It’s Frieze Week soon, if you haven’t heard, and quite apart from the Paramount Studios Frieze Los Angeles hub, and the handful of satellite fairs around town, plus related all-city events, a preponderance of L.A. galleries are bringing extra panache to their own programs in anticipation of the international influx of art lovers. Among the most L.A.-forward, count “Local: Gemini G.E.L. Collaborations With Los Angeles Artists,” opening on Monday, Feb. 11, and anchoring an open house studio event on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Gemini G.E.L. is one of the most accomplished artisanal print and multiples publisher in the world. It’s a place where artists flock as though on pilgrimage, for the chance to collaborate with the outfit’s master printmakers and explore its astonishing breadth of materials and techniques. Its arrival on the scene in 1966 fairly revolutionized the print editions game, and at the same time put Los Angeles and its artists more indelibly on the map than ever.
The Gemini G.E.L. space on Melrose Avenue houses not only all the busy production studios but public exhibition spaces as well, wherein are shown both recent and historical projects made at Gemini. With 52 years of work to choose from, Gemini G.E.L. is greeting Frieze Week with a selection of hometown heroes, as “Local” includes Gemini-produced editions by some of Los Angeles’ most renowned and beloved artists, all of which specifically relate to iconic regional geography, landmarks and lifestyle.
From Tacita Dean’s luminous blue sky chemtrail abstractions in her “Exuberance” series, to John Baldessari’s sunsets, peppers, avocados and lemons, Ken Price’s crisp magic-hour modernist patio vista and Ed Ruscha’s nod to Mission architecture, the charm of this exhibition lies in its simultaneous unpacking of styles, materials and subjects in the continuum of local art history. Welcome to Los Angeles, arts tourism encouraged.
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To augment the exhibition, Gemini will open the gallery as well as the print shops on Saturday, Feb. 16. Master printers will be working on in-process editions in both the etching and other studios.
Los Angeles–based artists featured in the show include Sam Francis, Ron Davis, Bruce Nauman, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Tacita Dean, Richard Diebenkorn, Frank Gehry, Joe Goode, David Hockney, Toba Khedoori, Ed and Nancy Kienholz, Ken Price, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha and Analia Saban.
Gemini G.E.L., 8365 Melrose Ave., Beverly Grove; (323) 651-0513, geminigel.com; Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; free. Open house: Sat., Feb. 16, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; free.