Californian artist Stanya Kahn was chosen by Maison Ruinart for its 2023 Frieze Los Angeles art program.

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Frieze and Ruinart have just announced that the Los Angeles artist, Stanya Kahn, has been selected for the 2023 Commission. This initiative was launched in 2019. She will realise a commission in the Ruinart lounge at Frieze Los Angeles which will take place February 16-19 at the new location of Santa Monica Airport and feature an expanded line-up of galleries from across the globe.


With sustainability and biodiversity as subjects in the work of Stanya Kahn, Fabien Vallerian, International Director of Arts and Culture at Maison Ruinart, said: “By portraying wild and invented species gazing back at us, Stanya Kahn puts the spotlight on the human accountability and the necessity to change our interface with the natural world”.


Kahn’s commission will take the form of an installation in which elements of the natural world frame paintings and sculptures depicting lone animals in imagined wilds. Titled “Understory”, the installation references that which lives between the forest floor and the canopy, invoking the “understory” of the Anthropocene, a story of domination and exploitation. Audiences are invited to contemplate their relation to collapse, transformation and possible renewal.


Animals such as an endangered ivory-billed woodpecker; Harambe, the tragically slain silver-back gorilla from Cincinnati Zoo and a coyote who took up residence in Kahn’s own backyard are all pictured in lush, vibrant landscapes seemingly untouched by humankind.


A limited edition of 100 hand-thrown porcelain cups especially created by Kahn are offered to visitors of the installation.


Ruinart has pledged a contribution from the sale of every glass of Ruinart champagne at the fair to be donated to urban agricultural non-profit organization Ron Finley Project which seeks to empower communities by teaching methods to grow food and regenerate arid land.




Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.