Can United Talent Agency Solidify Art World Cred With a New LA Exhibition Venue?

It's a showcase for "creatives."

The previous site of U.T.A. Artist Space in Los Angeles’s Boyle Heights neighborhood. Photo: Daniel Sahlberg. Courtesy of United Talent Agency.

Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltrow aren’t the only kinds of artists represented by Hollywood’s United Talent Agency. As of this summer, visual artists like Ai Weiwei and Maurizio Cattelan have started joining the famed agency’s roster as part of the agency’s fine arts division, headed up by art lawyer Joshua Roth.

Now, the company is taking its involvement in the art world to the next level by opening U.T.A. Artist Space, a 4,500-square-foot exhibition venue in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles. The agency’s announcement promotes it as a place “for creatives to showcase their work.”

Larry Clark, <i>Untitled</i> (1963). Courtesy Luhring Augustine.

Larry Clark, Untitled (1963). Courtesy Luhring Augustine.

The inaugural show, launching September 17, will be devoted to art by underground filmmaker Larry Clark (Kids, Bully, Tulsa, Marfa Girl) and will include previously unseen vintage photographs as well as more recent “drug-inspired painting and photo-montage,” says the agency. (The Clark show is organized with his New York gallery, Luhring Augustine.)

Boyle Heights is home to galleries such as Maccarone (which got its start in New York) and painter Laura Owens’s project 365 Mission Road, opened in collaboration with New York dealer Gavin Brown. More recently, Adam Lindemann expanded from New York (Venus Over Manhattan) westward with Venus LA. The growth in galleries has even given rise to backlash from some local residents, who fear the influx of art businesses may drive up rent prices.

The UTA venue will not be a traditional gallery, with a roster of artists whose careers it fosters, Roth tells the New York Times, which says that the venue is more likely to host “collaborations with out-of-town galleries eager to reach Los Angeles collectors.”

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