Feb 172019
 

Currently at Shulamit Nazarian gallery is Trenton Doyle Hancock: An Ingénue’s Hues and How to Use Cutty Black Shoes, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

From the press release-

The new drawings, paintings, and sculptures in this show expand upon the artist’s saga of The Moundverse, a constructed world that has propelled his artistic practice for the past twenty-five years.

In addition to the narrative tradition of his religious upbringing, Hancock immersed himself in graphic novels, comics, and Greek mythology; at the age of ten, he began creating characters as articulations of his experience as a Black youth in small-town Paris, Texas. In The Moundverse, Hancock has developed an extensive cast: altruistic Mounds, destructive Vegans, and mutated Bringbacks; TorpedoBoy is a tragically flawed hero who serves as the artist’s alter ego; Undom Endgle is a color-wielding goddess who protects young souls, representing the force of the Black women who have affected and supported Hancock over the years. These characters and others explore timeless polarities like good and evil alongside related issues of race, class, identity, politics, and social justice.

Using the fantastical to grapple with the deeply personal has long been at the core of Hancock’s artistic practice. Formally, this is seen in what the artist calls his “rough and tumble” aesthetic: Richly colored tactile surfaces are loaded with objects that range from bottle caps that the artist played with in childhood to bits and pieces of older works that have been rebirthed to create something entirely new. Drawing heavily from the temporal structure of comics, Hancock’s practice seamlessly weaves storylines spanning long periods of time, often within a single artwork. The totality of his practice can be seen as an ever-expanding graphic novel in its own right, articulated through a variety of media.

Laced with personal memoir, Hancock’s Moundverse is a metaphorical space that reflects the everyday world. Several works show TorpedoBoy in mid-stride, clad in football gear, wearing his “cutty black shoes” as he runs from evil-natured Vegans that at times take the aggregated form of a goofy-footed, cloaked member of the Ku Klux Klan (the Paris, Texas, of Hancock’s youth had an active Klan). The malignant force that reaches for this distraught—albeit defiant—central character points to longstanding concerns of systematic racism and oppression.

The exhibition also includes Hancock’s most recurring character, The Mound—a half-plant, half-animal creature that absorbs and processes negative human emotions to bring positive energy to the world. Presented within the exhibition will be two large-scale paintings of Mounds, one standing nearly eight feet tall. In addition, Hancock will present new ink-on-paper works that introduce the first chapter of the artist’s most ambitious drawings to date: Trenton Doyle Hancock Presents The Moundverse. Designed as a traditional graphic novel, this series offers a sequential understanding of the characters and stories that have dominated Hancock’s practice for the past two and a half decades.

An Ingénue’s Hues and How to Use Cutty Black Shoes continues the artist’s exploration of primal forces as they play out in The Moundverse, reflecting our current moment and inviting viewers to consider parallel themes and stories in the world around us today.

This show closes 2/17.

 

Feb 162019
 

Currently at Mitchell-Innes & Nash is Masses & Mainstream, an exhibition of Karl Haendel’s incredibly detailed drawings and his musings on life in current day America. The drawings can be humorous at times, including a comparison of himself to Jared Kushner through a checklist, and a record of his types of sneezes. They are balanced by others, where he expresses his anxiety when it comes to selling art, or a smaller piece that lists “wishful thinking” items that includes healthcare, education, housing, and equity for all.

From the press release-

While Karl Haendel’s newest work covers a wide range of subject matter from a stack of lawnmowers to a portrait of Barbara Walters, the common thread that links these disparate images is a dialogue between memory, both personal and collective, and national identity. Many of the works on view are drawn from overlooked sources in contemporary American life—cultural leftovers the artist combs through and resuscitates in order to represent an alternate picture of American reality. Other works, like the aforementioned stack of lawnmowers, come from the artist’s personal history and experiences—a once-submerged detail from his childhood home that has floated to the surface of recollection—that could also be read, more symbolically, as the paraphernalia of American comfort, excess and, perhaps even, of the endangered middle class.

