Your Concise Los Angeles Art Guide for October 2021

Hey, LA! Below are 10 shows we think are worth your time this month. Artists uncover the biases of AI, a show mines Japanese animation beyond manga, and two solo shows spotlight original local artists June Edmonds and Pippa Garner. This, and much more, below. 

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Pouya Afshar: The Charm of the Unfamiliar

Pouya Afshar, “Displaced I” (2018), Soft pastel on paper, 33 x 65.5 inches. (Collection of Mehrdad Ariani. Courtesy of the artist and ADVOCARTSY.)

When: October 3, 2021–January 9, 2022
Where: Craft Contemporary (5814 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles)

The Charm of the Unfamiliar tells a story of displacement and migration through fantastical characters and imagery to directly engage with current issues surrounding immigration in the US. Artist Pouya Afshar utilizes a wide range of media, from 3D printing and augmented reality, to 19th-century animation and traditional oil painting, to bring viewers along on this journey. Though his migrants may look deliberately “strange” and “alien,” they project themes of exile, hope, and the search for home that convey a universal humanity.

Witch Hunt

Otobong Nkanga, “Double Plot” (2018), Woven viscose bas, polyester, bio cotton, cashwool, acrylic, with photography. (265 x 770 cm). Installation view, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Nov 2020 – May 2021. (Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen)

When: October 10, 2021–January 9, 2022
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles) & Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (1717 East 7th Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Witch Hunt brings together an international group of 16 artists from 13 countries making feminist and queer work. This two-venue presentation will be split between the Hammer Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and features artists who have been committed to exploring issues such as women’s rights, environmental justice, intersectionality, and collective resistance throughout their careers. Participating artists include Minerva Cuevas, Lara Schnitger, Vaginal Davis, Teresa Margolles, Otobong Nkanga, Beverly Semmes, among others.

Emblazoned World

Kinke Kooi, “Visit (3)” (2019), Acrylic, colored pencil, gouache on paper, q-tips, 31 3/4 x 26 1/8 in (80.5 x 66.5 cm) (Images courtesy the artist and Bel Ami, Los Angeles. Photo credit: Paul Salveson)

When: through October 30
Where: Bel Ami (709 N. Hill St, Suite 105, Chinatown, Los Angeles)

Curated by artist Lucy Bull, Emblazoned World features works loosely strung together by intimacy, idiosyncrasy, and “an affinity for feeling over logic,” as the press release states. Named after a 1969 drawing by Lee Mullican, the show features work by Mullican as well as his late widow, Luchita Hurtado, who is represented by one of her “moth light” paintings from 1975, meant to attract the insects through entrancing luminosity. Other works include crucifixion sculptures incorporating repurposed bikinis by Elizabeth Englander, biomorphic carved wooden stools by Nik Gelormino, and sensuous abstract paintings by Kinke Kooi.

Encoding Futures: Critical Imaginaries of AI

Lauren Lee McCarthy, “LAUREN” (2017-Ongoing), installed in Encoding Futures: Critical Imaginaries of AI at Oxy Arts. (Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber.)

When: through November 19
Where: Oxy Arts (4757 York Blvd., Highland Park, Los Angeles)

Algorithms, rather than actual humans, are increasingly shaping how data is used and interpreted, but rather than representing cold objectivity, they often reproduce entrenched systems of bias and oppression. Co-curated by Oxy Arts and Mashinka Firunts Hakopian, Encoding Futures features artists who illustrate the failings of AI-generated algorithms, and imagine how they could be used to produce a more equitable future. In conjunction with the exhibition, four artists — Nancy Baker-Cahill, Audrey Chan, Joel Garcia with Meztli Projects, and Patrick Martinez — participated in a three-month residency culminating in “virtual monuments” across LA visible through the 4th Wall app.

WAVE – New Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts

Motohiro Hayakawa, “X Planet Battles” (2021) (photo courtesy Japan House Los Angeles)

When: through November 28
Where: Japan House Los Angeles (6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

While manga and anime are well known worldwide, lesser known are the many other types of illustration and animation coming out from Japan. WAVE — New Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts is curated by artists Kintaro Takahashi and Hiro Sugiyama, who’ve gathered the works of 55 Japanese contemporary artists working in underground manga, pop art, photorealism, and more.

