Bigwigs, mini-mes and cowboy manoeuvres
Just how narcissistic is the art world? Ask the New York dealer Adam Cohen—the man behind A Hug From the Art World—who has lined the shelves of a hallway at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for Felix Art Fair with 53 miniature action figures by the artist Jeffrey Dalessandro depicting art stars, mega collectors and high-wattage dealers. Cohen says several of the figurines, priced from $3,000 to $5,500, were bought by those very same art stars, mega collectors and high-wattage dealers they portray, including the dealer David Kordansky, the gallerist duo Tim Blum and Jeff Poe and the collector Beth Rudin DeWoody. On a more sentimental note, the Los Angeles collectors Maria and Bill Bell bought the figures of longtime friend Edythe Broad and her late husband Eli Broad. And what about Stefan Simchowitz’s one, sporting shorts, a red puffer jacket and cowboy hat? The rogue collector-dealer was sent the figure during the pandemic and, in a cowboy move, is trying to flip it for an asking price of $100,000.
Stars align at Frieze
An early start time and long queues did not deter Hollywood A-listers from joining the eager collectors at Frieze Los Angeles’s VIP preview on Thursday. Gwyneth Paltrow, the actor, skincare mogul and lifestyle guru, took her time exploring the Frieze tent, while the rap star Tyler the Creator moved through with a team of bodyguards. The pop legend Lionel Richie was on hand with an entourage, as was John McEnroe, the collector and former tennis pro. The actors Billy Zane and Owen Wilson struck up a conversation—perhaps about the former’s fledgling art practice or the latter’s upcoming role as a Bob Ross-like television art instructor in the film Paint.
The Wright stuff
Located on Los Feliz’s Olive Hill, Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1921 Hollyhock House is a pioneering experiment in Southern California Modernism, with sumptuous details to satisfy the whims of the oil heiress and arts patron Aline Barnsdall. Entanglements: Louise Bonnet and Adam Silverman at Hollyhock House (until 27 May) is the house’s first intervention by contemporary artists, featuring new paintings by Bonnet and ceramic sculptures by Silverman. The two artists made their works in response to the house, reactivating the space as a site of creativity.
Royalty by design
Behind an impossibly high hedge in the Hollywood Hills is the former home of Samuel Goldwyn, Hollywood’s legendary producer. Last year the first floor of this Neo-Classical gem was converted into the Los Angeles outpost for The Future Perfect, a gallery showing design, craft and fine art. This week it opened Dear Future (until 31 March), an exhibition of work by the Italian artist and designer Gaetano Pesce and billed as his first solo show in Los Angeles. Historic as well as new sculptures and furnishings span his five-decade career and feature tabletop work such as vases and much larger pieces, including the shimmering River Table (2012). One of his most famous works is also here—the curvy armchair La Mamma (1969), attached to a spherical ottoman. The gallery is open by appointment.
Shire’s wonky world
Long known in Los Angeles for his whimsical ceramics and sculpture, Peter Shire has just been picked up by Jeffrey Deitch and has a solo presentation at the gallerist’s Frieze Los Angeles stand. Fair-goers passing his installation, Living Room Theater, cannot help but smile at wonkily shaped cups and teapots painted with dots and stripes, or geometrical chairs where the seat might be a red ball and the back a yellow rectangle of steel. In the 1980s Shire was the only American included in the Memphis Group, hand-picked by Ettore Sottsass, the Italian architect. Deitch was introduced to the artist when he received gifts of his work from friends, then visited Shire’s studio in Echo Park. “I just said, ‘This is amazing,’” Deitch says. “What I like about this show is the aesthetic vocabulary. Everything’s integrated; he even dresses like his work.” Indeed, Shire can often be spotted around town wearing a striped T-shirt and an infectious grin.