Friday, June 24
Painting? Sculpture? Who cares, as long as Tabor Robak’s custom-built computers are buzzing away to generate a live feed of “aqueous brushstrokes” or rendering the alluring landscapes of a Junk Drawer for our visual feasting purposes. Pull up to the bungalow and get ready to sink in deeper than any beanbag chair can take you.
Tabor Robak Sunflower Seed
The flipside of Robert Mapplethorpe’s two-part retrospective in Los Angeles, this exhibition promises to get its hands dirty with the photographer’s early drawings, collages, sculptures, and Polaroid photography, as well as archival materials, portraits, rare examples of his work in color, and two rarely screened films, all meant to focus on the artist’s relationship to his adopted home, New York City. The show is complemented by “Physical: Sex and the Body in the 1980s,” a roundup of work from LACMA’s permanent collection.
Robert Mapplethorpe The Perfect Medium
Encompassing portraits, still lifes, nudes, and his infamous X Portfolio from 1978—exhibited that same year at the legendary Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art—this exhibition comprises half of Robert Mapplethorpe’s major LA retrospective. Drawn from a major acquisition of works from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in 2011, the show begins in the early 1970s and moves through his output from the 1990s, when he became a codefendant in the US government’s puritanical purge of so-called obscenity from publicly funded art. Where better to get reintroduced to hedonism than at the top of these hills?
Robert Mapplethorpe The Perfect Medium
Time to feel yourself, LA. The third edition of this intimately scaled gathering of artists—gently subtitled “A, The, Though, Only” (itself a work by poet Aram Saroyan)—brings together twenty-six artists to tempt the city’s aesthetes from their Eastside DIY spaces and downtown lofts. Come see painters like Silke Otto-Knapp and Rebecca Morris and videos from Martine Syms and Fred Lonidier’s public-access show Labor Link TV. Also featuring bicoastal, nonbinary fashion coven Eckhaus Latta and Guthrie Lonergan’s artist-statement-spouting M&M pop-up ads, this exhibition, organized by Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, has something to offer the whole contemporary-art family.
Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only
“Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016,” the debut exhibition at Hauser & Wirth’s new LA space, crucially augmented by former LA MoCA chief curator Paul Schimmel who co-curated this show with art historian Jenni Sorkin, promises to K.O. any dolt still dense enough to believe women weren’t at the core of any revolution, modernist or otherwise. With almost one hundred works made by thirty-four artists over the past seventy years, the show focuses on postwar sculpture, including such luminaries as Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Lynda Benglis, Heidi Bucher, Eva Hesse, Sheila Hicks, Hannah Wilke, Jackie Winsor, Isa Genzken, Senga Nengudi, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Can you even?
Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016
After making a serious splash at the 2015 Venice Biennale’s German Pavilion, here comes the US premiere of Hito Steyerl’s video installation Factory of the Sun. Poor, rich, middle-class images—they all mix it up in a combination too critical to merely entertain and too down to simply be taken as a lecture from one of the sharpest eyes on our contemporary aesthetics, politics, and anything else that affects the relative speed of our swipe across life.
Hito Steyerl Factory of the Sun
250 South Grand Avenue / +12136266222 / moca.org
Mon 11am to 5pm, Thu 11am to 8pm, Fri 11am to 5pm, Sat - Sun 11am to 6pm
It’s shocking that Cindy Sherman’s 2012 retrospective didn’t make a stop in Los Angeles. Is there another place with as great a tradition of unhinged role-playing/bleeding across signifiers while making sure your lipstick’s just so? Let’s give a warm welcome to the first major LA museum presentation of her slippery disguises in nearly twenty years.
Cindy Sherman Imitation of Life
Before his untimely death last year, artist and Underground Museum cofounder Noah Davis conceived a series of exhibitions of works from MoCA’s collection, but installed here, west of the trending downtown area and away from the city’s usual gallery districts. This show, titled “Non-Fiction,” is the second such collaboration between the two institutions, redistributing works by Kara Walker, Henry Taylor, Theaster Gates, Robert Gober, David Hammons, and Deana Lawson, among others, back into the city to address the systemic violence perpetrated on black people.