Datebook: Full-moon performances inspired by gender, the art of transformation, hallucinatory dance
It’s summertime and the performance art is breezy (a.k.a. held outdoors). Plus, there’s a show that takes on art, feminism and #MeToo, as well as dance inspired by a work of hallucinatory installation. Here are six exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week.
“Ain’t I A Womxn? — A Genders promenade” organized by Freewaves, at LA State Historic Park. In what is shaping up to be the performance event of the summer, Freewaves, a new media arts organization, has put together a one-night event that will feature 35 Los Angeles artists and collectives staging a variety of actions that toy with identity and gender under the light of the full moon. This will include work by artists such as Nao Bustamante and Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, Jennifer Moon, Raquel Gutiérrez, Zachary Drucker, Kiki Xtravaganza and Xina Xurner (the performance duo of Marvin Astorga and Young Joon Kwak). There will also be video, free zines, group discussions, food trucks and a night group bike ride. Saturday at 8 p.m. The event is free, but advance RSVP via the website is required. 1245 N. Spring St., Elysian Park, Los Angeles, freewaves.com.
“Transfigured,” at Diane Rosenstein. A group show presenting works by SoCal artists Jay Kvapil, Sarah Mikenis, Lionel Sabaté and Evan Whale includes a variety of works (painting, photography, ceramics) exploring ideas of transformation and metamorphosis. Opens Saturday and runs through Aug. 25. 831 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, dianerosenstein.com.
“Remote Castration,” at LAXART. A group exhibition uses the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements — and the ways in which they have drawn attention to abuses of power — as a way of reflecting on the ways in which feminist thought is addressed in contemporary art. The show will include work by figures such as Kathryn Garcia, Jenny Holzer, John Altoon and Paul McCarthy. Opens Sunday at 3 p.m. and runs through Sept. 15. 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, laxart.org.
“Cinema Room: Selected videos by Ulysses Jenkins,” at ltd los angeles. The SoCal-based artist has long considered representations of black men in works that employ archival footage, photography, sound and other elements. As part of the gallery’s monthly film/video screening series, Jenkins will be showing nearly half a dozen video works dating back to 1981. Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. 1119 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, ltdlosangeles.com.
“All Lit Up!” at Eastern Projects. This group show gathers work by four artists who employ neon in various ways — Michael Fletchtner, Leticia Maldonado, Linda Sue Price and Lisa Schulte — who use the material in ways that hark to pop and abstraction. Opens Saturday and runs through Aug. 25. 909 N. Broadway, Ste. 1090, Chinatown, Los Angeles, easternprojectsgallery.com.
Jmy James Kidd and the Sunland Dancers, “Body Bags,” at the Marciano Art Foundation. Over two days, the dance troupe will perform a choreography inside Olafur Eliasson’s light and sound installation, “Reality Projector.” Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., Windsor Square, Los Angeles, marcianoartfoundation.org.
Forrest Kirk, “Body Count,” at Chimento Contemporary. Chimento is marking its move to a new gallery space in West Adams with a show of works by the San Diego-born artist, whose work deals, in hallucinatory ways, with the very real issue of police violence. This includes larger-than-life paintings of police officers brandishing water guns, encircling victims with lassos, and wielding power in nightmarish ways. Through Friday. 4480 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams, Los Angeles, chimentocontemporary.net.
Rafael Cardenas, “Backyard Tableaux,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. Better known for his black-and-white street images, the Boyle Heights photographer has a new series on display at the museum that explores moments of gathering and celebration in Los Angeles backyards — all shot in rich color. Through Saturday. I’ll be leading a conversation with Cardenas on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the museum. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet, “American Procession,” at Track 16. Inspired by a 19th century mural in Dresden, Germany, that shows a procession of important royals and those who came before them, Birk and Pignolet have created two 17-foot-long prints depicting a procession of historical American figures who have made significant contributions to society for better or worse. The two works show figures from either side of the political spectrum facing off at a central point — before a triumphal arch that stands in ruins. Through Saturday. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave., downtown Los Angeles, track16.com.
