Ecstatic abstraction in ink and string, art for inclusive visibility, the poetry of scent, hands-on materiality in sculpture, esoterica of the afterlife, immersion in 50s club life, a juried salon of eclectic new contemporary visions, poetry slam for justice, performance art at the tipping point, collaborative photography, navigating the great unknown in pictures.
Thursday, July 14
Proyecto Arte presents Guillermo Celis: Windows to the Soul at Jagar. Guadalajara-based Proyecto Arte presents the first LA exhibition of Celis’ ecstatic riots of symmetrical harmony. Each is composed of two colors that allude to the restorative practice of meditating on nature in a moment of crisis. A window into a soul can never show you a picture of something discrete and immutable, it can only point the way. There’s no compass and no map for the rest of the journey. Jagar Architecture, 1701 W. Pico Blvd., Opening reception: Thursday, July 14, 7pm-midnight; On view through July 21; free; instagram.com/proyectoarte_.
Sam Wasson & Jeanine Basinger, in conversation with Erika Schickel, discuss Richard Schickel’s book, The Famous Mr. Fairbanks at Book Soup (Virtual). Film critic Richard Schickel’s landmark 1973 book recounts the arc of Douglas Fairbanks’ fraught relationship with celebrity and the media—a love/hate dynamic and ultimately a labyrinth from which he could not find his way out. Fairbanks’ story is the archetypal Hollywood celebrity story, and in Schickel’s narrative he lays bare the influence and legacy, the trials and glories, of this quintessentially American phenomenon. Thursday, July 14, 6pm; free; booksoup.com.
Friday, July 15
Bagh-e Hind: Scent Translations of Mughal & Rajput Garden, at Institute for Art of Olfaction. Bagh-e Hind explores the scents of Mughal-era South Asia in a multidisciplinary exhibition curated by art critic and perfumer Bharti Lalwani (India) and historian and literary scholar Nicolas Roth (US). On view are five paintings representing Mughal and Rajput court aesthetics and the cultural experience of the garden in the 17th and 18th centuries. Also on display are scents interpreting the aromatic constructs of the paintings in five chapters—rose, narcissus, smoke, iris, and kewra—made for the exhibition by LA-based interdisciplinary artist and perfumer Miss Layla. 932 Chung King Road, Chinatown; On view July 15 – August 12; free; artandolfaction.org.
Beautiful, Not Pretty at Wonzimer. Wonzimer inaugurates its new gallery space with a group exhibition featuring sculptors Daniela Soberman, Meeson Pae, Alicia Piller, Cybele Rowe, and Ann Weber. Begging the question of how beauty leaves an impact that tantalizes the observer’s mental state but goes beyond pure pleasure, they each use commonplace materials to create objects of confidence, elegance and beauty that demand intense mental participation and direct visceral response. 341-B S Avenue 17, downtown; Grand opening: Friday, July 15, 5-10pm; On view through August 19; free; wonzimer.com.
Outfest presents Lio Mehiel: Ancient Futures at Directors Guild of America. A three part pop-up art presentation in celebration of trans beauty, expressed through a single-channel video installation, a photo essay, and a sculpture series—all brought to life by Lio Mehiel, a transmasculine, Puerto Rican and Greek actor, filmmaker, and artist. The centerpiece of four stone sculptures of trans and gender non-conforming bodies, cast by artist Holly Silius, are evocative of the Met’s atrium of Greek and Roman busts. Within a medium that traditionally depicts cisgender bodies, these sculptures are the beginning of what Lio envisions as a robust collection of TGNC figures, inclusive of all body types and gender presentations. 7920 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; July 15-24; outfest.org.
Club Babalu at Lot 613. Club Babalu is a provocative immersive theater experience produced by Cinereal Productions in a dazzling night of drama, mischief and nostalgia—a show-within-a-show transporting guests to the hit 1957 TV show Welcome To Woodvana as if they were all extras on set. With a nod to I Love Lucy, the show features glamorous old Hollywood costumes, vibrant decor, a 50s-era soundscape, comedy, dance, and exciting live performances from burlesque to aerialists to jugglers. Club Babalu is a lot of things but most importantly it’s a unique experience. 613 Imperial St., downtown; Performances Friday-Saturday through August 27, 6-9pm; $65 and up; clubbabaludtla.com.
