Jan 302020
 

It’s the last week to see Swoon: Cicada at Jeffrey Deitch’s New York location. This exhibition of Caledonia Dance Curry (aka Swoon)’s work includes a sculptural installation, drawings, and a stop motion film.

From the gallery’s website-

Cicada marks a new development in Swoon’s practice. A celebration of rebirth and transformation, the exhibition at 76 Grand Street features recent films, drawings, and installations in which her personal story becomes more central.

Moving away from her street pasted portraits that encouraged the viewer to imagine a background story, Swoon now creates narratives that draw from her personal history as well as classical mythologies. She is also inspired by the handcrafted quality of silent era and 20th-century folkloric films. In her stop-motion animations, fragments of the subconscious coalesce into subliminal images. Open-ended stories unfold and weave recurring motifs such as birth, divination, trauma, and healing.

Swoon’s stop-motion films emphasize the body’s ability to serve as a vessel carrying memories and traditions. A house, a ship, and human figures split and open to liberate a cast of imaginative and mythological creatures trapped inside. The central figure is the “Tarantula Mother,” a half-human, half-spider allegory that evokes traumatic memories from childhood. Swoon’s response to parts of her family history – and the legacy of her parents’ addiction and substance abuse – has recurred throughout her work. These components inflict a strong element of realism to the films, grounding the otherwise- whimsical atmospheres of Cicada.

In Swoon’s work, the sea often constitutes the physical and metaphorical ground for possible encounters. In Cicada, underwater scenarios become a psychological space for introspection and subconscious explorations. Surrounded by new sculptures and her portrait series, Cicada allows viewers to immerse themselves into Swoon’s world, creating a vivid experience embedded in the present moment.

Swoon’s inner circle of friends is the subject of a new series of drawings included in the exhibition. The intimacy of these portraits recalls the romantic and humane spirit of her earlier street pasted works. A tableaux vivant of performers will accompany the exhibition on the opening night, renewing her interest in the counter culture of collectives and carnivals. Whether presented without permission or realized in a traditional gallery or institutional space, Swoon’s work connects with viewers on an emotional level.

The sculptural work is incredibly intricate and its amazing watching it come to life in the film.

This exhibition closes 2/1/20.

 

Jan 302020
 

Mattiel- Je Ne Me Connais Pas

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (1/30-2/2/20)-

Thursday

Artist Sanford Biggers will be leading a walkthrough of With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 at MOCA Grand Ave

Poet and activist Christoper Soto will be speaking at The Broad as part of their series The Logic of Poetry and Dreams (free but reserve ticket)

Constitution Happy Hour is happening at Hammer Museum with USC Gould School of Law professor Franita Tolson discussing Constitutional rights and voting rights plus cheap drinks

Wolf Parade are playing at The Regent Theater with Land of Talk opening

City of the Sun are playing at the Troubadour with Kiltro opening

Martin Rev (of Suicide) is performing at Zebulon with Warm Drag

Nik Freitas is playing at the Bootleg Theater with Dustin Lovelis and Charlie Wadhams to celebrate the release of his new record Cavalo Morto

 

Friday

Mattiel is playing at the Bootleg Theater with Calvin Love opening

Natural History Museum is hosting Night of Ideas: Being Alive, an evening of discussions, screenings, performances, and more, that is part of a French embassy program taking place around the world (tickets only available at the door)

60s Mexican rock band Los Dug Dugs are playing at Zebulon with Hoover III and Triptides

Director Bong Joon Ho created a black and white version of his film Parasite and it is screening at the Egyptian Theatre

Tune-Yards are performing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with Vieux Farka Touré

 

Saturday

Celebrate The Year of the Rat in Chinatown for the Chinese New Year Festival and Golden Dragon Parade an event that includes performances, a market, artisans and more

Hammer Museum is having an Opening Celebration from 8-11pm for their Winter Exhibitions Paul McCarthy: Head Space, Drawings 1963–2019 and Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit. (free)

