Amid the potentially overwhelming cluster-fest of this weekend's converging contemporary art fairs and historical surveys, "Beyond Eden" the annual event fast becoming an art-season staple returns to the galleries at Barnsdall Art Park. The growing success of this homegrown fair parallels, and indeed helped spark, the current international enthusiasm for what its organizers call the New Contemporary Art Movement. What they mean by this nomenclature is more of a sensibility than a specific style, embracing but also going beyond what has long been called Low-Brow, encompassing Street Art, Urban Romanticism, Post-Illustration, Pop Surrealism and many stations in between; but those are the foundations on which this particular house of art is built. Despite the comparative intimacy of the fair, the smaller number of galleries encourages the show to spread out into what feels more like a sprawling survey than a trade convention, with names familiar to fans of the genre including C.A.V.E., Copro, Gallery Nucleus, La Luz de Jesus (celebrating its 25th-anniversary season), Toy Art Gallery and Thinkspace. These are augmented by special projects and live painting from Cannibal Flower, Spoke Art, a Euth-curated exhibition showcasing Street Art in L.A., and a video lounge screening the Best of Sketch Theatre. During Saturday night's festivities, painter Anthony Ausgang (coiner of my personal favorite, Avant-Brow) will be presented with a richly deserved lifetime achievement award for his tireless efforts on behalf of cartoon cats everywhere. Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Sat., Oct. 1, 6-11 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 2, 12-5 p.m.; free. (818) 848-2698, beyondedenartfair.com.
Sat., Oct. 1, 6-11 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 2, 12-5 p.m., 2011