Art Platform — Los Angeles Heads to Santa Monica for Its Second Edition, Abandoning L.A. Mart

Art Platform — Los Angeles Heads to Santa Monica for Its Second Edition, Abandoning L.A. Mart
Santa Monica Pier
(Courtesy zioWoody via Flickr)

Art Platform — Los Angeles debuted last September with high hopes of  being recognized as a world-class fair in the City of Angels, a market that has long remained without a first-rank art fair. This year, organizers are giving it another go, but in a brand-new location: Rather than holding the fair downtown at L.A. Mart, Art Platform will relocate to Santa Monica. The fair will open on September 27 at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, a few minutes away from the beach and the famous Santa Monica Pier.

“Santa Monica has acted as a hotbed for cultural production for decades,” Art Platform — Los Angeles’s director Adam Gross said in a statement. “The Barker Hangar and Santa Monica will not only afford us the space to grow as well as present an international art fair in a location that is easily accessed by Angelenos and visitors alike.”

It is notable that Art Platform is moving away from its original space, in part because L.A. Mart is owned by the fair’s parent company, Merchandise Mart Properties. Being confined to MMPI-owned spaces has constrained the company’s art fairs in the past, according to dealers who have exhibited there. A number of galleries, including Chicago’s Rhona Hoffman Gallery, cited the defunct Art Chicago’s Merchandise Mart location as a major reason for defecting from that fair.  

Though Art Platform premiered last year without the support of a number of local power galleries — Cherry and Martin, Honor Fraser, David Kordansky, and Blum & Poe among them — participating dealers reported decent sales. At the time, a number of Los Angeles’s high-profile dealers said they were put off by the fair’s monolithic L.A. Mart home, and had suggested Santa Monica as a more desirable location. The organizers now appear to be willing to leave Mart's home turf in the hopes of securing its future.