Frieze cancels Los Angeles Fair’s outdoor sculpture show due to shipping delays and labor shortages

Supply chain issues have created Frieze’s California event next month. Delays and labor shortages caused by Covid-19 have forced the organization to cancel the outdoor sculpture program at its upcoming Los Angeles trade show (February 17-20).

Frieze Sculpture Beverly Hills was designed to bring sculptures presented by 12 exhibit galleries to Beverly Gardens Park, a short walk from the Beverly Hilton Exhibition Center, including works by light and space artist Larry Bell, Bay Area-based potter Wood De Othello and The Los Angeles -based sculptor Beatriz Cortez. The public art presentation would have been available all day and night, seven days a week and continued beyond the course of the fair until May.

But difficulties in sending the works to Los Angeles – whose port facilities have been delayed for several months– and finding artisans who were able to install them forced Frieze to cancel the project only three weeks before the fair, Los Angeles Times reported.

“We have determined that we do not have sufficient works of art to realize a full-scale public sculpture installation,” Frieze spokeswoman Belinda Bowring told the newspaper. Times. “There was a shortage of labor because people were either sick or isolated, something like that.” Some of the sculptures destined for the park can be installed in prominent locations inside or outside the exhibition tent or in and around the Beverly Hilton; in an email to KunstavisenBowring said related programming will be announced in the coming week.

The sculpture exhibition in Beverly Gardens Park was to replace Frieze Projects, the fair’s program with mainly outdoor sculptures and installations staged on the Paramount Studios backlot, where the first two editions of Frieze Los Angeles took place in 2019 and 2020. The 2021 edition was canceled due to the pandemic.

The challenges surrounding the Los Angeles trade show come at a time of transition for Frieze, whose global trade show director Victoria Siddall is leaving after more than 18 years in the company. She stops in late February. Meanwhile, the company is also planning its first ever trade show in Asia, Frieze Seoul, which will debut in September; Frieze New York is scheduled to take place 18-22. May.

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