December 9, 2022

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Your Concise Los Angeles Art Guide for June 2022

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Compiling this list made me fall in love with Los Angeles all over again, the dizzying range of art reminding me of the reason behind the exponential growth of the city’s gallery scene in the first place. From shows that spin tales of fantasy and meditate on the image, to artists that point to under-examined histories of California, such as Allensworth, East LA, or modern dance — go see these galleries and hopefully, you’ll fall in love, too.

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Jesse Mockrin, “Transfiguration” (2021-2022), oil on cotton, 90 x 124 inches (228.6 x 315 cm) (photo by Marten Elder, image courtesy the artist and Night Gallery, Los Angeles)

When: through June 18
Where: Night Gallery (2276 East 16th Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Reliquary is a tour de force of Jesse Mockrin’s exquisitely rendered oil paintings, which draw on Western canonical imagery (in this case, that of Saint Sebastian) to make the classical contemporary. Her works recall Mannerism — not just formally in the way that flesh is rendered smooth, limbs ever so slightly elongated, but also in the way she crops and recombines conventional narratives askew, making the familiar unfamiliar.

Installation view of Farah Al Qasimi: Surge at François Ghebaly, 2022 (photo by Paul Salveson, image courtesy the artist and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles)

When: through June 18
Where: François Ghebaly (2245 East Washington Boulevard, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Farah Al Qasimi takes the 1975 Japanese film version of “The Little Mermaid” as the premise for her Los Angeles debut Surge, spinning the fairytale classic into a contemporary tale to reveal how utterly depressing its modern-day equivalent would be — one fraught with issues around globalization, climate change, and the inequitable distribution and access to resources and, even, one’s fulfillment of desire.

Installation view of Restored / Access: Keko Jackson at Fulcrum Press, 2022 (photo by Josh Schaedel, image courtesy the artist and Fulcrum Press, Los Angeles)

When: through June 18
Where: Fulcrum Press (727 North Broadway #205, Chinatown, Los Angeles)

Few are familiar with the history of Allensworth, the first town in California to be founded, financed, and governed exclusively by Black people. This town is the subject of Restored / Access, a project by artist and archivist Keko Jackson. By turning his lens on its documentation, both the ways in which the city represents itself and the ways in which it has been represented by others, Jackson tells a larger story of what self-governance looks like.

Andrea Fraser, still of “This meeting is being recorded” (2021), single-channel HD video installation, 99 minutes (image courtesy the artist)

When: through June 19
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles)

White women: an identity group ubiquitous to, yet underexamined by, the art world. Here, Andrea Fraser turns the lens of institutional critique onto herself and, by extension, White women, in the performance-based video This Meeting is Being Recorded to recreate meetings that might strike a familiar (and perhaps jarring) note of recognition for anyone who participated in the various DEAI meetings that swept across American companies and institutions over the past two years.

Untitled work by Guadalupe Rosales (photo by Paul Salveson, image courtesy the artist and Commonwealth and Council)

When: through June 25
Where: Commonwealth and Council (3006 West 7th Street, Suite 220, Koreatown, Los Angeles)

How do we archive, and truly remember, a community? This is the question at play throughout the work of Los Angeles artist Guadalupe Rosales. Here, she looks to the ways in which her native East Los Angeles — already long past initial discussions of gentrification — has been historicized and obfuscated, sometimes with the very attempt at historicization leading to its obfuscation.

Ken Gun Min, “Silverlake Dog Park (Triptych)” 2022, oil paint, Korean powder, found fabric, embroidery on raw canvas, 80 x 153 inches (203.2 x 388.6 cm) (photo by Ed Mumford, image courtesy the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles)

When: through June 25
Where: Shulamit Nazarian (616 North La Brea, Hancock Park, Los Angeles)

Having lived and travelled across Asia, Europe, and the US, South Korean-born artist Ken Gun Min combines his influences both materially and stylistically to make paintings that upend stereotypes, particularly cultural ones. In his new series of works, Asian masculinity is depicted against the backdrop of an idyllic day at the Silverlake Dog Park — bare-buttocked, tender, whimsical, and sensual.

Installation view of Manyu Gao: T-Time at Gattopardo, 2022 (image courtesy the artist and Gattopardo, Los Angeles)

When: through July 1
Where: Gattopardo (2626 North Figueroa Street, Unit C, Cypress Park, Los Angeles)

The freshness of the newly established Gattopardo is still palpable, especially in their playful approach to staging shows which often feel like part-exhibitions, part-tableaus. Here, Manyu Gao treats the gallery space as she does the art historical canon (including Picasso, Guston, and classical Jingdezhen ceramics): with complete irreverence, a bit of homage, and plenty of humor.

Kathleen Henderson, “Pinkie” (2021), oil stick and oil on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 1/4 inches framed (image courtesy the artist and Track 16 Gallery, Los Angeles)

When: through July 2
Where: Track 16 Gallery (Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Avenue, Suite 1005, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Speaking of Guston, the works in Kathleen Henderson: Bluebeard and Other Poolings are somewhat reminiscent of Guston’s cartoons — sad and weird and scribbly and poignant, with the kind of raw immediacy that only drawing can convey. The show tackles US political issues of recent years head-on, Henderson’s innocuous blob faces somehow deeply revealing of the interiority of America.

Knees Schools Urges image courtesy of Milka Djordjevich by Justin Streichman, Pieter Performance Space, and The Box Los Angeles 

When: June 3–July 9
Where: The Box (805 Traction Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

For six months, Pieter Performance Space took residency in the parking lot of The Box, constructing an accessible dance platform for artists to choreograph their work. Together, the non-profit and the gallery present the culminating event of the residency: a performance-program-slash-exhibition of ten dancers-slash-artists exploring the city’s undocumented and under-recognized histories of modern dance.

Uta Barth, “…to walk without destination and to see only to see. (Untitled 10.3)” (2010), 2 inkjet prints in lacquered aluminum frames, 41 1/4 x 79 3/4 inches (104.8 x 202.6 cm) (image courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles)

When: June 3–July 16
Where: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (101 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles) and 1301PE (6150 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

This two-part exhibition of Uta Barth’s photographs is divided between two spaces, with works at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery featuring the figure, and works at 1301PE featuring the ground, devoid of any figure. Curated by art writer and teacher Jan Tumlir, the exhibition promises a poetic reflection on absence and presence, object and subject, and the camera’s inevitable blurring between the two.

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