The last big gallery weekend of the year prompts almost everyone to get up on some intriguing and impactful new shows; movement and performance art permeates empty theaters and even the worlds of scent, wellness, and the cryptoverse; books spill the tea on working in Hollywood and being Black in the theater world; architectural photography in a post-Zillow world; Barbie gets a sugar-coated Lowbrow Pop makeover; the many artists of Inglewood would like to meet you; porcelain kitsch moves a movement; design has its day on the page and in the room; and a major museum survey from South Africa’s most acclaimed artist.
Thursday, November 10
Ellen Jong, Robert Fontenot, Theodore Boyer at Praz Delavallade. After a decade spent working in abstraction that mined the metaphysical and cosmological realms, Theodore Boyer is reemerging with a new suite of narrative-based figurative paintings. Since the Neolithic period, ink has been used across cultures as a medium for transcription and a tool of expression; using it as a conduit of time, Ellen Jong employs the ancient medium in a new series of wall works and sculpture. Robert Fontenot paints a series of performances by the fictional Sylvia Hansen, a feminist artist active throughout the 1970s whose work draws on technology and mysticism. 6150 Wilshire Blvd.; Miracle Mile; Opening: Thursday, November 10; On view through December 10; free; praz-delavallade.com.
Volta: MILK at the Institute for Art and Olfaction. Los Angeles based dance theater company Volta presents the world premiere of MILK, a multi-sensory dance performance that tells the story of feminine desire and revenge. Drawing in part from the Greek tragedy Medea, the work mixes spoken word, dance, prose, sound, and scent. Harpist Melissa Achten will score the performance live and sound architect Nicholas Snyder will create an accompanying composition. Volta is collaborating with the Institute of Art and Olfaction to develop custom blends that further the story through scent. Green and Paradowski will be joined by dancers Kaia Makihara, Madi Tanguay, and Keilan Stafford. 932 Chung King Rd., Chinatown; Thursday-Saturday, 6pm; $20; artandolfaction.org.
Sheldon Epps: My Own Directions: A Black Man’s Journey in the American Theatre at Vroman’s. The author’s journey in the American theater has been amplified by his experience as a Black man who has frequently been one of the few, the first or even the only. His directing career has been full of rewards and opportunities as well as huge challenges and frustrations across two decades as artistic director of Pasadena Playhouse, one of the oldest and well-known theaters in America, and for a time early in his career, one of the whitest. 695 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Thursday, November 10, 7pm; free; vromansbookstore.com.
Friday, November 11
Judy Fiskin at Marc Selwyn Fine Art. Since the early 1970s, Fiskin has worked with photography and video to examine the aesthetic values of everyday architecture, popular culture, and visual art. The Way We Live Now features recent digital photographs the artist appropriated from real estate websites. Confined to her house and finding new ways to work during the pandemic, Fiskin investigated a world of interiors she digitally altered to fit her purposes. 9953 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; November 11 – December 23; free; marcselwynfineart.com.
Mark Ryden X Barbie: Pop Pink at Kasmin Gallery. Mattel Creations invited celebrated artist and Lowbrow icon Mark Ryden to reimagine the Barbie brand through his fantastical lens for a new exhibition and product collaboration, going on view at a popup from New York’s Kasmin Gallery. The three new oil paintings, an exquisitely detailed watercolor on paper, a monumental hand-painted sculpture in wood, a major new bronze dodecahedron, and a range of drawings and studies, as well as the Mark Ryden x Barbie dolls that encapsulate each motif place Barbie at the center of Ryden’s wild, pop-infused surrealist confections. 8382 Melrose Ave., WeHo; November 11 – December 11; free; kasmingallery.com.
Christina Catherine Martinez at REDCAT (Live & Virtual). Aesthetical Relations is a live comedy talk show experience by writer, actor, art critic, and comedian Christina Catherine Martinez, bringing together comedians, artists, video screenings, a rotating house band, and other multimedia delights. Loosely modeled on the late-night talk show format, guests perform unclassifiable feats of entertainment, followed by a brief heart-to-heart with the magnanimous host, Ms. Martinez. Bits and interruptions are sprinkled throughout, and the fourth wall is broken, reassembled, and mixed into a smoothie for your pleasure. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Friday, November 11, 8:30pm; $25; redcat.org.