This exhibition closes 2/16/19.

Feb 162019
 

This month there are a lot of excellent exhibitions on view in Chelsea.

At David Zwirner is God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin, a group show curated by writer Hilton Als. The works are varied and include portraits by Richard Avedon (shown above), a friend of Baldwin’s who also attended De Witt Clinton High School with him, as well work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby (seen below), Kara Walker, James Welling, Beuford Delaney, Glenn Ligon and many more.

Nyado: The Thing Around Her Neck, 2011 by Njideka Akunyili Crosby

At Marianne Boesky Gallery is Pure, Very, New, Paul Stephen Benjamin’s first solo exhibition in New York. The exhibition includes paintings, photographs, sculpture, and single and multi-channel video installations, as well as a new site-specific black light installation in the internal passageway between the two spaces.

From the press release

Benjamin’s practice is rooted in a vigorous meditation on blackness, considering: “What is the color black?” “What does black sound like?” “Is it an adjective, a verb, an essence, or all of these components mixed to create a nuanced whole?” For his large-scale monochromatic paintings, Benjamin thickly coats the canvas in varying shades of black, producing a sensation of boundless depth. This is further accentuated by Benjamin’s application of the particular tonality’s name within the field of color—the words appearing to float and dissipate within the richness of the paint itself. The development of these paintings followed an ordinary visit to a hardware store, where Benjamin was confronted with the many permutations of commercial black paint. Shades of black came with emotive titles like “Totally Black,” “New Black,” and “Pure Black,” among numerous others. For Benjamin, this sparked a multi-layered investigation of the color and whether it could be distilled or understood differently within the context of a painting or the color itself.

 … Benjamin’s practice also extends into a conceptual investigation of sound, and how “black” can be conveyed and experienced aurally. In these works, he often uses single and multi-channel video installations to loop portions of particular historic and cultural footage to isolate fragments of collective memories or internalized narratives. With Black is the Color (2015), which will be included in the exhibition, Benjamin arranges a towering cluster of antiquated televisions, forming a glowing grid that endlessly repeats a segment of Nina Simone’s 1959 performance of “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” Here, Benjamin appropriates only the words “Black is the Color,” creating an abstraction of the song that reveals the contradictions and parallels between the notion of black being the color and it being a color. Moving fluidly from sound installation to painting to photography and sculpture, Benjamin’s practice is driven by the idea that blackness, whether explored as a matter of conceptual inquiry or identity, cannot be captured in a single action, emotion, or language.

Black Is The Color 2015 by Paul Stephen Benjamin

At Yancey Richardson is Blue Sweep, an exhibition of Andrew Moore’s beautiful photographs, taken in Alabama and Mississippi over the course of three years.

Carmen, Saunders Hall, AL 2015 by Andrew Moore

At Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is Oliver Jeffers’ charming painting exhibition For All We Know. If his work looks familiar it may be because Jeffers is also the author of several critically acclaimed picture books.

From the press release

This series of paintings illuminate a dream-like nocturnal world populated by astronauts, deep-sea divers, sinking ships, floating pianos, and burning matches. Omnipresent throughout are the night sky and the ocean – the two great and unknown frontiers – glittered with the imaginary lines that create constellations, serving in this case as a mysterious key to unlock our world.

Expanding on years of observation, from the history of his upbringing in Belfast, to contemporary New York City, Jeffers’ evokes the precarious state of our home and its inhabitants. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s seminal book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, he presents pianos as dubious flotation devices and our planet presented as a cumbersome motor vehicle, overheating as we argue over what to play on the radio. From researching astronaut’s descriptions of looking at Earth from the distance of the Moon, Jeffers noticed certain recognizable patterns to the way in which he discussed the politics of his hometown from a vantage point of across the Atlantic Ocean. In finding that few people outside of Northern Ireland knew or cared of the intricate conflict there, a great waste of time was revealed: a divided population identical to each other in every way save for the flags they flew and the stories they told. Tragically, each side’s identity are still firmly rooted to the existence of the other, and therefore locked into a spiral of repeated patterns.

