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The 10 Best Booths at Frieze Los Angeles 2022

Catherine Wagley
Feb 18, 2022 7:56PM

Sarah Rosalena Brady, installation view in Garden’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber. Courtesy of the artist and Garden, Los Angeles.

It has been two years since the last edition of Frieze Los Angeles, and the fair has left its previous whimsical home on the Paramount Studios backlot for a more conventional site in the city’s most famously wealthy neighborhood: a tent on the grounds of the bright-white Beverly Hills Hilton. It has also grown. The 2020 edition included 70 galleries, while there are 100 this year, spread across three sections of the well-lit tent. The overabundance that comes with a fair this size always makes close looking a challenge, and thus it’s even more of a delight when specific artworks catch the eye. Here are 10 standout booths from Frieze Los Angeles 2022.


Bel Ami

Focus LA, Booth F3

With works by Ben Sakoguchi

Ben Sakoguchi, installation view in Bel Ami’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze.

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In the fair’s “Focus” section, Chinatown gallery Bel Ami features the work of Ben Sakoguchi, a longtime L.A. artist who has been making art since the early 1960s. Sakoguchi’s work, which for years has been under-exhibited, offers crisp, comic takes on the American dream. And its precision, consistency, and arresting palette makes it particularly effective in a fair setting, cutting through the visual clamor. Sakoguchi’s “Caprices” (2003–12), a series based on Francisco de Goya’s “Los Caprichos,” pillories American pop culture and its insidious messaging: In one painting, we see cigarette ads taken to their extremes. Camel Joe is smoking; so are dogs, gorillas, children, and Sissy Spacek.


Bortolami

Booth C10

With works by Richard Aldrich, Daniel Buren, Leda Catunda, Morgan Fisher, René Green, Naotaka Hiro, Rebecca Morris, Madeline Hollander, and Mary Obering

Leda Catunda, installation view in Bortolami’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Courtesy of Bortolami.

Bortolami’s booth features sensual conceptualism by an intergenerational group of artists, and, age gaps aside, the work feels surprisingly aligned. Two striped paintings by the French conceptual artist Daniel Buren, who has been exhibiting since the 1960s, lean against the booth’s outside walls, while inside, a scalloped sculpture of painted fabric by Brazilian artist Leda Catunda hangs from the ceiling. This work by Catunda—who is associated with the 1980s Geração 80 movement—looks almost too heavy for the thin chains holding it up. Nearby hangs a bright bodily abstraction by Naotako Hiro, who has been exhibiting in L.A. since the early 2000s, and an early, 1980s sculptural painting by conceptual artist Renée Green. Green’s scene is, on first glance, gloriously bright, but the purple house in the distance is in flames, and the figure in the foreground is being held at knifepoint, though we can’t tell by whom.


Carlos/Ishikawa

Booth D6

With works by Evelyn Taocheng Wang and Issy Wood

Evelyn Taocheng Wang and Issy Wood, installation view in Carlos/Ishikawa’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze.

In Evelyn Taocheng Wang’s Apocalypse Sewing (2021), a delicately violent painting on paper, a seemingly unbothered woman beheads a very large, naked man using a blade on a chain. She is well dressed—shimmering yellow pants, billowing white-and-blue bell sleeves—and words written above her weapon, the extended chain, read “Gross, Gross, Groossss.” Lines of the dying man’s blood become threads, gathered together by a figure in the background. Tight little blocks of elegant, slightly smudged calligraphy are scattered across the drawing, offering context and interpretation: “This paper painting depicts explicit violence of graphic images”; “It’s not true that men’re all bad….”

Works by Wang, based in Rotterdam, share the space of Carlos/Ishikawa’s booth with paintings by Issy Wood. The London-based painter’s controlled yet lush, zoomed-in meditations efficiently contrast Wang’s more visceral, self-aware panoramas. Wood’s My custom domain (2021), a large oil painting on velvet, is divided into three parts: on top, a view of two beige backseats of a car, then a shiny close-up of leather upholstery, followed by the barely discernible eyes of a small dog. It’s a careful, familiar depiction of modest luxury.


