Here comes the Malibu Annual Contemporary Art Fair
Three months ago, when John Knuth put up a show of Jason Yates' work at Circus Gallery, he told a couple of colleagues that he was thinking about starting an art fair in Malibu. Kathryn Brennan of Sister and Parker Jones, whose gallery bears his name, quickly signed on. And before long, the three galleries became seven. Exactly the right number to transform a former school for troubled kids into a showcase for up-and-coming artists.
Opening Friday night and running through Sunday afternoon, the first Malibu Annual Contemporary Art Fair is a low-budget, high-energy affair that's bringing adventurous Chinatown and Hollywood galleries to a casual, ultra-chic commercial setting -- the Malibu Country Mart. An eclectic array of paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos and installations will be on the second floor of a Spanish-style building that shares a courtyard with the likes of Henry Beguelin and Morgane le Fay. As the dealers say, if a cruel economy is getting you down in the dead of August, go where the fun and the money are.
"Malibu is conservative," says Stu McNelis, the mart's manager. "But there's a faction that wants this to happen. This may be the start of something big."
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-- Suzanne Muchnic
Photo: Artist Steven Bankhead and his assistant, Russell George, work on a floor installation at Circus Gallery's space in Malibu. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times