“Extracorporeal,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. Inspired by the art of the late Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta, whose actions and photographs explored violence, place and the body, “Extracorporeal” gathers works by four U.S. and Latin American artists whose work also operates in that vein. This includes sculpture, video and performance by Antonio Paucar, Daniela Rojas, Roberto Tondopó and the L.A.-based Carmen Argote. Through Sunday. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
“2018 July Kamikaze Exhibits,” at Pøst. One artist a day. One show a day. That’s the premise of Pøst’s annual “kamikaze” series of exhibitions, which features a rotation of shows that change daily over a month. This will include installations by Kio Griffith, Thinh Nguyen, Anetta Kapon, Forrest Kirk and Pøst founder HK Zamani, as well as group projects organized by Kristine Schomaker and Dani Dodge. Get ready to art! Through Tuesday. Receptions will be held nightly at 7 p.m. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave., No. 515, downtown Los Angeles, facebook.com/NotPOST.
New Original Works Festival 2018, at REDCAT. Nine contemporary projects straddling the worlds of performance, dance, animation and other traditions are on the roster of the latest edition of the New Original Works Festival (a.k.a. NOW FEST). They include a soprano arrangement by Jasmine Orpilla that also features kulintang gongs and other Filipino elements, as well as an animation/shadow play by Miwa Matreyek, and a movement piece by Sebastian Hernández that explores sisterhood and queer bodies. Through Aug. 4. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown Los Angeles, redcat.org.
Cleon Peterson, “Blood and Soil,” at Over the Influence. In stark red and black canvases that employ figures distorted by violence, the Los Angeles artist tackles issues of police power and the darker chapters of U.S. history. Through Aug. 5. 833 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles, overtheinfluence.com.
Harry Gamboa Jr., “Chicano Male Unbonded,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. For years, Gamboa has photographed Chicano men — often figures with whom he has a personal relationship — at night in the dark from a low angle, giving his figures an imposing authority. This exhibition gathers more than 80 of those images into a single-room installation: scholars, artists, musicians, thinkers, photographers and even the artist’s dad, a printer — collectively calling into question the general public’s (not to mention our president’s) stereotyped view of Mexican American men. Through Aug. 5. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org.
“Talk to Me: 25th Anniversary Exhibition,” at Von Lintel Gallery. The Culver City gallery is celebrating 25 years in existence with an exhibition featuring works by more than 40 artists who have been part of its history. This includes works by photographer John Chiara, conceptualist Sarah Charlesworth and photo-based artist Marco Breuer — among many others. There will be a salon series held over the course of the exhibition in the back room of the gallery. Through Aug. 11. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, vonlintel.com.
Stephen Prina, “galesburg, illinois+,” at Sprüth Magers. This exhibition is part of an ongoing autobiographical project by the artist in which he examines the nature of the small town he grew up in: Galesburg, Ill. The installation includes collectible ceramics and other souvenirs that reference his personal memories as well as Galesburg’s social and geographic contexts. Through Aug. 11. 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, spruethmagers.com.
“The Candy Store,” at Parker Gallery. A group show pays tribute to the Candy Store Gallery, a small space operated by Adeliza McHugh in the hillsides above Folsom, Calif., for three decades beginning in 1962. In her time, the idiosyncratic McHugh displayed work by key American artists such as ceramicists Robert Arneson and Chris Unterseher, painters Roy de Forest and Luis Cruz Azaceta and Chicago imagists Gladys Nilsson and Jim Nutt. This show captures the singular nature of that quirky space. Through Aug. 11. 2441 Glendower Ave., Los Feliz, Los Angeles, parkergallery.com.
“Sun Gazers,” at the Pit. A summer group show brings together work by the gallery’s stable of artists — including the six artists who have been with the gallery since the beginning. Expect a mix of painting, conceptual photography, drawing and mixed media collage. Through Aug. 12. 918 Ruberta Ave., Glendale, the-pit.la.
