Frieze Los Angeles, the city’s leading international art fair, will relocate to the Santa Monica Airport, a small airport just two miles inland from the Pacific ocean, for its 2023 edition.
Frieze Los Angeles launched in 2019 and the first two editions were held on the Paramount Pictures Studios lot in Hollywood. The 2021 edition was canceled due to the pandemic, and in 2022 the fair was moved further west to a lot beside the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, which allowed it to take up a larger footprint.
The new location—which will occupy an open space in the southeast corner of the 227-acre airport and will feature a massive tent designed by Kulapat Yantrasast’s architecture firm WHY alongside the firm’s landscape director Mark Thomann—will also allow for more space than the Paramount lot. The fair plans to significantly increase in size next year, and will host more than 100 exhibitors in addition to expanded programming and activations during its run, 16-19 February 2023.
“It’s a large, expansive space,” Christine Messineo, director of Frieze Los Angeles and Frieze New York, told the Los Angeles Times. “It allows us to have the ambitious public programming that’s been a sort of marker for all the Frieze fairs—ambitious and grand scale.”
The fair’s expanded square footage will also allow for more food options, which were notably missing from the 2022 edition. “This new space gives us the opportunity to have a strong offering of food and beverage on site—you’ll walk through it as you enter the tent,” Messineo told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re still working out the details. But it’ll highlight some of what Los Angeles has to offer foodwise.
The small airport is not used for commercial air travel, and is already home to mixed-use spaces such as offices and art studios. In years past Barker Hangar, an event space at the airport, has hosted contemporary art expos including the Other Art Fair and Art Los Angeles Contemporary. In 2028, the city plans to close the airport entirely and replace it with a park.