IN THE GALLERIES:
Gavlak Gallery is featuring work by two remarkable artists: Betty Tomkins and Marnie Weber. “Sex Works/WOMEN Words, Phrases and Stories” is a series of paintings and includes a survey of Tomkins’ early works on paper and large-scale Cunt, Fuck, and Pussy paintings. The exhibition places pieces from the beginning of her career in conversation with her most recent paintings, showcasing the artist’s trajectory from subtly political works to more overt statements. The highlight of the exhibition will be “WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories” (image right), an installation of 1,000 paintings of words that Tompkins received in response to an email request for words that describe women. She received more than 3,500 responses to her initial query, with the most common words sent in response being cunt, bitch, slut and mother.
Marni Weber’s “Chapel of the Moon” (image left) takes as its starting point the artist’s first feature length film, The Day of Forevermore. The film is a modern-day fairy tale about a young witch, Luna Crimson, who fights to find freedom from her overbearing and demented mother, whose role is played by Weber herself. Continuing where the film leaves off, Chapel of the Moon poses the question of what would happen to Luna Crimson if she finally escaped from Forevermore Acres. Weber has transformed the gallery to represent the narrative, creating an ethereal mise-en-scène. Among the standout pieces is “Monster Totem,” an eight-foot high sculpture made from fake fruit and Halloween masks. “Weeping Willow” is an inventive rendition of a tree of stained glass shards and steel. Weber’s installation takes the viewer into the depths of her imagination with questionable characters set in bizarre landscapes. Both exhibitions run thru 11/12/16.
Roberts & Tilton features Betye Saar‘s “Black White” exhibition of mixed media works from 1966-2016. The exhibition provides examples spanning over four decades with work that reflects on how specific ideas are expressed through the descriptive qualities of black and white, affecting the relation of race within linguistic uses. Runs thru 12/31/16.
Laura Korman Gallery presents “Alloy,” an exhibition of new works by Washington D.C. based artist, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann . Alloys are typically defined as substances which are composed of two or more metals intimately mixed by fusion. This notion of “intimate mixing” is key to Mann’s artistic practice. Her energetic abstractions are synthetic in nature. Pulling inspiration from diverse sources, she skillfully mixes media and imagery not traditionally used in concert. Drawing inspiration from a recent visit to the ancient site of the Mogao Caves situated on the Dunhuang oasis on the edge of the Gobi Desert, Mann presents us with a collection of works that continue her exploration into the delicate balances between void and abundance, chaos and order as well as creation and destruction. Thru 1/21/17.
“Between the Lines” is an exhibition of Adonna Khare‘s new drawings at Lora Schlesinger Gallery. Through the many fine details of carbon pencil, Khare utilizes animals as vessels to illustrate stories about family, childbirth, relationships and the interconnectivity of all living things. Thru 12/3/16.
“Black Bars” is an exhibition of new work by Kathryn Andrews at David Kordansky Gallery. It features large scale wall-based works, as well as two floor-based sculptures incorporating the stainless steel cylinders that have served as a recurring foil throughout her recent bodies of work. Andrews examines the latent power dynamics in acts of desire and consumption, creating works that implicate the viewer as both an agent and an object of such desire. Her images and reference points are drawn from a broad swath of cultural production, including mass entertainment media, the Western art historical canon, commercial products and advertising. These are refracted through a sensibility highly attuned to the phenomenological aspects of sculpture so that the viewer’s body is always an implied, and often a direct, subject of Andrews’s practice.” (Kordansky) Thru 12/17/16.
Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce “Annie Lapin: Watchers and Winks.” Her newest series of paintings evoke otherworldly spaces that involve a multifaceted combination of poured stains, digital deconstruction and augmentation as well as a broad range of other techniques. Thru 12/16/16.
“Radio Imagination: Artists in the Archive of Octavia E. Butler” is a group show at the Armory Center for the Arts. It is organized by “Clockshop,” a non-profit organization. The exhibition debuts six new commissions inspired by the Octavia E. Butler papers at the Huntington Library. This is part of a year-long program throughout 2016 celebrating the life and work of Pasadena science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006). The featured artists are Laylah Ali, Lauren Halsey, Mendi + Keith Obadike, Connie Samaras and Cauleen Smith. Thru 1/8/17.
Hauser Wirth & Schimmel in the Arts District features “Maria Lassnig: A Painting Survey 1950-2007.” This survey of the late Austrian abstract painter provides work from the 1950s to the end of her life. The work ranges from her early experiments with abstraction to her integration of the figure. Lassnig is known for her theory of “body awareness,” which includes abstracted self-portraits. For example, she represents the human form with distorted or truncated limbs, noses turned into pigs’ snouts or mouths with shocking facial expressions. The “body awareness” paintings transform figures into expressions of her physical sensations. Lassnig says “the only true reality is my feelings, played out within the confines of my body.” Thru 12/31/16.
IN THE MUSEUMS:
Equally important to the exhibition of work by women artists is the representation of women in art and popular culture. The Bowers Museum in Orange County is currently featuring “Virgin of Guadalupe: Images in Colonial Mexico” (image right). This appears to be a significant exhibition as it explores the ubiquitous images of the Virgin during Mexico’s colonial period. Thru 1/29/16.
UCLA Hammer Museum presents work by two women artists in their “Hammer Projects”: Simone Leigh and Marwa Arsanios. Working across ceramics, sculpture, video, installation and social practice, Leigh examines the construction of black female subjectivity and economies of self-preservation and exchange. Her practice is largely research-based and intersectional and considers a range of sources including ethnography, feminist discourse, folklore and histories of political resistance. Through architectural renderings and models, video and topographic maps, Arsanios addresses the changing landscape of Beirut. This city where she lives and works has been marked by the rapid development of its urban spaces and burdened by a recent garbage crisis. Both exhibitions thru 1/8/17.
Australian born artist Toba Khedoori‘s paintings are on view on the 2nd floor of BCAM at LACMA. Her early works are notable for their precise draftsmanship and for their use of negative space, often at a very large scale. She frequently depicts architectural forms from distanced perspectives, rendering commonplace objects and spaces familiar yet decontextualized. In recent years, she has transitioned from paper to canvas, producing smaller scale works that hover between representation and abstraction. Khedoori remains committed to the silent, slow and exacting process of working by hand. LACMA describes this exhibition as “the first major museum presentation of Khedoori’s new paintings and her first survey in fifteen years. In addition to contributing to the rapidly growing recognition of the work of women artists, it also extends LACMA’s efforts to trace the recent history of art in Southern California. ” Thru 3/19/18.
The Craft and Folk Art Museum presents “Kay Sekimachi: Simple Complexity.” The exhibition traces her groundbreaking fiber work from the 1960s to the present (image left). The collection of Forrest L. Merrill is featured and spans the diversity and range of her work. Thru 1/8/17.