Jack Goldstein, “Underwater Sea Fantasy,” at 1301PE. Goldstein’s prescient work, which borrowed elements of image and film, could have predicted the internet era: paintings of natural and cinematic phenomena taken out of context, bits of film spliced into endless loops. This exhibition of the late artist’s work includes the film “Under Water Sea Fantasy,” which premiered at the 2004 Whitney Biennial, a montage that splices together spectacular and violent scenes of ocean life in ways that nod to the language of Hollywood. Also on view are nine silk-screened photographs and images of Goldstein’s studio captured by James Welling in the 1970s. Through Aug. 18. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Carthay, Los Angeles, 1301pe.com.
Gabriella Sanchez, “By Any Other Name,” at Charlie James Gallery. This is the first solo exhibition at the space by the Los Angeles artist, whose collaged paintings fuse color with fragments of image and language. Through Aug. 18. cjamesgallery.com.
Dan Graham, “New Works by a Small Town Boy,” at Regen Projects. In his second solo show at the gallery, the New York-based conceptualist continues his exploration of architecture in hybrid “pavilions” — part structures, part sculptures — that take inspiration from the ornamental buildings in 17th and 18th century gardens. Also on view will be photographs from his series “Homes for America,” which chronicles of the architecture, lawns and topiaries of his native suburban New Jersey. Through Aug. 18. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.
Bob Mizer, “Ambition,” at M+B Photo. Mizer is by now an icon of post-War gay culture, a figure who celebrated the male body and gay male sexuality in magazines such as “Physique Pictorial” in ways that were wink-wink naughty as well as all-American. The show at M+B features 30 images from the Mizer archive that have never been previously exhibited. Through Aug. 18. 1050 N. Cahuenga, Hollywood, mbphoto.com.
“Paradise,” at Night Gallery. And because summer group show season is upon us: In its latest show, Night Gallery is showing a range of emerging and established artists, including Alake Shilling, Tyson Reeder, Adrianne Rubenstein and Zadie Xa. Plus, there will be an installation of carpets produced by rural Berber women in Morocco. Through Aug. 18. 2276 E. 16th St., downtown Los Angeles, nightgallery.ca.
Katherine Oslchbaur, “Horses,” at Nicodim. The Austrian-born painter, now based in L.A., combines surreal aspects of horses, human figures and signifiers of femininity (think high-heeled shoes) — all of it a playing on tangled issues of both freedom and domination. Through Aug. 18. 571 S. Anderson St., Ste. 2, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, nicodimgallery.com.
Hannah Kozak, “Survivor: My Father’s Ghosts,” at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. The Los Angeles photographer retraces her father’s footsteps through eight concentration camps — capturing the spaces that shaped his life in stark black and white. Through Aug. 20. 100 S. the Grove Drive, Fairfax, Los Angeles, lamoth.org.
James Turrell, at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. Turrell, who is perhaps best known for creating ethereal installations that employ transitory beams of light, is focusing on slightly more concrete materials in this, his seventh show at the gallery. This includes glass works, which he began to fabricate in 2006, as well as models and structures from the late ’80s and early ’90s. Through Aug. 25. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., kayengriffincorcoran.com.
“The New Contemporaries,” at Residency Art Gallery. A new group show at this Inglewood space looks at how African American and Latino bodies and culture have been fetishized, appropriated and experimented on. This includes new work from emerging artists around the country such as Felipe Baeza, texas isaiah, Star Montana and Elliot Reed, among others. Through Aug. 25. 310 E. Queen St., Inglewood, residencyart.com.
Senga Nengudi, “Performance Objects (1976-2017),” at Art + Practice. The installation and performance artist — known for her visceral pieces made out of pantyhose — will be showing a series of installations, covering her early career to the present, at the Leimert Park art space. This will include video from her collaborations with figures such as David Hammons, Maren Hassinger and Cheryl Banks-Smith. A good opportunity to dip into some L.A. artistic history. Through Aug. 25. 3401 W. 43rd Place, Leimert Park, Los Angeles, artandpractice.org.
