The process of creating art always involves transmitting one’s singular sensory experiences into a discrete vision. The Los Angeles exhibition Mapping Fictions brings together four contemporary artists who organize information and experience through text and images, charting popular culture, physical space, and personal knowledge in painstakingly detailed work. Andreana Donahue and Tim Ortiz of Disparate Minds curated the exhibition, which is now on view at The Good Luck Gallery, a space dedicated to... [more]
The media floods us with words and images aimed to categorize women. In Betty Tompkins’ new Los Angeles exhibition Sex Works / WOMEN Words, Phrases and Stories, the artist best known for her Fuck Paintings repaints some of these common labels, creating a feminist space for her pieces to expose and confront everyday sexist language and representations.
On the walls of GAVLAK Gallery, 1,000 small textual paintings hang salon-style, presented as a cohesive installation. Their texts are derived from resp... [more]
A photograph is rarely seen as an act of rebellion these days. Hundreds of billions of images are taken and circulated around the world each year. But under China’s censorship laws, Ren Hang’s outdoor nudes are radicalized. What We Do is Secret, Hang’s new exhibition now on view at MAMA, features striking photos the artist had to risk his reputation to take.
Hang sometimes has to run from police when shooting. The Beijing-born artist, who usually photographs his friends naked has bee... [more]
Made in L.A. 2016: Wipe Your Feet on the Way Out by Lauren McQuade Kelly Akashi, Huguette Caland, Rafa Esparza, Lauren Davis Fisher, Todd Gray, Joel Holmberg, Margaret Honda, Arthur Jafa, Eckhaus Latta, Laida Lertxundi, Adam Linder, Guthrie Lonergan, Rebecca Morris, Shahryar Nashat, Silke Otto-Knapp, Gala Porras-Kim, Sterling Ruby, Aram Saroyan, Kenzi Shiokava, Daniel R. Small, Wadada Leo Smith, Martine Syms, Kenneth Tam, Labor Link TV, Mark Verabioff, Dena Yago at Hammer Museum
June 12th - August 28th
Cracked and imperfect, resting atop a section of otherwise crisp white marble floor, is a carpet of gridded reddish dirt.
At the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, in a biannual exhibition tasked with representing local creativity, a portrait of the region’s artistic practice takes shape—installed alongside the very firmament from which it was excavated. The earth, the grit, the material of the city—literal and imagined—makes its way into the museum.
“It's a dynamic moment in... [more]
Meandering through West Hollywood’s crowded streets—filled with trendy boutiques, coffee shops, and upscale salons—it’s difficult to come across vestiges of the city’s queer roots. Long gentrified by high rents is a rich history ensconced in leather bars, tea rooms, sex shops, and the like. It’s a history that while obscured, is still vibrantly alive in the memory of Tom of Finland Foundation Co-founder, Durk Dehner. Since 1984, Dehner served as the official h... [more]
Nathaniel Mary Quinn’s fragmented portraits recall his childhood growing up in the Robert Taylor Homes, a notorious housing project in Chicago. His new series Highlights, now on view at M+B in Los Angeles, features highly personal works that reflect on his upbringing and the people he knew who were able to escape the violence and poverty so many experienced in the now demolished project.
Though his pieces resemble collages, they are in fact improvised paintings. Quinn does not do initial sketches of his... [more]
Nathan Mabry’s exhibition gripgrabstacksqueeze, at Cherry and Martin, opens with a black, partially abstract, figurative sculpture suggestive of indigenous art placed on an oil drum. The upper half of this totemic form seems to have emerged from the drum, its dark and glutinous texture reminiscent of tar. With this opening work, Mabry succinctly kicks off the show with a meditation on the fetishism of early peoples and their artifacts, as well as the loss of these cultures as a result of m... [more]
In Funeral Doom Spiritual, a multimedia installation that recently opened at ONE Gay and Lesbian National Archives at the USC Libraries, artist and composer M. Lamar confronts themes of Black masculinity, collective trauma, and the white gaze through his singular “Negrogothic” vision.
Combining Lamar’s operatic sounds, sadomasochistic visuals, and lots of smoke, the exhibition’s multichannel black-and-white videos are beautifully Gothic, yet also haunted by symbols of racial violence, slavery,... [more]
Walking down the nonlinear streets in Downtown’s Arts District, Traction Avenue looks about the same today as it did two weeks ago, but it’s changed a lot from how it looked last summer, when I first reported on the gentrification and development of the area.
Storefronts and tenants continue to shuffle—the retail space 12345 once occupied has sat empty with a “For Lease” sign in its window since August; District Gallery is gone; Traction Avenue Gallery closed down a fe... [more]
Annette Weisser is interested in the remnants of history on the human psyche. The Berlin-based artist came of age in rural Germany in the 1980s, grappling with the specter of National Socialism and her own political socialization in West Germany. As part of the Kriegsenkel generation (the “grandchildren of the war”), Weisser and her contemporaries are caught in a moral crisis, horrified by the fascism of the past and unsettled by their nation’s ethos of repentance since the 1960s. H... [more]
For the first time in Los Angeles, the entirety of Catherine Opie’s black-and-white photogravures from her series O is on display at the Hammer Building at LACMA. In conversation with two other shows Opie currently has up in Los Angeles—700 Nimes Road at MOCA and Portraits, also at LACMA—as well as with Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium, on view now at LACMA, the seven images are contextualized in a larger photography moment.
Opie’s work has long mediated the contrad... [more]
Hobbes Ginsberg walked out of Sunday Gallery in Los Angeles on what was supposed to be the final day of filming.
“There's literally one shot left,” said Ginsberg, wearing a fitted white T-shirt that was plain except for a hot pink applique on the front that spelled out “Hollywood” in sparkly bold cursive.
“But it's so teeny tiny—can we get rid of it?” said Chloe Feller, with a faint air of hope in her voice.
“Uh, no,” Ginsberg said. The remaining... [more]
What does the interior architecture of the artist's workspace tell us about their process and practice? In psychoanalytic terms, perhaps what's in the artist's studio is what's on the artist's mind.
In our times, though, the spaces artists inhabit are quite different to the cavernous, secluded spaces of the past: they've had to adapt to a more migratory lifestyle, and have succumbed to the economic squeeze in urban centers. The only universal marker left of the resplendent artist's studio, reall... [more]
Los Angeles hasn’t always been an art fair destination—its commercial art scene development has yet to reach the breakneck pace and spectacle seen in New York, Miami, or London. Nevertheless, it’s got a solid core that’s been expanding and garnering more attention in recent years. Long-standing regional fairs, the LA Art Show and Photo LA, have entered their 21st and 25th seasons respectively, and they’re joined this January by the 7th edition of the increasingly inf... [more]
At 6:50 pm on opening night, a ladder is still out in the middle of the gallery floor. Frederick Guerrero stands nearby, co-founder of Slow Culture and co-organizer of the finale show at its current Highland Park spot, set to begin at his space in less than ten minutes: What A Time To Be Alive.
Atop the ladder sits Adi Rajkovic of Sunday gallery, who is busy helping to align a piece with floral lettering that will soon spell the phrase “SAY HER NAME,” as others around her either tidy up or ska... [more]
Day one at Art Los Angeles Contemporary, and there's a clear trend emerging for chunky, rough-looking ceramics and heavy concrete. Why? We'd like to think that galleries are enjoying presenting art made with these materials, as they're an aesthetic antidote to the shiny plasticity that is expected in Los Angeles.
Why are so many artists are experimenting with these mediums? All over the world of late, there's been a revived interest in clay and concrete from the market and makers, with new ar... [more]