Quarles’ seductive paintings feature polymorphous figures arranged in contorted positions in space, rendered through expressive and gestural strokes that teeter on the edge of abstraction and representation. Referencing the history and techniques of painting, her work propels forward the limits of her chosen medium, and is informed by her multiply situated identity as a queer woman of mixed race. Dynamic compositions feature bold patterns and decorative motifs such as flowers, latticework, and plaid tablecloths – feminine tropes that reference domestic space. Yet the subjects in Quarles’ paintings simultaneously inhabit interior and exterior space. Perspectival planes both situate and fragment the bodies they bisect, representing the boundaries that demarcate a space from the individual, and expanding the limits and potential for representation.
Similar to her paintings, her drawings deftly combine pictorial elements using economy of line with cross hatching, and other modes of mark making, to create form and depth. Punctuating the picture plane, or outlining a figure, text additions in the form of puns or poetic wordplay often reference pop culture, situating the works in our time.
Photoville, the free annual photo festival with galleries built from repurposed shipping containers, returns for its second week in Century Park with programming that includes nighttime projections, talks, workshops, family activities, and a beer garden. While there check out the exhibition CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, which showcases the work of hip hop photographers, at Annenberg Space for Photography.
Broncho will be performing at the Natural History Museum with Lauren Ruth Ward for the museum’s monthly First Friday event. This year’s programming explores Forces of Nature and for this evening they will have speakers discussing California’s floods. There will also be DJs and food trucks.
L.A. Live is having a block party with $5 food and drink items at many of the restaurants, pop up shops, street performers, live painting by several artists, and more (free)
Union Station is celebrating its 80th Anniversary for two days with live entertainment, an electronic photo exhibition of the station’s history, special menu items at the station’s restaurants, tours, a marketplace and more
Hammer Museum is hosting Omniaudience, a program comprised of listening sessions, conversations, and performances from 1:30-5pm. For this iteration- Nikita Gale will have a listening session devoted to the creation, distribution, and reception of River Deep, Mountain High, which was produced by Phil Spector and performed by Tina Turner; Alexander Provan will deliver a lecture, illustrated with chart-toppers, on the use of consumer-behavior data and neurobiology research in the production of pop songs; C. Spencer Yeh will present a live quadraphonic performance of material from The RCA Mark II (Primary Information, 2017), which is composed of recordings of non-musical sounds created with the eponymous, 60-year-old synthesizer; and Nour Mobarak will speak about the vocalization of sound and phonetics in relation to her recent work. She will then be joined in conversation by Gale, Provan, and Yeh to discuss “how recordings of human voices quantify and categorize speakers—and how the components of language might, alternatively, be experienced as indeterminate sonic materials”.
Otomo Yoshihide and David Novak will be at Blum & Poe to discuss “noise, an underground music made through an amalgam of feedback, distortion, and electronic effects, which first emerged as a genre in the 1980s, circulating on cassette tapes traded between fans in Japan, Europe, and North America”. (free)
Melodie McDaniel will be signing her book Riding Through Compton about the participants of a youth riding and equestrian program in the neighborhood at Arcana Books. A conversation will follow with book contributors Amelia Fleetwood and Mayisha Akbar (who leads the program).
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (4/24-4/27/19)-
For MOCA’s 40th Anniversary they are hosting a series of exhibitions organized by LA based artists and MOCA curators with work drawn from their permanent collection. Tonight multimedia artist Elliot Hundley will lead a walkthrough of his exhibition Open House: Elliott Hundley at the Grand Avenue location (free tonight and every Thursday evening)
Slick Rick will be at Amoeba Records in Hollywood to celebrate and sign copies of The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick for its 30th Anniversary
Friday through Sunday
For the first time Photoville, the free annual photo festival with galleries built from repurposed shipping containers, is heading to Los Angeles. It will be taking place at the Annenberg Space for Photography this weekend and next with programming that includes nighttime projections, talks, workshops, family activities and a beer garden. At the same time the exhibition CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, which showcases the work of hip hop photographers, will open at Annenberg Space for Photography with special hours to coincide with the festival.
Arcana Books is hosting a launch party from 4-6pm for issue 2 of Creative Director Alexander McWhirter’s thematic annual art and fashion journal, Public.
Compltr is playing at All Star Lanes with Sheer, Trends, and June Swoon
Saturday and Sunday
Grand Park is hosting the free two day festival, Grand Park’s Our L.A. Voices- a Pop-up Arts+Culture Fest, featuring short film, dance, music, spoken word and theatre performances, and visual art, created by L.A. artists. There will also be a marketplace with artwork for sale.
