In L.A., Felix Art Fair’s Intimate Sixth Edition Is a Standout

February 29th, 2024
Exterior view of Felix Art Fair, 2024. Photo by Rigo Ramirez. Courtesy of Felix Art Fair.

By Maxwell Rab

To the relief of its VIP guests, the clouds in Los Angeles parted just in time for Felix Art Fair’s 2024 edition. For the second year in a row, the VIP preview kicked off on Wednesday, one day before Frieze L.A., at 11 a.m. at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. As Los Angeles emerges from of its wettest February in 26 years, the hotel and its iconic Tropicana Pool shimmered under a clear blue sky, setting a sunlit stage for what has become a premier, electric art fair.

Thanks to meticulous planning from the Felix team in close collaboration with the hotel staff, last year’s long lines and wait times are a distant memory. Organizers had fine-tuned every aspect of the visitor experience, from the elevator queues to the drink stands, as the fair’s co-founder Mills Morán told Artsy by the Roosevelt pool. “We’re really dialed in in terms of flow of traffic and moving people around,” he said. These details weren’t lost on attendees. “Everyone’s in a pretty good mood. It’s hard not to be,” he noted.

Now in its sixth edition, Felix features 66 exhibitors across the poolside cabanas and the 11th and 12th floors of the hotel, running through March 3rd. The idyllic setting fosters a casual, approachable atmosphere where galleries are emboldened to take risks with emerging artists, and attendees can interact with the artwork on a more intimate level—as if it were displayed in their own homes.

Not only did Felix manage to slash the long queues, but the founders (Morán; his brother, Al; and Dean Valentine) also introduced a collaboration with the retailer Dover Street Market at the entrance. The pop-up—a testament to its successful efforts to cut down congestion—featured an installation by , a wooden house-like structure that artfully accommodates the market’s selection of limited-edition clothing.

“The added elements of having Dover Street Market and a retail shop on site has not only attracted a different set of crowds that also gets into the fair and looks and appreciates the art, but it’s some of the art patrons that really like to shop there at the same time are also going back and forth,” said Morán. Also new this year is the Mercedes-AMG Race Service VIP Lounge in the penthouse (Room 1200). The hotel roof features a Mercedes-AMG GT3 sportscar, which was crane-lifted onto the hotel roof. “We’re doing our best this year to try to keep things fresh every day for people to come back,” Morán added.

As attendees meandered between intimate cabanas—made cozier by warm wood walls and soft lighting—around the pool area, guests moved seamlessly from the outdoor exhibition spaces into the crowded hallways. Known for their selective curation, the Felix founders brought together an ensemble of buzzworthy galleries and artists to boot. It was quickly clear that collector enthusiasm was high, too.

On the first level, nestled behind the dining area, Miami’s celebrated its fair debut by selling all but one of the works from its solo booth of works by before 2 p.m. These basket weavings, priced from $7,000–$16,000, caught the attention of collectors, marking a milestone for the artist whose first museum show is scheduled for later this year at the University of Texas San Antonio.

Down the hall, Tribeca gallery is one of the eight exhibitors in cabanas that faces the exterior of the hotel. “We decided to bring works by a selection of artists that could take full advantage of the indoor-outdoor set-up of the fair’s cabana rooms,” said founder Charles Moffett. The gallery is situating ceramic sculptures by L.A.-based artist on the patio, and also features new paintings by New York–based artist , as well as a pair of new and recent paintings by L.A.-based artist . In the fair’s first hours, works from all three artists sold for prices in the range of $14,000–$18,000, $8,500–$16,000, and $40,000, respectively.

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  • Exterior view of Felix Art Fair, 2024. Photo by Rigo Ramirez. Courtesy of Felix Art Fair.
  • Installation View of Dee Clements: Yes Is a Pleasant Country, Felix LA 2024, Cabana #123
  • Installation View of Dee Clements: Yes Is a Pleasant Country, Felix LA 2024, Cabana #123