Hollywood Is The New Center for Contemporary Art in Los Angeles

Alesh Ancira | February 4, 2020 | The Latest National

The Los Angeles Art world has had many centers over the last twenty years--Bergamot Station, Chinatown, Culver City and Downtown--each of which had a concentration of galleries.

In looking back at those galleries, it seems that their focus was largely the promotion of Los Angeles artists. Now, as the epicenter has moved to the intersection of Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood- with Regen Projects close to the southeast corner and Steve Turner Gallery near the southwest corner- and with another dozen galleries radiating out from there, there is something different about the new Hollywood center.

It has more focus on artists who live and work elsewhere. Indeed it is a center for international art and Steve Turner Gallery has been at the forefront of that development. During the last five years. Turner has presented seventy exhibitions featuring artists from outside Los Angeles including artists from seventeen different countries.

This new internationalism has Hollywood hosting three art fairs between February 13 and 16. Frieze will return for its second year on the lot of Paramount Studios; Felix will have its second presentation at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and ALAC, after years in Santa Monica, will take place at the swanky Hollywood Athletic Club.

Unlike Frieze which has most of its galleries in a tent and Felix which has galleries in small hotel rooms, ALAC will have galleries in its grand and historic rooms. Counting the brick and mortar Hollywood galleries, there will be some 200 galleries exhibiting in Hollywood in February. This is unprecedented.

One international artist who will have a big presence is Toronto-based Hannah Epstein who opens Making Bets In A Burning House, her third solo exhibition at Steve Turner, on February 15 and will have a wall full of work at ALAC.


Hannah Epstein. Like a dragon unfurled its wings, 2019. Wool, acrylic, polyester and burlap. 113 x 120 inches.

At both venues, she will present her idiosyncratic textiles that deal with issues relating to contemporary anxiety and the Internet in a folky and humorous fashion. Since her first solo exhibition at Turner just two years ago, Epstein's works have been presented at The Long Beach Museum of Art, Penn State University, The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver and The Rooms in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and it is likely that her Hollywood activities in February will open up more new doors for her. And lucky for collectors, she will have a great group of new works on view.

True to his mission of presenting foreign artists in Los Angeles, Turner will present the work of three outsiders at ALAC. In addition to presenting Epstein's works, he will show a monumental painting by Siro Cugusi (Sardinia) and a selection of ceramic paintings by Kevin McNamee-Tweed (Iowa City). All three artists are in the vanguard of a new sort of folk art and we suspect that all three will be highly visible during Hollywood's art-filled February.


Siro Cugusi. Untitled, 2019. Oil on canvas. 76 3/4 x 157 1/2 inches.


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