By Vasilis Papoutsis, LA correspondent
The 24th annual Los Angeles Art Show that took place last week at the LA Convention Center was a smashing success and was attended by more than 70,000 art lovers and collectors. The city’s longest-running art fair is the largest and most comprehensive on the West Coast featuring more than 120 galleries from 18 countries that brought contemporary and modern as well as classical art.
One of the main highlights of the art show was the Parthenon of Books by acclaimed Argentinean artist Marta Minujin whose work has been shown all around the globe. The return of Democracy to Argentina in December of 1983 was the inspiration that led Minujin to create a replica of the Greek Parthenon, a metal structure covered with more than 20,000 books many of which had been banned during the military dictatorship. Located on 9 de Julio Avenue in Buenos Aires in Argentina the structure honors the world’s first democracy, Greece, and also stands as a renewed symbol of Argentina’s return to democracy. It was presented by CCK the largest cultural center in Latin America, located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The LA Art Show kicked off with a star-studded Opening Night Gala that is also a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Movie star and philanthropist Kate Beckinsale was the evening’s host. She delivered an address about the organization’s mission and also met with patient families. Gavin Rossdale, lead vocalist and songwriter from the band Bush was the evening’s Art Ambassador, and he reminded the audience that art can save lives. Rossdale who is an avid art collector after he had finished with his duties as an Art Ambassador visited the galleries and purchased Chaz Guest’s “Jaajo”, a large-scale, mixed media painting depicting a buffalo. Chaz Guest’s artworks have been purchased by other high profile collectors such as Oprah Winfrey and President Obama. Proceeds of the event will benefit St. Jude’s for the fifth year in a row and because of the generous donors who support the hospital, families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. Other highlights of the show included French visual artist Sarah Trouche’s live performance inspired by the French Revolution and the movement of the sans-culottes that resulted in the creation of a performance called “You should wear your revolution.” Dealing with issues of displacement and migrant experiences she conveyed a message of equality, love and cooperation. Also, Ink painting originated in East Asia that is as synonymous with painting as oil is with painting in the West.
For the first time this year Ink painting had a major presence in the show as Michael Goedhuis showcased the 10 most important Chinese ink painters. And the most photographed and talked about piece of art, Anthony James’s large “Portal lcosahedrons” light and mirror sculptures represented by Melissa Morgan Fine Art was sold to a notable collector. Kassandra Voyagis who is the Executive Director of the LA Art Show has seen the LA Art market’s rapid growth and has seized the opportunity to grow. “The show attracts an elite roster of national and international galleries, acclaimed artists, highly regarded curators and avid collectors who demand the trendiest and best art” she said. Keeping up with new trends is essential in order to excel in such a demanding art market and that requires Voyagis to travel extensively. “Last year I traveled to over 10 art shows all across North America, cultivating relationships and spreading the word. As a result of those efforts this year we had over 20 new galleries and a very successful show.”
One of those new galleries was The House of Fine Art (HoFa) a gallery with established spaces in London and Mykonos, Greece. HoFa used the LA Art Show to introduce collectors to their new Los Angeles gallery that opened three months ago. The 25th edition of the LA Art Show is scheduled for February 5-9, 2020 and Voyagis expects that it will be even more spectacular.
Main Photo Caption: Marta Minujin, Partenón de Libros Kassel 2017 (iluminado)