Frieze Will Officially Launch a New Art Fair in Los Angeles Next Year

After months of rumors, it's confirmed. Frieze's LA fair will be directed by Bettina Korek and held in Hollywood's Paramount Studios.

The entrance of Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)

It’s finally a done deal: Frieze is coming to Los Angeles. The international art fair will launch a West Coast edition at Paramount Studios from February 14–17, 2019, with around 60 galleries expected for its inaugural edition.

Bettina Korek, a well-known fixture of the LA art world, will serve as the event’s executive director. She is the founder of ForYourArt, a local organization that presents artist projects, collaborations, and events in the city.

The news comes almost two years after the Hollywood entertainment, sports, and fashion company Endeavor (formerly WME-IMG) bought a majority stake in Frieze. Rumors of a Frieze LA began circulating soon after the deal was signed.

Bettina Korek at LACMA's Art + Film Gala. Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for LACMA.

Bettina Korek at LACMA’s Art + Film Gala. Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for LACMA.

The architect Kulapat Yantrasast of the LA-based firm wHY—who was also behind the Marciano Art Foundation’s space—will design the fair’s temporary structure. (The Paramount campus has permanent outdoor stage sets but also plenty of open space to erect a bespoke home, as Frieze does with its tents on Randall’s Island in New York and Regent’s Park in London.) Ali Subotnick, a former curator at the Hammer Museum, will organize artist projects and a film program.

Los Angeles has proven somewhat inhospitable to art fairs in the past, but Frieze is hoping to tame the city’s sprawl by settling on a fairly central location. Paramount Studios in Hollywood previously hosted Paris Photo Los Angeles, which ran for three years before organizers pulled the plug due to lackluster sales and lack of interest; another fair, the indie Paramount Ranch, also took place for three editions on the studio’s property on the city outskirts before closing in 2016.

“Frieze is in a unique position to create a successful fair in LA because of our experience in London and New York and our partnership with Endeavor, who have deep roots in LA and will work with us to bring a fantastic audience to the fair,” Victoria Siddall, the director of Frieze’s fairs, said in a statement. “As with all our fairs, Frieze LA will be at the heart of a dynamic week during which international collectors, curators and artists will come together to engage with and appreciate the city and everything that makes it great.”

The list of participating galleries will be announced later this year.

So far, early reactions to the fair’s arrival are positive. “LA has clearly become a key location on the international art world map and Frieze was smart to recognize this,” says the dealer Franklin Parrasch, who has galleries in both New York and LA. “The energy here is growing exponentially and I think a fair of this scope and international significance will perpetuate the city’s cultural stature.”

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