Welcome to Frieze Week L.A.

By Auttrianna Ward

This year marks Frieze’s fifth edition in Los Angeles since expanding the U.K.-born fair. Last year, after attending the L.A. version of the fair, I was so inspired by the local artist community that I decided to relocate to Los Angeles proper. 

I grew up in San Francisco and spent my summers visiting family between the historically Black communities Compton, Watts and Inglewood, where my grandmother was raised. Since 2007, I’ve lived between New York, Baltimore and Bahia, Brazil, with a year’s stay in London before landing in Los Angeles.

Over the past year, as an Independent curator and founder of Auttrianna Projects, an interdisciplinary creative firm and publishing house, I’ve been able to collaborate on programming, exhibitions and events with local L.A. organizations such as Zeal, ICA LA and Residency Art Gallery. Being back in my home state and in a city with such a rich history is particularly interesting as my curatorial practice inhabits the spaces between—the space between the Americas, African, Asian and Indigenous diasporas, the space between contemporary art, video, film and publishing. 

This year, I want to lay out some recommendations to make the best of your week and some of my favorite artists and galleries. 


Unlike last year’s two-tent split, this year’s Frieze will take place in a new structure designed by Kulapat Yantrasast’s architectural studio, WHY. This year’s Focus section is curated by Essence Harden, curator at the California African American Museum. Harden, a thoughtful and research-based curator and writer whom I deeply admire, has chosen the theme of ecologies. According to Harden, she was interested in the “possibility of stretching the term  ‘ecology’ to include position, geography, material and theoretical concerns within artmaking.”

She worked to include and highlight L.A.-based galleries as well as galleries promoting diverse narratives throughout the U.S. Standout galleries this year include Lyles and King presenting Akea Brionne, Hannah Traore presenting James Perkins and L.A. faves (and Black femme owned!) Sow and Tailor and Dominique Gallery. I’m especially excited for Haitian-born artist and 2020-21 Studio Museum artist-in-residence Widline Cadet presenting with Nazarian/Curcio.

Purple Rain, 2022. James Perkins. Courtesy of the Artist and Hannah Traore Gallery.

In the main fair, I’m excited to see performance, sculpture and installation-based artist vanessa german at Kasmin Gallery, sculptor Kayode Ojo at CLEARING and legendary L.A. artist Betye Saar at Roberts Projects. I’m also looking forward to newly-announced Jack Shainman-represented artist and 2022-23 Studio Museum artist-in-residence Charisse Pearlina Weston. Weston is a conceptual artist who works across sculpture, print and painting to discuss the poetics of time, space and Blackness.

Also, don’t miss booths from Gagosian, Blum, Night Gallery, kaufmann repetto, James Fuentes,  Regen Projects and Welancora Gallery.

Seremoni Disparisyon #1 (Ritual [Dis]Appearance #1), 2019. Widline Cadet. Courtesy of the Artist.



Hosted at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and launched in 2018, the Felix Art Fair consists of 60 international galleries, the majority presenting in hotel rooms on the 11th and 12th floors of the hotel. I’m most looking forward to Residency Art Gallery with a solo presentation of painter Will Maxen and M+B presenting Merveille Kelekele Kelekele in a group selection.

Be sure to also check out Curtis Talwst Santiago at Rachel Uffner, Devin B. Johnson at Nicodim, LaKela Brown at 56 Henry and sculptor and The Underground Museum founder Karon Davis at Wilding Cran Gallery.


Wednesday, Feb. 28

12:30 p.m. 

Lunchtime Art Talk on Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi

Hammer Museum 

Short discussion led by Hammer Museum Curator and Angeleno Erin Christovale. Be sure to check out the show afterward.

8:00 p.m.

Now You See Me – 100 Years of Black Design with Charlene Prempeh, Jason E.C. Wright, Schessa Garbutt, and Silas Munro

Reparations Club | Free and paid tickets here

Celebrate the launch of Charlene Prempeh’s debut design book, Now You See Me: An Introduction to 100 Years Of Black Design. Charlene Prempeh will be in conversation with Jason E.C. Wright of Burntsienna Research Society, Schessa Garbutt of Firebrand Creative House and Silas Munro of Polymode. 

Thursday, Feb. 29

7:30 p.m.

Frieze Music, in collaboration with BMW and the Hammer Museum, presents a live set by Sudan Archives.

Hammer Museum | tickets here

Live performance by critically acclaimed singer and violinist Sudan Archives. The museum’s gallery hours also will be extended through 9:00 p.m. 

8:00 p.m.

Central Server Works Presents Volta’s Glass House

G-son Studios | Tickets here

I am super excited about this one—featuring four large-scale installations by Gbenga Komolafe representing deconstructed homes in .