Saturday, July 16
Picturing Paradise, the Hereafter in Art and Religion, with Pujan Gandhi, Amy Landau, Ben Quash, and Melissa Raphael at Bridge Projects (Virtual). For millennia, artists have attempted to visualize versions of the afterlife, seeking to depict what lies beyond our earthly existence. Our cultural and devotional imagination is enriched by the ongoing attempts artists make to visualize the invisible, and in this symposium, historians and curators specializing in Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Islamic art will account for the diversity of these beliefs about paradise through the lens of art both historic and contemporary. Saturday, July 16, 11am; free; bridgeprojects.com.
Bob Landström: Multiverse at BG Gallery. An artist who primarily works with crushed, pigmented volcanic rock, Landström’s abstract paintings, with their highly granulated texture and color combinations, reconsider our relationship with meaning by eliciting the iconography of ancient languages, science, religions, and mysticism. Multiverse includes several new works from Landström and is as much an investigation into his personal fascination with metaphysics and theories about multiple universes as it is a wide-sweeping exploration into the ways we perceive reality and create meaning. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Opening reception: Saturday, July 16, 4-7pm; On view through August 8; free; santamonica.bgartdealings.com.
Everything But The Kitchen Sink at La Luz de Jesus. The beloved, zany, aggressively eclectic annual juried group show tradition returns, featuring 250 works by 100 artists in a whimsical, dark and inventive salon of the most intriguing and vibrant new contemporary painting and mixed media creations in Los Angeles. 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Opening reception: Saturday, July 16, 5-9pm; On view through August 28; free; laluzdejesus.com.
National Theatre’s Cyrano de Bergerac screening at Boston Court. James McAvoy returns to the stage in an inventive adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, filmed live on London’s West End. Fierce with a pen and notorious in combat, Cyrano almost has it all—if only he could win the heart of his true love Roxane. There’s just one big problem: he has a nose as huge as his heart. Will a society engulfed by narcissism get the better of Cyrano, or can his mastery of language set Roxane’s world alight? Edmond Rostand’s masterwork is adapted by Martin Crimp and directed by Jamie Lloyd. 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Saturday, July 16, 7:30pm, $20; bostoncourtpasadena.org.
Slam Right! Poetry Slam for Justice at the Lume’s Street Art Alive. Austin Alexander presents a unique slam poetry session hosted in a replica of an NYC subway station, installed at the Lume as part of their whirlwind immersive street art installation. A specially curated competition between some of LA’s best performance poets, with a portion of proceeds charitably going to Initiate Justice in support of the reformation & abolition of the prison industrial complex. Performances by: Keirock, Ayinde Love, Cam Caddell, Elyse Cizek, Kuahmel, Soul Stuf, Luhweezy, Elliot Paulson, Inovadorajeyy, Austin Alexander, DJ Izm and more. 1933 S. Broadway, downtown; Saturday, July 16, 8-10pm; $35/pair (BOGO); eventbrite.com.
Sunday, July 17
Park Dae Sung: Virtuous Ink and Contemporary Brush at LACMA. Park was born in 1945, the official end of both the Japanese colonization of Korea and WWII. Self-taught, Park has spent time in China, walked the Silk Road, and searched for the meaning of hanja (Chinese characters), the aesthetic foundation of his calligraphy and paintings. With a single brush, he portrays his subjects by effortlessly fusing the aesthetics of East and West. This intimate exhibition invites the viewer to see the brushstrokes and compositions up close. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; On view July 17 – December 11; $20-$25; lacma.org.
Tipping Points at LAXART. A program of performance-based work from trans and gender nonconforming artists, organized and hosted by Page Person. This event features performers that cross genders and genres to open new forms of queer expression, inviting trans/GNC artists to create “humanizing reference points” based on their own lived experience. Taking radical control of one’s body and the narrative surrounding it is at the heart of these artists’ performance practices. 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sunday, July 17, 4pm; free; laxart.org.
Tuesday, July 19
Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop at the Getty Center. Working Together is the first major exhibition about the Kamoinge Workshop, a collective of Black photographers formed in New York in 1963. Members of the group produced powerful images, sensitively registering Black life in the mid-20th century. The exhibition explores Kamoinge’s photographic artistry in the 1960s and 1970s, celebrating the group’s collaborative ethos, commitment to community, and centering of Black experiences. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; On view July 19 – October 9; free; getty.edu.
Cole Sternberg: departed for the curve, at Praz Delavallade. Featuring a selection of the artist’s new and never-before scene painterly works on linen, the exhibition considers the place of humankind against the environment’s scale and eminence, hinting at the ill-fated and self-inflicted demise of our species as the earth takes itself back—as seas rise and paradigms shift. In alluding to oncoming change, the exhibition’s title also suggests a rather unexpected willingness to embrace the unknown. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; on view through July 23; free; praz-delavallade.com.