Installation shot of Casey Kaplan booth at Frieze Los Angeles.
Photo: Courtesy Casey Kaplan

8 Standout Moments from Frieze Los Angeles 2024

From an under-sung hero of Korean art at Lehmann Maupin to a debut presentation of rose-quartz busts by vanessa german at Kasmin

On February 29, throngs of art collectors made their way to the Santa Monica Airport for the fifth edition of Frieze Los Angeles. At the fair entrance, the iconic hot-pink sign beckoned visitors who lined up outside the soaring Kulapat Yantrasast–designed tent. The mood was positively jubilant inside as viewers meandered their way through the aisles, a reflection of the spirit of a city experiencing a fast-growing artistic landscape. Helmed by Christine Messineo, Frieze’s Director of Americas, the show runs through March 3, bringing together over 95 of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries.

Now in its second edition at this location in Santa Monica, the fair finally seems to have found its sweet spot. A big change includes consolidating all of the participants into one main tent, where the blue-chip galleries share the space with the more emerging art spaces, allowing for interesting and unexpected discoveries. Activations around the fair included a dedicated Maison Ruinart Lounge featuring new work by Los Angeles artist and activist Andrea Bowers; a steel chandelier featuring sculptural silhouettes of tree branches, with leaves in neon and stained glass, each one containing quotes from an eco-feminist writer Françoise d’Eaubonne as well as an installation of colored ribbons printed with silkscreened environmental slogans.


Art  +  Culture

7 Must-See Shows During Frieze L.A.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an L.A. event without celebrities—and this year included A-list actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Owen Wilson, Robert Downey Jr., and Will Ferrell on the lookout for the next best thing. There were also many museum luminaries in attendance, among them curator Hans Ulrich Obrist of the Serpentine in London, Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Justine Ludwig of Creative Time.

“It’s such a pleasure to be here in Los Angeles and have such Los Angeles support. The way the city has come together to support contemporary art is transformative,” says Messineo, adding that 40 percent of the galleries here are local or have a presence. “It’s been transforming over the past five years, and I feel like now having walked around for a couple of hours, it’s really incredible. I went by someone who had only made it through two booths and already acquired three pieces. It is not just people looking around, but there is a strong market. We see a range in price points too—from a few thousand to over a million dollars.”

Below, see eight moments that made a splash. 

Kasmin Gallery at Frieze L.A. Photo: Charlie Rubin; Courtesy of the artist and Kasmin, New York

vanessa german, HOPE, (2024); THE WEEPER, (2024); THE BOOMBOX, (2024). Photo: Charlie Rubin; Courtesy of the artist and Kasmin, New York

1. vanessa german at Kasmin gallery

Participating at Frieze L.A. for the first time, New York’s Kasmin gallery presented a show-stopping booth of new works by vanessa german, a Galerie Creative Mind. Eight sculpted heads beautifully crafted with rose quartz crystal are displayed along a long white plinth. Many of them are adorned with glittering gold jewels or accessories crafted with lapis lazuli or even chunky silver crystal grills spilling out of their mouth—motifs referencing hip hop and Black street culture. Nearby, there is a crystal-encrusted skateboard and stereo, rounding out the display. It marks the first body of work created in crystal by the self-taught artist, who is best known for her sculptural works that feature collections of found objects and carefully sourced materials. Here, the artist is inspired by the crystal’s symbolic associations and healing properties to explore themes of violence, grief, and healing. It is a welcome respite and moment to slow down and contemplate amongst the hustle and bustle of the VIP morning at the fair.

Installation shot of Casey Kaplan booth at Frieze Los Angeles. Photo: Courtesy Casey Kaplan

2. Jordan Casteel at Casey Kaplan 

A solo booth of large-scale still-life, landscape, and portrait oil paintings by Jordan Casteel made a splash at Casey Kaplan. The new pieces by the MacArthur Fellow are a departure for the artist as she explores themes of nurture and connection within nature. A highlight is Naima’s Gift (Deon, Kym and Noah) (2023), which depicts a family standing together against a background of lush green foliage. The woman in the image, Kym, is a member of the community Casteel created with and for people of color in Upstate New York, who embraces her partner and young child in the community garden they built. Another work, Craspedia (2024), is a joyous painting of blooms swaying in unison against a fence. 

