Since the 1980s, Chinese contemporary artists have cultivated intimate relationships with their materials, establishing a framework of interpretation revolving around materiality. Their media range from the commonplace to the unconventional, the natural to the synthetic, the elemental to the composite: from plastic, water, and wood, to hair, tobacco, and Coca-Cola. Artists continue to explore and develop this creative mode, with some devoting decades of their practice to experiments with a single material. The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China brings together works from the past four decades in which conscious material choice has become a symbol of the artists’ expression, representing this unique trend throughout recent history. Some of the most influential Chinese contemporary artists today are featured in this exhibition, including Xu Bing, Cai Guo-Qiang, Lin Tianmiao, and Ai Weiwei.
There are a lot of impressive pieces in the show, including Xu Bing’sFirst Class, pictured above. Inspired by a photograph of a tiger-skin rug in a colonial home in Shanghai, it was created using cigarettes, also considered a luxury item by many.
Also pictured are Wang Jin’s imperial robes/theatrical costumes that were created using PVC and fishing wire- replacing the traditional silk material. According to the wall description, the title Chinese Dream “alludes to the commercialization of tradition”. Held up by thick metal chains, they are also much heavier than the originals they copy.
Closing 12/8/19 at LACMA is Every Living Thing: Animals in Japanese Art. It’s a really fun of exhibition with a good selection of art from different time periods, including Yayoi Kusama’s dog sculptures from Megu-chan (2014), two of which are pictured above.
From LACMA’s website-
Every Living Thing: Animals in Japanese Art celebrates one of the most distinctive and compelling aspects of Japanese art: the depiction of animals. Underpinned by Japan’s unique spiritual heritage of Shintō and Buddhism, the Japanese reverence for nature—and the place of animals within that realm—is expressed in sculpture, painting, lacquer-work, ceramics, metalwork, cloisonné, and woodblock prints.
Lions, dogs, horses, oxen, cats, fish, insects, birds, dragons, phoenixes—animals warm and cold-blooded, real and imaginary—are meticulously and beautifully rendered in myriad works from ancient 6th-century clay sculpture to contemporary art. Arranged in themes such as Zodiac Animals, Animals from Nature, Religion, Myth and Folklore, and Leisure, the exhibition draws heavily from LACMA’s permanent collection and includes masterpieces from Japanese and American public and private collections, some of which are on view for the first time.
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (11/21-11/24/19)-
Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz has a new solo project and is performing at Bootleg Theater with Sorry Girls. Get there early for a screening of Moses Sumney’s new music video Virile with a behind the scenes Q & A at 6:30pm (free with RSVP).
Music producers Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Young will be performing together at The Midnight Hour at Lodge Room
The Get Up Kids are playing at the Echoplex with Kevin Devine and The Whiffs opening
Curator Jamillah James will be leading a tour of No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake followed by a happy hour with light refreshments at ICA LA for their monthly Art Buzz event (free but register)
Our Girl are playing at the Bootleg Theater with Particle Kid and a DJ set by SadGirl
Moon Duo are playing at Lodge Room with Umberto opening
Julia Jacklin is playing at the El Rey Theatre with Christian Lee Hutson
Bootleg Theater is screening a double feature of Louis Malle’s God’s Country, about the farming community in Glencoe, Minnesota in 1979, which was thriving at the time. Forced to abandon the project early, Malle returns in 1985 to follow up, and finds that things have taken a dark turn during the Reagan era. The second film is Lee Grant’s The Willmar 8 a film about “a group of eight women who, in 1981, carried out the longest bank strike in American history to protest gender discrimination at great cost to their reputations, marriages and livelihoods in the 14,000-person town of Willmar, Minnesota- 60 miles north of Glencoe”.
Kanye West is premiering his new opera Nebuchadnezzar at the Hollywood Bowl, directed by performance artist Vanessa Beecroft and feature music from West’s Sunday Service choir.
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (11/14-11/17-19)-
Ronald Rael, the Chair of the Department of Architecture at UC Berkeley, will engage in a presentation and discussion about art making at the US_Mexico border with W|ALLS featured photographer, designer, craftsperson, and founder of Art Made Between Opposite Sides (AMBOS) Tanya Aguiñiga at Annenberg Space for Photography. (free but register)
Artist Vishal Jugdeo will be discussing his work at The Hammer
Maxo Kream is performing at the Echoplex with Q Da Fool and Slayter
The KVB, Numb.er, and Houses of Heaven are playing at The Echo
Filmforum at MOCA (Grand Avenue location) is showing All That You Can’t Leave Behind, a program of films both personal and political featuring new works by Essi, Ja’Tovia Gary, Darol Olu Kae, Rhea Storr, Sara Suarez, and ariella tai. Filmmakers Suarez and Kae will be in-person to discuss their work.
