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.

 

 

Aug 102017
 

alt-J- Dead Crush

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (8/10-8/13/17)-

Thursday

alt-J are playing at The Shrine Auditorium with Bishop Briggs and SOHN opening

East London rapper Jay Prince is performing at The Roxy

Downtown LA Artwalk returns, this time with a two-part photography series by artist Carol Cirillo Stanley highlighted

Grand Performances has 9066::13769 (Executive Orders that Exclude)– “an evening of films and live art addressing controversial executive orders, from those resulting in the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII to current threats aimed at Muslim Americans.”(free)

Mon Laferte is performing at the free Twilight Concert Series at Santa Monica Pier this week, with Buscabulla opening

Friday

FIGat7th’s free Downtown Festival returns with Hanni El Khatib performing

Tracy Bryant is playing at The Echo with Matt Lamkin and the Confirmations, Vanilla, and Smokescreens opening

As part of Sundance Next Fest at The Theatre at Ace Hotel comedian Kate Berlant will be hosting a screening of the film Lemon followed by a performance by Lizzo

Hans Zimmer will be performing his first concert series in the US at The Shrine Auditorium which will include many of his movie scores

Summer Nights in the Garden, Natural History Museums’ free evening event returns with lectures, activities, cocktails, and DJs

Vaud & the Villains are an 18 piece orchestra/cabaret show and they are performing for free at the Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park

Saturday

BoldPas: An Art Takeover is a free one day event in Old Pasadena with temporary art installations, live painting, pop-up canvases and more

There are three screenings at The Theatre at Ace Hotel for Sundance Next Fest today- Gente-Fied with a conversation to follow with America Ferrera at noon; Gook, which includes a conversation with Ava Duvernay; and Bitch which will be followed by a performance by band Sleigh Bells

The B-52s are playing a free show in Pershing Square

Meat Wave are playing at the Bootleg Theater with Dasher, Rad Payoff and Clown Sounds opening

There will be a free performance of Tino Sehgal’s (Untitled) by dancer Frank Willens at LACMA’s Resnick Pavilion (tickets required, also taking place on Sunday)

Nite Jewel are playing at the Teragram Ballroom with Geneva Jacuzzi and Harriet Brown opening

Sunday

For MOCA Grand Avenue’s  Artists on Artists series painter Analia Saban will be discussing the work of Anna Maria Maiolino

The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach is hosting an all day free event – A Day in Oaxaca– with live performances, art demonstrations, Oaxacan food and craft vendors and more

Today there are also three screenings at The Theatre at Ace Hotel for Sundance Next Fest-Dina, with a conversation with Larry Wilmore; Golden Exits with a conversation with Peter Bogdanovich; and L.A. Times followed by a performance by Electric Guest

Luke Sweeney is performing at the Bootleg Theater with Part Time