Ghost Light Residency Party at Navel. Ghost Light Residency is a BEMOVING program that hosts marginalized dance/theater artists in performance venues across the greater Los Angeles area. They started the program in 2021 amidst the pandemic aiming to keep LA’s theatrical homes alive with dance. Two years and six artists later, tonight’s celebration performances and installations acknowledge the exceptional art that has already been made by this GLR cohort — Jasmine Orpilla, Tom Tsai, Jul Wiggins, Emara Neymour-Jackson, Jas Lin, and Javon “Ja’Moon” Jones — and to fundraise for the future. 1611 S. Hope St., downtown; Friday, November 11, 7-10:30pm; $10-$45; instagram.com/ghostlightresidency.
Saturday, November 12
Vikki Alexander at Wilding Cran Gallery. Alexander utilizes sculpture, collage, photography, and video to explore utopian illusions at the nexus of desire, capitalism, and commodification in modern culture. While her earlier work focuses on the idealization of glamor in contemporary advertising and consumer culture, Les Jardins De Versailles sets out to penetrate the fantasy of constructed environments. Expanding upon her fascinations with appropriated imagery, Alexander draws on 18th century architectural engravings of Versailles as the template for her conceptual collages. 1700 S. Santa Fe., downtown; November 12 – December 22; free; wildingcran.com.
Inglewood Open Studios Art Walk. An exploratory excursion through the storied neighborhood of Inglewood, home to hundreds of creative people and spaces, with suggested stopping points at participating artist studios, art galleries, arts organizations, and many other independent arts venues throughout Inglewood, equipped with its own Spotify playlist for the journey and free bus fair sponsored by the city. Roughly bounded by La Brea/Century, Manchester/La Cienega, La Brea/Fairview, and Hyde Park/West, there are three routes with about five stops each, at every stop a number of locations to view and visit — from independent art galleries like Residency and Edward Cella, to hubs like the YOLA and ECF arts centers, studio complexes like 1019 West and Concourse that house between a handful and scores of working artists’ studios, video art at the Miracle Theater, SOLA Contemporary’s group show at Hilltop Coffee and more. Pre-Walk kick off party and IOS group show opening at Residency Gallery: Friday, November 11, 4-7pm; Studios open: Saturday-Sunday, November 12-13, noon-5pm; free; inglewoodopenstudios.org.
Yoskay Yamamoto: Return to Sender at GR2. Born and raised in Toba, Japan, Yamamoto moved to the United States at the age of 15. A self-trained illustrator, Yamamoto’s artistic tastes expanded as he fell in love with the urban culture of the West Coast. Yamamoto discovered a way to fuse the two different cultural backgrounds together into his work, nostalgically blending pop iconic characters from his now long-time Western home’s cultural milieu with traditional and mythical Japanese elements, balancing his Asian heritage with urban pop art. His new work seems more pensive and whimsical, perhaps even more personal, with an energy of serenity and lightheartedness though lost in thought. 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., West LA; Opens: Saturday, November 12: online viewing at noon; gallery hours 1-4pm; reception 6-9pm; free; instagram.com/giantrobot.
Carmen Mardonez: Unspeakable Dreams, Smothering Desires at Building Bridges Art Exchange. Textile artist Carmen Mardonez creates a dreamy paradise, inviting community members to share their dreams and desires and then embroidering their words into dozens of discarded sheets and pillow covers. As the artist points out, there is something mysterious and poetic about this process. As visitors come out of this unexpectedly intimate experience, they will be guided and invited to explore a second installation: a powerful Dream Wall uniting the community’s dreams into a singular vision. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Opening reception: Saturday, November 12, 4:30-8:30pm; On view through January; free; buildingbridgesartexchange.org.
We ARe Here: A Celebration of Legacy at Music Center. Celebrate the stories of Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in the first-of-its-kind free festival in Grand Park. Presented in collaboration with For Freedoms and Kinfolk, We ARe Here: pairs the worlds of physical and digital artistic experiences to broaden our understanding of L.A.’s ancestral history. Be part of a new way to memorialize unsung heroes with an augmented reality experience to witness the digital monuments of BIPOC historical figures throughout the park, appearing before your eyes — well, your devices — hosted in honor of Biddy Mason Day, with live music, spoken word performances, artmaking, food and more. Grand Park, downtown; Saturday, November 12, noon-4pm; free; musiccenter.org.
OKHA: Ambiguous Forms at Twentieth Exhibitions. OKHA is a Cape Town based interior design studio, creators of progressive, elegant furniture and lighting, as well as artisanal objects and contemporary floor art. Their design is inspired by an enquiring contemporary aesthetic and timeless classicism, with a deep respect for natural materials and traditional craftsmanship. Their manifesto cites a desire to better communicate intimate and characterful narratives through the art of design. Their newest line will be featured in a special capsule exhibition at design emporium Twentieth beginning this week. 7728 Woodrow Wilson Dr., Hollywood Hills; by appointment beginning November 12; free; twentieth.net.