Adult Swim Festival 2019 is taking place at Banc of America Stadium in DTLA. On Friday performers include Dethklok, Captain Murphy, Leikeli47, Health, and more. On Saturday Vince Staples, Jamie XX, 2 Chainz, Tierra Whack, clipping., Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, and more will perform, along with a live version of The Eric Andre Show. There will also be screenings, games and attractions, and more.
Spaceland and Other Music are hosting The Get Together 2019 Label Fair and Music Festival at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. On Friday Joe Kay, Marco McKennis, and Full Crate are performing. On Saturday is the Record Label Fair and performances by Anna Wise, William Basinski, and more. In the evening, Lee Fields will be perform backed by El Michels Affair, as well as Bobby Oroza, Brainstory and Holy Hive.
Artists Gilbert & George will be in conversation with critic Jonathan Griffin at Sprüth Magers (free but RSVP)
Bridge-s, is a performance series at The Getty curated by Solange Knowles and features a new performance by Gerard & Kelly, with a special musical score by Solange featuring Cooper-Moore, brought to life by a group of dancers and musicians across Getty’s iconic architecture. The performance piece takes place all day around the center and also includes film screenings and an artist talk with British-Ghanaian philosopher Kodwo Eshun.(free)
From 12:30- 2:20pm LACMA is offering a free taste of the Japanese Nebuta Festival with a large paper lantern float depicting Japanese folk hero Kintoki by Nebuta Master Hiroo Takenami on display and a series of short performances by taiko drummers, flute and hand cymbal players, and dancers taking place in front of the float.
LAXART is hosting a performance of the in progress, debut play Lives of the Performers, by critic and writer Hilton Als. Free, first come first served. (also on Monday)
The Annual Tree Lighting celebration with performances and fireworks is happening at The Grove
It’s the last weekend (closing 11/11) to see Christian Marclay’s fun interactive exhibition Sound Stories and Mary Corse’s A Survey in Light and tonight there is also free jazz with a performance by Al Williams Jazz Society (LACMA is free for residents with ID starting at 3pm weekdays and is open Fridays until 8pm)
The Hollywood Bowl is hosting a screening of Disney’s Coco with a live orchestra accompanying the film (also on Saturday)
Girl Gang Craft is having a holiday market at Grand Central Market (free and also on Sunday)
Arroyo Arts Collective and Avenue 50 Studio are hosting a holiday art market in conjunction with NELA’s Second Saturday Art Walk
DROELOE are performing at The Novo with MEMBA and Eastghost
Instrumental rock groups MONO and The Album Leaf will be performing at the Regent Theater
L.A. Drones! and CHUD are playing a free show at Gold Diggers
Saturday and Sunday
Tyler, The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw is taking place at Dodger Stadium with a great lineup that includes- IDK, FKA twigs, YG, BROCKHAMPTON, Thundercat, 21 Savage, DaBaby, Yuna, yasiin bey and more, plus carnival games
Tropicalia Fest is happening a bit further afield in Pomona with two days of music- performers include Natalia Lafourcade, Zoé, La Santa Cecilia, Quitapenas, and more on Saturday and on Sunday bands include Oh Sees, Wallows, The Drums, Surf Curse, FIDLAR, Skegss, Beach Fossils, Hockey Dad, The Red Pears, The High Curbs and many, many, more
Located in LACMA’s B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Garden among the sculptures by Rodin is Zak Ové’s sculptural installation, The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness.
From the LACMA’s website-
The title’s references—Ben Jonson’s 1605 play, The Masque of Blackness, and Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, Invisible Man—mark two milestones in black history: the first stage production to utilize blackface makeup, and the first novel by an African American to win the National Book Award. In addition to literary references, the artist draws inspiration from Caribbean Carnival, a festival that originated from the Mardi Gras celebrations of the region’s French colonists, and Canboulay, a parallel celebration in which enslaved people expressed themselves through music and costume and paid homage to their African traditions. The installation’s 40 graphite figures stand tall and dignified to represent the strength and resilience of the African diaspora.
In the the video below, Ové provides some interesting insight and information on the work.
This exhibition closes 11/3/19. LACMA is free for residents with ID from 3pm and is open late on Fridays until 8pm.
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (9/19-9/22/19)-
Kilo Kish will be performing free (with registration) at Dr. Martens Studio City Store in Studio City
LACMA CEO Michael Govan will be in conversation with artist Thomas Joshua Cooper at LACMA about the exhibition he co-curated-Thomas Joshua Cooper: The World’s Edge (free but ticket required)
CAAM and Art + Practice are hosting a program on contemporary art writing with panelists- author Lynell George; Carolina Miranda, Staff Writer at the Los Angeles Times; and Lindsay Preston Zappas, founder, publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (Carla); moderated by Harry Gamboa Jr., artist, author, and educator. (free)
Ex Hex are playing at Zebulon with Seth Bogart (of Hunx and his Punx) and Rose Dorn
Celebrate the work of musician Daniel Johnston (who sadly passed away on 9/11/19) at The Hi Hat with Haunted Summer, Mirrorball, Nick Thorburn, Daniel Brummel, and more, performing covers of his songs with proceeds going to The SIMS Foundation which helps musicians and their families cope with mental illness.