Jackalope are bringing their free local artisan Spring Fair to Old Pasadena’s Central Park
Celebrate the Thai New Year all day at the Songkran Festival in Thai Town which includes a parade, beauty pageant, live music, dance performances, food, and more
The Armenian Genocide began on April 24, 1915 and continued through 1923 during which 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Government. Today the Turkish government, as well as the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel, still do not recognize the massacre as a genocide.
The above mural was created in 2014 in Los Angeles’ Little Armenia neighborhood by artist Arutyun Gozukuchikyan, who at the time went by ArtViaArt and now goes by Artoon. The mural has since been removed.
“…We are constantly changing and rearranging our point of view. Tomorrow we will remember yesterday. The abstraction is real, more real than nature…” (punctuation mine)- text from Willie Stewart’s video Love Song (2019)
Nostalgia is something we all live with to a greater or lesser extent. The past informs our present and how we perceive things. Why do we see things the way we do? How do we frame the things we see and put them together?
For Willie Stewart’s exhibition In Between Days at Morán Morán gallery, he recreated VHS tapes, album covers, 1970s wood paneling, flowers, paintings of flowers, and more, through layers of detailed painting combined with sculpture. Their titles reference songs from bands like Depeche Mode, Germs, The Horrors, and The Cure and add additional meaning to the content of the work. Within the text of the video in the exhibition. they change their context once again.
The perception of the viewer adds yet another layer when they make their own connections based on personal associations with the objects in the work. In that way, the meaning often becomes less about the work at face value, and more about the meaning you bring to it. For some it may be no more than just an admiration of the beauty and skill of the work. Maybe it won’t resonate to some at all. But for others who remember VHS tapes more vividly or know the bands referenced, the nostalgia adds an extra appreciation.
Graciela Iturbide, celebrated as one of Mexico’s most prolific and distinguished photographers, observes with patience and exhibits her world with beauty, serenity and dignity. Born into a conservative family in Mexico City, Iturbide decided to create her own path, leaving a traditional domestic life to pursue the arts. During her studies in cinematography at the Universidad Nacional Autonama de Mexico, she became the achichinle (the assistant) to Manuel Alvarez Bravo, the distinguished Mexican photographer who later became a lifelong mentor to Iturbide. In their time together, Álvarez Bravo constantly reminded Iturbide to pause and observe, asserting Hay Tiempo (There is Time). This patience to allow the moment to unravel and reveal itself echoed the notion of a Mexican poetic tempo, which is present throughout Mexican art, literature and life. Iturbide came to understand and employ her mentor’s slow, observational process as she photographed many cultures and spheres.
Although Iturbide has photographed all over the world, she is widely known for the photographs she has taken in her native Mexico. While many twentieth-century photographers had documented Mexico through an outsider’s lens, shining light on poverty and politics in a neocolonial gesture, Iturbide reached beyond the document, photographing the poetic essence embedded in each moment. With Hay Tiempo in mind, she evokes a lyricism in her careful observations. In the late 1970s under an assignment for the INI (Instituto Nacional Indigenista), Iturbide photographed the Seri tribe, focusing her lens on Mexico’s indigenous population which was often overlooked and marginalized. In these portraits, the deep cultural and spiritual history of indigenous peoples exists alongside the influences of colonialism and an encroaching globalism. Then, in 1979, the celebrated Mexican artist Francisco Toledo invited Iturbide to photograph his native city Juchitan in the southern state of Oaxaca, where she encountered the strength and independence of the Zapotec women. In this indigenous, matriarchal community, the women live economically and socially independent lives in a stark contrast to the customs of westernized Mexico that Iturbide grew up within. Iturbide’s photographs, equally grounded and imaginative, portray the power and spirit of each individual. Their direct presence in the image exhibits the persevering dignity of the indigenous people in a post-colonial world. Iturbide’s photographs of Mexico show not only the diverse and rich cultural history of her nation, but also the resonance of Iturbide’s own artistic community, which invited and encouraged the photographer to explore her own nation in its multiplicities of experience.
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (4/18-4/21/19)-
Miami based artist Jamilah Sabur joins Los Angeles based artist Michael Queenland in conversation at the Hammer Museum in conjunction with her Hammer Projects exhibition.
UCLA Film & Television Archive and Vidiots are having a special screening of Heathers at The Theatre at Ace Hotel with a post screening conversation with director Michael Lehmann, screenwriter Daniel Waters, and co-star, Lisanne Falk aka Heather McNamara
Randy Randall of No Age will be at Zebulon to perform Sound Volume One, a series of soundscapes inspired by the westward path of the I-10 through Southern California, from downtown LA to Santa Monica. It will be accompanied by an immersive multi-room audio visual installation done in collaboration with visual artist Aaron Farley.