It is hard to believe that it is November already. In the last 2 weeks we have had to pack up our precious and important paper and possessions to prepare for evacuation due to the looming fires. Many of those treasured items included our art collection and family photographs. It allowed me time to contemplate how important these are to me. I am so grateful to not only possess these things, but to have not lost them in the wake of tragedy. Among these are various paintings and works on paper collected over the years, portraits of each of my parents by one of their artist friends, and of course artworks by our grandsons, Matthew and Ryan Schifman.
On another note I understand that there is a fascinating exhibition of Aerial Photography: Past and Present at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale that may be of interest to you. The exhibition examines the history of aerial photography, from its origins in the nineteenth century to the boundary-pushing technologies of the twenty-first century. It assembles nearly 150 images and 14 minutes of video, as well as satellite models and drones. Thru March 8, 2020.
IN THE GALLERIES:
Suzanne Veilmetter Projects presents An Abundance of Errors, Linda Besemer’s “glitch” paintings, The configuration of each painting is derived from a process of digital manipulation. The artist begins by composing on the computer, openly allowing for glitches. The digital compositions are then hand-painted into picture planes.
November 2- December 21, 2019.
Also at the gallery is the work of Chicago-based artist Margot Bergman. This exhibition brings together works in her signature neo-expressionist manner from 2005 through the present day that exemplify the artist’s emotive portraits of fictional women. Described as “anti-heroines,” Bergman’s women exude a psychological charge–their exaggerated features teeter on the grotesque and veer toward the psychedelic. November 2- December 21, 2019.
Annie Lapin: Strange Little Beast is the current exhibition at Shulamit Nazarian Gallery. Lapin’s paintings call attention to the human desire for meaning making–our effort to create order out of chaos. This selection of paintings demonstrate the artist’s use her passion in art history, perception, and the materiality of painting itself to examine the role of digital technology and narrative building in our contemporary moment. For example, she incorporates an array of art historical scenes such as John Martin’s English-Romantic apocalypses and Edouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass with ubiquitous imagery sourced from the Internet. While making her paintings, the artist moves between the canvas and computer, constructing worlds with both chaos and control; a back-and-forth process within the technological landscape and the painted landscape. November 9-December 21, 2019. Opening Reception: Saturday, November 9, 6-9pm.
Ratio Poems is the current exhibition at Lora Schlesinger Gallery. These works by Laura Karetsky are a continuation of her “embedded” series, analyzing the digital channels through which information travels and the exchange between multiple points of engagement. The paintings explore the recursive portrait that occurs in a virtual transaction, like a FaceTime call, and probes the space between relationships as we struggle to stay connected.Thru December 7, 2019.
Launch LA presents a two-person exhibition, A Love Letter by Lynne McDaniel and Lindsey Warren that poetically paints a love letter to the city of Los Angeles through light dappled vignettes of the often overlooked corners of the city. Rather than an exact replica of specific locations, both artists create work that address the overall feeling of living in Los Angeles, woven together through smokey panoramic vistas and sunset streaked skies. Lynne McDaniel uses the language of landscape to explore current events, as well as the sometimes-surprising beauty of urban existence. Lindsey Warren’s recent urban landscape paintings flush with a colorful palette that celebrates the unique light of the city of Los Angeles. Thru November 16, 2019.
Edward Cella gallery presents Paint into Pattern: Constance Mallinson 1979-82. This gallery exhibition compliments The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles exhibition, With Pleasure, Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985. Mallinson’s paintings of floating grids of rectangles in pale atmospheric fields are found in her early work from the 1970s. As artists such as Mallinson embraced feminist theory, there was a call for a “defiant embrace “of forms traditionally coded as “low art”, feminine, domestic, or craft based such as weaving, architectural decorations, quilt making, handicrafts, calligraphy, and decorative ceramic motifs. Profoundly influenced by both feminist politics and the Pattern & Decoration artists, she turned to the intricate, often dizzying designs of textiles and embroideries from many cultures for inspiration as can be seen in this exhibit. Thru January 4, 2020.
IN THE MUSEUMS
At the top of my list to see in the next few weeks is Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again at The Broad. The exhibition includes over 200 photographs and eight immersive video installations. These selections offer a rare glimpse into the evolution of Neshat’s artistic journey as she explores topics of exile, displacement, and identity with beauty, dynamic formal invention, and poetic grace. Thru February 12, 2020.