 

At both of Jack Shainman’s locations are a series of impressive paintings by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Black Allegiance to the Cunning, 2018 by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

 

For a new kind of exhibition experience, Asad Raza has organized the group show Life to Come, at Metro Pictures which “brings together works that meditate on the creation of new worlds and new models for living.” There are no labels or listings for the works included in the show. Instead there is a guided tour by hosts who take you around the various works to help you draw connections between the objects. Adding to the uniqueness of the experience, at one point the host pauses while talking and partially in motion, recreating a work by artist Tino Sehgal, and at another they show you that they have changed their eye color, a work by Rirkrit Tiravanija.

From the press release

Experiencing these works together incites intellectual, physical, and spiritual understandings of what it means to make an entirely new world, one in which reality is made from fiction. Raza asserts that “by re-immersing ourselves in the strangeness and fecundity of attempts to create worlds that have gone before, our imagination of a world beyond the present may be renewed.” The uncertainty about what new paradigm awaits us is unsettling in the wake of the modernist 20th century, but it links us to previous generations who experienced radical reinventions of biological and social life.

Philippe Parreno, La pierre qui parle (The Speaking Stone), 2018.

 

Selection of work by Camille Henrot (floral arrangements inspired by books)

All of these exhibitions close 2/16/19.

 

 

Feb 162019
 

While we are living in a time where anxiety is prevalent, it’s nice to imagine being as calm as Superchill, the title character of Hannah Epstein’s comic strip, and star of her exhibition Do You Want A Free Trip To Outer Space? at Steve Turner gallery. The show combines hooked rugs, video animation, and a video game that you can play, all creating a fun little world to inhabit for awhile.

Also in the gallery’s other rooms are Jamie Felton’s painting show Parts from an Oyster and Paige Jiyoung Moon’s paintings for Days of Our Lives.

All three exhibitions close 2/16/19.

Nearby at Regen Projects is Glenn Ligon’s exhibition of new work, Untitled (America)/Debris Field/Synecdoche/Notes for a Poem on the Third World.

From the press release

Over the years, Ligon has created neon sculptures that illuminate various phrases or words in charged and animated ways. Notes for a Poem on the Third World, Ligon’s first figurative sculpture, is comprised of a large neon based on a tracing of the artist’s hands that takes its inspiration from an unrealized film project by Pier Paolo Pasolini that was to be shot in India, Africa, the Arab countries, Latin America, and the “black ghettoes of the United States.” Pasolini claimed that it was the “discovery of the elsewhere” that drove his identification with the struggles of non-Western peoples and people on the margins of the West. Ligon’s neon, with its ambiguous gesture of greeting, protest, or surrender, is the first of a series of works inspired by Pasolini’s project.

Also featured in the exhibition is Untitled (America), 2018, a black-painted red neon in which the word “America” is displayed upside down, and Synecdoche (For Byron Kim), a neon showing the date of the next presidential election that will be lit on that day.

 

This exhibition closes 2/17/19.

Feb 152019
 

Mike Krol- What’s The Rhythm

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (2/15- 2/17/19)-

Friday

Hauser & Wirth is hosting the world premiere of CSSC – It Begins – The Coach The Skull and the US premiere of DADDA – Poodle House Saloon, two new films by Los Angeles artist Paul McCarthy, at The Montalbán Theater in Hollywood (free)

LACMA will be running artist Martha Fiennes moving-image artwork Yugen free all day in the Bing Theater with a discussion at 6pm with the artist and actor Julian Sands

Art Buzz returns to ICA LA with a happy hour tour of Maryam Jafri’s I Drank the Kool-Aid But I Didn’t Inhale led by curator Jamillah James and Director of Learning and Engagement Asuka Hisa, followed by refreshments (free)