Caroline Polachek (Chairlift) is performing at the Fonda Theatre

Jack Larsen is playing at Moroccan Lounge with Postcard Boy

 

Sunday

Artist Paul McCarthy will be discussing his work at Hammer Museum with curators Aram Moshayedi and Connie Butler

Hotel Cafe is hosting Blazing Love Australian Bushfire Relief Benefit with performances by Ben Lee, SAYGRACE, Falls, Munroe, Jess Cornelius and more

Jazz is Dead and KCRW are hosting Vibes From The Tribe at Lodge Room with Phil Ranelin and Wendell Harrison performing with The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra

Tashaki Miyaki are playing at the Bootleg Theater with Johnny Payne and Joel Jerome opening

Weirdo Night takes over Zebulon with Dynasty Handbag, Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries, La Pregunta?, Tall Paul and more

 

All Weekend

Photo L.A. photography fair is happening at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica with three days to check out work from various galleries and organizations as well as talks, a film screening, and more

Jan 242020
 

Sadie Barnette’s recreation of her father Rodney Barnette’s bar, Eagle Creek Saloon for The New Eagle Creek Saloon at ICA LA is not only beautiful, but it also celebrates an important piece of history.

From the museum’s website-

For her first solo museum presentation in Los Angeles, Oakland-based artist Sadie Barnette (b. 1984) will reimagine the Eagle Creek Saloon, the first black-owned gay bar in San Francisco, established by the artist’s father Rodney Barnette, founder of the Compton, CA chapter of the Black Panther Party. From 1990–93 Barnette’s father operated the bar and offered a safe space for the multiracial LGBTQ community who were marginalized at other social spaces throughout the city at that time.

Barnette engages the aesthetics of Minimalism and Conceptualism through an idiosyncratic use of text, decoration, photographs, and found objects that approach the speculative and otherworldly. Barnette’s recent drawings, sculptures, and installations have incorporated the 500-page FBI surveillance file kept on her father and references to West Coast funk and hip-hop culture to consider the historical and present-day dynamics of race, gender, and politics in the United States. Using materials such as spray paint, crystals, and glitter, she transforms the bureaucratic remnants from a dark chapter in American history into vibrant celebrations of personal, familial, and cultural histories and visual acts of resistance. The New Eagle Creek Saloon is a glittering bar installation that exists somewhere between a monument and an altar, at once archiving the past and providing space for potential actions.

The museum is also showing No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake (pictured below).

From the museum’s website-

For over 30 years, artist, educator, and curator Nayland Blake (b. 1960) has been a critical figure in American art, working between sculpture, drawing, performance, and video. No Wrong Holes marks the most comprehensive survey of Blake’s work to date and their first solo institutional presentation in Los Angeles.

Heavily inspired by feminist and queer liberation movements, and subcultures ranging from punk to kink, Blake’s multidisciplinary practice considers the complexities of representation, particularly racial and gender identity; play and eroticism; and the subjective experience of desire, loss, and power. The artist’s sustained meditation on “passing” and duality as a queer, biracial (African American and white) person is grounded in post-minimalist and conceptual approaches made personal through an idiosyncratic array of materials (such as leather, medical equipment, and food) and the tropes of fairy tales and fantasy. Particular focus will be paid to work produced while Blake lived on the West Coast, first in the greater Los Angeles area as a graduate student at CalArts, followed by a decade in San Francisco—years bookended by the advancement of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and the “culture wars” of the 1990s.

Feeder 2, 1998

The gingerbread house, pictured above, is one of Blake’s best known works and was created using actual gingerbread. It references the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel as it recreates the house used to lure the children to their potential doom.

From the wall description-

Fairy tale and fantasy are themes to which the artist often returns as a mirror onto society and culture. Further, duality and the act of revealing are critical to Blake’s practice: as a biracial, white-passing, queer, gender non-binary person, Blake’s identity is one that is not obvious and is predicated on existing in two spaces at once. Though initially captivating through its inviting sight and scent, over time, the once-pleasant sensorial experience of Feeder 2, with its cold, empty interior, becomes overwhelming, even nauseating, as it challenges the truth of perception and association.

