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Tomorrow's Peggy Guggenheims Shop Here

Gallery Guide for the Savvy Art Neophyte

September 28, 2003|EMILY YOUNG

Tired of blank walls but short a few million for an art collection? Use blue-chip venues such as the Gagosian Gallery for research and frequent smaller showcases where you could become the next Norton Simon for $1,500 or less. From Southern California designers, architects, artists and curators, a sampling of the up-and-coming and out-of-the-way.

Elizabeth Paige Smith, furniture designer

"China Art Objects was one of the first new galleries in Chinatown.

It shows budding artists doing experimental work: installations, photography, sculpture, a little

film. It's an opportunity to experience art in L.A. in a way comparable to SoHo."

China Art Objects Galleries, 933 Chung King Road, Los Angeles; (213) 613-0384.

Brian Murphy, architect

"I like Zero One, which just moved downtown above the old L.A. Stock Exchange. The art is all over the map. You can see painterly things a la Wayne Thiebaud; other times I've seen what looks like stuffed road kill on the floor. Is it art? Who am I to say it isn't?

Zero One Gallery, 639 S. Spring St., Suite 14C, Los Angeles; (213) 622-7588.

Joanne Heyler, curator of the contemporary art collections of Eli and Edythe Broad

"Susanne Vielmetter shows some very new and experimental artists. Also, auctions for alternative art spaces like Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions are great. For $75, you can see young, edgy L.A. artists who've created special editions just for the fund-raiser."

Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, 5363 Wilshire Blvd.; (323) 933-2117. Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 6522 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 957-1777. The 2003 auction will be held Oct. 15.

Robert Williams, painter

"Movie stars and rock stars have been aware of L.A.'s underground galleries for two decades, but the average couple who's come into some money would have no idea. The place that's the most progressive and reasonably priced is La Luz de Jesus. It's my alma mater, and it takes a lot of young alternative artists. You'll find remarkable painting and sculpture in the outlaw cartoon style."

La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; (323) 666-7667.

Kevin Kolanowski, interior designer

"Couturier Gallery has an eclectic mix of Latin American and local artists, pottery, paintings and photos. And the price point is good. I can still afford things there."

Couturier Gallery, 166 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 933-5557.

Mat Gleason, art critic and publisher of Coagula Art Journal

"The best rising Latino artists have done work at Self-Help Graphics on the Eastside, where a nonprofit group provides the facility for people to make fine-art prints. Gronk and Frank Romero created prints there. Everything is done by hand with high-quality paper and fine inks, and it's always affordable. You won't get stale art school inside jokes. And what you see in its Galeria Otra Vez you'll see three or four years later at Bergamot Station for three times the price."

Self-Help Graphics & Art, 3802 Cesar Chavez Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 881-6444.

John Baldessari, artist

"4-F and Black Dragon Society in Chinatown are both artist-run and show young artists right out of school and, sometimes, still in school. There are always dealers sniffing around. I've taken out-of-town collectors to Black Dragon, and one once bought out the whole show!"

4-F, 977 Chung King Road, Los Angeles; (213) 617-4948. Black Dragon Society, 961 Chung King Road, Los Angeles; (213) 620-0030.

James Elaine, curator of Hammer Projects at UCLA Hammer Museum

"Hayworth is under the radar but worth knowing about. It shows great new young artists, usually local, and work that's challenging. I like the owner and his attitude. His gallery has the refreshing spirit of an artist-run space."

Hayworth, 148 N. Hayworth Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 933-5565.

Barbara Bestor, architect

"New Image is this little storefront that has a lot of quirky artists mostly in their 20s and 30s.

It's run by this interesting older surfing/punk rock scenester.

I've bought works on paper there for just a few hundred dollars.

I also bought five teeny watercolor paintings by Petra Larsen."

New Image Art, 1005 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 654-2192.

Michael Darling, assistant curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art

"I've been there only once, but I'd recommend Sixteen:One, an unpretentious new gallery behind

a grungy liquor store and down a driveway. The space is clean and well-lighted, and it was showing

Jay Stuckey's charcoal drawings

and paintings on paper.

Some were selling for just $200."

Sixteen:One, 2116-B Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 450-4394.

Tom Beeton, interior designer

"Black Cat Gallery near

Culver City shows serious work by serious people. Shows are little happenings for three or so nights and then you have to make an appointment to go back and see stuff. It's a garage studio art scene--very cool."

Black Cat Gallery, 11523 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 313-4931. The next show runs Oct. 4 through Oct. 25.

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