Sita Bhaumik, artist, writer, curator, and co-founder of the People’s Kitchen Collective; Dani Burrows, curator of the Politics of Food series at the Delfina Foundation; John Echevestes, CEO, La Plaza de Cultural y Artes and La Plaza Cocina; and Laura Fried, founding executive director and curator of Active Cultures will be discussing the intersection of art and food at ICA LA before the opening of CURRENT:LA FOOD, their public art triennial in October (free). The panel discussion will be moderated by Asuka Hisa, director of learning and engagement and co-curator, CURRENT: LA FOOD and Danielle Brazell, general manager, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.
Daniel Lanois will be performing a free live show with his band Heavy Sun at Amoeba Hollywood to celebrate his work on The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Soundtrack
UCLA Film & Television Archive is screening exploitation films all weekend at Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater- tonight they are focused on drugs- She Shoulda Said ‘No!'(1949), Narcotic (1933), and Marihuana (1936) ($9)
Tijuana Panthers are playing at The Regent Theater with No Age, The Hurricanes and Mu$ty BoYz
Ty Segall & Freedom Band are continuing their residency at Teragram Ballroom– tonight playing his new album FirstTaste and his 2014 album Manipulator. DMBQ are opening.
Jazz quartet Broken Shadows will be performing the music of Ornette Coleman at Zebulon
dublab is joining Bedrock LA in Silverlake to celebrated their respective 20th and 10th anniversaries. The fundraising event will include live performances, DJ sets, sound installations, activations, food trucks, drinks, and more. Performers include Shlohmo, Los Retros, Baths, DJ Koala, Peanut Butter Wolf, and many more
The Los Angeles LGBT Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary at The Greek Theatre with entertainment by Sia, Rufus Wainwright, Jennifer Lewis, Lily Tomlin, Tig Notaro and more
Artist Larry Bell will be in conversation with MOCA curator Mia Locks to celebrate the debut of Bell’s Bill and Coo at MOCA’s Nest (2019), located in MOCA’s sculpture garden at MOCA Grand Avenue (free)
Gouge Away, G*U*N*N*, Justus Proffit, and Entry are playing free at Chewing Foil for a Vans sponsored event which also includes free art and food
The Hollywood Bowl is screening the classic musical An American in Paris with the score performed live by the Los Angeles Philharmonic
LACMA is free after 3pm today (and all weekdays) for Los Angeles residents and stay for the free jazz concert from 6-8pm
Gruff Rhys is performing at Zebulon with Sophia Knapp opening
Jay Som is playing at the Echoplex with Affectionately and Boy Scouts opening
Generacion Suicida are playing at The Hi Hat with Zoloa, Fuga, and Stormhouse opening
The War Toys are playing at The Smell with Makeout Reef, Archer Oh, and Los Shadows
Open Arts and Music Festival is taking place in Glendale from 3-10pm with music by performers including Kilo Kish, Nick Waterhouse, and Sister Mantos, public art, an arts market, a Golden Road beer garden and more, all free
LAMAG is hosting a discussion at 2:30pm titled Making a Living as an Artist, with Offal exhibition artists Panteha Abareshi and gloria galvez, moderated by Gas founder/director Ceci Moss
Mar Vista’s mile long music and art walk (Venice Blvd from Inglewood Blvd to Lyceum Ave) is taking place from 4-10pm
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is free tonight and they are showing the West Coast premiere of the short films First (2019) and Negative Two (2019) with a conversation between Dominica founder Martine Syms and the filmmakers following the screening
The Getty Museum is having a free screening of Citizen Lane, a portrait of Irish collector of modern art, Hugh Lane
Meatbodies and Morgan Delt are opening for Psychedelic Porn Crumpets at The Regent Theater
Goon are opening for Valley Queen at the Lodge Room
Ty Segall & Freedom Band are continuing their residency at Teragram Ballroom– tonight playing his new album FirstTaste and his 2016 album Emotional Mugger. The Orange Man are opening.
The Aero Theatre is having a midnight screening of John Waters’ classic Pink Flamingos
Oso Oso are playing with The Sidekicks and Future Teens at The Hi Hat
Ever Present, the free performance series at The Getty returns with a celebration of plant culture inspired by Mort Garson’s 1976 classic electronic album Mother Earth’s Plantasia. The album will be streaming all day in the Robert Irwin designed garden, and performers include New York-based Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, known for composing with plant-based bio data, ambient guitarist Noveller, Florist’s Emily A. Sprague, Lucky Dragons, and Gregg Kowalsky—all performing amid a custom stage installation by Hand & Rose. There will also be presentations, interactive synthesizer work stations, and more.
LACMA’s summer after-hours party Muse “til Midnight returns with DJ sets from Actress, Octo Octa, and Yu Su, a live performance by Julianna Barwick, art activities, access to several current exhibitions, drinks, food, and more