Steve Fitch, “Vanishing Vernacular,” at Kopeikin Gallery. Fitch, who is known for documenting the American West, takes on the slowly disappearing neon signage and vernacular architecture of the old Route 66 in his project “Vanishing Vernacular,” which is both an exhibition and book (published in the spring by George F. Thompson Publishing). For his show at Kopeikin, he gathers images of drive-ins, roadside signage and fancifully-designed motels that once channeled the romance of the open road, but which have now been sidelined by the interstate highway system. Through Aug. 25. 2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, kopeikingallery.com.
Phranc, “Swagger,” at Craig Krull Gallery. The singer is also a long-running artist, known for creating works out of simple raw materials such as paper, cardboard and paint. The show at Krull will feature an array of everyday objects that reference the artist’s own life: paper dresses that serve as a nod to an uncle’s downtown L.A. dress shop and jackets that refer to her lesbian and feminist heroes. Also on view at the gallery will be painted underwater scenes by Connie Jenkins. Through Aug. 25. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., #B3, Santa Monica, craigkrullgallery.com.
Leon Borensztein, “It’s so F___ Lonely Here,” at Little Big Man Gallery. Over a 30-year period, the photographer has chronicled the life of his daughter, Sharon, who contends with various physical and mental disabilities. This intensely personal show will gather art and ephemera that reflect the ways in which Borensztein has used the camera as a way of recording and understanding his daughter’s life and conditions. Through Aug. 25. 1427 E. Fourth St., #2, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, littlebigmangallery.com.
Alison O’Daniel, “Say the word ‘Nowhere.’ Say ‘Headphones.’ Say ‘Nothing,’” at Shulamit Nazarian. The title to O’Daniel’s solo show is taken from a test administered by audiologists to screen for potential hearing loss. O’Daniel, who wears hearing aids, frequently explores the presence and absence of sound in her work. Among other elements, the show presents pieces from an ongoing feature-length film project titled “The Tuba Thieves” that she is producing in collaboration with deaf and hard-of-hearing composers, performers and athletes. Through Aug. 25. 616 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood, shulamitnazarian.com.
Hugo McCloud, “This and Everything Else,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. McCloud is the sort of artist who is interested in making work out of common objects he finds in his travels: plastic waste sacks, rags, liquid tar and roofing paper. For his current show at Vielmetter, he is working in bronze — a material commonly used in plumbing and electronics, as well as art — scratching and scribbling on the surface and also treating the material with chemicals so that it takes on different patinas. Through Aug. 25. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City, vielmetter.com.
“Taurus and the Awakener,” at David Kordanksy Gallery. This group show is inspired by the astronomical and the astrological — with a title taken from a phenomenon describing the progression of the planet Uranus and the zodiacal sign of Taurus, which marks moments of change, rebellion and freedom. The show includes work by groundbreaking sculptors such as Polly Apfelbaum, Huma Bhabha, Chakaia Booker and Evan Holloway. This looks like one not to miss. Through Aug. 25. 5130 W. Edgewood Place. Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, davidkordanskygallery.com.
Adler Guerrier, “Conditions and Forms for blck Longevity,” at California African American Museum. The Haitian artist is the subject of a solo exhibition at the museum that explores the nature of domestic gardens and other outdoor spaces as mini-utopias. This project looks at spaces in Miami and L.A. where black life takes place in sheltered, protected ways. Through Aug. 26. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Socialist Flower Power: Soviet Hippie Culture,” at the Wende Museum. Like just about every other country in the ’60s, the former Soviet Union was home to a hippie culture of peace, love and brotherhood — when it wasn’t being persecuted by the Soviet state. Through a collaboration with the Archive of Modern Conflict and historian Juliane Fürst at the University of Bristol, the Wende was able to acquire a set of personal archives that showcase Soviet hippie artifacts of that era, including photography, clothing and other ephemera. A singular peek into a subculture that has drawn little scrutiny. Through Aug. 26. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City, wendemuseum.org.