June Edmonds: Full Spectrum

June Edmonds, “Untitled” (1982), oil on canvas, 48 x 72 in., (Collection of Dr. Lucia Edmonds, Courtesy of Luis de Jesus Los Angeles and Laband Art Gallery)

When: through December 11
Where: Laband Art Gallery (Loyola Marymount University, Burns Fine Arts Center, 1 LMU Drive, Playa Vista, Los Angeles)

Full Spectrum is a 40-year survey of the work of Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds, who has spent her career “centering Black American experience.” The show spans early portraits of herself and other Black women, prefiguring contemporary painters of African-American domesticity like Jennifer Packer, through recent abstract compositions made up of hundreds of individual, distinct brushstrokes. Concurrently, Luis de Jesus will be staging a show of contemporary work by Edmonds, Joy of Other Suns, up through October 30.

Pippa Garner: Immaculate Misconceptions

Clifford Prince King, “Pippa (2)” (2020), archival inkjet print. 72 x 48 inches (image courtesy the artist and Joan)

When: through December 19
Where: Joan (1206 Maple Avenue, Suite 715, Downtown, Los Angeles)

A money facial and a “Magnificent Millennium Makeover” (involving adorning your eyes with lipstick) are just some of Pippa Garner’s cheeky inventions now on display in the career-spanning show Immaculate Misconceptions, curated by Summer Guthery. Around a dozen of Garner’s inventions were fabricated for the show, bringing her singular sketches to life. For those who want to learn more about the Long Beach-based artist, keep your eye out for the documentary Pippa: Queen of the Future, which relays, among other things, Garner’s gender transition journey in the late 1980s and how she felt abandoned by the art world. 

Fluxus Means Change: Jean Brown’s Avant-Garde Archive

Charlotte Moorman, “Valentines sent to Jean Brown” (ca. 1975–1980), pen and ink on wrapping paper (Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, courtesy D. Hoyt Moorman Estate/Pileggi Estate)

When: through January 2, 2022
Where: Getty Research Institute (1200 Getty Center Drive #1100, Brentwood, Los Angeles)

In the 1970s, collector Jean Brown began to accrue a remarkable collection of Dada, Surrealist, and Fluxus artworks in her home in the Berkshire Mountains. Following her own eye, she made perceptive connections between the time-spanning art movements, catching the attention of the Getty Research Institute, which acquired Brown’s collection in 1983. While a prized collection, it hasn’t been prominently exhibited until now.

Lorna Simpson: Everrrything

Lorna Simpson, “Reoccurring” (2021), Ink and screenprint on gessoed fiberglass, 102 x 144 x 1 3/8 in (© Lorna Simpson, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth)

When: through January 9, 2022
Where: Hauser & Wirth (901 E. Third Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Lorna Simpson emerged as a pioneer of conceptual photography in the 1980s, with her juxtapositions of staged photos and text that challenged the medium’s veracity and objectivity. Her current exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, Everrrything, features recent work produced during the pandemic, showcasing the diverse range of materials she has incorporated into her practice over the past few decades. These include large-scale paintings of icebergs, intimate collages mixing images of women cut from Jet and Ebony magazines with scientific star maps, and a courtyard installation of singing bowls resting on stacked piles of slate which produce a collaborative sonic vibration when activated.

Lynne Marsh: Who Raised It Up So Many Times?

Lynne Marsh, “Camera Opera” (2008), (production photograph: Hans-Georg Gaul), 2-channel SD video installation with sound (courtesy of the artist)

When: through January 9, 2022
Where: Culver Center of the Arts (3834 Main Street, Riverside, California)

Lynne Marsh’s video installations examine the hidden labor behind images, media, and cultural production. For Who Raised It Up So Many Times? she focuses on a range of sites, including a German TV news station, a British opera house, and a Southern California-based virtual reality studio, laying bare the specialized — and often unnoticed — work that goes into creating the spectacles we consume.

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