Yeah, probably. That the question is even being asking is telling in and of itself. It’s still early days in 2019, but the year already has witnessed a grand watershed moment in the City of Angels’ cultural capital.
Last month the Frieze Art Fair was held for the first time in Los Angeles. Aptly enough, the venue was the backlot of the legendary and Paramount Pictures film studios.
A recent New York Times article took a deeper look at the state of L.A.’s art scene. It concluded that L.A. is the equal to N.Y.C. in contemporary art. But it may risk losing its distinct L.A.-ness in the future. L.A. could just become another art hub too similar to New York.
We’ve been watching L.A.’s art scene for years. It has dramatically changed over the past decade. Especially in the past few years. Since 2015 there has been an ever more accelerated expansion. Two significant new museums have opened, the Broad and the Marciano Art Foundation.
Its current major museums and galleries are either being renovated, re-invented or have expanded or are planning massive expansions. These include the Hammer Museum, LACMA, MOCA and the ICA (formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art now in Downtown LA’s Arts District). These have attracted bigger, bolder names to its spaces with more LA-specific, and more ambitious, exhibitions.
And the number and footprints of major galleries have grown, as have its art fairs and events. London- and Berlin-based Spruth Magers opened a massive gallery across from LACMA. L.A. is now home to Deitch Projects. Add to all this, the city’s profile as an art-world town in popular culture is growing (beyond the film-TV-music-entertainment world) as seen in the recent Netflix film “Velvet Buzzsaw.”