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January 10-13, 2008, photo l.a., Santa Monica
January 23-27, 2008, Los Angeles Art Show, Santa Monica
January 24-27, art la, Santa Monica

by Bill Lasarow

Yes, L.A. has its own art fair moment, and having three established gatherings going on in a two week period in January has gradually brought back a level of participation not seen here since the mid-1980s. Of course that doesn’t put L.A. within spitting distance of the Miami extravaganza--not that anything else in the world today is drawing half a million people, including many collectors, curators, and dealers from all over the world. Continue to Annie Buckley’s column for a more in depth take on the proceedings.

Hey, more L.A. area galleries may have had booths at one or another of the more than twenty fairs held in Miami last month that will be at the Los Angeles Art Show, art la, and photo l.a. But there will be in excess of 250 galleries. If it can be said there will be some international participation, the relative lack of Asian, and especially Chinese, galleries jumps at you.

Tom Holland “Pope Creek #27” 2002,
epoxy on aluminum on fiberglass, 35 x 57”.
Courtesy Charles Cowles Gallery

That said, the L.A. Art Show, held at the Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport, has made steady progress for over a decade now, earned positive notices, and this year adds the L.A. Fine Print Fair (which formerly hosted is own weekend at LACMA West) to the lineup. The Opening Night Gala, with tickets starting at $200 a pop, will benefit the LACMA Art Museum Council and its Prints and Drawings Council acquisitions fund.  Regular admission on show days is $14 in advance, $20 at the door. Visit, or contact the show organizers at (310) 822-9145 or for advance purchase or further information. For Gala tickets give them a call at LACMA, (323) 857-6501. The Gala will be held on Wednesday, January 23, 7-10pm; show days run Thursday through Sunday, January 24-27.

Photo l.a. celebrates its 17th year with a move into the Barker Hanger venue, thus allowing for a space upgrade. The focus on photography and photo-based art makes for a tight viewing experience, and the lecture and seminar series that it traditionally offers features strong professional presenters (keep in mind entry to those is an $80 ticket). The ageless architectural photographer Julius Schulman and LACMA’s new Curator of Photography, Charlotte Cotton, will be honored at the opening night reception, which will be held on Thursday, January 10, 6-9pm.  Opening night tickets are $80, and proceeds go to LACMA’s Photography Department this year. Call the museum for opening night tickets at (323) 932-5846.  Regular admission is $20, or $30 for a pass to all three fair days, January 11-13.

Julius Shulman, "Case Study House #22 (Pierre Koenig, Architect)," 1960.
Art la, only in its fourth year, will be held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, at Main Street and Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica once again. This fair has thus far struggled to gain traction, but its organizers have worked to continue upgrading the cross section of participating galleries and to grow its public appeal.  Artfairs, Inc. is the same group that operates photo l.a., and for the first time the opening night benefit will support the Hammer Museum’s Hammer Project series. The January 24 opening begins with a Patron Preview, 6:30-8:30pm, tickets priced at $150, followed by the Opening Preview from 8:30-10:30pm, at $50 per ticket.  Contact the Hammer for advance ticket purchase, (310) 443-7026, or  Regular show dates run January 25-27, with tickets running $15, or $25 for a three-day pass.

For further information and advance tickets to art la and photo l.a. go to, or call (323) 937-4659.

Lien Botha, "Amendment 11: the case of extinct threats," 2006, archival ink on cotton paper, 40 x 86 1/2 cm.