Both Felix and Frieze exceeded expectations with inaugural Los Angeles editions in 2019. Surprise and delight defined the discourse. Standards were set. And, for the most part, collectors, gallerists and artists had fun in the process. Felix LA, founded by art collector Dean Valentine and dealers Mills Morán and Al Morán of Morán Morán, returns to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for a sophomore chapter. Its mission will remain the same—to create an intimate art experience—but moves have already begun to enhance the substance and spectacle.
First, the number of exhibiting galleries increases to 60. Visitors can expect international representation amidst local players. Again, installations will weave through the hotel’s guest rooms—granting a uniquely personal experience with each exhibitor—but with formatting changes to increase it all. Most importantly, this year will introduce the first-ever Curator of Special Projects, William J Simmons. Under the banner of “Cruel Optimism,” 14 artists (12 of whom are women) address sincerity, articulation and self-reflection within the themes of gender, queerness and feminism.
Of these special projects, performance artist Dynasty Handbag‘s “Weirdo Night” will kick off opening night. Actress Paz de la Huerta will join artist Bjarne Melgaard for a performance referred to as “the Paz Project,” presented by Kenny Schachter. Multi-disciplinary artist Luis Flores will install work on the lobby chandelier of the Hollywood Roosevelt. Jill Soloway will curate select of Judy Chicago works. Site-specific projects will involve the iconic hotel even more than last year, from the ballroom to the pool-side bungalows and typically unseen spaces.
Highlights abound beyond the special projects division. LA-based galleries Michael Benevento, Matthew Brown Gallery, Grice Bench, M+B, Nino Mier Gallery, Nicodim Gallery, Parrasch Heijnen, PRAZ-DELAVALLADE, Residency Art Gallery and Thomas Solomon Art Advisory—as well as Morán Morán—will position the artistic allure of their city. Meanwhile, NYC’s Marlborough Gallery will show acclaimed artist duo Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe’s cactus-from-geode sculptures. Gallerist Carl Kostyál’s Brooklyn-based artist Hein Koh will exhibit “Smokin’ Peas in a Pod,” an animated sculpture.
Felix LA runs 13-16 February at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Tickets to Felix are available online for $25.
Hero image of Isabelle Albuquerque’s “Orgy For 10 People In One Body” courtesy of Nicodim Gallery