I had the great pleasure of previewing the mid-career survey of work of Julie Mehretu at LACMA this week. This is a very extensive survey as It includes nearly 40 works on paper with 35 paintings dating from 1996 to the present by the Ethiopian-born artist. This very comprehensive selection covers over two decades of her examination of history, colonialism, capitalism, geopolitics, war, global uprising, diaspora, and displacement through the artistic strategies of abstraction, architecture, landscape, movement, and, most recently, figuration. There is intimate drawings, complex printmaking techniques and large scale canvases demonstrating the depths of her oeuvre. Here is a link to Art 21 to learn more about this artist.
Note that when you visit the Mehretu exhibition that it is on 2 floors, both 1 and 3 so you don’t miss anything. Thru March 22, 2019. Floor 3 will remain on view thru May 17, 2020.
Also at LACMA is Betye Saar: Call and Response. This rather small exhibition focuses on her sketchbooks and their transition to finished works in physical form. Continuing thru April 5, 2020.
Mary Corse: A Survey in Light also continues at LACMA. Corse emerged in the mid-1960s as one of the few women associated with the West Coast Light and Space movement. She shared with her contemporaries a deep fascination with perception and with the possibility that light itself could serve as both subject and material of art. Thru 11/11/19.
With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 at MOCA is the first full-scale scholarly survey of this groundbreaking American art movement, encompassing works in painting, sculpture, collage, ceramics, installation art, and performance documentation. Covering the years 1972 to 1985 and featuring approximately fifty artists from across the United States, the exhibition examines the Pattern and Decoration movement’s defiant embrace of forms traditionally coded as feminine, domestic, ornamental, or craft-based and thought to be categorically inferior to fine art. Some of the artists included are Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff, Kim MacConnel, Miriam Schapiro, Artists whose contributions to Pattern and Decoration have been underrecognized, such as Merion Estes, Dee Shapiro, and Kendall Shaw are also included here. Thru May 11, 2020.
Open House: Gala Porras-Kim continues at MOCA, the artist seeks to explore the ways in which museums act as stewards of the art it owns. Thru May 11, 2020.
I am looking forward to our curator’s walk-through of the current exhibitions at Craft Contemporary later this month. Finding the Center: Works by Echiko Ohira examines her prolific artistic production over the last two decades. Ohira’s work is founded upon the use of repurposed paper, with her love of the material springing from her childhood in Japan and its vast paper traditions. In addition to paper, Ohira utilizes nails, thread, and other found materials to create sculptural forms and collages that explore the physical and spiritual centers of the human body, natural world, and larger cosmos. Additionally there is the exhibit of work by Los Angeles-based sculptor Cynthia Minet. A multi-media installation is one-part animal and one-part machine by Minet combines the form of the panthera atrox – an extinct North American lion whose remains have been excavated from the La Brea Tar Pits – with a modern-day oil pump jack, Minet addresses our complicated relationship with petrochemicals and the specific cultural and geological history of the Miracle Mile neighborhood. Thru January 5, 2020.
It is not too late to visit the Oceanside Museum of Art to see the outstanding exhibition, Dress Rehearsal curated by Kate Stern. The intersection between art and fashion is represented by artists Melissa Meier, Mary Tuma, Alexandra Dillon, Janet Taylor Pickett, Gwen Samuels, Carolyn Hampton, Yaya Chou, Leigh Salgado, Marian Debris, et al. Thru January 19, 2020.
OBSIDIAN LADDER, a site-specific installation by Bolivian-American artist Donna Huanca continues at Marciano Foundation. Thru December 1, 2019.
Also continuing at Marciano is Anna Uddenberg: Privé. Uddenberg explores social conventions and norms that are the product of consumer culture. Thru December 22, 2019.
WOMEN ARTISTS OUT OF TOWN
It would be negligent of me to not mention the current exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. entitled Women Artists of the Dutch Golden Age. These are artists that are part of the curriculum in the History of Women in the Visual Arts course that I teach. This focus exhibition examines the lives and works of several highly successful artists in the Netherlands during the 17th and early 18th centuries, including Judith Leyster, Maria Sibylla Merian, Magdalena van de Passe, Clara Peeters, Rachel Ruysch, Maria Schalcken, Anna Maria van Schurman, and Alida Withoos. Thru January 5, 2020.