Spring is almost here and that usually means lots of gallery openings; that is unless you are in the middle of a global pandemic. Note that most galleries are by appointment only. There is some good news on the horizon…
The History of California, better known as The Great Wall of Los Angeles, is an epic mural cycle that envisions history from the perspective of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian people by the amazing Judy Baca. The mural project was completed in 1983 and basically ends it narrative in the 1950s has been given the funding and support required to continue the history. A $5 million Mellon Foundation grant will allow Baca and the arts nonprofit she cofounded, the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), to extend the imagery of the Great Wall to include happenings over the past 70 years through 2021. As is typical with Baca’s process for the Great Wall and her other murals, she and her team will undertake extensive research and conduct interviews with experts to learn about lesser-known historical moments.
Amy Sherald: The Great American Fact, will be opening later this month at Hauser & Wirth. Sherald is well-known for her portraits of Black Americans at leisure. She received quite a bit of notoriety with her portrait of Michelle Obama. This exhibit features five works produced in 2020 that highlight her technical innovations and distinctive visual language to center Black Americans in scenes of leisure surrounded by stillness. Sherald notes her subjects are positioned as “symbolic tools that shift perceptions of who we are as Americans, while transforming the walls of museum galleries and the canon of art history–American art history, to be more specific.”
March 20-June 6, 2021.
Sprueth Magers presents Cindy Sherman: Tapestries. For the first time, the artist is presenting works that are not in the photographic medium. She has the tapestries produced in Belgium and of course they are somewhat recognizable as the artist in some disguise. Each figure has different hair, eyes, skin tone, facial features and gender. Sherman explains “I’m trying to erase myself more than identify myself or reveal myself. That’s a big, confusing thing that people have with my work: they think I’m trying to reveal these secret fantasies or something. It’s really about obliterating myself within these characters.” Thru May 1, 2021.
Note that Sherman is getting her largest European solo show to date at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. The exhibition, which will run from April 1 to August 21, 2021 will include around 300 of her works alongside her own selection from the museum’s permanent collection for an accompanying exhibition titled Crossing Views. The legendary photographer has chosen works by artists including Marina Abramović, Louise Bourgeois, Rineke Dijkstra, Rosemarie Trockel, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Wolfgang Tillmans for the display.
Later this month Brenna Youngblood: the Light and the Dark will open at Roberts Projects. Youngblood’s work explores issues of African American identity and representation and often references historically significant moments and organizations in African American history. Her work incorporates both autobiographical and fictional narratives to explore the iconography of the Black experience, the methods, politics and ethics of representation, and the legacy of abstraction. March 20-May 15, 2021.
KP Projects presents Holly Elander, Our Home. In this exhibit Elander pays tribute to the many animals that used to wander around her childhood home. The animals are juxtaposed with mid-century modern interior of that abode. The artist explains: “The house I grew up in is a 59-year-old mid-century modern house. It has floor to ceiling windows and rooms with minimal walls that gives you the feeling of being in a wide open space. This is why I have chosen to omit painting floors or ceilings in my pieces and instead let objects such as furniture, rugs, and cars build the environment instead. For my latest contribution of this series I decided to trade in the bright colored backgrounds for a more muted palette, creating a larger void-like space for the designed furniture and creatures to live in. I wanted to include more still life compositions to include the intimate scenes in my parents’ home that show their love of the knick-knack.” Thru March 20, 2021.
Vanessa Prager: Static at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. This recently-completed series of new oil paintings by Vanessa Prager, a self-taught artist based in Los Angeles, continues her exploration of sculptural impasto techniques and revisits 19th-century post-impressionism in the 21st century. “Throughout 2020, Prager created in her art what many struggled to find in their daily lives: commonplace moments of warmth, delight, levity and brightness. Her faint outlines of recognizable figures, contrasted with her radiant palette, allude to the elusive nature of joy, and an optimism for the future. She hopes viewers will experience in these works a warm, enveloping sensation, which may be both felt and understood in the way the paint encases its subjects.” Thru April 10, 2021.