Both of these exhibitions close 1/26/20.

Jan 232020
 

Agnes Obel- Broken Sleep

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (1/23-1/26/20)-

Thursday

Fog Lake are playing El Cid with Foxes in Fiction

Filmmaker Jennifer Saparzadeh will be speaking at The Broad as part of their series The Logic of Poetry and Dreams (free but reserve ticket)

Artist Constance Mallinson will be in conversation with MOCA Assistant Curator Rebecca Lowery at MOCA Grand Avenue

Death Valley Girls are playing a free show at The Edison (RSVP here)

Patrick Watson is playing with Brad Barr at Lodge Room (also Friday)

 

Friday

Agnes Obel is playing at The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever (also Thursday)

Beverly Cinema is showing Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood with a Q&A to follow with Arianne Phillips (costume designer), Barbara Ling (production designer), Wylie Stateman (sound editing), Mark Ulano (sound mixing), Michael Minkler (sound mixing) and Christian Minkler (sound mixing)

Blackbird Blackbird is performing at The Roxy with vōx

The Shivas are playing with Movie Club at the Bootleg Theater

 

Saturday

The Annual SoCal Museum Free For All offers free admission to museums that include The Autry, Descanso Gardens, LACMA, Natural History Museum and more

Playwright Samuel Beckett’s rarely performed Quad I and Quad II, directed by Michael Hackett, will be performed at Hammer Museum as part of a county-wide festival of performances inspired by LA Opera’s world premiere of Eurydice

Colleen Green and Weird Night are playing at Permanent Records Roadhouse

glass beach, Dogleg, and Kara’s Walk Home are playing at The Echo

The Knocks and Friends are playing at 1720

 

Sunday

The High Curbs are playing at Moroccan Lounge with Sad Park, Death Lens, and Super Lunch

The Theatre at Ace Hotel is showing Bong Joon Ho’s film Parasite with the score performed live by the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra and Parasite composer Jung Jaeil

It’s the last weekend to see Nayland Blake’s exhibition at ICA LA and tonight at Zebulon they are hosting DisGender Euphoria: Nayland Blake’s First International Intergenerational Gender Discard Party– an evening of performance, music, dance, and “gender discard” featuring Nao Bustamante, Ron Athey, Jamillah James, Bradford Nordeen, Jennifer Doyle and more

Cursive are playing with Cloud Nothings and Criteria at the Teragram Ballroom

Jan 172020
 

It’s the last week to see Robert Longo’s eight hyperreal charcoal drawings from his “Destroyer Cycle” at Metro Pictures.

From the press release-

The title (of the exhibition) Fugitive Images refers to the transitory appearance and displacement of impactful media images from across the globe. Longo believes it is morally imperative to secure their permanence.

Longo’s drawing of Jamal Khashoggi is central to the exhibition, which includes works depicting a range of world events from disparate locations. The journalist is shown disappearing into a field of static that recalls a television with poor reception, struggling to maintain the picture. In stark contrast to the evanescent portrait of the murdered journalist is a deeply humane drawing of a mass of migrants on a grueling journey from Central America. The work focuses on the faces and personal effects of the individual men, women, and children, who appear desperate and exhausted. Another drawing that shares the main gallery counters this sympathetic sentiment, showing a choreographed military parade of North Korean soldiers in an exaggerated, highly athletic, mechanized goose step commonly associated with dictatorial regimes and blind obedience.

The reference images that are the basis of Longo’s drawings are generally extensively altered and merged. His drawing of a Jewish cemetery in France crudely vandalized by Neo-Nazis is an exception. Longo maintains the legibility of the tombstones despite the spray-painted swastikas, which fail to obscure the engraved epitaphs of the people buried there––a widow, a religious man who lived a long life, and an honest hardworking man who died on Shabbat.

