On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Art Show (LAAS) returned to its usual site at the Convention Center after a break due on COVID. For those unfamiliar, LAAS does not have the same heavyweights as Frieze or Art Basel, but it does offer a wide range of emerging galleries from across the world. LAAS has been held in Los Angeles every year since 1990, and it is now the city's longest-running international art fair, attracting around 65,000 people each year.
The opening ceremony, which took place on the evening of April 28th, saw far fewer individuals but still a large number of people eager to re-establish normalcy. The fact that LAAS is simple to navigate may be one of the most appealing aspects about it, unlike some other international art fairs, which might be overwhelming and tiring to go through in one sitting. With this being its first show since March 2018’s COVID, there were definitely some changes inside the convention center that stood out to regulars.
Since the high-end leather furniture was not present for this show, it seems to be safe to infer that they aren’t doing well enough financially to afford them. This isn’t good news, as one of our favorite things about LAAS is how comfortable these chairs are compared to other faired, art fair furniture. They’ve been a staple of the show since it relocated to its current space in 2004, and we hope they’re able to solve their financial woes soon so that we can continue sitting comfortably while looking at art.
Other than this noticeable difference, LAAS still felt like a carbon copy of previous years’, with same booths lining up on the main floor, and similar booths in the upper level. There were some small changes, such as David Kordansky’s beautiful wall-covering installation made of pink wool. We also loved the juxtaposition between older works such as Anish Kapoor’s Untitled (Wastepaper Bin) from 1981 and newer pieces such as Kaari Upson’s several-stories tall installation from 2015.LAAS is one of our favorite art fairs of the year, and we hope that it continues to be a place where galleries can show their artists’ works in a way that doesn’t feel overly commercial.