Colorful Sculptural Highlights from the Inaugural Felix Art Fair

Discovering treasures in the guest rooms of an iconic Hollywood hotel

On Hollywood Boulevard, at the infamous Hollywood Roosevelt, a new art fair took place this past weekend—coinciding with Frieze Los Angeles and ALAC. Founded by Dean Valentine with brothers Al Morán and Mills Morán, Felix (named for the beloved animated cat) was spread throughout the hotel‘s guest rooms and poolside—offering a different approach and flow than traditional art fairs. The result was a more intimate experience for visitors, and many gallerists, artists and collectors could be found relaxing on lounges or perched on beds and armchairs.

While wandering the rooms of the hotel, the CH team was specifically taken by all bold and bright structural artworks. Here, we have selected some of the vibrant, optimistic and oftentimes playful, colorful sculptures that intrigued at the charming new fair.

by David Graver

Ilona Rich’s “Untitled”

In Kenny Schachter‘s room, Madrid-born artist Ilona Rich’s sculpture of a neon orange Shih Tzu had a fiberglass candy-colored rainbow body that extended up the hotel room window toward the ceiling. This caterpillar-meets-pooch stares, with intense glowing electric eyes, at visitors who enter the room.

by David Graver

Kim MacConnel’s “Please Disturb”

Kim MacConnel is one of the founding artists of the Pattern and Decoration movement of the ’70s and has been creating painted and fabric-covered furniture since that time. His installation at Felix featured wall pieces, furniture, and a rug made from toilet covers and bath mats. This room, called Please Disturb and presented by the Thomas Solomon Art Advisory, gathered a crowd who wanted to be immersed in MacConnel’s playful world. Altogether, the busy, jovial spirit of the fair is captured perfectly here.

by Julie Wolfson

Kimiyo Mishima “Work 19-C”

A diverse collection of materials smothered the Nonaka-Hill room, creating a delightful visual clash for visitors. Kazuo Kadonaga‘s natural forms composed of multiple layers of cedar sit next to Miho Dohi’s works made from roughly cut copper plate. While scanning the space, a trash basket filled with empty cans seemed out of place—until a closer look revealed it to be a sculpture by Kimiyo Mishima. Born in Osaka in 1932 Mishima’s early works were reactions to World War II, but by the early ’70s, Mishima began to create pieces by transforming single use items like newspapers and beverage cans into realistic sculptures. Here, “Work 19-C” is made from printed and painted ceramic and iron. Inside, cans of Coca Cola, Ebisu beer, and Monster Energy drink are piled up.

by Julie Wolfson

Alake Shilling’s “Garfunkel the Cat”

LA-based Alake Shilling formed her cheerfully warped “Garfunkel the Cat” from glazed ceramic, painted in a seemingly crude manner. Shilling’s recent solo show Monsoon Lagoon saw her animal characters displayed on faux moss-covered rock structures, but they looked at home at Felix too—sitting patiently on lavender cubes. Kitsch, wonky and sweet, Shilling’s creatures are wildly endearing.

by Julie Wolfson

Sara Gernsbacher’s “11 stories Butterfly Blue and Black”

Parrasch Heijnen gallery often focuses on exhibiting sculpture, and their presence at Felix reflected that. Sara Gernsbacher’s piece, “11 stories Butterfly Blue and Black” is an organic form that resembles the animal—but also perhaps flowers or even a spine. The artist’s organic forms begin as developing shapes through a controlled pigmented silicone pouring technique that’s then hung, floating near but not against, the wall. A complementary, nearby standout, Peter Alexander‘s “11/12/14 (Green Box)” looks like a mystical expanse of water captured in a cube. There’s a mythic quality to this serene color, captured in such a precise shape.

by Julie Wolfson

Beverly Fishman’s “Untitled (Digestive Problems Missing Dose)”

Beverly Fishman calls this bold piece from her pills/relief series “Untitled (Digestive Problems Missing Dose).” Crafted from urethane paint on wood, yielding an intensely glossy surface, the piece sees brightly colored geometric shapes next to and in opposite relief of each other. Shiny and precise, the artist’s work (brought to Felix by Chicago’s Kavi Gupta) asks the viewer to look closely at the color choice and how one side corresponds to the other. The name reads like the note from a nurse at a doctor’s office, but the result is ultimately mesmerizing.