Five LA Art Week artists whose works made us pause and take notice

Date:

Five LA Art Week artists whose works made us pause and take notice

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Thursday, February 23, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • The frantic art-fair energy was back in a big way in Los Angeles last week, ranging from the Felix Art Fair in Hollywood to Frieze Los Angeles’ new digs at the Santa Monica Airport to the often-zany upstart projects on view at Spring Break in Culver City.

  • Who: Mamali Shafahi creates works in multiple media investigating technology’s impact on human evolution and culture.

  • Up Next: New work by Cohen will be presented as part of Nicelle Beauchene Gallery’s 15th-anniversary group exhibition this summer, followed by a project exhibition in the fall featuring new self-portrait collages.—Annie ArmstrongAgata BebeckaAgata Bebecka’s paintings at Spring Break Art Show Los Angeles 2023, curated by Paulina Bebecka.

  • Who: The 46-year-old painter, illustrator, sci-fi writer, and manga artist Aya Takano is a protege of Takashi Murakami, having worked as his assistant before building her career as a solo artist under the Kaikai Kiki umbrella. “

  • The artist also has her own set of illustrated tarot cards.

The frantic art-fair energy was back in a big way in Los Angeles last week, ranging from the Felix Art Fair in Hollywood to Frieze Los Angeles’ new digs at the Santa Monica Airport to the often-zany upstart projects on view at Spring Break in Culver City.

Of course there is too much to take in—that’s at least part of the point, right? However, the Artnet News team was on hand to scour the aisles from the Westside to Hollywood Boulevard. Allow us to present some of our unforgettable favorites of the week. Read on to learn more about the artists we think could be poised for takeoff.

Danie Cansino

Danie Cansino, Providence (Taamit)(2022). Image courtesy the artist and Charlie James Gallery.

Danie Cansino, Providence (Taamit) (2022). Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery

Who: Danie Cansino stands out for bold chiaroscuro oil paintings on wood panel as well as drawings in ballpoint pen on loose-leaf paper mounted on wood panel. After originally studying sculpture—she showed in a student exhibition at the American Museum of Ceramic Art—the artist earned her MFA at the University of Southern California in 2021. Cansino currently teaches at USC and is also a tattoo artist.

Based in: Los Angeles

Showing at: Felix Art Fair with Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles

Prices: $7,500 to $30,000

Why You Should Pay Attention: The source material that inspires the artist’s work originates from herself, her family, and friends, as well as their shared surroundings. The geographies depicted in the works—East L.A. and Boyle Heights—reflect longstanding inhabitation by generations of her people as they grow up, move forward, and pass on. “The work is an assertion of presence, a declared union of people and place, and a meditation on growth and progress within a family and community,” said art dealer Charlie James.

Notable Résumé Line: Every painting in Cansino’s debut show was acquired by the Rubin Museum in Miami. An earlier work was acquired by the Xiao Museum in China.

Up Next: Cansino’s second solo show opens April 1 at Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. —Eileen Kinsella

Mamali Shafahi

Mamali Shafahi, <i>Monkey Fever 03</i> (2022). Courtesy of the artist and Dastan Gallery.

Mamali Shafahi, Monkey Fever 03 (2022). Courtesy of the artist and Dastan Gallery

Who: Mamali Shafahi creates works in multiple media investigating technology’s impact on human evolution and culture. For Frieze Los Angeles, Dastan Gallery presented several of his recent relief sculptures and one freestanding, motorized piece, all transforming some of humankind’s most primal sources of fear into objects of playful wonder. Shafahi’s use of materials is especially arresting; here, the artist applied flocked velvet to his epoxy compositions, then airbrushed waves of pearlescent color onto the lush surface. The results could be equally mistaken for magical totems or sci-fi inventions.

Based in: Tehran and Paris

Showing at: Frieze Los Angeles with Dastan Gallery, Tehran

Prices: €5,800 to €25,000 ($6,200 to $26,700)

Why You Should Pay Attention: Since graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy in 2008, Shafahi has been steadily building up his institutional and commercial profile across continents. If his inclusion in both the 2022 Carnegie International and the latest Frieze Los Angeles are any indication, he could be on the verge of breaking out stateside. 

Notable Résumé Line: Shafahi was one of the few artists to have multiple works featured in “100 Years,” the joint exhibition staged by Jeffrey Deitch and Gagosian in the Buick Building during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2022.

Up Next: Shafahi will open a solo exhibition at the Breeder Gallery in Athens in September.

