A visit to Ace Gallery Los Angeles, is a fascinating view into our city – an experience of multi-faceted satisfaction.
As one approaches, along a stretch of Wilshire Blvd., known as Miracle Mile, one takes in stunning examples of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne architecture. Desmond’s, the historical building which houses Ace Gallery, features an elaborate Art Deco façade. One is transported back to a more formal, glamorous time when great pride was taken in the ornamentation of buildings – a pre-disillusioned time of optimism, when urbanization was experienced as progress, not destruction.
The fantasy is supported, as one approaches the building’s original elevator, and is greeted by its operator of 35+ years, Ruben. Passengers are cheerfully whisked to the floor of their choice. We’re just going to the 2nd Floor, but Ruben, with a flourish, shows us how perfectly we’ve landed there.
If it is the evening of an opening, people spill out of elevator and stairwell, in the most eye-catching attire. This might mean elegant, avant-garde, or see-how-much-I-don’t-care casual. Here, all manner of self-presentation is calculated.
We’ve now crossed into another era. That of Andy Warhol and The Factory? Eccentrics, heiresses, beauties and ne’er do wells, all in attendance. Owner, Douglas Chrismas, completes the picture, moving through the multitude of vast rooms, fantastically dubious reputation in tow.
Finally, the piece de resistance – the art itself – 20,000 sq. ft. of it. From LA artist, Charles Fine, to Laurie Lipton, the art is consistently engaging and challenging.