Emory Douglas, “Bold Visual Language,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. An exhibition pays tribute to the iconic works of the Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, who also served as a graphic artist of the party’s newspaper. The show features historic Black Panther newspapers, posters of remixed images by Douglas, and works by artists who also engage issues of politics and civil rights in their work, including Sadie Barnett, Juan Capistran and Patrick Martínez. Through Aug. 26. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
“Selected Affinities,” at Christopher Grimes Gallery. A group show looks at the ways artists such as Allan Sekula, Connie Samaras, Miles Coolidge and others employ photography to describe aspects of human relations — such as Coolidge’s images of cargo containers transformed into migrant housing and a series by Sekula that examines the decline of fishing in a Spanish village. Other works capture the economic rise of the United Arab Emirates and issues of contested public space around Malibu. Through Aug. 31. 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, cgrimes.com.
Olafur Eliasson, “Reality Projector,” at the Marciano Art Foundation. Eliasson has created an environmental installation for the foundation’s first floor Theater Gallery that combines sculpture, painting, photography and film. The piece works with the former Masonic Temple’s existing architecture to create a play on forms and shadows. It’s an installation that Times art critic Christopher Knight describes as “eye-grabbingly vivid.” Through August. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., Windsor Square, Los Angeles, marcianoartfoundation.org.
Jonny Negron, “Small Map of Heaven,” at Château Shatto. Born in Puerto Rico and based in New York, Negron has long been inspired by the bright colors and sharp lines of comic books and Japanese woodblock prints. But he employs the forms in ways that are resolutely his own, creating intimate scenes that also feature aspects of the fantastical — such as lush landscapes and ghostly figures. Through Sept. 1. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave., downtown Los Angeles, chateaushatto.com.
Sadie Barnette, “Dear 1968, ...” at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Barnette and her family recently obtained the 500-page file the FBI had amassed on her father, Rodney Barnette, during his time in the Black Panthers. The artist employs documents from the file along with other family objects as a point of inspiration for an installation that explores the intersection of the personal and the political in dramatic ways. Through Sept. 2. 1100 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, mcasd.org.
“This Brush for Hire: Norm Laich and Many Other Artists,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Artists have long relied on studio assistants to do everything from preparing materials to executing their work. This exhibition at the ICA LA looks at the work of one of those indispensable assistants: Norm Laich, who has helped produce iconic works for a range of Los Angeles artists, including Ed Ruscha, Paul McCarthy and Barbara Kruger. The show will feature a range of signage, wall paintings and installations and will include a short documentary film on his life and work. An intriguing, generous look at an unnamed artist behind the art. Through Sept. 2. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown Los Angeles, theicala.org.
“Made in L.A. 2018,” at the Hammer Museum. It is the fourth edition of the Hammer’s always intriguing biennial and this year’s show, organized by Anne Ellegood and Erin Christovale, brings together a wide ranging group of artists, ages 29 to 97, exploring an even wider range of techniques, ideas and materials. This includes conceptual photographs by John Houck and Daniel Joseph Martinez, an ancient Egyptian-inspired temple by Lauren Halsey, wry videos by Alison O’Daniel and the artist team of Jade Gordon and Megan Whitmarsh, a vast lobby mural by Eamon Ore-Giron and some incredible paintings of the female body — as seen by female artists — by Christina Quarles, Linda Stark and Luchita Hurtado. And that’s just the beginning. Times art critic Christopher Knight describes the show as the best Hammer biennial yet. Do. Not. Miss. Through Sept. 2. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, “Poetic Structure: Art + Engineering + Architecture,” at the Mak Center for Art and Architecture. A specially built 27-foot long pavilion, which can be shaped and reshaped by human hands, will be used to display more than 30 scale models of the firm’s most recognizable buildings. Through Sept. 2. Schindler House, 835 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood, makcenter.org.
Lauren Halsey, “we still here, there” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The artist has built a fantastical immersive environment inside the museum’s Grand Avenue location inspired by aspects of Afrofuturism and colloquial signifiers of black identity — a wry reimagining of the white cube. Through Sept. 3. MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.
