Notes from the field: Fine Art Dealers Association 15th Annual LA Art Show, Jan 20-24, 2010

This post has been contributed by ICA Board Member and good friend, Kathy Rosner Galitz.  Thank you Kathy and keep these reports from the field a comin’!

There is much wonderful art in the world, especially in my hometown of Los Angeles.  Hence it is very convenient to find a lot of it in one place with some nice surprises from other parts of the US, as well as Europe, Asia, India and South America.  With over 100 exhibitors, it was hard to absorb it all in the single day that I had there.

Although a number of the exhibitors sold works from the early 1900s or well established artists such as Jim Dine, Robert Rauschenberg, and Sam Francis, most of the wall space was devoted to contemporary working artists many of which were new names, at least to me.

Among my favorites was Stephanie Wilde, a painter and printmaker (Stewart Gallery – Boise, ID) who weaves social commentary into her complex, symbolic networks of figures and symbols that bring to mind Escher and Hieronymous Bosch as well as history classes covering the Middle Ages.

I also enjoyed Paul Villinski’s compositions of colored butterflies mounted to the wall (Morgan Lehman, NY), and Ted Swiet’s “Chandelier” which was a light fixture that looked like an exploding Haliburton briefcase (Gallery of Functional Art, Santa Monica).  Peter Romberg’s acrylic images of stylized children with various prostheses were thought provoking (Bert Green Fine Art, LA) as were compositions of images and found objects by Cuban artist Carlos Estevez (Couturier Gallery, LA).  Volakis Gallery (Yountville, CA) showed an excellent set of photographs by Misha Gordon and Brian Oglesbee.

Our good friends from the Bryant Street Gallery were also there featuring works by Aondrea Maynard and Jeanne Vadeboncoer, who kindly donated work to our fall auction last year.  Karen Imperial says “hi”.   I will never look at a 6-pack holder again the same way after viewing Jane Wolverton’s wall hangings (Sculpturesite Gallery, SF).

However some of the more impressive work was from foreign galleries, notably the work of Jean Francois Rauzier (Waterhouse Fine Art, UK).  His large photomontage pieces of libraries, architectural features and landscapes often using human models were captivating to all who saw them.  Lausberg Contemporary (Toronto, ON  & Dusseldorf) featured an engaging collection of evening gowns of wire mesh by Sophie DeFrancesca, spectacular photography by David Burdeny and furry animals made from thin shards of glass by Marta Knowska.  The Rebecca Hossack Gallery (UK) featured intriguing symbolic watercolors by Balint Zsako, cheerful oils of children by David Bromley and crocheted platters of food that looked good enough to eat by Kate Jenkins.  There was also a curated (Karin Adrian von Roques) exhibition of contemporary Middle Eastern Art (Sundaram Tagore Gallery, LA) featuring artists from Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Qatar, of which my favorites were the intense “Farmer” oils of Georges Ibrahim.

In short, it was an excellent selection of fine work.  My only regret was that I missed the Nick Cave Soundsuit Invasion performance art which opened the show.