The exhibition ends with a moment of optimism, determination, and progress. Longo’s drawing of Congress during President Trump’s second State of the Union Address immortalizes the female representatives and lawmakers who chose to wear white in solidarity with the suffragette movement by portraying them as a blurred beacon of light within a sea of darkness.

This exhibition closes 1/18/20.

Jan 172020
 

Closing on 1/18/20 at Gladstone Gallery in Chelsea is Ugo Rondinone’s thanx 4 nothing, a multi-channel video installation that pays tribute to the artist’s late husband, the poet and performance artist, John Giorno.

From the press release-

Rondinone reconstructs the gallery into a black box theater, creating an immersive environment through the use of black-and-white film, minimalist score, and the rhythmic intonations of Giorno’s own voice. This exhibition is a prismatic paean to the poet, raconteur, muse, cultural icon, and New York fixture.

Curator Ralph Rugoff said of the work on the occasion of its installation at Hayward Gallery in 2016:

“In elegantly spectacular fashion, Ugo Rondinone’s 20-screen video installation, “thanx 4 nothing “(2015), presents the American poet John Giorno reciting – though ‘performing’ might be a better word – the titular poem. Written on his seventieth birthday in 2006, and framed as an extended and wide-ranging expression of gratitude to ‘everyone for everything,’ Giorno’s poetic monologue looks back over his life with frank insight and humour, reflecting on loves and losses, friends and enemies, sex and drugs, depression and spiritual acceptance. As presented by Rondinone, whose work inventively interlaces the rhythms of his images with those of the poet’s speech, it is also a dizzying meditation on duality.”

It’s a great poem and a wonderful visual. Surrounded by the poet himself on all four walls of the gallery, you are completely immersed in his reading.

If you are curious about the poem itself, below is a video of Giorno reading it for his 75th Birthday Tour at the Words Aloud 8 Spoken Word Festival at the Durham Art Gallery in Durham, Canada, in 2011.

 

Jan 162020
 

Drink More, 1964 by Ushio Shinohara (left piece) and Untitled, 1980s by Nobuaki Kojima (sculpture on right)

Souvenir, 1964, by Jasper Johns

Shadow of a Hanger, 1971 by Jiro Takamatsu

Japan is America at Fergus McCaffrey gallery in Chelsea “explores the complex artistic networks that informed avant-garde art in Japan and America between 1952 and 1985. Starting with the well-documented emergence of “American-Style Painting” that ran parallel to the Americanization of Japan in the 1950s, Japan Is America endeavors to illustrate the path and conditions from Japanese surrender in 1945 to that country’s putative cultural take-over of the United States some forty years later”.

Artists in the show include: Yuji Agematsu, Ruth Asawa, James Lee Byars, John Cage, Joe Goode, Sam Francis, Marcia Hafif, Noriyuki Haraguchi, Tatsuo Ikeda, Shigeo Ishii, Ishiuchi Miyako, Jasper Johns, Alison Knowles, Nobuaki Kojima, Tomio Miki, Sadamasa Motonaga, Hiroshi Nakamura, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Senga Nengudi, Yoko Ono, Ken Price, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Ushio Shinohara, Fujiko Shiraga, Kazuo Shiraga, Jiro Takamatsu, Anne Truitt, and Toshio Yoshida.

This exhibition closes 1/18/20.

Jan 162020
 

Sexy Robot_Floating, 2019 by Hajime Sorayama

Tokyo Pop Underground curated by Tokyo gallerist Shinji Nanzuka and currently at Jeffrey Deitch gallery in Los Angeles “explores the complex history of Japanese contemporary art from the 1960s to the present through the works of seventeen artists who emerged from pop and underground culture”.

