5 Emerging Artists to Watch at Frieze L.A.

The fair runs from February 29-March 3, 2024.

Maria Klabin, Gal (2023). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nara Roesler.

This will be a wild week in Los Angeles with the return of the Frieze Art Fair, which is taking place for the second consecutive year at the Santa Monica Airport on the West Side of the city. With nearly 100 exhibitors on hand at Frieze, there will be a lot to take in, so we combed through gallery previews to highlight buzzed-about artists that we think will be making a splash. Read on for our picks.



Trey Abdella, Rubbing it in(2023) Image courtesy the artist and David Lewis.

Trey Abdella, Rubbing it in (2023) Image courtesy the artist and David Lewis.

Who: Trey Abdella studied in New York at the School of Visual Arts and the New York Academy of Art; his practice is rooted in academic realism.

Based in: Brooklyn

Showing at: David Lewis Gallery, New York

Prices: $45,000 to $65,000

Why You Should Pay Attention: Fresh off a major two-part exhibition, titled “Under The Skin,” which took place concurrently at David Lewis and Vito Schnabel galleries in New York, Abdella strides into the L.A. fair with the hyperreal painting Rubbing It In (2023). It offers a partial glimpse of someone on snowy street, right at the moment that their shoe steps on a pair of brown eyeglasses on the ground. You can almost hear the crunch of glass!

Abdella, who had a major solo show at the X Museum in Beijing in 2022, takes inspiration from a wide range of sources, such as Robert Gober and Ed Kienholz, and has a fascination with large organizations and institutions ranging from Disney World to the American Museum of Natural History. His work combines meticulously painted images of Americana with sculptural elements, pushing them into the two-dimensional realm.

Notable Résumé Line: The artist’s subject matter is often drawn from his life growing up in the suburbs of West Virginia and aims to speak to the “cliches and terror of American imagery and life,” according to the gallery.

—Eileen Kinsella


Carla Edwards, Shades of Ambivalence II, (2010). Image courtesy the artist and Night Gallery.

Carla Edwards, Shades of Ambivalence II, (2010). Image courtesy the artist and Night Gallery.

Who: Carla Edwards subversively sews quilts composed of flags as a way of both preserving and reimagining the materials and their signifiers.

Based in: Brooklyn, New York

Showing at: Night Gallery, Los Angeles

Prices:  $10,000 to $35,000

Why You Should Pay Attention: Keep your eyes out for Gape (2024), the latest installment in Edwards’s flag series, which features a hidden pocket revealing the stars of a U.S. flag inside. At the same time that the artist honors American craft traditions like quilting and sewing, she is also raising questions about longstanding hierarchies and gender-related issues around making art.

While she has always been drawn to geometric abstraction, she also works in sculpture and in her new piece Good Work (2023) uses knotting and unraveling as way of meditating and way of expelling an oppressive force. Last year, she was in group shows at 1/9unosunove in Rome and Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark. She also presented Chaise for Ghosts, her first solo exhibition with Night Gallery.

Notable Résumé Line: The artist traces her interest in symbols and motifs to her childhood in Washington, D.C., where she saw American flags flying every day above government buildings. Many of her family members served in the military.

Up Next: The artist will have a two-person exhibition with Sarah Miska at Lyles & King in the spring of 2025.

—Eileen Kinsella


Terry Allen, Prologue… Cowboy & The Stranger, 1969. Courtesy of L.A. Louver.

Who: People in the American Southwest may be aware of Terry Allen as the musician behind the 1975 outlaw country masterpiece “Juarez,” but a dedicated number also know him as a devoted sculptor and conceptual artist. For more than a half-century, he has been creating artworks inspired by region’s vast expanses, establishing himself as a cult figure in Texas.

Based in: Sante Fe, New Mexico and Austin, Texas

Showing at: L.A. Louver, Los Angeles

Prices: $18,000 to $50,000 for drawings, and $35,000 to $150,000 for sculptures. 

Why You Should Pay Attention: Allen’s music career has outshone his art practice, but L.A. Louver is aiming to change that by dedicating its booth to his drawings and sculptures, which the gallery describes as “infused with a Southern Gothic aesthetic.” His artwork is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Hirshhorn, and the 80-year-old artist is continuing to create new work. L.A. Louver’s booth spans 50 years of his career, from 1969 to 2009.

Notable Résumé Line: Allen’s work was written about extensively by the late Texan critic Dave Hickey, who described subject matter of Allen’s art as “the terrible vacancy … the magnitude of which cannot be shown or told or sung.”

Up Next: The gallery also recently hosted a show, “Juarez: Now and Then,” at its gallery in Venice Beach, which included 12 new drawings Allen made in 2022. It explores the visual component of Allen’s imagined universe of Juarez. He will also be performing for two nights during Frieze Week at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

 —Annie Armstrong


Maria Klabin, O almoço vai demorar (2024). Image courtesy the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler.

Maria Klabin, O almoço vai demorar (2024). Image courtesy the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler.

Who: Maria Klabin, a Brazilian painter who studied at Brandeis University in Boston, makes mesmerizing paintings that range in scale from very small to extremely monumental, depending on the nature of her subject.

Based in: Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Showing at: Galeria Nara Roesler, Rio de Janiero, São Paulo, New York

Prices:  $10,000 to $50,000

Why You Should Pay Attention:  It’s not hard to see why Klabin says she looks at the work of photographers almost more than she does that of other painters. Her exquisitely rendered images of people sleeping, plates of food, and bold expressionist-style depictions of flowers and plants are taken from everyday life.

Her process involves constantly producing and assembling drawings, photographs, and annotations, which she draws from her immediate entourage. She has likened her work to writing a story or a diary entry but of things that “don’t really happen.” She initially focused on sculpture in her practice but found it too oppressive and eventually gravitated to painting.

Notable Résumé Line: Klabin is working on a project with Tamara Klink, a trailblazing sailor (Klink crossed the Atlantic, solo, at 24, as the youngest Brazilian to do so) and author who embarked on a trip to Greenland from the West Coast of France, in a sailboat on her own in August. Every day, she writes a message—a letter to Maria—who in turn makes a watercolor on paper inspired by it.

Up Next: Klabin will have a solo exhibition at Nara Roesler’s São Paulo location this year, with a new body of paintings.

—Eileen Kinsella


Julia Yerger, Tumbling wash line, (2024). Courtesy of Château Shatto.

Who: The most recent addition to the exciting, scrappy gallery Château Shatto, Julia Yerger has shown with Paul Soto, Clearing, and Bel Ami in the years since the 30-year-old artist graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art and moved to Los Angeles. 

Based in: Los Angeles

Showing at: Château Shatto, Los Angeles

Prices: $4,500 

Why You Should Pay Attention: Yerger’s gestural oil paintings have made her a fast-rising star in the Los Angeles scene, but her ongoing collage work, made mostly from scraps of material she finds on her desk, have become her trademark—two will be part of Château Shatto’s group presentation at Frieze. These tactile works blend abstraction and figuration, and incorporate elements from her training as an illustrator.

Notable Résumé Line: This past September, Clearing’s gallery in Brussels hosted a solo show of Yerger’s oil paintings, “Yard Problems.”

Up Next: This May, Château Shatto will host its first solo show with the artist. 

—Annie Armstrong


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