MARKET INSIGHT /
GALLERIES CEMENT LA AS NEW ART CENTER
Los Angeles has always had a vibrant art scene, but it has traditionally been known for its strong museums, art schools and affordable studios rather than its commercial presence. That perception, however, is changing. In 2019, London-based Frieze launched an annual art fair on the lot of Paramount Pictures, which was accompanied by the more edgy Felix Art Fair. The Fairs’ continued commercial success has convinced a coterie of international and New York-based power galleries to reconsider the viability of Tinseltown. This year alone, Pace, David Zwirner, Sean Kelly, Marian Goodman, Lisson, Albertz Benda, Karma and Danzinger have or will open up new LA-based posts. Numerous theories have been proffered for this shift, including LA’s growing art collector base, proximity to collectors from East Asia, the expanding museum scene and, perhaps most of all, the fallout from the Wayfair Sales Tax Case. This verdict, which requires galleries who sell over a certain threshold to collect sales tax even if the work is being shipped out of state, has made traveling to New York to purchase art less appealing, paving the way for a new nexus on the west coast.