Lloyd Wise covers the Art Los Ageles Contemporary fair for ArtForum’s Scene & Herd column:
Fifty-five galleries, more than half from Los Angeles but several from Europe, tried to make the best of the weirdly gleaming bazaar. Exhibiting dealer Gavin Brown called it a “recession art fair.” We’ve tried piers, tents, hotels, and convention centers—why not this? While I never imagined I’d see a Picabia for sale in a shopping mall (as I did at Patrick Painter), the Thursday-night preview proved pleasant enough. People were relaxed, at ease—maybe a little bored. Although the initially sparse and mostly local crowd—“old California collectors,” by most accounts—got busier (and, to the annoyance of most dealers, drunker) as the night progressed, nobody was buying much, but nobody expected anyone to. “It’s low pressure,” Peres Projects’ Richard Lidinsky said. “Not like a real art fair.” […] Art Los Angeles Contemporary is a new fair directed by Tim Fleming, who defected from Michael Cohen’s five-year-old—now “resting”—Art LA. Some gallery higher-ups hoped the fair’s novelty would generate a positive buzz (that would, presumably, expand beyond buzz into sales), but many others didn’t quite get the point. By the vernissage’s end, Art LA Contemporary’s unique angle, its hook for the global art-fair circuit, still seemed unclear.
Keepers of the Fame (ArtForum)