Few art events we’ve attended have the unique regional flair of Felix, the five-year old fair that was co-founded by top collector and patron Dean Valentine along with brothers Mills Morán and Al Morán.
Held each year at the storied Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, the fair takes place across three levels. On the ground floor, in the cabanas section, galleries occupy individual rooms and hang their art on walls, even using bathroom and showers as display areas. Sculptures dot floors and the outdoor patios that overlook the famous David Hockney-designed pool, which is buzzing with hip guests and fairgoers at all hours of the day.
It makes for an indubitably great art-viewing experience as you wind your way in and out of rooms, either via hallway or sliding doors with hedges and poolside views.
Meanwhile, the upper floors of the hotel are taken over by galleries that also fill the sunlit rooms with artists and works from their programs. The backdrop is sweeping views of the city—including the Hollywood sign in the distance, to really tie a bow on the whole spectacle.
“We’ve had a great Felix so far,” said veteran Los Angeles dealer Charlie James, who was participating for the second time. (The VIP preview took place Wednesday, one day ahead of the Frieze fair opening). The fair’s first day “had a wealth of good collectors coming through all day.”
James added that he made a significant sale to a famous L.A. collector he had not met before. “L.A. collectors tend not to find you organically out in the world as a rule, no matter how well you might be doing, so pushing them all through a small space like the Roosevelt is gainful.”
Charles Moffett gallery told Artnet News it sold out its presentation of 25 new intricate and lushly painted landscapes by Ontario-based artist Keiran Brennan Hinton during the preview day, with prices ranging from $4,000 to $15,000.
The presentation at Felix comprises three new bodies of work for Hinton: a series of paintings created last summer and fall at the artist’s homes in Canada; a collection of paintings created in January 2023 at the Beecher Residency in Litchfield, Connecticut; and a group of paintings created on-site at the Hollywood Roosevelt last week where the artist took up residency before the art world arrived.
The Felix presentation marks the artist’s first solo outing with the gallery since joining the program last spring, and comes in advance of a New York solo show opening at the gallery in September.
Los Angeles gallery Tierra del Sol, which is associated with the Tierra del Sol Foundation and works to assist people with developmental disabilities through careers in the arts, was also on hand.
It presented a dynamic mix of ceramics by Aura Herrera, an artist whose painted ceramics explore themes of beauty, mortality, and representation. And artist Kyle Johnson’s eye-catching Hockney-esque palette was on view across a mix of work from paintings to textiles, all incorporating poetry.
Within the first three hours of the preview, Portland, Oregon gallery Adams and Ollman sold over 20 works ranging in prices from $5,000 to $24,000, including works by Jose Bonell, Katherine Bradford, Mariel Capanna, Rob Lyon, Marlon Mullen, Todd Norsten, and others from the gallery’s program.
The gallery’s presentation at the fair is also a way of celebrating and highlighting its 10th anniversary. An upcoming show opens next week, titled (after the opening of by Sylvia Plath), “I have done it again./One year in every ten/I manage it—” on view at the gallery in Portland from February 25 to March 25.
More pictures from Felix Art Fair’s opening, below.