Chapter NY + Project Native Informant

Booth E9

With works by Kenneth Bergfeld, Dozie Kanu, Erin Jane Nelson, Tourmaline, Joseph Yaeger, and Stella Zhong

Stella Zhong and Erin Jane Nelson, installation view in Chapter NY / Project Native Informant’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Photo by Sebastiano Pellion. Courtesy of Chapter NY / Project Native Informant.

One of a few standout collaborative booths at the fair, the space that Chapter NY shares with London gallery Project Native Informant achieves special synergy. A trio of sculptural paintings by New York–based artist Stella Zhong look like prototypes made by a stylish, amateur scientist. Vortex Generator Test (2021) combines gray-on-gray paintings of a multitiered wheel with two polished wooden wings that fold over the image.

Atlanta-based artist Erin Jane Nelson’s Abbreviations of Time (When!) (2022) contrasts Zhong’s objects while also complimenting them: a collection of resin-covered painted ceramics with protruding tentacles and geological imagery on the surface. Nelson’s installation is shinier and louder than Zhong’s, yet has a similarly aspirational, provisional energy. So do Dozie Kanu’s fantastic sculptural stools and tables, each colored blood red.


Commonwealth & Council + 47 Canal

Booth A15

With works by Ajay Kurian, Alison O’Daniel, Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho, Anicka Yi, Cayetano Ferrer, Elle Pérez, Guadalupe Rosales, Katie Grinnan, Leslie Martinez, Stewart Uoo, and Suki Seokyeong Kang

Installation view of Commonwealth & Council + 47 Canal’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Photo by Paul Salveson. Courtesy of Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles; and 47 Canal, New York.

The booth that New York’s 47 Canal put together with L.A. gallery Commonwealth & Council is dense, energetic, and full of pattern clashes. Katie Grinnan’s Twister (2015–22) anchors one front corner; the piece is a colorful, looming tower of concrete, wood, and plastic, positioned on a blanket based on scans Grinnan took of her own weathered pants and her own spinning body. Behind Grinnan’s sculpture hangs Force (Fire Island) (2021), Elle Pérez’s intense black-and-white photograph of sea foam. Across the way, Anicka Yi’s Turning Poison into Medicine (2022), a terrifying, bright-green creature made from high-density foam, shares wall space with Guadalupe Rosales’s mirrored chamber, Dreaming Casually (2022). Rosales has scratched on the glass: “Smile Now, Cry Later.”


Garden

Focus, Booth F5

With works by Sarah Rosalena Brady

Sarah Rosalena Brady, installation view in Garden’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber. Courtesy of the artist and Garden, Los Angeles.

Garden features an installation by Sarah Rosalena, an L.A.-based artist whose sculptures marry scientific computations with the hands-on intimacy of craft. CMB | RGB (2021), a cluster of gourds made from beeswax and resin, is installed on a low plinth. Blue, green, and red beads adorn the heads of the gourds, combined to evoke NASA images of the cosmic microwave background (or the radiation left over from the Big Bang). The simple conceit––making these scientific discoveries more human, idiosyncratic, accessible––works so well.


Ortuzar Projects

Booth A7

With works by Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne Jackson, installation view in Ortuzar Projects’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze.

Solo installations are such a reprieve at a fair of this size, especially when the work is a revelation. Ortuzar’s presentation of Suzanne Jackson’s paintings and hanging sculptures give the work––and the weary fair viewer––room to breathe. Jackson’s work is still far too under-known, though she presided over Gallery 32, a Los Angeles space that gave other artists a platform to experiment, between the late 1960s and ’70s. The works on view here span a couple of eras: There’s the long triptych In A Black Man’s Garden (1973), which places its lanky central figure, creatures, and flora against roomy expanses of white. In Migration (1998), the canvas is full, though the paint layers remain light and ethereal, and the forms of birds and trees emerge from marks that at first glance look purely expressive. The 2020 work falling, flying, fleeing, earth sault is suspended, made from stained, weathered, textured paper. It almost looks like a kite, or a wide wing, something that could billow and fly away.


