In my column from July 2019 I wrote about the wonderful Hotel Figueroa. So, I was especially delighted to see the April 21st article in LA Weekly by Shan Nys Dambrot about the hotel’s amazing art program focused on women artists. You can enjoy the article here.
IN THE GALLERIES:
Betty Brown has curated a fascinating assortment of artists in her Aviary exhibit at Loft at Liz’s. Among some of the outstanding examples of bird-related imagery are L. Aviva Diamond’s Bird Heart. This looks like graphic work however it is a large photograph of two birds in mid-air silhouetted against the sky. Other striking examples are a collaboration between Cheryl Dullabaun and Linda Parnell. Their Volaries, Adieu include 2 antique photo albums filled with vintage photos, drawings and collages of extinct birds some of them dating back to the 1500s and through the early 1800s when only descriptions or drawings were available. . The albums themselves are over 100 years old, popular at the same time the feather millinery trade was in full swing. This work is the result of a lot of research about the bird trade. A large screen of black-dyed turkey feathers are a further reminder those birds that may have escaped or more often fallen to the whims and ignorance of humans. These artists have serious concerns about all animal species and here they remind us that “today 2/3s of North American birds are on the verge of extinction due to climate change.” Other notable artists in the show include Nurit Avesar, Jodi Bonassi, Deena Campbell, Bibi Davidson, Cynthia James, Joanne Julian , Debbie Korbel, Laura (& Dean) Larson, Samuelle Richardson, Jill Sykes and more. Thru June 7, 2022.
Monica Wyatt: c u r i o u s e r is the current exhibit at moryork gallery in Highland Park. “The title of the exhibition, c u r i o u s e r, whimsically hints at Alice in Wonderland. Entering MorYork’s kaleidoscopic 7,200 square foot space, visitors will be immersed in a showcase of Wyatt’s creations cohabiting with gallery owner and artist Clare Graham’s. ‘I’m deep down the rabbit hole with my exploration of materials, where I can take them, and how they converse in concert with Clare’s,” said Wyatt. “I hope to entice viewers to plunge into this wonderland of the imagination.’Most of the pieces in c u r i o u s e r were created during the pandemic, when both Wyatt’s children were concurrently college bound. Among the most recent work is a series of suspended assemblage sculptures made out of sewing machine bobbins and wire, their curved contours hollowed out with gleaming openings redolent of nests and maternity. Another prominent work, The Far Side of a Cloud, suggests a floating intricate winterscape composed of acrylic tubes and hemp cord that interlace with a graceful network of refracted light.” (moryork). Thru May 7, 2022.
The Future is Female at Bermudez Projects is part of their 5-part FAST FORWARD series. This series is determined to offer a glimpse of the future – “one where white male artists no longer dominate the art world.” Here a diverse selection of multigenerational women artists whose artistic practices have broken new ground for their originality and mastery of their respective media. They are responding also to this statistic: According to the National Endowment for the Arts,” female visual artists still earn 20% less than male artists. And it’s even worse at auction, where works by female artists are rated lower by wealthy men, leading to a 50% pay gap when the gavel falls.” The roster here includes Marina Abramović, Amanda Beckmann, Francesca Bifulco, Ann Diener, Camille Rose Garcia, Yolanda González , Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle, Louise Nevelson, Leticia Maldonado, Blue McRight, Erynn Richardson, Leigh Salgado, Kristine Schomaker, Ana Serrano, Clarissa Tossin and Linda Vallejo. Thru May 14, 2022.
Walter Maciel Gallery presents Fierce Women and Their Flowers featuring new work by Katherine Sherwood. The show includes paintings on the backsides of found Art History reproductions from her ongoing Venuses of the Yelling Clinic and Brain Flowers series as well as a distinct group of early figurative works. The new acrylic paintings include large female nudes juxtaposed with small to mid-sized still-life paintings. 14 May – 2 July 2022; Opening Reception: Saturday, May 14, 3:00 – 7:00pm.
IN THE MUSEUMS
There is always something compelling at the Craft Contemporary. Right now, it is Flower-Headed Children, the first comprehensive museum survey of New York-based artist and curator Jaishri Abichandani’s varied creative production. Over her 25-year career, Abichandani has utilized folk and vernacular aesthetics and craft-based materials to create intricate figurative sculptures and painted portraits. Her works open traditional devotional iconography and narratives to contemporary anti-racist, feminist, queer, and politically radical possibilities. The exhibition is curated by writer, independent curator, and educator Anuradha Vikram. Thru May 8, 2022.
Currently at LACMA are 3 noteworthy exhibits to enjoy. The first is the massive and overstimulating Barbara Kruger: Thinking of
You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. Text abounds in your face, some with accompanying sound and narration. This exhibition is the largest and most comprehensive presentation of Kruger’s work in 20 years. As an active consumer and vigilant viewer of popular culture, Kruger grapples with the accelerated ways pictures and words instantaneously flow through media. Thru July 17, 2022.
Next is Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse. This exhibit contextualizes the designer’s imaginative work within a canon of artmakers who drew upon analogous themes and visual references. Exploring imagination, artistic process, and innovation in fashion and art, the exhibition examines the interdisciplinary impulse that defined the designer’s career. I was mesmerized by his irresistible and luscious designs. Thru Oct. 9, 2022.
Finally, a lovely surprise was the exhibition, City of Cinema: Paris 1850-1907. The exhibit explores how film emerged amid a wave of social, political, artistic, and technological developments. The exhibition brings together paintings, sculpture, posters, prints, photography, and film to reflect the range of artistic experiments that culminated in cinema as a mass medium. Among the paintings were 2 outstanding works by noted 19th c. women artists, Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot. Thru July 10, 2022.
Continuing at the Getty Center is a retrospective of the photography of Imogen Cunningham. The Getty: “In a career that spanned seventy years, Imogen Cunningham created a large and diverse body of work — from portraits, to nudes, to florals, and to street photographs. In a field dominated by men, she was one of a handful of women who helped to shape early modernist photography in America. This exhibition seeks to acknowledge her stature as equivalent to that of her male peers and to reevaluate her enormous contribution to twentieth century photographic history.” I had the pleasure of viewing this exhibit just last week, and I found it be quite thorough with so many outstanding examples of Cunningham’s work and I highly recommend it. Thru June 12, 2022.