LA art season kick off (recap)…

The Los Angeles art season officially kicked off in grand fashion this past weekend. We posted something like 17 shows on our ‘Recommended Openings’ post/email blast and there were three times that many and then some counting all the blue chip spots with openings and all.

My wife and I hit the road at 5:30PM to get over to Culver City area first where shows were starting as early as 6PM.

First up was the grand opening of the new Roberts & Tilton – directly across from BSFA on Washington, their new digs blew away their prior spot over on Wilshire.
The crowd at the new spot gathered quickly as the night went on…
Spotted in the crowd early on was LA art living legend John Baldassari (the tall man with the white hair and beard in photo below)…

The “Macrocosm” group show featured works from a number of the art world’s finest, including the below gem from Barry McGee that sold for a cool $9K before the opening.

The below work from Ai Yamaguchi was just stunning…

As was this photo installation from the one and only Ed Templeton (see below)…

Two monster new works from SF artist Andew Schoultz were on view (see above and below) – these alone are worth a trip to take in. Sooo much going on in each. Schoultz just had a huge new solo show open up in SF area, so be sure to catch that if up in Bay Area this month.

By far the show stopper was the below monster work from Kehinde Wiley – absolutely massive in scope. It must have been 6 feet square. And it had already sold upon doors opening.

Ran into fellow MOCA Contemporaries board member Sue Pink at the opening (seen above with my wife Shawn)… so many made it out to Roberts & Tilton’s opening, was definitely one of the must see shows of the night.

Walked down the street to David Gallery after that to catch Nick Veasey‘s “X-Ray” show…

Then it was down the road to Kinkead Contemporary… uh, not sure what was going on here. The install (pictured below) from Alexander Lee, “Recitations From The Great Fish Changing Skies” took up a good 80% of the gallery and patrons had to shuffle around it against the wall almost to view… made up of resin casts of dead, burnt fish, configured into a mushroom cloud of sorts.

Still scratching our heads, we wandered down a couple doors to Koplin Del Rio to see the solo show of the much celebrated Kerry James Marshall

My first time seeing his work in person and I was glad we popped through – also ran into Sam Wellington (an artist we’ve shown in the past), so that was super cool…

Just down the way was d.e.n. contemporary where Kristi Lippire was putting on a very diverse solo show… you’d think it was a group show given the diversity of style and medium throughout…

The below works were my favorites… not sure what the below represented to be 100% sure, but it just jumped off the wall.

The below sculptural installation was made out of collapsing colanders used in cooking… even had a hands on bird sculpture you could crank and make its wings flap.

Then we hopped on over to Kinsey/DesForges (formerly BLK/MRKT) where a sculpture from artist Mark Jenkins holds court over the gallery. Look for a solo from Jenkins in LA next year… and rumor has it that it won’t be at Kinsey/DesForges…

UK rising star Ian Francis was holding his 2nd U.S. solo show at Kinsey/DesForges on this eve… and he just knocked it out of the park. I think all but 2 had sold when we arrived very early on and I’m sure all will sell soon. Still kicking myself on a somewhat regular basis for not taking Jana’s advice and grabbing one of his works from their epic BLK/MRKT ONE show… ugh!!! I think all his works in that show were under $2K… ah, for a time machine 🙂

After taking in Francis’ new works (and I could have stayed there for an hour looking at those), we popped in the car and drove down Washington a bit to the Corey Helford Gallery where good friend and fellow collector Bil Burri showed off his free print he just received from Eric Joyner in front of their gallery…

As mentioned above, Eric Joyner was on hand, and if you were one of the 1st 300 patrons through that eve, you were lucky enough to get a very nice print signed in person from Joyner himself (shown below in front of an absolutely massive new piece from Coop who will be showing at the gallery next spring)…

On our way out we ran into gallery director Richard Scarry (seen below with my wife Shawn) – one of the nicest guys in our scene I say, a stand up cat.

After catching up a bit with Richard, we scooted across the street and swung in Lab 101 (sorry, didn’t take any pics) to see their current show and then headed next door to see the last show at Project:‘s current location where their now annual “Fresh Faces” show was underway…

By far the standout of the bunch was Nimit Malavia – already garnering a solid buzz. Show below is the beauty that my good friend Oliverio just commissioned from Nimit and that was on view in the show… stunning.

Really enjoyed the two works below from Yuto Onoda too…

Ran into our good friend and fellow collector Amanda Erlanson (shown below chatting with Shawn)… she’s got a pretty rad blog too – check it out over at: http://www.commandax.blogspot.com/

After hitting up Project: it was time to leave Culver City, and continue our quest to overload on art hahaha… it was about 7PM when we rolled into the sprawling Bergamot Station art complex over in Santa Monica…

First up for a visit at Bergamot was the Robert Berman Gallery where Robert Sean Coons was holding a solo show of his vivid works… look closely at the backgrounds of each painting to see blurred, almost reflective like images of beautiful women… one might not even notice if not pointed out, so seemless was the design of each.

