The international photographic art exposition, photo l.a. took place at The Reef, located in the historic LA Mart building in Downtown Los Angeles, January 12-15, 2017. The 2017 photo l.a. exhibition launched with the annual Opening Benefit Gala on Thursday, January 12, honoring the luminous and pioneering career of Weston Naef, founding curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum and author of numerous books on the history and art of photography.
For 26 years, photo l.a.—the longest-running art fair in Los Angeles—has engaged the global arts community, bringing together more than 10,000 attendees each year from ardent enthusiasts to serious collectors. What started in 1991 as a casual meet-up for artists, galleries and collectors organized by art dealer Stephen Cohen of Stephen Cohen Gallery, has transformed into an unparalleled global showcase of photographic art, which ranges from 19th-century masterpieces to contemporary, cutting-edge photography-based work.
This year’s exposition aligns with Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA), which has moved from April to January to reflect the fair’s importance in making the city of Los Angeles an international photography destination. photo l.a. 2017 has teamed up with the Lucie Foundation to present 11 days of featured photographic programming, called Converge. For the first four days of this initiative, photo l.a. 2017 will offer dozens of programs, lectures and seminars including an activation with skateboarding legend Arto Sarri and panel discussions on subjects such as Snapchat as a form of photographic art and the synergies between fashion and photography.
Among the many other highlights of this year’s photo l.a. are two curated installations by Monroe Gallery of Photography. The first showcases LIFE magazine photographer Grey Villet’s intimate images of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, whose marriage in segregated Virginia in the 1960s is chronicled in Jeff Nichols’ newly-released feature film, Loving. The other, Tony Vaccaro: War, Peace, Beauty, exhibits work of the Pulitzer-Prize winning war photographer, exploring combat photography and its impact on public perception of war on the home front. Vaccaro’s fascinating life story is also the subject of a recent and well-received documentary.
“Our mission is to continue engaging and supporting the international community, which shares our passion for photography, while cultivating new audiences through distinctive programming across creative disciplines,” says photo l.a. director Claudia James Bartlett. “We are proud to now have over 80 exhibitors, who foster an ongoing dialogue about the changing landscape of photography and its important role in the art world at large.”
The work of award-winning Canadian-born artist Penelope Umbrico will also be featured in a contemporary installation that combines photographic prints with various elements—repurposed plexiglass sourced from recycling centers, frame shops or the streets of Los Angeles; plastic lenses from deconstructed LCD screens and televisions; house paint, cardboard boxes. By presenting these abstract by-products as formal compositions, the artist presents a new twist on technology with their own visionary aesthetic evocative of abstract Modernism.
Proceeds benefited the Lucie Foundation and John Wayne Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing courage, strength and grit to the fight against cancer. Funding novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes, the cause saves lives through pioneering research, education, awareness and support.
The 2017 photo l.a. exposition, Gala and programs took place on the second floor of The Reef, located in the historic LA Mart building at 1933 S. Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. The Reef Mart offers affordable onsite parking and is also accessible by Metro.
For more information, visit: www.photola.com.
For the complete list of programming, visit www.photola.com/programs.php
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About photo l.a.:
photo l.a. is a 26-year-old organization that has produced 54 art fairs across the country with a continued mission to strengthen the vitality of the Los Angeles art and photo community. For more than a quarter century, photo l.a. has been proud to offer a pioneering platform to promote commerce and create opportunity while continuing to ignite conversation about what photography has been, what it is today and how it might evolve. Over the years, photo l.a. has continued to transform, just like the marketplace.
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY MONROE GALLERY OF PHOTOGRAPHY ©Tony Vaccaro
Georgia O’Keeffe, Taos Pueblo, NM, 1960
Richard and Mildred Loving on their couch, King and Queen County, Virginia, 1965
David Bowie, “The Man Who Fell To Earth”, New Mexico, 1975
SWIMM 11 “Swimm” series Archival pigment print: 2016 Maria Svarbova ( Slovakia)
Norman Seeff Photos
John Belushi, 1981, Los Angeles, 16 x 20, Vintage silver gelatin JPEG