Now in its eighth year, Art Los Angeles Contemporary presents established and emerging international galleries while maintaining a strong focus on Los Angeles. Founder and director Tim Fleming spoke to Flash Art about the latest edition, to be held January 26–29.
What was your vision for ALAC when you started it eight years ago, and how has the fair changed since then?
Over the past eight years we’ve invested considerable time to know our city and its evolving art community. The process of building the fair has been fascinating, forming the relationships that have sustained ALAC and allowed us to grow in step with the city’s expansion. Essential to this are the participating exhibitors that return each year to present work on an intimate and accessible scale. Our relationships with galleries have grown stronger every year and now form the foundation of our VIP and public program that includes private collection visits, curator-led museum tours, and performances and talks with members of Los Angeles’s cultural community. We invest in galleries and work to build them an audience that sees L.A. as a destination for learning about, experiencing and buying art in ways that have not been previously widespread.
As the founder and director of ALAC, you have a unique vantage on art in Los Angeles, as well a sense of the image of Los Angeles held by the rest of the art world. How these have changed over the past eight years?
What I love about L.A., which remains unchanged, is there are consistently new young spaces that are just starting out. People will rent a modest storefront and offer an interesting level of access to artists. I don’t see the proliferation of spaces like this in any other city. In a town that is fueled by its progressive art schools with incredibly strong fine-art programs, you find a really intimate relationship between gallerists and young, emerging artists. It’s possible come to L.A., start a career as an artist and explore so many incredible possibilities. What I think will continue to define L.A. is the dialogue between new international galleries, established local galleries and young galleries starting out. That’s truly where you find the momentum that moves the city’s creative current forward.
What can people expect at ALAC this year?
Each year we refine our vision of the fair, working foremost with our participating galleries and partners. Sotheby’s Institute of Art has put together a schedule of critical talks on the role of contemporary art with preeminent critics, curators and educators. Our programming schedule, ANYTHING YOU SOW, focuses intently on the legacy of performance art and time-based mediums, with screenings and performances by William Basinski, Roger Corman, Jasmine Nyende and Puppies Puppies. This year’s edition marks a change to the layout, as we’ve brought our young Freeways section in on the main floor to make it even more a part of the experience of the fair.