For many, The Armory Show’s 2020 VIP preview marked the last moment of normal before the world paused: in a heartbeat, museums and galleries shuttered, art fairs postponed, then cancelled, and dealers rushed to sophisticated virtual platforms. But Thursday morning saw the official emergence from this long hibernation, as the first major American fair returned with VIP hours and fresh September dates at the sprawling Javits Center.
Back in 2009, Los Angeles was finding its footing in the art world. The Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) fair started on the second floor of the Pacific Design Center—humble and inauspicious. The city was emerging, up-and-coming, but certainly not a stop on the art fair circuit. It had a rich history and a promising future, but its present was less consequential.