Top 10 Must Sees at Frieze Los Angeles

The Best of Frieze LA 2024

Frieze returns to Los Angeles for its fifth edition, taking place at Santa Monica Airport from Thursday, February 29 to Sunday, March 3. Frieze LA will once again be housed in a bespoke structure designed by Kulapat Yantrasast's architectural studio, WHY. The site plan has been completely reconfigured from previous years, so even if you've been to Frieze LA before, you'll find a whole new experience this year!

"Sòti nan gran lanmou (From Such Great Love)" painting by Widline Cadet
Widline Cadet, "Sòti nan gran lanmou (From Such Great Love)" | Photo: Frieze LA
Javier Ramirez, "La Puerta 1939" at Frieze LA
Javier Ramirez, "La Puerta 1939" | Photo: Frieze LA

Frieze LA will bring together more than 95 exhibitors from 21 countries, with many Los Angeles galleries represented. The much-celebrated Focus section of the fair will be overseen for the first time by Essence Harden (Visual Arts Curator, California African American Museum) and explore the idea of "ecology" to highlight a diverse selection of U.S. galleries that have been in operation for 12 years or less.

Essence shared a few tips about enjoying the festival this year: "Allow the experience to be without much prior thought. The best things about art are arriving somewhere and getting to experience what has been given to you. Artists are deeply vulnerable, and it's a piece of their soul and spirit that they are giving to everyone, so don't come with any preconceptions of what you might see. And most of all, HAVE FUN!"

Tickets to Frieze Los Angeles are now on sale. To help you navigate the massive art fair, read on for the Top Ten things not to miss at Frieze LA 2024.

1. New Galleries

There are 13 Los Angeles galleries showing at Frieze for the first time this year, seven of which are part of Focus (see below), including: Babst Gallery, Dominique Gallery, Lyles & King, Matthew Brown, Micki Meng, pt. 2 Gallery, Quinn Harrelson and Shulamit Nazarian.

Frieze LA 2024 rendering by WHY Architects
Frieze LA 2024 | Rendering: WHY Architects

2. Outdoor Spaces

There are new outdoor spaces focused on food, culture and community. The reimagined outside has been designed for friends to linger and connect, so bring your crew to Frieze LA and make a day of it. Is there a better way to spend the weekend than with your besties and cool art all around?

3. Focus

Focus features diverse and female-owned spaces curated by Essence Harden, who centers on "ecology" and what that word means to the artists. One highlight is LA-based Haitian artist Widline Cadet, who features in a solo presentation from Shulamit Nazarian.

"Giant Shell Swan" sculpture by Matt Johnson
Matt Johnson, "Giant Shell Swan" | Photo: Frieze LA

4. Art Production Fund: "Set Seen"

Art Production Fund (APF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to commissioning and producing ambitious public art projects.

During WWII, the Douglas Aircraft Company commissioned Hollywood set designers to camouflage its factory from the air on the site that is now Santa Monica Airport. Set Seen, APF's public art program at Frieze LA, is inspired by this historical story of disguise.

Featured works by native Angelenos include Sharif Farrag's Rat Race, with actual radio-controlled model kit car races (Feb. 29 & Mar. 2); and Rising from the Garden by Ryan Flores, whose sculptures evoke LA's iconic Watts Towers and Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Other Set Seen artists include Derek Fordjour, Pippa Garner, Matt Johnson and Cynthia Talmadge.

Artist Gary Tyler
Gary Tyler | Photo: Frieze LA
"Remembrance" by Gary Tyler
Gary Tyler, "Remembrance" | Photo: Frieze LA

5. Frieze LA Impact Prize

Established in 2022 by Frieze LA and Endeavor Impact, the Frieze Los Angeles Impact Prize recognizes an artist who has made a significant impact on society with their work. This year's prize is presented in partnership with The Center for Art & Advocacy, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the careers of justice-impacted artists.

The recipient of the 2024 Frieze LA Impact Prize is Gary Tyler, who will exhibit a solo project at Frieze LA and receive $25,000. Wrongly convicted of murder at age 16, Tyler was sentenced to death and spent 42 years incarcerated. His work often uses fabric quilting techniques he learned in prison. At Frieze LA, Tyler will present a new body of textile work that expands on his series “We Are the Willing,” first shown at his 2023 solo exhibition at Library Street Collective in Detroit.

6. Frieze LA Film Award

The Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award is back for its fifth year, presented in partnership with FIFTH SEASON and the nonprofit academy Ghetto Film School. The initiative provides a platform and development program for the next generation of Los Angeles-based filmmakers ages 18–34.

Eight finalists have been shortlisted for this year's award. The public is invited to view the projects online and cast their votes for the Audience Award. Voting for the Audience Award closes on February 26. The Jury Award and Audience Award winners will be announced during Frieze LA.

Reparations Club bookstore in West Adams
Reparations Club | Instagram: @caseyoffthepage

7. Reparations Club

A queer black woman-owned bookstore, Reparations Club is popping up at Frieze LA. If you haven't heard of this West Adams gem, the fair is a great chance to get familiar! Rep Club is hosting a reading corner, so it's also an opportunity to take a little break from all the hustle and bustle of the festival.

Keith Haring carousel at Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy
Keith Haring carousel at Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy | Photo: Jeff McLane, Luna Luna
Betye Saar, "Drifting Toward Twilight" at The Huntington Library
Betye Saar, "Drifting Toward Twilight" | Photo: The Huntington Library

8. Frieze Week

There are fantastic exhibitions on view across LA during Frieze Week, including several that feature artists with works that will be at Frieze LA: The Broad (John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger et al), the Getty Center (Ed Ruscha), The Huntington Library (Betye Saar) and Luna Luna (Keith Haring).

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger at Socalo
Mary Sue Milliken (L) and Susan Feniger (R) | Photo: Socalo
Chef June Intrachat of OTUS Thai Kitchen
Chef June Intrachat of OTUS Thai Kitchen | Instagram: @june.kasama

9. RE:Her

With everything to see and do at Frieze LA this year, you're sure to work up an appetite. Refuel at the women-owned LA restaurants curated by RE:Her, a national nonprofit dedicated to accelerating the growth of women entrepreneurs and leaders in food and beverage. You'll find some of your favorites and undoubtedly discover others that will become new faves! Pop-ups include 1010 Wine, Botanica, Clementine, Kismet Rotisserie, Milkfarm, OTUS Thai Kitchen, SOCALO and Sushi by Scratch Restaurants.

Autumn Breon and the Black Fist Brass Band at Frieze LA 2023
Autumn Breon and the Black Fist Brass Band | Photo: Frieze LA

10. Performances

Each year, Frieze Week features exciting and engaging performances. The 2024 lineup is expected to drop soon, so sign up for the Frieze newsletter to plan your week accordingly.

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