Frieze L.A. 2023: 7 Directors Introduce Their Booths
Frieze Los Angeles returns from 9 to 16 February. Founders and directors at Nonaka-Hill, Richard Saltoun, Maureen Paley, Anat Ebgi, David Lewis, Taro Nasu, and Tina Kim share highlights of their presentations.
Kyoko Idetsu, Nightmare (Incomprehensible) (2021). Oil on canvas. 130.3 x 162 cm. © Kyoko Idetsu. Courtesy Nonaka-Hill. Photo: Takayoshi Nonaka-Hill.
Rodney Nonaka-Hill, Co-Founder of Nonaka-Hill, Los Angeles
Kyoko Idetsu seeks in painting what is found in film, manga, and oral storytelling. Her narrative-driven paintings observe odd occurrences that puncture the banalities of everyday life.
The inspiration for her work comes from the revelations of trans-generational wisdom, dreams, a sense of societal harmony (what brings it, what disrupts it), and right and wrong. It tends to have a very compassionate character frequently expressing sentiments such as care and gratitude.
Nightmare (Incomprehensible) (2021), one of the paintings we will show, has this story behind it: 'My son has a severe dairy allergy. I drew a nightmare that I had just seen. It was at a dining table with an acquaintance. I kept saying, "He can't eat that because he's allergic!", but my drunk acquaintance fed my son dairy products. No matter how hard I screamed, I couldn't stop it. In my dream, my son ate it perfectly fine, and I felt alone being hysterical. It was an absolute nightmare.'
Frieze Los Angeles offers a good opportunity to show Idetsu's work before her next solo exhibition, which will be held at Galerie Crèvecoeur in Paris.
Caterina Berardi, Director at Richard Saltoun Gallery, London
We chose to present a solo booth focused on pioneering Polish textile artist Barbara Levittoux-Świderska (1933–2019) as her work hasn't been shown in California in 45 years! The last time was 1977, when it was included in the touring Smithsonian show, 22 Polish Textile Artists at the Oakland Museum.
Her 3D sculptures transformed the way that fibre art was perceived and evolved, moving away from 2D 'decorative' textiles. She was unusual for using natural, organic materials—tree branches, leaves, flowers—alongside fibre, a result of her interest in ecology and the natural world.
The two booth highlights, Paradise [Raja] (1973) and Three-fold [Potrójna] (1980), are exemplary of Levittoux-Świderska's extraordinary sensitivity to various kinds of media, materials and forms. The curation of our display teases out the relationship between her iconic, large-scale fibre installations, which will create a tactile and interactive experience in the booth, as well as her wall-based pieces, including paintings and works on paper.
Our presentation at Frieze LA will also coincide with our group exhibition Antigone at our gallery in London, which situates her pivotal fibre sculptures alongside rare works by other pioneers, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Jagoda Buić, and Ewa Pachucka, and new work by a younger generation of artists, Anna Perach and Egle Jauncems.
Maureen Paley, Founder of Maureen Paley, London
We have a close connection to L.A. and enjoy visiting as many of our artists have studios and live there.
Works we will showcase at the fair include Wolfgang Tillmans' Smokin' Jo, window (1995), a very significant portrait of London-based DJ Joanne 'Smokin' Jo' Joseph that was recently included in the group exhibition Reframed: The Woman in the Window at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London.
Conceived over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, Gillian Wearing's Untitled (lockdown portrait) is from a series of portraits that were all created in a time of self-reflection motivated by isolation. This was included in Gillian Wearing: Wearing Masks at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
We have just started representing Alexandra Bircken and are pleased to offer Doppelhaushälfte, whose diverse materials create a unique sculptural presence. Bircken recently participated in the two-person exhibition La pensée corps at the Fondation Pernod Ricard in Paris with Lutz Huelle and a contribution by Wolfgang Tillmans.
Max Hooper Schneider, Fiona Connor, and Esther Pearl Watson are among the L.A.-based artists we plan to present at Frieze, along with Felipe Baeza, Chioma Ebinama, and Behrang Karimi.
Alex Rojas, Director at Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles
Los Angeles and Southern California has a longstanding history of ceramic art in the region, including the incredible Ceramic Arts Program at Cal State Long Beach.
As a nod to this, we're thrilled to be presenting the work of Jane Margarette, a young ceramic and installation artist based here. She happened to discover her love for the medium while attending Cal State Long Beach, where she later taught.
Our presentation includes an installation of ceramic wall and floor based sculptures exclusively, which I think is a unique approach.
The installation centres on a large butterfly work locked to the wall with four different 'repaired' wings. In a semicircle on the floor around the butterfly, Margarette has constructed a ceramic defence barrier—almost like a traffic spike or brutalist museum stanchion, a gesture of protection.
With each presentation, her puzzle-like works continue to grow in scale and technicality.
Mary Howard, Director at David Lewis, New York
Materially and conceptually the works we are presenting vary a good deal from each other, and the variety allows for a dynamic and engaging dialogue between the works.
Of note are three-dimensional wall-based works by Trey Abdella, Todd Gray, and Ravi Jackson, which blur the boundaries between painting, photography, sculpture, and installation.
Todd Gray's work, which considers the impacts of colonialism on Black consciousness, is a highlight. In this work he is using his own image of Michael Jackson's iconic toe point from his personal archive, juxtaposed against his more contemporary photographs taken in Axim, Ghana, and at Château de Fontainebleau in France.
Trey Abdella's work observes the dark side of the American psyche. What makes this work particularly special is the inclusion of a robotic beating heart that pulses and glows within the painting.
Masako Hosoi, Director at Taro Nasu, Tokyo
I have been thinking to introduce Koichi Enomoto's works again to American audience after his solo presentation at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2017.
The museums have started to collect his paintings inside and outside of Japan now and that encourages me to think that it would be the right time to show his works at the fair.
The uniqueness of Enomoto's works consists of the combination of narrative elements and visual eloquence. That mixture proves that his works can claim that he is the rightful descendant of the Japanese Ukiyo-e (floating world) painters of the 18th and 19th centuries, updated in a way of his own.
You can see he focuses on the lifestyle and ethics of a new generation, considering how far we have come and treasuring the present.
Tina Kim, founder of Tina Kim Gallery, New York
Our booth will feature new works from Mexican artist Tania Pérez Córdova, who is the subject of an ongoing solo exhibition at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, and Korean-born, Amsterdam-based artist Mire Lee. Lee's works were included in the 2022 edition of the Venice Biennale, and her solo exhibition at the New Museum will open on 29 June.
A major highlight is works by artist Pacita Abad, who was born in the Philippines in 1946 and died in Singapore in 2004. A pioneer of the trapunto painting technique, which involves the artist painting and adhering rickrack, buttons, and other mixed media onto stuffed canvases, Abad will be the subject of a major touring retrospective opening in April.
Also on view will be works by Dansaekhwa masters including Ha Chong-Hyun, Kim Tschang-Yeul, Park Seo-Bo, and Kwon Young-Woo.
This edition of Frieze Los Angeles provides a unique opportunity to further our mission to amplify diverse voices in the art world, and increase the visibility for our represented artists on the West Coast. —[O]