Nancy Baker Cahill, Revolutions (2019) at the Palm Springs Wind Farm, animated Augmented Reality Drawing Courtesy the artist and Desert X
Nancy Baker Cahill’s ‘Revolutions’ (2019) at Desert X © Nancy Baker Cahill/Desert X
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Felix LA
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
February 14-17

Alix Vernet’s ‘Haunted House’ (2018) at Felix LA
Alix Vernet’s ‘Haunted House’ (2018) at Felix LA © Alix Vernet/Soft Opening

This new fair, founded by collector Dean Valentine and dealers Al and Mills Morán, was inspired by a group of gallerists’ nostalgia for the mid-1990s Gramercy International Art Fair, which was held, briefly, in LA’s Chateau Marmont (the 1998 fair included a Camel smoking lounge, with free Camel-branded T-shirts and screen savers). This newcomer — named after Felix the Cat and the 19th-century art critic Félix Fénéon — will be held in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, across its suites and public areas, promising to give attendees intimate access to galleries. Valentine promises that reasonable rates mean that galleries of all sizes will be able to participate, and access to the fair and the hotel’s pool — whose floor was decorated by David Hockney — will be free for visitors.

Barker Hangar, Santa Monica
February 13-17

Tropics at Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2018. ALAC fair Photo by Michael Underwood.
Tropics at ALAC © Michael Underwood

Art Los Angeles Contemporary is described by director Tim Fleming as “a cultural happening rather than a strictly commercial event”, and takes place in the vast 40,000 sq ft Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. This year’s event will feature 65 exhibitors including emerging and established galleries with a focus on the local area — 24 of the exhibitors are from Los Angeles — and a new publishing section overseen by curator Frances Horn. Panel discussions, film screenings and performances will take place alongside the fair, as well as an auction in aid of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, a charity that supports both cancer patients and emerging artists.

Desert X
Coachella Valley
Feb 9-April 21

Cara Romero, “Winka & The Windmills”, 2019. © Cara Romero Photography. Courtesy the artist and Desert X.
Cara Romero’s ‘Winka & The Windmills’ (2019) at Desert X © Cara Romero/Desert X

Perhaps a slightly more refined event than the valley’s eponymous music festival, Desert X will feature site-specific installations aiming to “embrace a range of ecological, environmental and social issues that have been driving conversations about our role in the anthropocene”. This is the second Desert X — the inaugural event in 2017 included Doug Aitken’s spectacular mirrored house, “Mirage”, and drew 200,000 visitors over its duration. This year’s will include works by 15 artists, including Jenny Holzer and Mary Kelly, while bus tours will be available around the 45-mile site from the festival hub at the Palm Springs Ace Hotel.

Superfine! LA
1933 S Broadway, Los Angeles
February 14-17

Mary Finlayson, de Kooning, Bueys and Plants, 18x24, 2017, $1,750 Superfine Fair
Mary Finlayson’s ‘de Kooning, Bueys and Plants’ (2017) at Superfine! LA

Superfine’s stable of art fairs across the US — and now in LA for the first time — aims at accessibility and transparency, with 90 per cent of the art works available priced below $5,000. Founders Alex Mitow and James Miille object to the phrase “price upon request”, and payment plans are available. The fair launched in Miami and New York in 2015, and exhibitors are exclusively smaller and emerging galleries with a strong female and LGBTQ contingent. Special project “This is America!” looks at identity and politics, Pansy Ass Ceramics curates “an amorous journey into camp”, while Matt Sheridan — who worked on the MTV series Daria — hosts an audio-visual installation.

The Kinney Venice Beach hotel
February 15-17

Parker Day SITE-SPECIFIC INSTALLATION at The Kinney in Venice, STARTUP ART FAIR, 2018 2018 stARTup Art Fair / Mido Lee
Parker Day installation at stARTup fair © stARTup Art Fair/Mido Lee

Also focusing on emerging and mid-career artists is stARTup, which will take place in the Kinney hotel in Venice Beach. More than 60 artists, selected by a jury, are each given a hotel room to transform into an exhibition space. Founded by artist Ray Beldner, the fair’s mission is not just to make sales, but to connect “undervalued” artists to collectors. This year’s fair will feature artists from the ECF Art Center, which helps artists with developmental disabilities.

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