We then walked across Bergamot’s parking lot to take in the new group show at the James Gray Gallery, as well as a mini-solo from Jeff Gillette in one of their back galleries… just stumbled upon this one. A rather new spot, at least to this scene, they’ve begun to dable more with some from this scene and on view in this show were a vast array of works…

Of particular note were two new works from Jophen Stein – who was also on hand for the opening, good seeing him for sure…

The below beauty from Shag was hanging in their office…

Upon entry, one was treated to a wall of framed, rare prints from Mark Ryden which hung adjacent a wall of framed Miro prints – go figure. Definitely a diverse mix of works and artists made up this show…

But stumbling upon a new body of work from Jeff Gillette really made swinging into this new spot worth it… hidden away behind the bar, in a lil’ seperate gallery were twelve works from the man himself – almost all were new for this show and in particular the Vegas themed pieces were just stellar. Had we not just picked up a couple from his last Copro Nason solo, it would have been very tempting. My only concern is this is his 3rd solo within six months in LA – just seems as though he’s putting too much out there – a problem too many have these days it seems. No need to show so much in one city, especially in such a short period – that’s just my humble 2 cents… regardless, his work ranks up there with some of our favorites in this scene and I hope his name spreads. Look for a feature in Vol. 9 of HI FRUCTOSE which hits in early October, can’t wait for more to find out about his work…


While walking to the next opening within Bergamot, we passed by this recent addition to the Bergamot Station lot, an old Benz that has been made into a giant work of art – a planter with all manner of herbs growing in it. Pretty funny to come upon while walking around the grounds… After taking in the Benz planter, we headed around the corner to the Patricia Correia Gallery to catch Becca‘s new solo “Wild West Wonderland”…

Becca’s new works were super vivid and captured her trademark style – thing is, she hasn’t gotten up on the streets in ages, and sales somewhat reflected that it seemed… still love her work though, but ever since she left Merry Karnowsky’s gallery, she’s faded from the limelight (at least in my opinion)…

Wasn’t even planning on popping into D3 Projects, but there was a huge crowd and it grabbed our attention, and man, are we glad we swung in to catch the absolutely break taking graphite on paper works of Ethan Murrow

I’ll be headed back to Bergamot one weekend soon to take in this show again… each piece was massive, easily 4’x4′, beautifully framed and presented and lit. His skill is 2nd to none…

After taking in that show, not much could top it, but we headed to the back of Bergamot Station to take in this year’s Blab! show at Copro Nason…

Upon entering Copro we were quickly introduced to Tom Huck by gallery director Gary Pressman. Huck works in wood carved block prints… below Tom stands next to his latest masterpiece. This has to be seen in person if you get the chance. Wow!!!

One of the highlights for me was seeing a couple of killer new works from Andy Kehoe (both of which had already sold). He’ll be having his 2nd solo with us next December and I just can’t wait to have him out again.

Speaking of sales, the below piece from Ron English had sold early on for a cool $60K as well…

We arrived pretty early on in the evening, but was still very surprised to see both of the pieces from Travis Louie still available. Sure that wasn’t the case for long, as both were just amazing.

Over in gallery 2 at Copro Nason there was a solo show of work from Ryan Heshka‘s work – shown below are a few and the wall mural he did for the show…

On the way out, gallery co-owner and Juxtapoz curator Greg Escalante called us over to meet living art legend Llyn Foulkes (shown below on the left, next to Greg) – that was pretty cool to say the least…

Headed out of Bergamot Station area at around 10PM to head out to West Hollywood area to take in the new show at Carmichael Gallery

At Carmichael they were holding the debut LA solo show from OddZoo….

After hanging out and catching up with Seth and Elisa, we got in the ol’ VW to head to the downtown area to catch the Hive Gallery‘s latest group show… arriving just shy of midnight, we breathed a heavy sigh and prepared to take in our final show of the night…

Upon entering we were treated to the mini-solo of new works from artist N.C. Winters

And moments later we ran into Myna Sonou and Catherine Brooks… they both rule!

Above is Catherine Brook‘s piece for the Hive show… she continues to excel and we’re excited to hosting her debut LA solo show next summer… more on that soon…

One of the main reasons we headed all the way downtown at midnight after such a long day of art crawling was to take in the new works of Ekundayo’s studio mate, Michael Alvarez. His works are really unique, and you can recognize his work after viewing only once, his style is that distinct…

We’ll be taking Alvarez to Art Basel this year when we show at Vanguard… more lay ahead from him for sure, so stay tuned.

To view more of Alvarez’ artwork, check out http://www.michaelalvarezart.com/

We rolled into our home at 1:30AM… eight solid hours of non-stop art crawling. This coming weekend promises almost as many shows… can’t wait! Gotta love living in LA!!!

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