The New Year is off to a great start with many appealing gallery exhibitions opening this month.
I was so delighted with Christopher Knight’s Los Angeles Times article stating that “female artists finally outnumbered men in L.A. Museum Solo shows.” From what I see on the horizon, 2019 also looks like a year rich with exhibitions of work by women artists. For example, looking ahead there will be a Sara Lucas retrospective as well as an exhibition of work by Julie Mehretu-these are 2 highly influential and successful contemporary artists.
If you missed the stimulating UCLA Hammer discussion “Bad Feminism” with writer Roxane Gay, Bitch Media cofounder Andi Zeisler, and the Hammer’s chief curator Connie Butler about the political, social, and cultural relevance of contemporary feminism, you can view it by clicking on this link.
I was delighted with the current exhibitions I viewed this past weekend at Shoebox Projects: Sheli Silverio, Be a Lady and Miss Art World, Alterations in the Closet. Silverio, a very skilled artist utilizes watercolor and the motif of a paper doll to delve into issues of “personal identity within the confines of society’s idea of womanhood.” A large female paper doll is surrounded by various accessories and attributes inviting the viewer to experiment by placing them on the doll. Among these items is a hijab, menstruation stained panties, a strap on, and more. An opposite wall features a series of small-scale detailed labium paintings where you can see the facility of this artist’s hand. There will be a closing reception on 1/20/19, 2-4 p.m.
If you have never been to the Good Luck Gallery in Chinatown, I highly recommend a visit. The gallery specialized in self-taught artists including outsider, folk and visionary. Currently on view is an exhibition of work by Helen Rae. Her drawings of colored pencil and graphite are influenced by fashion magazine imagery. Rae who creates art daily has worked out of First Street Gallery, a progressive art studio for adults with developmental disabilities in Claremont, CA for the last thirty years. 1/12/-2/24/19.
Luis de Jesus presents CAITLIN CHERRY: THREADRIPPER. Cherry’s new paintings propel her long-standing interest in the representation of black female bodies through new aesthetic strategies inspired by dystopic science fiction and malfunctioning technology. 1/12-2/09/19.
Fabrik Projects presents Betsy Enzensberger. Here you will find large-scale resin sculptures of dripping, frozen treats and other sweet-toothed delights. Thru 2/16/19.
Bold graphic paintings that utilize pictorial calligraphy are found in the current exhibition by Ellen Berkenbilt at Suzanne Veilmetter The exhibit includes works on canvas in addition to works on patterned “ quilts” of calico fabric. Berkenblit’s use of patterned calico parallels her use of paint—she stitches the calico together, considering the relationships between color and pattern, a sort of puzzle of compliments and contradictions. Then the joined fabric is sent out to be stretched, after which it returns to the studio as a familiar, but unfamiliar problem to solve, this time through painting. Thru 2/16/19.
Lois Lambert Gallery presents Serena Potter: Inside Out. This selection of oil paintings and drawings focus on theme of sense of self, private pain vs. public persona, and interpersonal connections. She creates paintings in oil on birch panel or canvas as well as drawings with mixed media charcoal and pastel, on cotton rag paper. “My art is personal, my inspiration coming from life experience, memories, and dreams. Sometimes I respond to other women in my life and their experience. When I identify a theme for a piece, say a memory, then I ponder ways that I can visually communicate this issue, that will inspire the viewer to ask questions, to think about the piece and to reconsider accepted norms.”
Also at Lois Lamber Gallery is Joanne Jaffe: Applied Geometry. “A search for order in a chaotic time” is how ceramic artist Joanne Jaffe explains her current series “Applied Geometry.” Calling on her first love, drawing, she searched for a form that would serve as a foil to her on-going exploration of surface decoration. Inspired by the sublimity of the worlds created by Kandinsky and the Russian Constructivists, she chose a simple rectangular solid as her base and the triangle, circle, checkerboard as her dominant motifs. The base form becomes a 3-D “tablet” around which the drawings are wrapped. 1/12-3/09/19.