Installation shot of Gagosian booth at Frieze Los Angeles. Photo: Courtesy of Gagosian

3. “Social Abstraction” at Gagosian 

New York–based writer Antwaun Sargent curated Gagosian’s thematic exhibition, titled “Social Abstraction,” which offers a selection of paintings and sculptures that explore qualities of abstraction and social realities. On view are works by Derrick Adams, Theaster Gates, Cy Gavin, Lauren Halsey, and Rick Lowe. Lowe, a Galerie Creative Mind, uses abstraction as a means to explore social systems and communal relationships. The piece 22 Rhymes in a Row: Homage to John Outterbridge (2023), for example, recalls both maps of urban areas and the game of dominoes in homage to the trailblazing Los Angeles artist. Lauren Halsey’s sculpture watts happening (2024), which comprises tiered blocks with text taken from historic signs of the Black Arts movement, sold to a leading museum in the area for an undisclosed price within opening hours.


Hernan Bas, Absinthe Drinker, (2024). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro

Hernan Bas, Absinthe Drinker, (2024). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro

4. Hernan Bas at Victoria Miro 

Victoria Miro’s booth is dedicated to the Miami-based artist Hernan Bas, hot off the heels of his solo exhibition opening at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. Inspired by a recent painting from his acclaimed series “The Conceptualists,” many of the works in this presentation focus on a languid, lone male figure drinking in an absinthe bar. Rendered in colors that edge towards over-saturation, the figures are staged in ambiguous scenes gazing out of the frame blankly, caught in a dream world of their own. Green is deployed as a motif—a play on the notion of the “Green Fairy,” used not only in the drink but in his subject’s eyes and throughout the interiors or clothing. 

Commonwealth and Council at Frieze L.A. Photo: Courtesy of Commonwealth and Council

5. Lotus L. Kang at Commonwealth and Council

Vielmetter at Frieze LA. Photo: Courtesy Vielmetter

6. Whitney Bedford at Vielmetter

Presented against a deep forest-green booth wall, Whitney Bedford’s dazzling large-scale paintings—comprised of nine separate multi-sized panels—reinterpret Vuillard’s 1894 painting Jardins Publics, which depicts people enjoying the nature in a public park. The artist obscures Vuillard’s scenes of leisure by adding neon-colored orange, red, and green weeping willow trees, a stark and unnatural contrast to the bucolic scenes of the past. They serve as a reminder of the imposing threat of environmental destruction and a global climate crisis. It swiftly sold for for $300,000.

Lehmann Maupin at Frieze LA. Photo: Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin

7. Kim Yun Shin at Lehmann Maupin

A standout at the booth of Lehmann Maupin is a dedicated selection of works by pioneering Korean artist Kim Yun Shin, who is now jointly represented by Lehmann Maupin and Seoul’s Kukje Gallery. In her 80s, the artist has been practicing for some six decades and is only now getting her moment in the spotlight, working with commercial galleries for the first time. A first-generation sculptor in Korea in the 1960s and ’70s, she challenged the norms of the day with her trailblazing art practice. At Frieze, a group of hand-carved abstract wooden sculptures—created using a labor-intensive and intuitive process transforming solid, rough masses of wood into soft, organic shapes without the use of any joining materials—are juxtaposed against her vibrant, bold-colored paintings. Kim will have her debut solo show with Lehmann Maupin in March.

A work by Maria Klabin at Nara Roesler. Photo: Courtesy of Nara Roesler

8. Maria Klabin at Nara Roesler

Nara Roesler presents a solo booth by Brazilian Maria Klabin, who is showcasing new paintings of large-scale landscapes populated by strange figures in scenes of stillness. Filled with broad and fluid brushstrokes, the works were created in a highly physical process from drawings, photographs, and annotations.

Cover: Installation shot of Casey Kaplan booth at Frieze Los Angeles.
Photo: Courtesy Casey Kaplan


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