LA Art Show

Melrose Heights Magazine recently took a walk through the LA Art Show, sprawling across 180,000 square feet of the LA Convention Center’s South Hall, featuring 80 galleries, museums, and non-profit arts organizations from around the globe.  What you see is an unapparelled venue of Modern and Contemporary artwork; including painting, sculpture, works on paper, installation, photography, design, video and performance art from LA, Western Europe, South America, and the Pacific Rim.  Over the course of five days, from January 19-23, this international expose of contemporary artists attracted 45,000 visitors and kicked off with an Opening Night Premiere Party hosted by international model and actress, Kaia Gerber.

The LA Art Show was originally imagined by the Fine Art Dealers Association (FADA) and takes place annually at the end of January, now a formative part of Los Angeles Arts Month.  It began in 1994 at the Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, CA, featuring 14 galleries exhibiting Historic & American Regionalism.  In 1997 it moved to the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA and expanded to include modern and contemporary art in 1999.  It soon moved to Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA in 2002, finally finding its home at the LA Convention Center, propelling the renaissance of downtown Los Angeles, and named as the anchor event for Los Angeles Arts Month by the city of Los Angeles.

This year’s show focused a lens on voices and movements from the past in the special exhibition ROOTS, as well giving voice to global perspectives of the future.  As part of the show’s civic engagement mission, 50,000 square feet were donated to special programming, DIVERSEartLA, to nurture the talent and enthusiasm of international collectors, artists, curators, museums, and non-profits by connecting them to audiences in Los Angeles.  Included were exhibitions advancing the agenda to address the global climate crisis, highlighting themes of overconsumption and the growing necessity of sustainable living.  Curated by Marisa Caichiolo, this year’s DIVERSEartLA exhibits explored Earth’s past, present and future, while framing humanity amidst a greater web of life.


Also represented were featured exhibitions, which sought to expand beyond the boundaries of the booth and create an immersive experience through provocative performances and challenging artworks.  Included was Shai Kremer’s Concrete Abstract series, a look at the rebuilding of New York’s cityscape two decades post-9/11, a reflective work meant to “pay homage to America, to New York, to their trauma and recovery.”  Taking a gaze at the renovations and rebuilding of the World Trade Towers, Kremer’s work evoked healing and solace, while offering a historical perspective to a generation of young people born after the attacks.

Also included was the European Pavilion, representing galleries from Spain, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Denmark and Project Space, a dedicated platform for solo exhibitions, showcasing a broad spectrum of ideas and talents.  Once again, the LA Art Show proved itself as an international hub of cross-cultural exchange, breaking down borders—national, cultural, generational, artistic­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­—weaving together the fabric of the international contemporary art community and making a successful comeback post-Pandemic.  Melrose Heights Magazine was delighted to attend and looks forward to next winter, when the event will be held from February 15-19 in the West Hall of the LA Convention Center.


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