“City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In its day, the ancient city of Teotihuacan was the largest urban center in the Americas — and the sixth-largest city in the world. Today, it is an iconic Mexican archaeological site. This exhibition presents recent findings from excavations at the site’s three main pyramids. It includes more than 200 objects that help tell the story of the ancient city, including monumental sculpture and smaller-scale objects such as precious stones. Through Sept. 3. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Pussy, King of the Pirates,” at Maccarone. Inspired by the title of a Kathy Acker novel, this exhibition features work by 20 non-male artists who explore issues of the body, identity and gaze. This includes work by Eleanor Antin, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Sadie Barnett, Monica Majoli, Alison Saar and Sharon Lockhart — an all-star lineup. Through Sept. 8. 300 S. Mission Rd., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, maccarone.net.
Shinique Smith, “Refuge,” at California African American Museum. The multimedia artist is known for her bulbous assemblages crafted from old clothing and fabric, which she twists and ties and suspends from gallery ceilings and walls. Her paintings echo these bound and squeezed forms. Her first solo show at CAAM brings together works that evoke questions of homelessness and itinerancy. Through Sept. 9. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Bamboo,” at the Craft and Folk Art Museum. Bamboo baskets are often thought of purely as functional objects: vessels that contain and transport food and household goods. An exhibition at CAFAM, however, explores bamboo basketry’s sculptural possibilities — including a large-scale bamboo installation inspired by mathematics (such as Fibonacci’s sequence and the Golden Ratio) by Japanese architect Akio Hizume. Through Sept. 9. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
“Charting the Terrain: Eric Mack and Pamela Smith Hudson” at the California African American Museum. A pair of artists explore aspects of Western landscape through abstraction. In his work, Mack creates intricate compositions that echo aspects of movement and the urban grid, while Hudson’s works evoke the topographic — mapping devastation and rejuvenation. Through Sept. 9. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World,” at the Getty Museum. This exhibition at the Getty explores the cultural connections between Greece, Rome and Egypt through more than 200 rare objects — many on view in the U.S. for the first time. The show spans more than 2,000 years, from the Bronze Age to the late Roman Empire and includes stone vessels, pottery, sculpture, portraits and religious imagery. It also includes a more than 15-foot granite obelisk from A.D. 88-89 inscribed to the goddess Isis and the emperor Domitian, on loan from the Museo del Sannio in Italy. Through Sept. 9. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Todd Gray, “Portraits,” at Meliksetian Briggs. The Los Angeles artist, who recently received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, is known for creating multimedia collages and assemblages that take photographic imagery from his own archive and then presents them in ways that comment on representations of blackness and the African diaspora. The work, part of his “Exquisite Terribleness” series, is centered on images of acquaintances and friends as well landscape and objects. Through Sept. 15. 313 N. Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood, meliksetianbriggs.com.
“When She Rises,” at SPARC. This group exhibition is showcasing works by several dozen female artists — including SPARC founder Judy Baca and myriad artists from across the U.S., such as Lorraine Jones, Nani Chacon, Ofelia Esparza, Sofia Maldonado, Erin Yoshi and Loveis Wise — all exploring issues of social justice related to equality and ecology. As part of the exhibition’s programming, there will be an arts and activism workshop and special screenings and panel discussions. Things kick off Saturday with a “Ladies Love Project” pop-up market, organized by graffiti artist Toofly, that features art, fashion, craft and music — all by female artists. Through Sept. 15. 685 Venice Blvd., Venice, whensherises.splashthat.com.
“Discovering Saar Ceramics,” at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. In 1949, artist Richard Saar and his brother William opened a ceramic studio in a small Quonset hut in El Segundo. Saar Ceramics, at its height, would go on to employ a staff of eight and produce functional and decorative pieces with elegantly rendered abstract designs and charming animal figures. Does the name sound familiar? Well, Saar was, for a time, married to key Los Angeles assemblagist Betye Saar in the 1950s and ’60s. Through Sept. 16. 399 N. Garey Ave., Pomona, amoca.org.
Nery Gabriel Lemus, “Yearning to Breathe Free,” at the Grand Central Art Center. In a series of detailed watercolor paintings Lemus explores migration and the dreams of those that seek to “breathe free” (in a nod to the famous Emma Lazarus poem, “The New Colossus”). Also on view will be sculptures and the painted rugs he makes in honor of individual migrants who perished attempting to realize that dream. Through Sept. 16. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.
