Guide to Los Angeles - Art in America Guide

Showroom director Emily Pethick on four shows in London [posted 3/15/2018]

“It’s an important moment when such an institution acknowledges work that’s been gestating in the spaces of universities or smaller arts organizations.”
Image: Forensic Architecture, Torture in Saydnaya Prison, animation still, 2016. Witnesses were asked to describe architectural details, such as dimensions and textures, and these recollections elicited further memories of the prison and experiences therein. Commissioned by Amnesty International. Copyright © Forensic Architecture.


“Jessie Dunahoo”

through August 31, 2018, by appointment

Kentucky artist Jessie Dunahoo (1932–2017), who was born deaf and lost his sight as a young man, made astonishing quilt-like panels from plastic shopping bags, fabric scraps, and yarn, each the exact size of his work table, and each a visually sophisticated arrangement of colors and textures; irregular voids and regimented grids; solid shapes and imprinted images and words. Institute 193’s Phillip March Jones, who will open a branch of the Lexington-based space on the Lower East Side this fall, has curated an installation of Dunahoo’s work in Elaine de Kooning’s former studio in East Hampton, New York.

Image: Installation view of “Jessie Dunahoo” at Elaine de Kooning House, East Hampton, New York, 2018.

“Julie Becker: I must create a Master Piece to pay the Rent”

through August 12, 2018

L.A.-based artist Julie Becker, who died at age 43 in 2016, created a heterogeneous body of work that now seems to anticipate the output of certain internet-savvy artists working today, among them Samara Golden and Bunny Rogers. Encompassing installation, sculpture, drawing, video, and photography, and blending story lines taken from real life, movies, and her imagination, Becker’s oeuvre offers an episodic, yet nevertheless potent narrative—in which a gritty 1990s Los Angeles is both backdrop and central character—of precarious lives in late 20th-century America.

Image: Julie Becker, Interior Corner #9, 1993, c-print, 35 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches. Courtesy Greene Naftali, New York.

“3D: Double Vision”

Through March 31, 2019

For better or worse, our technology remains hindered by its human origins: it hews primarily to our own needs and understanding of the world. Thus, in the optical realm, it has often served the aim of faithfully rendering the image of three-dimensional space produced by our binocular vision. This exhibition explores the history and creative offshoots of this long-standing ambition. Organized thematically and starting with the invention of the stereoscope in the 1830s, it features scientific devices, pop culture artifacts, and approximately sixty artworks, including Richard Hamilton’s lenticular print Palindrome (1974), Simone Forti’s Hologram Striding (1975–78), and—requiring the familiar blue-and-red glasses—Lucy Raven’s video installation Curtains (2014).

Image: Lucy Raven, Curtains, 2014, anaglyph video installation, 5.1 sound, dimensions variable, 50 minutes looped. Copyright © Lucy Raven. Courtesy of the artist.

“Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art”

Through September 30, 2018

The Greek root of “architecture” means “power” or “mastery.” The word’s etymology conveys trust in a designer’s ability to create a sound and useful space. But in other traditions the built environment is understood as collectively created, shaped by social needs and exchanges. That is the premise of “Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay, ” a seven-artist exhibition whose title lists three words in the Quechua language that refer, respectively, to world, place, and construction. Ecuador-born Ronny Quevedo makes drawings and collages with markings derived from the playing grounds of both Incan and modern American sports, as well as other ancient and modern systems of delineation and measurement. Claudia Peña Salinas creates sculptures whose shapes recall Indigenous structures in Central and South America. In all, the show’s artists—who also include William Cordova, Clarissa Tossin, Livia Corona Benjamín, Jorge González, and Guadalupe Maravilla—do not revive pre-Columbian traditions and concepts so much as reveal their persistent presence in spite of colonialism.

Image: Claudia Peña Salinas, Tlaloc MNA, 2018, found image adhered to metal, 50 x 72 x 1 inches. Collection of the artist. Courtesy Embajada, Puerto Rico.

“The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy”

Through September 16, 2018

A process involving multiple blocks of the same size and inks of increasing darkness, the chiaroscuro woodcut technique, developed in Italy in the 1500s, enabled woodblock printmakers to produce painterly gradations of light and dark. Old Master chiaroscuro woodcuts were prized for their beauty in their time and are still coveted by collectors today. Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., this exhibition brings together over one hundred prints from nineteen collections, including original images by the likes of painter and printmaker Domenico Beccafumi, as well as interpretations by master craftsmen—including Ugo da Capri and Nicoló Boldrini—of paintings by artists such as Parmigianino, Raphael, and Titian.

Image: Andrea Andreani, after Giovanni Fortuna (?), A Skull, c. 1588, chiaroscuro woodcut from 5 blocks in light brown, light gray, medium gray, dark gray, and black, 11 × 13 1/4 inches. The British Museum, London. Photo © 2018 The Trustees of the British Museum.

“Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing”

Through September 2, 2018

Dorothea Lange’s celebrated photographs of rural life during the Great Depression, commissioned by the Farm Security Administration, are animated by her concern for the impoverished farmers she depicts. Conveying a similar empathy are the rarely seen pictures she took of Japanese-American “evacuees” at the Manzanar internment camp during World War II. Featured in this retrospective, the series serves as a timely reminder of the US government’s history of aiming harsh policies at perceived foreigners. The exhibition—which was organized by the Oakland Museum of California, where it premiered—encompasses over 240 vintage prints and archival materials, such as a letter to Lange from John Steinbeck.