“From Here to There”, a solo exhibition of work by sculptor Betty Gold is at FP Contemporary. Gold’s welded steel sculptures envelope the language of modernism revealing geometric forms. Some are highly polished in primary colors and a stand out piece is gold-leafed. 1/12/19- 2/16/19.
Lisa Golightly: Spectator is the current exhibition at George Billis Gallery. The Portland-based realist painter uses found photographs for a point of entry for her high gloss on aluminum paintings. The artist explains: “The photos I am drawn to are constantly changing based on what is happening in my own life. The images I select create a landscape of found memories that often have very real ties to my own experiences. As a spectator to these images, I find a freedom that comes from not actually knowing the story behind them or the people in them and allows me the space to create a new narrative.” 1/12-2/16/19.
Meliksetian/Briggs present Hue Saturation Value: The Archer Paintings, a new body of work by Meg Cranston. These new paintings developed out of an invitation Cranston received to do an exhibition at The Archer School for Girls, and continue Cranston’s ongoing investigation into color theory and its cultural ramifications, the legacy of modernism, individual and shared experience and highlight her idiosyncratic approach to art making. The paintings in the exhibition were created to present Archer students with an array of color choices and allow them to vote for their favorites. It was an experiment to see if girls aged 10-18, (who are the most targeted consumers of fashion and cosmetics) would select colors similar to those dictated by the industrial color industry notably, the Pantone Corporation, or, have different choices. After the voting was complete, Cranston used the results to create the final painting for the exhibition, Mr. Moseby’s Salmon Not Pink Shirt. The title was written by a student to describe one of the top voted colors #60 – a red/orange hue that is nearly identical to Pantone’s 2019 color of the year, Living Coral. 1/12-3/03/19.
Later this month the Brand Library Art Gallery exhibition will be Valley Girl Redefined curated by 11:11 A Creative Collective an expansive group exhibition of women who are the new architects of the “valley girl”. The artworks examine the stereotype of the “valley girl” and its representation in popular culture and film. The exhibit will feature work by: Rachel Apthorp, Judy Baca, Hilary Baker, Lynn Coleman, Gioj DeMarco, Kathi Flood, Ashley Hagen, Janna Ireland, Casey Kauffmann, Water Kerner, Karla Klarin, Constance Mallinson, Rain Lucien Matheke, Ashley Mistriel, Robin Mitchell, Michelle Nunes, Erika Ostrander, Sarah Ponce, Christina Ramos, Monica Sandoval, Vivian Shih, Erin Stone, Emily Sudd, and San Fernando Valley Zine Fest. 1/26-3/22/19. Reception: 1/26/19, 6-9 pm.
IN THE MUSEUMS
Note that these are all continuing exhibitions.
The Pasadena Museum of History presents Something Revealed; California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960. Continues Thru 3/31/19.
Royal Flush is the concurrent exhibition at the California African Art Museum and ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art, L.A.), a survey of art by Nina Chanel Abney. Abney is at the forefront of a generation of artists revitalizing narrative figurative painting with imagery influenced by mainstream news media, animated cartoons, video games, hip-hop culture, celebrity websites, and tabloid magazines. Thru 1/20/19.
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings at the Getty Center. Themes of family, memory, mortality and Southern landscape are explored as a repository of memory-both collective and persona. Mann’s photographs-many not exhibited before also expose how her relationship with the land as well as her relationship with the South has shaped her work. Thru 2/10/19.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), has reinstalled the monumental wall work by Los Angeles-based artist Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Questions) (1990/2018). It is on the north facade of The Geffen Contemporary facing Temple Street. The work will remain on view through November of 2020.
MOCA Geffen Contemporary presents a mid-career survey of work by Laura Owens. Simultaneously a survey of the work of artist Zoe Leonard is also be at the Geffen Contemporary. Leonard is known for her photographic work, however there are some thought-provoking conceptual installations here, such as the one pictured below. 53 vintage blue suitcases are lined up-each one representing a year in the artist’s life.
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