Miya Folick is playing at the Lodge Room with Barrie and Kingsbury opening

The 6th Annual Dre Day Los Angeles is taking place at the Echoplex with special guests Battlecat and DJ Melo-D of The Beat Junkies and an evening of Dre-related music

Marc Almond of Soft Cell will be performing a “best of ” set at the Globe Theatre along with a DJ set by Hercules & Love Affair, a performance by The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black and more for Sex Cells 2 year anniversary

Storefront Church, Orchin, Harrison Whitford, and Michael Vidal are playing at the Bootleg Theater

 

Saturday

Mike Krol is playing at the Bootleg Theater with Vertical Scratchers and Heflin opening

In conjunction with Frieze Art Fair and Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Bergamot Station is hosting Art + Brunch, 20+ gallery exhibitions and brunch bites throughout the complex (free)

Or get up early (7am!) and have breakfast at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as part of their collaboration with Frieze Los Angeles. It will be followed by conversations between MOCA Director Klaus Biesenbach, Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Lauren Halsey, Korakrit Arunanondchai, and Luchita Hurtado plus free admission to their current exhibitions

At Hammer Museum, artists Kandis Williams and Devin Troy Strother join gallery director Ebony L. Haynes for a discussion about “the contemporary tensions of presenting the black body as it relates to sexuality, politics, and history” (free)

Writer Doreen St. Felix will be speaking with Amandla Stenberg at The Underground Museum and it’s the last weekend to see Deana Lawson: Planes

Broncho are playing at the Lodge Room with Pinky Pinky opening

Facial and SLUGS are opening for JR Slayer at The Hi Hat

 

Sunday

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is hosting a free panel discussion on Zoe Leonard’s fictional work The Fae Richard Photo Archive. The history, form and content of the work as well as its current relevance will be discussed by a panel that includes filmmaker Garrett Bradley, noted art historian Huey Copeland, and MOCA Associate Curator Lanka Tattersall with former MOCA Assistant Curator Rebecca Matalon moderating. The work is part of the current exhibition Zoe Leonard:Survey and can be seen at the museum as part of their free weekend admission.

LACMA is hosting a discussion of the legacy of artist Charles White in conjunction with the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective, with Ilene Susan Fort, the museum’s curator emeritus of American art and curator of the Los Angeles venue of the exhibition; Ian White, son of Charles White, an artist in his own right and archivist of his father’s work; Judithe Hernández, renown contemporary artist and one of Charles White’s students; Kellie Jones, Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology in African American Studies at Columbia University; and Peter Clothier, noted writer and art critic. (free but tickets required)

At ICA LA, photographer Lucas Blalock and ICA Curator Jamillah James will be discussing his work in conjunction with his solo exhibition at the museum

Mikey Carnevale of The Frights is playing at The Roxy with The Grinns

Milk. are playing at the Bootleg Theater with Andy Fonda and Superbloom opening

 

Art Fairs running all weekend

Art Los Angeles Contemporary is at the Barkar Hangar ($29 + fees) and there will be a free shuttle to the stARTup Art Fair ($15 + fees online) at The Kinney Hotel if you want to do both in the same day

Frieze Los Angeles is taking place at Paramount Pictures Studios but there are currently only tickets available for the Curated Program which includes the outdoor Studios backlot, artist projects, film and talks but not the indoors gallery section ($20 and only available on Sunday as of this writing)

At The Stalls at Skylight ROW DTLA is the inaugural SPRING/BREAK Art Show ($20 + fees)

Superfine! Art Fair is taking place at DTLA’s Magic Box at The Reef with 90% of the artwork ranging from $100- $5000 ($10 entrance fee if purchased online)

Felix LA is a new free contemporary art fair taking place at The Hollywood Roosevelt