Central Server Works Presents Volta’s Glass House, an immersive performance deconstructing mythologies of home. Directed by Mamie Green in collaboration with sculptor Gbenga Komolafe, writers Sammy Loren and Zoey Greenwald and composer Patrick Shiroishi, performers and audiences will interact, change and ultimately destroy their surroundings.

Courtesy of Volta Collective.

Multiple showtimes from Feb. 29-March/1

Friday, March 1 

6:00 p.m.


L.A. Louver | RSVP here 

A GOD OF HER OWN MAKING is an immersive spatial opera performed by JOJO ABOT accompanied by intricately woven layers of voices, dancers and mesmerizing visuals. This performance is the enactment of a new kind of ritual, one that leads to a trance-like realm in which the senses awaken and portals open to the divine. 

Saturday, March 2

10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.


at Sovern LA  | RSVP here

Dominique Gallery & Sovern LA, in collaboration with Black Women in Visual Art, present TAKE A MINUTE, a group exhibition featuring over 20 artists, including Ada Pinkston, Ciarra K. Walters and Hasef.

2:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion with Thelma Golden, Naima J. Keith, with moderation by Teresa Eggers

David Kordansky Gallery | RSVP here

In-gallery conversation on Sam Gilliam: The Last Five Years, organized in collaboration with Pace. Moderated by Teresa Eggers, director of institutional relations at David Kordansky Gallery, the discussion will feature Thelma Golden, director and chief curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Naima J. Keith, vice president of education and public programs at LACMA. 

Sunday, March 3 

2:00 p.m.

Healing Workshop at Take A Minute

at Sovern.LA tickets here

Drawing session led by exhibiting artist James Williams III, followed by an integrating sound bath with Jen Benitez.


A few exhibits I recommend in L.A.– now showing 

Tavares Strachan | Magnificent Darkness

Marian Goodman Gallery

One of my favorite exhibits I’ve seen in the past year! Must see! Afro-Bahamian sculptor and painter Tavares Stratchan created several bodies of work and site-specific installations across six rooms at the Goodman Gallery. Considering Afro-diasporic materials, textures and symbols, including hair, clay and sea grass, his work speaks to both diasporic histories and futures. Until April 13, 2024.

Déjà Vu

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Collaboration with Cierra Britton Gallery

Déjà Vu is a group exhibition presented by New York-based gallerist Cierra Britton. I deeply appreciate Cierra’s programming in general and am excited to see her here in L.A. Artists include Mare Residency 2020 Artist in Residence Jazmine Hayes, as well as Autumn Breon, Uzumaki Cepeda, Alanis Forde, Lewinale Havette, Monica Hernandez, Rugiyatou Ylva Jallow, Ambrose Rhapsody Murray and Kelli Ryan. Until March 31, 2024.

MURMURATION, 2022. Kelli Ryan. Courtesy of the Artist.

Mother Tongues

Southern Guild Gallery

The South African gallery’s recent expansion into Los Angeles’ Melrose Hill neighborhood with a 5,000 sqft space showing two concurrent exhibitions: ‘Indyebo yakwaNtu’ (Black Bounty) by @zizipo_poswa, a series of five monumental ceramic and bronze sculptures exploring African cultures of bodily adornment and ritual; and ‘Mother Tongues’, featuring work by 26 artists from across Africa and the diaspora. Until April 26, 2024.

Marilyn Nance | The Women of FESTAC’77

Roberts Projects

Roberts Projects is pleased to present Marilyn Nance: The Women of FESTAC’77. The exhibition offers a curated selection from Nance’s vast catalogue of photographs and archival materials that revisits the memory of the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC’77) from the perspectives of women artists in the American contingent. Objects from fellow participant Betye Saar’s archives are also on display, including her sketches, datebook, personal photos, official FESTAC’77 participation documents and ephemera. Until April 27, 2024.

Translucent thousands, 2023. Velma Rosai. Courtesy of the Artist and Unrepd.



This is not a human being, and she’s not a spirit traces the mystical thread that connects our world with that which lies just beyond our perception. Passed through generations, the tales of these spirits suggest that the invisible is simply unseen, but not impossible. Using acrylic paints and oil pastels, with a bright, high contrast palette, Rosai conjures the fantastical, essentially pulling back the curtain and revealing a fascinating realm just beyond our reach. The exhibition invites viewers to dance between the seen and unseen, and in so doing to connect with a sense of expansiveness and wonder. What more is there for us to know, to feel, and to experience, if we are willing to look beyond the veil? Until March 2, 2024.

Follow me @auttriannaward on IG for all things Frieze this upcoming week!

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