Masked and ready to mingle, elite members of the art world congregated in Los Angeles last week for the latest Frieze art fair installment. This welcome return to the West Coast, after last year’s shift online, found the acclaimed contemporary art organization receiving beloved artists and gallerists (along with top Hollywood talent) to a palatial new pop-up venue adjacent to The Beverly Hilton hotel.
During the fair’s VIP hours, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kendall Jenner, James Corden, The Weeknd, Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Troye Sivan, Pierce Brosnan, and his fashion-model son Dylan gathered within mesmerizing booths. Represented were Gagosian Gallery and Galerie Perrotin, and more, showing compelling works by Glenn Kaino, Nina Chanel Abney, Nari Ward, Olafur Eliasson, and others. The art was undeniably the star of the show, especially as day turned to night and celebratory brands like Ruinart Champagne, Maestro Dobel, and Bisquit & Dubouché Cognac unveiled their site-specific collaborations.
The entire sun-drenched city came to life in support of contemporary art, as notable figures traveled from anonymous artist Auguste Wibo’s presentation in South Los Angeles to Alex Tieghi-Walker and Max Farago’s loft in DTLA. Two other fairs attracted star-wattage, from the exemplary Felix Art Fair at the Hollywood Roosevelt welcoming figures like Zachary Quinto to the groundbreaking SPRING/BREAK Art Show receiving the enchanting singer-songwriter Moses Sumney.
Hotels transformed into art havens, with Chateau Marmont catering to Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner, as well as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen for a photo-free fete of Julian Schnabel’s exhibition for the new Pace Gallery outpost in LA. Elsewhere, Bar Lis at the Thompson Hollywood hosted Willow Smith at their Friday night festivities with Whitewall Magazine.
The West Hollywood Edition, however, set the social-scene standard with a domino effect of events that transferred guests from a screening room to a verdant lobby (with an installation by floral artist Maurice Harris) to their subterranean club, Sunset. Designer Nicola Formichetti and Oliver Peoples’ creative director Giampiero Tagliaferri, as well as actor Nick Robinson, musician Samatha Urbani, and artist Chloe Wise were on hand.
Memes and NFTs made their mark this Frieze—as art world internet star Jerry Gogosian hosted real-life French shoe designer Marie Laffont, before unveiling her own sculpture, “Rabbit 02,” the first physical conceptual artwork ever released by an online avatar. British Museum-certified NFT platform “LaCollection.io” partnered with acclaimed artist Refik Anadol for a digital art event Soho House and NFT Now hosted their dinner with curator Afrodet Zuri at NeueHouse.
The week provided plenty of fashion and art-filled exuberance. From Prada’s takeover of the restaurant Genghis Cohen (with a kinetic installation by artist Martine Syms), which welcomed Gabrielle Union one night and Jeremy O. Harris the next, to Dries Van Noten’s collaborative exhibition with Jeffrey Deitch and White Cube, “Tales from the Urban Garden” by painter Raqib Shaw. The recently opened Bode store and the brand new boutique from Parisian fragrance brand Ex Nihilo also made for must-visit destinations.
Though restaurants like Hollywood hotspot Horses (which welcomed chic guests of London’s Saatchi Yates gallery to a dimly lit back room) were quite the draw, it was the next-level house parties that made the Frieze experience so profound this year. Serpentine Council members Matthew and Sybil Robson Orr welcomed Owen Wilson and others to their homes for a reception. Design studio ATRA celebrated in their legendary Beachwood Canyon estate. As the contemporary design platform The Future Perfect brought the party to an iconic house perched in Beverly Hills, Lisson Gallery drew A-list guests to a former home of Elvis Presley.
From Santa Monica to Silver Lake, Los Angeles turned its attention to art, and memories of large-scale works from emerging artists—Jillian Mayer at Frieze, David and Joseph Reuben co-painting live at Spring Place, Ronan Day-Lewis at SPRING/BREAK—will likely linger more than anything else.