Image: Dorothea Lange, Centerville, California. This evacuee stands by her baggage as she waits for evacuation bus. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration, 1942 (printed later), gelatin silver print, 21 x 17 ¼ inches. Courtesy National Archives.

“Mike Cloud: Quilt Painting”

through March 31, 2018

To make his “Quilt Paintings” in 2007 and 2008, New York–based artist Mike Cloud sewed constellations of new children’s clothes (sometimes with the tags still attached) to canvas, then added painted words and images. Stuffed with foam or stretched over starbursts of stretcher bars, these exuberant works combine bold T-shirt graphics with brushy renderings of rabbits and snowmen, and cheerful colors with ambiguous connotations.

Image: Mike Cloud, Snow Man Quilt, 2008, oil and clothes on canvas, 52 x 42 x 4 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Thomas Erben Gallery.

“Elle Pérez: In Bloom”

through April 8, 2018

In one of these boldly composed color photographs by Elle Pérez—whose interest is in “the erotics of underground communities and the possibilities inherent to marginal spaces and identities”—the subject leans into the camera, his lower body wrapped in a towel, his hair wet, his smile enigmatic, and his torso bearing the scars of top surgery. Elsewhere, bodies both desired and desiring are fragmented, obscured, or simply implied, as in a still life of a stretched-out elastic chest binder drying on a hanger.

Image: Elle Pérez, Nicole, 2018, archival pigment print, 44 3/8 x 31 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York. 


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Photographer Janice Guy on four shows in New York [published 08/07/2018]

“The Folk Art Museum has a beautiful show of scientific illustrations by the 19th-century artist Orra White Hitchcock.”

Image: Orra White Hitchcock, 27. Strata near Valenciennes, pen and ink and watercolor wash on cotton with woven tape binding, 14 x 20 7/8 inches. Amherst College Archives & Special Collections.
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Showroom director Emily Pethick on four shows in London [posted 3/15/2018]

“It’s an important moment when such an institution acknowledges work that’s been gestating in the spaces of universities or smaller arts organizations.”

Image: Forensic Architecture, Torture in Saydnaya Prison, animation still, 2016. Witnesses were asked to describe architectural details, such as dimensions and textures, and these recollections elicited further memories of the prison and experiences therein. Commissioned by Amnesty International. Copyright © Forensic Architecture.

Philippe Vergne on what he would do in London this month [posted 2/27/2018]

“I would rush to the Whitechapel Gallery to see the Leonor Antunes exhibition.”

Image: South London Gallery garden by Gabriel Orozco, 2016. Copyright © Gabriel Orozco. Photo: Andy Stagg.
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Art writer Marcus Verhagen interviewed on “Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)” at The Showroom [Published 2017/11/02]

This tightly conceived show engages in subversive, mostly ironic ways with gender politics and notions of national allegiance.

Image: Sanja Iveković, New Star / Nova Zvijezda, 1983, collage, printed paper, hair, 14 1/2 x x 20 3/4 inches (framed). Courtesy of Kontakt, the Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation.

Curator Cedar Lewisohn on upcoming shows at some of his favorite artist-run spaces [Published 2017/10/25]

“You don’t always know what you’re going to see, but that’s part of the fun—being surprised and challenged.”

Image: Verity Birt, Deformation Attends Her (film still), 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Res.

2017 Frieze Spotlight curator Toby Kamps on exhibitions around London [Published 2017/10/16]

“I love a good title.”

Image: Vittorio Scarpati, Untitled, 1989. Courtesy of Max Mueller. Photo Credit Andy Keate.

Sculptor Sarah Staton on exhibitions in London [Published 2017/10/06]

“There are two exhibitions currently up in London that I think make a great pairing.”

Image: Christopher Wool, Head, 1992, enamel on aluminum, 107 3/4 x 72 inches. Courtesy Astrup Fearnley Collection, Oslo, Norway.

Diversity Art Forum director Pauline de Souza on “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” at Tate [Published 2017/10/06]

“‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,’ a survey of work made by African-American artists between 1963 and 1983, offers insight into these artists’ practices at a number of levels.”

Image: Emory Douglas, 21 August 1971, “We Shall Survive, Without a Doubt,” 1971, newspaper, 17 1/2 x 22 3/4 inches. Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Culver City, CA. Copyright © Emory Douglas/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo courtesy of Emory Douglas/Art Resource, New York.

Critic and curator Jennifer Thatcher on Peter and Andy Holden’s father-and-son collaboration at Artangel [Published 2017/10/05]

“I loved this Artangel exhibition . . .”

Image: Andy Holden, Untitled (Bower), 2017, a recreation of a bowerbird’s bower, with a view of the film A Natural History of Nest Building (2017), by Andy Holden and Peter Holden, through it. In “Andy Holden & Peter Holden: Natural Selection,” September 10–November 5, 2017, Artangel at the former Newington Library, London. An Artangel commission. Photo by Marcus J. Leith.
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Artist Cécile B. Evans on shows around London [Published 2017/08/28]

“This summer I noticed a welcome shift in the audiences that art establishments want to talk to and the people being invited to speak to them. The exhibitions on view were likely programmed before Brexit, before the outcomes of various elections and hopefully these are steps towards a longer commitment to diverse programming.”

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