John Divola and Zoe Crosher, “Grounded,” at the El Segundo Museum of Art. In the 1970s, photographer John Divola explored the homes and other buildings that were condemned by an expansion of LAX airport in an area referred to as the Noise Abatement Zone. Thirty years later, Zoe Crosher captured the ways in which the airport makes its presence felt in daily life in the surrounding communities. This exhibition at ESMoA brings together dozens of their works, shot decades apart, for a unique view of a transitory space that marks the city in permanent ways. Through Sept. 22. 208 Main St., El Segundo, esmoa.org.
Don McCullin at Hauser & Wirth. The British photojournalist Don McCullin is perhaps best known for his striking war photography — such as his images of grizzled fighters and mourning families in Vietnam. But his range extends well beyond Southeast Asia. He is also recognized for his work chronicling disasters in what was then Biafra (today part of Nigeria), the conflict in Northern Ireland and the ravages of the AIDS epidemic across the African continent. The gallery is bringing together images from various reporting assignments, including Northern Ireland and the construction of the Berlin Wall. Through Sept. 23. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirth.com.
Larry Bell, “Complete Cubes,” and Mary Heilemann, “Memory Remix,” at Hauser & Wirth. The gallery is also opening two other key exhibitions. The first gathers the ethereal glass cubes made by Bell, a renowned California Light and Space artist whose attention to material, transparency and reflection have earned him a spot in the pantheon of minimalism. Separately, the gallery will be showing California-born Mary Heilmann’s first solo exhibition in more than 20 years — a broad survey that brings together paintings, ceramics and furnishings that capture her wide ranging interests, including abstraction, textiles, film and song. Through Sept. 23. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirth.com.
“In Focus: Expressions,” at the Getty Center. An exhibition drawn from the museum’s permanent collection brings together portraits, figure studies and anonymous snapshots for a keen show exploring the wildly expressive nature of the human face. Through Oct. 7. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Barry McGee, “SB Mid Summer Intensive,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. A show of the Bay Area artist’s work gathers drawings, paintings and sculptural objects inspired by graffiti, sign painting, hobo markings and other aspects of contemporary urban culture. Plus, it will include a nod to the nearby Reagan Ranch Center. Through Oct. 14. 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, mcasantabarbara.org.
“Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911-2011,” at the Getty Museum. This exhibition gathers a century’s worth of fashion photography, beginning with images from the early 1900s by Edward Steichen that captured fashion in an “artistic” manner. The survey then goes on to include work by some of the most iconic photographers of the 20th century, such as Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Herb Rittz and Corinne Day. It’s a striking look at fashion, photography and the stories these media can tell. Through Oct. 21. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“Line & Color: The Nature of Ellsworth Kelly,” at the Norton Simon Museum. The museum is featuring a suite of 27 color lithographs made by the artist in the mid-1960s, when he was just beginning to experiment with the medium — a challenging one for an artist whose work was based on the seamless, solid expression of color. Accompanying the exhibit are two large-scale paintings from the museum’s collection, as well as preliminary sketches that reveal his working process. Through Oct. 29. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
“A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic,” at the California Museum of Photography. Dust permeates the air around us. Dust will bury the cities we live in when we are gone. A group exhibition at UC Riverside brings together images produced over the last century that capture the various aspects of dust. The images are both benign and destructive, featuring the natural world, but also aspects of urban decay. Artists featured include John Divola, Man Ray, Gerhard Richter and Shomei Tomatsu. Through Dec. 9. UC Riverside Artsblock, 3824 Main St., Riverside, artsblock.ucr.edu.
“Striking the Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths,” at the Fowler Museum. A sprawling exhibition of more than 225 objects will examine the virtuosity of African blacksmiths of the 19th and 20th centuries, who forged iron objects — such as blades, elements of sculpture and musical instruments — that were as aesthetically pleasing as they were, in many cases, functional. Many objects, drawn from the Fowler’s collection, are connected with rituals and the powers of the natural world. This is the debut of this traveling exhibition, which will then go on to the National Museum of African Art in Washington. Through Dec. 30. 308 Charles E. Young Drive N., Westwood, Los Angeles, fowler.ucla.edu.