From the press release-

Shinji Nanzuka explains that “originally in Japan, most of what is referred to as art are practical items, developed together and in integration with popular culture.” He cites examples from calligraphy to folding screens, paintings on sliding paper doors, lacquerware, netsuke, and the Ukiyo-e prints that served as posters and commercial portraits. He also mentions art historian Naoyuki Kinoshita’s study of intricately realistic handicrafts such as iki-ningyou, life-like dolls that were made for exhibitory performances. Nanzuka’s mission in this exhibition is to present contemporary artistic commentaries on this Japanese artistic heritage.

Deviating from the mainstream current of “art for art’s sake” when he opened his Tokyo gallery in 2005, Nanzuka decided to focus on artists whose works at the time were not considered to be art. Artists like Keiichi Tanaami, Harumi Yamaguchi, and Hajime Sorayama, whose works are now celebrated in the international art world, were looked down upon as producers of commercial and popular art. Nanzuka saw them as prime exponents of the idiosyncratic nature of Japan’s culture and history.

Another reason that Tanaami, Yamaguchi, Sorayama, and Toshio Saeki did not receive recognition until recently is the radical intensity of their practice. The expressions of sex and violence in their work are statements of anti-authority and anti-uniformity. The aggressive portraits of women painted by Harumi Yamaguchi show her engagement with the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s. Sorayama’s sexualized robots predict a dystopian future.

There are strong links between the underground Japanese culture from which many of these artists emerged and the American graffiti and skateboard subcultures that were embraced by Japanese youth. Haroshi, one of the younger artists in the show, constructs his works entirely from wood sliced from skateboards donated by friends and professional skateboarders to compose a collective portrait of his enlarged, international community.

The artists in Tokyo Pop Underground reflect the strains in contemporary Japanese culture as it rebuilt itself after the ruins of war and confronts numerous natural disasters. Their work reflects what Nanzuka describes as “the crazy cross-cultural exchange” between the West, the East, and the Far East, shaping a new international artistic language.

This exhibition closes 1/18/20.

Jan 162020
 

GUPPY- Cactus Dreams

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (1/16-1/19/20)-

Thursday

Artist Suné Woods is speaking at Hammer Museum

Automatic and L.A. Takedown are opening for Mr. Elevator at The Echo

LA based experimental vocalist and contemporary composer Odeya Nini will be speaking at The Broad as part of their series The Logic of Poetry and Dreams (free but reserve ticket)

Crywolf is performing an acoustic set at Moroccan Lounge with Emilie Brandt

 

Friday

The Aero Theatre is hosting their 15th Annual shorts program with a focus on female directors- which includes a discussion with several of the filmmakers to follow the screenings

The Egyptian Theatre is showing the film Freaked with a discussion to follow with directors Alex Winter and Tom Stern as well as co-writer Tim Burns, composer Kevin Kiner; production designer Catherine Hardwicke; special effects artists Steve Johnson, Tony Gardner and Bill Corso; actors John Hawkes and Lee Arenberg; and Henry Rollins and Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers.

Steve Gunn is playing at Zebulon with Olgaa opening

Hieroglyphics are performing at Catch One

Patio are playing at The Hi Hat with Cheekface opening

 

 

Saturday

GUPPY are playing at The Factory with Sun Kin and Sankaran

The Women’s March returns to downtown LA for it’s 4th Annual event

Multimedia performance artist Miwa Matreyek returns to REDCAT with her latest work Infinitely Yours (also on Thursday and Friday)

Photographer Mark Steinmetz will be signing his book Summer Camp at Arcana Books

Brandon Coleman is performing at Moroccan Lounge

 

Saturday and Sunday

The Getty is hosting Sounds of L.A. 2020 with the band 3MA, made up of three African stringed-instrument virtuosi.

 

Sunday

Gal Pal are playing at Zebulon with Shaki and Gold Cage

Pasadena Comic Con is taking place at the Pasadena Convention Center

Aero Theatre is showing a Noah Baumbach double feature- The Squid and The Whale and Kicking and Screaming

The Egyptian Theatre is showing the Hitchcock classic Rear Window

The Flashbulb is performing at El Cid with Chihsuan Yang opening