Everything is Illuminated
This will be the third exhibition Melanie Lum curates for CFHILL. That’s hardly a coincidence. She has an astonishing knack for bringing together the most exciting artists of a geographical region. The two previous exhibitions, LA Dreams and Mountains & Streams, both presented varied, young artists, poised in mid-air between their recently discovered artistic maturity and the next step of their careers. The kind of thing every gallery owner dreams of showing, basically. It’s only been a year since the first group of six artists was exhibited at CFHILL to great success, but even in that brief time, Los Angeles has continued to evolve, deepen, and add layers to its identity as a major centre in the art world. The city still offers the most spacious, cheapest studios, the most pleasant outdoor temperatures, and—significantly—the best art schools. It also has a tradition of great freedom and independence, compared to New York with its strong ties to pre-war Europe. For example, the fact that the most recent addition to its list of art events, the first edition of Frieze LA (in February), was held in the Paramount Studio’s New York set is typical of the wry humour of LA. It’s as if they were saying, “we can be anything we want, but you could never be LA.” While this sounds anything but humble, this city welcomes anybody, whatever their history, ethnic background, sexuality, and luggage. That’s how the magic trick is done.