The 95-year-old artist Betye Saar will be on site at Frieze Los Angeles this week to hand paint a re-creation of her 1983 public mural L.A. Energy on the stand of Roberts Projects. Originally painted on a retaining wall on Fifth Street between Grand and Flower streets—near the Art Deco headquarters of the Southern California Edison electric company—the dynamic mural was destroyed just four years later during redevelopment of the Bunker Hill neighbourhood.
As well as hosting Saar’s repainted mural at a smaller scale for the fair, Roberts Projects is releasing a catalogue about the project, which includes sketches, photographs of its creation and documents from Saar’s extensive archive, which was recently bequeathed to the Getty Research Institute. “It’s such perfect timing for Betye, because she still has so much energy,” says gallerist Julie Roberts. “I speak with her almost every day and she tells me, ‘I still have work I want to make, I still have ideas for art.’”
Inside the booth, Roberts Projects is showing new watercolours by Saar based on her life-long collection of Black dolls, created as she isolated in her studio during the Covid-19 pandemic. They will also have portraits by Kehinde Wiley, whose work is currently on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Huntington Museum, and wall-based assemblages by Brenna Youngblood.