The Pit

Booth E19

With works by Nasim Hantehzadeh

Nasim Hantehzadeh, installation view in The Pit’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Photo by Jeff Mclane. Courtesy of The Pit LA.

The Pit’s booth features engulfing new work by Los Angeles–based artist Nasim Hantehzadeh. The paintings and drawings, which conjure the best of Pattern and Decoration and California Funk, have an ornate bodily language of their own. The largest work, an oil pastel with dry pastel and pencil on paper, is particularly arresting, in part because––installed unframed––the mark-making feels so active and close to you. Called Wisdom (2021), it’s a vibrant garden of vulvar cocoons, orbs, and snaking, sweet-seeming penises with multicolored heads (deep green, bright red), all against intense royal blue. The cocoons and orbs are full of even more patterns and colorful patchworks––which manage to recall festive tablecloths and costume jewelry as much as they do gonads.


Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Booth C11

With works by Kelly Akashi, Martin Boyce, Sandra Cinto, Olafur Eliasson, Shilpa Gupta, Laura Lima, Mark Manders, Lisa Oppenheim, Analia Saban, Tomás Saraceno, Thomas Scheibitz, Haim Steinbach, Sarah Sze, and Lisa Williamson

Lisa Williamson, Dive, 2022. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles.

Haim Steinbach, at hand, 2021. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles.

The best thing about Tanya Bonakdar’s presentation is the way it makes artists on her roster—some of whom don’t always seem terribly related—feel like part of a shared lineage. A comical sculpture by longtime conceptualist Haim Steinbach hangs right outside the booth, facing the fair’s aisle. Called at hand (2021), it consists of a medium-size red laminated shelf with two black dog chew toys, a cereal box painted to look kind of like SpongeBob, and two black-and-yellow hand grip strengtheners on it. The absurd yet under-control energy of Steinbach’s display carries around the corner, where L.A.-based artist Lisa Williamson’s Dive (2022) hangs. Pea green, pink, and light gold stripes run up and down a long piece of aluminum. Sixteen little rectangles, their matching stripes painted in the opposite direction, protrude outward, looking like mini diving boards that hover over nothing but fair tent flooring. In this context, even Olafur Eliasson’s sleek Colour experiment no. 102 (2021) appears more lighthearted than it otherwise might.


Various Small Fires

Booth A4

With works by Sara Anstis, Alex Becerra, Math Bass, Billy Al Bengston, Ashley Bickerton, Kohshin Finley, Jessie Homer French, Will Gabaldón, Alexander Harrison, Christian Quin Newell, Wendy Park, Calida Rawles, Anna Sew Hoy, and Glen Wilson

Installation view Various Small Fire’s booth at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze.

The first object you see upon entering Various Small Fires’s booth is a delightful labyrinth by L.A.-based artist Anna Sew Hoy, Digital Ocean, low-tide (2022). An assemblage of charmingly imperfect ceramics, found plastic, metal, fabric, and even a couple of rocks, the sculpture is a world unto itself, conjuring a version of nature that is both magical and entirely corrupted by refuse. Nearby, Wendy Park’s colorful Sitting Ramen (2022), an acrylic on canvas, depicts an empty space––maybe a strip-mall storefront, since there’s a hint of a rolling metal grate in the background and a partially closed sliding metal gate in the foreground. A bowl of instant ramen sits lonely on a green stool, while two open cans of Coors sit abandoned on the floor. Like Sew Hoy’s labyrinth, Park captures mundane pleasures against a hurried, plastic world of outside pressures.

Catherine Wagley
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019