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.

 

 

Jun 282018
 

Devon Welsh- Vampires

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (6/28-7/1/18)-

Thursday

MOCA Grand Avenue is hosting Ready or Not, Here I Come: A Conversation on Architecture and Hip Hop, with architectural researcher, practitioner, and Syracuse University professor Sekou Cooke moderating a panel on the subject with artists Lauren Halsey and Amanda Williams (and you can see Lauren Halsey’s work at the museum along with your free admission)

Nik Freitas is playing at the Bootleg Theater with Mike Viola and Supermoon opening

Dam Funk, Jay Worthy, 1 Take Jay, Nocando, Airplane James and DJ Cypress Moreno are performing at Resident for a night called Don’t Come to LA

No Win are opening for The Dirty Nil at the Moroccan Lounge

Locus Pocus and Coma Girls are opening for Gregory Ackerman at The Hi Hat

Friday

Devon Welsh, of Majical Cloudz, will be releasing his debut album soon and tonight he will be playing a free show at The Getty as part of their Friday Flights series. Also included in the programming, electronic musician Sarah Davachi will perform a site specific piece and No)one, Art House will also perform a site specific music piece that will include dancers and vocals by musician Akua accompanied by trumpeter Anthony Calonico.

Writer and critic Hilton Als will be giving a reading at LAXART followed by a conversation between Als and poet Robin Coste Lewis (free but get there early- the space is not huge and its first come first, served)

Michael Rault is playing at the Bootleg Theater with Levitation Room and Dustin Lovelis opening

Fishbone are playing a free show at the Levitt Pavillion in MacArthur Park- RSVP- here

Saturday

The Broad is having the first of its 2018 Summer Happenings, this one kicking off the museum’s new exhibition A Journey That Wasn’t with performances by Gang Gang Dance, DJ Stretch Armstrong, Jean Grae, Terry Riley, Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, Terry Jane O’Neill, Jmy James Kidd, The Sunland Dancers and Zap Mama.

Chinatown Summer Nights is back with a free night that includes art, performances, a market, a screening of Jurassic Park, and music by bands include Gothic Tropic, Enola Fall and more

The Hollywood Bowl is hosting a sing-a-long and screening of Grease

Wand are playing at the Moroccan Lounge with Sofia Bolt and Eloe Omoe opening

Unscene Fest, focused on the music and art scene in LA is taking place at The Hi Hat and includes bands Goon, Draag, Girl Friday, and more

Cold Cave are bringing the ’80s dark synth sound back at the Fonda Theatre with Black Marble and Choir Boy opening

Sunday

Dirty Penni Fest 3 is taking place at The Echo and Echoplex with lots of bands including- No Age, Sadgirl, Feels, Mt. Eddy, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, and Potty Mouth

Tonga Hut Tiki Lounge in North Hollywood is celebrating its 60th Anniversary with a Parking Lot Sale and Art Show that will include live music (free)

Head to the Egyptian Theatre to celebrate summer and a fear of the ocean with a screening of a vintage 1978 print of Jaws

Day 2 of Unscene Fest at The Hi Hat includes bands Illuminati Hotties, Young Jesus, Justus Proffit and more