—Tim Schneider

Alex Bradley Cohen

Alex Bradley Cohen, Lucero, and Aguilar (Sitcom Lifestyle), 2022 Courtesy of Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

Who: At 33 years old, the Chicago-born and bred painter Alex Bradley Cohen made waves at the Felix Art Fair with his pictorial paintings featuring repeated imagery of figures in casual conversation at a sun-bathed table, with coffee mugs as a recurring trope. His blocky, saturated painting Keon on the Phone (2023) was a standout piece in Beauchene’s tower room booth, where she presented a group presentation of gallery artists.

Based in: Chicago

Showing at: Felix Art Fair with Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York

Prices: $9,000 to $20,000

Why You Should Pay Attention: Cohen is steadily becoming a museum favorite, with paintings most recently acquired by the Jewish Museum in New York, following acquisitions by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 2020.

Notable Résumé Line: A 2018 group show at the University Art Museum in Albany, New York, triangulated Cohen’s work with that of fellow rising stars Louis Fratino and Tschabalala Self. The group show titled “Triple,” focused on artists who use figuration to express individual identities in similar but radically different ways.

Up Next: New work by Cohen will be presented as part of Nicelle Beauchene Gallery’s 15th-anniversary group exhibition this summer, followed by a project exhibition in the fall featuring new self-portrait collages.

—Annie Armstrong

Agata Bebecka

Agata Bebecka's paintings at Spring Break Art Show Los Angeles 2023, curated by Paulina Bebecka.

Agata Bebecka’s paintings at Spring Break Art Show Los Angeles 2023, curated by Paulina Bebecka.

Who: Polish artist Agata Bebecka painted an atmospheric mural of the night sky to display her oil paintings in a joint booth with Alessandro Giann. The presentation was curated by her sister, Paulina Bebecka, director-at-large of Postmasters, who runs the Rome outpost of the New York gallery (which regularly shows at Spring Break).

Based in: New York City and Sarasota, Florida

Showing at: Spring Break Art Show with Paulina Bebecka

Prices: $2,000 to $4,800

Why You Should Pay Attention: These tiny, jewel-like canvases transport the viewer into magical (occasionally gory) little vignettes with lush greenery and luminous pools. Some have distinct fantasy elements, such as depictions of Pagan rituals. In contrast, others are more ambiguously surreal, such as what appears to be a mysterious geode pulled from crystal-blue waters. Despite affordable price points below $5,000 and positive feedback from visitors, Paulina didn’t close any sales during the show run—but fair sales continue on the Spring Break website through June 1, so you still haven’t missed your chance.

Notable Résumé Line: When Agata finished her BFA at New York’s School of Visual Arts in 2005, she got snapped up by Marilyn Minter, who was a finisher in the famed feminist artist’s studio. Agata’s mastery of luminous colour and carefully rendered details reflect the ten years she spent helping produce Minter’s photorealistic canvases. Still, she’s developed a style and subject matter all her own.

Up Next: Now that Agata is back to focusing on her work, sister Paulina is planning to include her paintings in a group show about water this summer, featuring young contemporary artists from Postmasters in Italy—in Rome or possibly in Naples.

—Sarah Cascone

Aya Takano

©2023 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin.

All Rights Reserved 2023 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. Courtesy Perrotin.

Who: The 46-year-old painter, illustrator, sci-fi writer, and manga artist Aya Takano is a protege of Takashi Murakami, having worked as his assistant before building her career as a solo artist under the Kaikai Kiki umbrella. “There’s a very Japanese, kawaii vibe to her work,” Margot Bravi, a gallery sales associate, told Artnet News. “She loves elements of nature, and she’s created these whimsical women of the water and the air who are trying to save the planet.”

Based in: Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan

Showing at: Frieze Los Angeles with Perrotin

Prices: $80,000 to $90,000 for paintings, $8,000 to $10,000 for works on paper

Why You Should Pay Attention: Perrotin’s booth at Frieze was a sold-out affair. “It went to outstanding collections—people in the movie business,” Bravi said. The artist also has her own set of illustrated tarot cards. She paints with oils and gives the women in her pictures an almost mythical power.

Notable Résumé Line: Takano has shown with Perrotin since 2003, but institutional success was slower-burning; her first institutional solo show, “Synesthesia,” in 2017, with the Monaco Project for the Arts and the École Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques.

Up Next: The artist is poised to return to the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon (MAC Lyon), where she showed with fellow Kaikai Kiki artists Chiho Aoshima and Mr. in 2006 for her first museum solo show, and has another outing coming up at Perrotin L.A.

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