Sunday, November 13
(De)constructing Ideology: The Cultural Revolution and Beyond at the Wende Museum. Taking as its starting point ceramics from China’s porcelain capital of Jingdezhen, this exhibition explores the history and artistic production of the Cultural Revolution. It presents imagery from the period while investigating the circumstances of production, the relationship between art and ideology, and the agency of the artists working within restrictive frameworks. The exhibition also looks at the afterlife of the movement through contemporary art, wherein Chinese artists have appropriated and adapted the iconic images from this period. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City; Opening day: Sunday, November 13, 11am; On view through March 12; free; wendemuseum.org.
The Un-Private Collection: William Kentridge and Claudia Rankine (Live & Virtual) at the Broad. On the opening weekend of his monographic exhibition William Kentridge: In Praise of Shadows at The Broad, Kentridge is in conversation with award-winning author and playwright, and co-founder of The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII) Claudia Rankine. Both Kentridge and Rankine examine symbols and monuments as they appear in our respective societies, rooting out colonial and racist structures — Kentridge from the vantage point of a white South African of privileged background, and Rankine from the vantage point as a Black woman in the United States. Zipper Concert Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave.; Sunday, November 13, 2pm; $20/includes same-day access to the exhibition/livestream is free; thebroad.org.
SketchPoetic & Neosutras present NeoForm: A Collective of Arts & Tech & Wellness at Superchief. NeoForm is a symbiosis of Web2 & Web3 building a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, combining Web3 technology and wellness practices to promote mental, emotional, and physical health within the art and NFT culture through education and activations such as yoga, sound bath, breathwork, dance, meditation and more. The debut of this first of its kind IRL event features a curated exhibit of leading international NFT artists, innovators and pioneers curated by Superchief, SketchPoetic and Neosutras, plus live art, dance and music performances, spoken word, wellness experiences, NFT art displays in multiple genres, and live minting. 1965 S. Los Angeles St., downtown; Sunday, November 13, 2-7pm; free; instagram.com/sketchpoetic.
Monday, November 14
Book Soup presents Sam Wasson, in conversation with Alexander Payne, discussing Hollywood: The Oral History at the Beverly Hills Library. From the archives of the American Film Institute comes a unique picture of what it was like to work in Hollywood from its beginnings to its present day, gleaned from nearly 3,000 interviews with the biggest names in front of the camera — Bette Davis, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Harold Lloyd — to the biggest behind it — Frank Capra, Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Jordan Peele, as well as the lesser known individuals that shaped what was heard and seen on screen — musicians, costumers, art directors, cinematographers, writers, sound men, editors, make-up artists, and even script timers, messengers, and publicists. The result is the ultimate insider story. 444 N. Rexford Dr., Beverly Hills; Monday, November 14, 7pm; $43 includes the book; booksoup.com.
Tuesday, November 15
Louise Sandhaus at USC Roski Talks. Louise Sandhaus is a graphic designer and faculty at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). She is the founder and co-director of The People’s Graphic Design Archive, a crowd-sourced virtual archive that aims to expand, diversify, and preserve graphic design history. This presentation, “Unforgetting, Preserving, and Sharing an Expansive Graphic Design History,” will look at the inspiration, evolution, and future of the crowdsourced virtual archive, The People’s Graphic Design Archive. Starting with California’s graphic design history, the project has grown to preserve and recognize the work of a multitude of overlooked or forgotten design work and designers across the globe. Roski Graduate Building, 1262 Palmetto St., downtown; Tuesday, November 15, 7pm; free; roski.usc.edu.
Wednesday, November 16
David Hockney: 20 Flowers and Some Bigger Pictures at LA Louver. Five of the world’s leading galleries are coming together to present 20 Flowers and Some Bigger Pictures, an unprecedented international exhibition by David Hockney. The global exhibition will be jointly presented this fall and winter across five cities: Annely Juda Fine Art in London; Galerie Lelong & Co. in Paris; GRAY in Chicago; Pace in New York — and L.A. Louver in Los Angeles. 20 Flowers and Some Bigger Pictures presents works created by Hockney in 2021, expanding on a series of iPad paintings in 2020 inspired by his daily observations quarantining at his studio and residence in Normandy, France. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice; November 16 – January 7; free; lalouver.com.
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