June 25th, 2020

Each week, Artful spotlights an art experience or destination that speaks to us right now.

The COVID crisis has prompted galleries to band together online, with new collaborative ventures launching seemingly every week. GalleryPlatform.LA, which debuted in mid-May with sixty Los Angeles dealers assembled by the bicoastal gallerist Jeffrey Deitch and is meant to continue even as reopening begins, is one of the nimblest and most user-friendly. Its viewing rooms of just ten galleries at a time load quickly, change weekly, and are guaranteed not to overwhelm art lovers who are contending with endless scrolls and overall digital burnout.

The supporting content is as entertaining as it is informative, and unlike the ephemeral viewing rooms it will live on in an archive. There are pithy, focused video visits with artists, collectors, and gallerists, each just a few minutes long. There's a dive into local art history, with essays exploring influential Los Angeles galleries and collections. There are group shows loosely organized around the theme of life in quarantine, by the guest curator Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer; the current one, "In the Garden," features landscape-based artworks by Deana Lawson, Despina Stokou, and the eco-art pioneers the Harrisons. And there's an effort to showcase nonprofit and social justice ventures; several weeks ago, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the platform temporarily suspended all of its usual programming to highlight and raise funds for the artist Lauren Halsey's Summaeverythang, a food distribution project that delivers organic produce from local farms to the neighborhoods of Watts and South Central. Los Angeles galleries, distributed as they are across various pockets of the sprawling city, are not known for coalescing into a community—but this is the rare platform that feels like one.

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