary events and a catalog. With Art LA 2011 providing showcdates, this brings the total number of artfairs that will be in LA in the fall of 2011 to four.

artLA brings the experience and knowledge of the Los Angeles landscape garnered over the past two decades, to the service of its exhibitors and collectors.

The Marriott Ritz Carlton at LA Live is nine blocks from Art Platform-LA and overlooks the Pulse tent on LA Live’s parking structure. The breathtaking fourth floor lobby atrium frames the entrance to artLAWe offer 25,000 square feet of column-free floor space with 25’ ceilings joining with 15,000 square feet of additional exhibition space which will house anchor booths, installations, book publishers, museum and vendors in addition to a private café for the fair.”


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