Feb 082019
 

P.O.S- Faded

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (2/7- 2/10/19)-

Thursday

Artist Lauren Halsey will be at LAXART to play a version of Name That Tune with professor and music critic Josh Kun and curator Hamza Walker (free)

Cass McCombs is playing a free live show at Amoeba Hollywood

The 3rd Annual edition of Love You Down returns to the Echo and Echoplex  with performances by Warpaint (celebrating their 15th anniversary), SWIMM, Gardens & Villa, Facial, and more (continuing on Friday)

Stonefield are playing with Hooveriii and Monarch at Zebulon

 

Friday

Flatworms are having a record release party at Zebulon with Automatic and Kaz Mirblouk also performing

Alex Cameron & Roy Molloy Acoustic Duo are performing at Pico Union Project

Brownies & Lemonade are bringing their party to The Regent Theater with secret special guests to celebrate the Grammys

Ural Thomas & The Pain are performing at the Bootleg Theater

 

Saturday

Arcana Books is having a launch party and book signing for Cole Sternberg:The Nature of Breathing in Salt, a collection of the artist’s paintings and photography

Chinatown is hosting an all day festival to celebrate the New Year that includes art, live music, performances, food trucks, a market, and more- plus the 120th Annual Golden Dragon Parade

Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours is back with its late night party (it starts at 11:30pm) that includes live music, DJs, dance parties, and art installations- this time the theme is Quinceñera Reimagined

Hammer Museum is having a free opening party for their winter exhibitions Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018 and Dirty Protest with DJs, cocktails and food trucks

Cartoonist Jason Little will be at LACMA with actors James Urbaniak and Todd Alcott for a free (with ticket) slide show performance and lecture on the history of anaglyph 3-D comics

Steve Gunn is playing at the Teragram Ballroom with Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore opening

Costume historian Maxwell Barr will be dressing a live model at The Getty to illustrate the craftsmanship involved with the clothing of the elite of the 18th century

The Tracks, Janelane and Lily Waters are playing at the Moroccan Lounge

 

Sunday

P.O.S is performing at The Roxy Theatre

Allen Ruppersberg will be in conversation with Walker Art Center senior curator Siri Engberg at the Hammer Museum where an exhibition of his work is currently being shown

Play bingo and support a good cause at Zebulon’s fundraiser for Alexandria House with Neil Hamburger, Bobcat Goldthwait, Megan Koester and Anna Seregina

Rose Bowl Flea Market returns for its monthly event

Vikesh Kapoor and Matt Dorrien are playing at the Moroccan Lounge with special guest Noël Wells

Feb 012019
 

GRMLN- Berlin

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (2/1-2/3/19)-

Friday

Photo LA is taking place at the Barker Hangar and running through Sunday

Olafur Arnalds is performing at The Orpheum Theatre

Artist Frances Stark will be playing a version of Name That Tune with music critic Josh Kun and curator Hamza Walker at LAXART

Sister Mantos is opening for Rudy De Anda at The Hi Hat

Criminal Hygiene and Thayer Sarrano are opening for Parker Gispert at the Bootleg Theater

The Egyptian Theatre is having a free screening of Blacula with an introduction by director William Crain

 

Saturday

GRMLN and Warm Deltas are opening for Al Lover at The Hi Hat

Museums Annual Free-For-All-Day returns with free admission to museums in Southern California that include The Autry, Descanso Gardens, LACMA and more (also some on Sunday as well)

Four Tet is performing at the Hollywood Palladium

The Aero Theatre is showing Hitchcock’s Rear Window

 

Sunday

Hammer Museum is hosting a forum on United States and Saudi Relations with Robert W. Jordan, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Brookings Institution fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes and former deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, speaking with moderator Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host. (free)

Weirdo Night returns to Zebulon with Dynasty Handbag, Kathleen Hanna, Morgan Bassichis and more performing

Tancred and This White Light are opening for Mineral at the Echoplex