Top 5 L.A. Galleries to Watch

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Top 5 L.A. Galleries to Watch

 KARMA gallery

KARMA (@karmakarma)
Loaded with talent ranging from emerging to blue chip artists, KARMA’s program is stacked with household names. The gallery’s founder, Brendan Dugan has an incredible eye and a strong knack for building artist relationships. On the way to becoming a powerhouse gallery, there are very few if any galleries who have had such a meteoric rise in prominence over such a short period of time. Representing artists like Henni Alftan to Mungo Thompson, Ulala Imai to Maja Ruznic, Karma shines a light on historically underrepresented artists and gives them a platform to flourish. We’ve seen this with Hughie Lee Smith, Peter Bradley, and Sarah Charlesworth. Karma’s L.A. gallery is a crisp cavernous space on Santa Monica Boulevard that demands real estate applause and exemplifies the gallery's commitment to the city and community of artists within. Greeted by a high level bookshop upon entry (how the gallery originally started) there are monographs galore for purchase and perusing.


L.A. BEAST gallery

Family-run galleries have a certain vibe- familiar, passionate and energetic, all of which this newly minted L.A. gallery has. L.A. Beast Gallery, co-founded by Roxana Eslamieh and her partner, have an incredibly sleek and thought 2000 or so square foot space on a corner lot in Cypress Park. A textile artist herself, Roxana has long appreciated the underpinnings of Los Angeles’ design community and has more than a decade of fine art industry experience working with esteemed institutions such as Gemini G.E.L., the Landing gallery, Charles Ray Sculpture Studio, and the Haas Brothers Studio. In addition to L.A. BEAST gallery, Roxana is the founder of Manuka Textiles, a sustainable line of handcrafted, silk screen wall coverings and bespoke woven rugs.

L.A. Beast’s program consists of emerging talent, mostly Los Angeles based artists (currently 10 - 15 artists, which is refreshingly intimate and strong). A recent exhibition highlight was SYZYGY Henry Kim which included monumental planetary feeling ceramics with floating live air plants, which created a celestial environment. SYZYGY stands for a conjunction of opposing forces such as when the moon passes between the sun and earth to form a complete solar eclipse. The exhibition was named for these fleeting moments of harmonic convergence that expand our understanding of the universe and emphasize humanity's existence on a galactic scale. We also appreciate that the gallery’s open space, excellent lighting, and minimalist iron and woodwork would certainly please Donald Judd.


The PIT LA Gallery

We are huge fans of the Pit for so many reasons. It has been said time and time again within the art world that artists arguably make the best dealers and this is a dual artist gallery run by L.A. Art World power couple, Adam Miller and Devon Oder. It all started ten years ago on Ruberta Ave. in Glendale, in what used to be a small studio for two artists. As their network and community grew, they expanded their studio to include one gallery space to exhibit works by their friends and artists, all of whom fit into their particular aesthetic and vibe: punk rock / outsider art with a sometimes sharp but serious sense of humor. The program grew steady and strong. One gallery space became two and they opened another space in Palm Springs, a warm, sun-drenched space nestled into a retail side street. Within the next six months, The Pit will close their OG Ruberta Ave. space to open up a flagship 10,000 square foot gallery in Atwater Village near Philip Martin and Nino Mier. We have loved learning about artists such as Howard Fonda, Bella Foster, Liz Markus, Elizabeth Ibarra, and more from The Pit.


Sea View LA Gallery

When a gallery itself is an architectural gem, it creates a very special environment to display art. Pair that with a gallery director who has an incredible vision and expertise in art, design and architecture and a whole new experience comes to life. That is what you have at SEA VIEW where Jorge Pardo’s former studio became the canvas for gallery founder and director Sara Lee Hantman. Visitors are met with a wall of Pardo’s colorful tile and a steep staircase that leads to two gallery spaces. The location is quiet, calm, and sunny with a lovely ocean breeze that makes you want to stay for a better part of the day, which is ideal because the exhibitions here so far have been nothing short of mini-museum quality. Over the summer, an exhibition featuring Alison Saar and Helio Melo, a pairing which only Hantman could pull off so elegantly was a major highlight, and on now: Miranda Fengyuan Zhang & Eli Ping.


HARPER'S LA gallery

The west coast branch of Harper Levine’s growing empire has become a must-see staple on the Melrose Avenue retail strip. The gallery is on a run of back-to-back exhibitions of emerging / mid career talent that hits home aesthetically and at a great price point. From Nick Lowe to Jeremy Lawson, Stacy Leigh to Guy Yanai, this program is a one stop shop for new and sophisticated veteran collectors alike. The space has a retail clean look that works great for painting shows with its large, open banquettes on the right and left sides of the gallery. It’s approachable and straightforward with plenty of room to comfortably curate and for the audience to take in and digest the artwork. The gallery’s program is sharp, unpretentious, and has a very family feel that trickles down from the owner’s clear love for artists and community that has been built over many years.

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