“Gary Simmons: Fade to Black,” at the California African American Museum. In a lobby installation — one that takes full advantage of its size and scale — Simmons pays tribute to forgotten African American actors and films. On a black background, the L.A. artist features the titles and names of films and individuals important to the early days of Hollywood history, but forgotten over time. Through Dec. 31. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“The Archival Impulse: 40 Years at LACE,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. LACE, the historic Los Angeles art spot that gave key shows to Mike Kelley and groups such as Survival Research Laboratories in the ’80s, is turning 40 — and to mark the occasion, the organization has been poking around its metaphorical attic (aka its archive) to see what it might turn up. This show gathers elements from that archive as well as video works by a range of Los Angeles artists, including Jim Shaw, Susan Mogul and Reza Abdoh. Through December. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
Rick Bartow, “Things You Know but Cannot Explain,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. This is the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to the late Oregon-born painter, a member of the Mad River band of Wiyot. Bartow developed a career as an artist later in life — after his service in the Vietnam War and a period contending with PTSD. On canvas, he found inspiration, drawing from historic and contemporary European and Native American artistic traditions to create a fusion of something new: haunting and totemic images of creatures who channel grief and frailty. Through Jan. 6. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org.
“A Journey That Wasn’t,” at the Broad museum. A group show drawn from the museum’s collection features work by more than 20 artists whose work dwells on the concept of time and its passage. This includes pieces by Ed Ruscha, Glenn Ligon and Sharon Lockhart and will feature the return of the video installation “The Visitors,” by Ragnar Kjartansson, a charming multi-channel installation that features a group of musicians playing a collective piece while seated in rooms of a decaying mansion. In other words: a welcome break from the news. Through February. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, thebroad.org.
“La Raza,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. In its day, the civil rights publication La Raza, which was based in Lincoln Heights, served as a bible for the Chicano movement, covering protest, policy and everyday life for the Mexican American communities of Los Angeles. Over the years, the paper amassed an archive of 25,000 images, recently digitized by the Chicano Studies Research Center. Many are now on view as part of this PST: LA/LA show at the Autry — and in a time of political strife surrounding the issues of civil rights, this exhibition couldn’t be more timely. Through Feb. 10. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org
“Water and Power” at the Underground Museum. This is the latest collaboration between the artist-run space founded by late painter Noah Davis and the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. The show will feature a range of works by the likes of Olafur Eliasson, Robin Coste Lewis, Fred Eversley and Hans Haacke, among others. Runs indefinitely. 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, theunderground-museum.org.
“L.A. Communities Through the Eyes of Artists,” in the Passageway Gallery at Union Station. For 15 years, L.A.’s principal train station has been showcasing work that reveals the city through the eyes of its artists. This year, it is showing a series of newly commissioned pieces — including Shizu Saldamando’s depiction of Little Tokyo, Sam Pace on Leimert Park and Artemio Rodriguez on East L.A. On long-term view; no closing date set. Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown Los Angeles, metro.net.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “Carne y Arena,” at LACMA. The gripping new virtual reality experience by the Academy Award-winning director places the participant in the shoes of migrants making the arduous trek through the Sonoran Desert to reach the United States. This may sound like the trivialization of what can be a fatal journey, but it is not. Iñárritu has considered all the elements that surround his virtual reality video to humanize the story of immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border. I wrote about my experience of the piece in June. It’s not cheap (a $30 special admission, in addition to regular museum fees), but it’s worth every penny. On long-term view; no closing date set. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
Daniel Hawkins, “Desert Lighthouse.” The Los Angeles-based artist is obsessed with producing works that toy with ideas of grandiosity, failure and gestures that border on the Sisyphean. (One of his goals as an artist is to ultimately build a scale replica of the Hoover Dam.) Now, Hawkins has installed a 50-foot tall, fully functioning lighthouse in the Mojave Desert in the vicinity of Barstow. The piece even features a light to guide travelers through this rugged landscape. Directions and coordinates can be found on the website. On long-term view, Hinkley, Calif., desertlighthouse.org.
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