Creative Artists Agency agent, art collector and Museum of Contemporary Art trustee
My favorite trend is the rising profile of contemporary art and the internationalization of the L.A. art scene. While L.A. artists have long been on the international art circuit, it has been wonderful to see acclaimed young artists from other countries have great shows in L.A. -- Kai Althoff at Acme, Christian Jankowski at Regen Projects and Chiho Aoshima at Blum & Poe. I am thrilled that more people are supporting artists and exploring new work.
The most troubling trend is its flip side, the overheated art market. The art fair frenzy, high auction prices and the preponderance of international biennials have fostered intense competition among collectors, made it difficult for museums who cannot afford the high prices, and pressured artists to create major pieces for art fairs rather than gallery or museum shows. I worry this has encouraged collectors to overlook talented artists who are not the flavor of the moment.
UCLA Hammer Museum exhibition coordinator and assistant
curator, co-organizer of "Thing: New Sculpture From Los Angeles"
In addition to Ed Ruscha's triumph at the Venice Biennale and the major European retrospectives of John Baldessari and Paul McCarthy, 2005 saw a resurgence among small nonprofit and artist-run spaces in Los Angeles. Of particular note are Art2102, Machine Projects, Champion Fine Art, LACE [Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions], Outpost for Contemporary Art, the MAK Center.... A special treat this year was the presentation of Olafur Eliasson's site-specific light sculptures in Pasadena.
On the downside this year was the seeming explosion of one-night marketing blitzes posing as art events. Let's not get too fabulous.
Director, the Gallery at REDCAT
Maybe the most promising development I see is an exploration by curators to expand upon a biennial model. [Recently] I was in Saigon, Vietnam, and the invited curators of the Saigon Biennale made their proposal to not do a biennial, but to do a project called Saigon Open City, a series of exhibitions toward developing an art infrastructure. I think this is a very healthy development. Especially in cities where maybe the concept of a contemporary art market is new, the development of infrastructure with attention to local needs, local audiences, local artists is really necessary, rather than importing a kind of spectacle.
And least promising? ... So much time and attention are spent on the development of a career, rather than the development of a practice, and I think that's increasing.