We Have a Pulse
Pulse Contemporary Art Fair ran this past weekend in the heart of downtown LA—at LA Live. Or at least we’re told LA Live is the “heart of the vibrant and burgeoning downtown Los Angeles community.” As a native Angeleno, I certainly wouldn’t label LA Live the heart of downtown, nor would I label downtown Los Angeles a “burgeoning community” – because quite frankly, downtown LA has been a thriving and distinctive community for some time. - Ellen Caldwell, LA Contributor (more thoughts on the show and images after the jump!)
All kitschy descriptives aside though, the fair proved to do as its title claims in tapping into and presenting the pulse of the contemporary art scene. The organizers of Pulse launched the first LA counterpart to their Miami and New York art fairs, that all focus solely on contemporary art. It coincided with the launch of the massive one and a half year-long LA art collaborations “Pacific Standard Time.”
As with most every art fair, there was a mixture of loud over-the-top art, conceptual art, and understated seductive art, while the crowd was of course ever-so-hip. Some of my favorite exhibitors’ overall programs included: Christina Ray, LeBasse Projects, Jonathan Ferrara, Morgan Lehman Gallery, and Fouladi Projects. Some of my favorite projects by single artists were: Katrin Korfmann, Gina Osterloh, William Powhida, and Satoru Koizumi.
And then finally, some of my favorite times in the fair occurred when I came quietly around a bend to works of stark contrast– by such artists as Nicholas Metivier Gallery’s James Lahey and Galerie Stefan Ropke’s Edward Burtynzky. And by Mark Moore Gallery’s Kiel Johnson (NAP #49, 67, and 2003 MFA Annual) and Christopher Davison: the former a three-dimensional cityscape and the latter a two-sided, devotional-esque shelved nook of paintings which created two of my most intimate moments of reflection at the fair.
Eric Beltz at Morgan Lehman Gallery
Ellen C. Caldwell is an LA-based art historian, editor, and writer.