Animation à la mode, the best new photography, collaborations at the ceramics kiln, live-scored art cinema, contemporary history painting, major currents in SoCal poetry, community day at the museum, a big new group show about living here, iconic work from an indelible artist, the world’s most powerful puzzler, the business end of art, interactive dance avatars on exhibit, old timey records as therapy, a visual culture convention with a queer kick, plus galleries with painting, photography, meditative and unconventional mediums, and more.
Thursday, November 16
French Animation Fest at Theatre Raymond Kabbaz. A wide range of animated shorts with an array of artistic styles, techniques and themes from poignant tales to daring visual explorations. Each film is an artistic nugget offering its own unique experience. Among this eclectic collection of 11 animated shorts, many have been selected for prestigious festivals, while others introduce emerging filmmakers from renowned French animation schools—all singular voices and innovative aesthetics, making the festival a rich field of discovery for film and visual culture enthusiasts. Before the screenings, an artist reception for Courtney Simone happens 7-8pm. 10361 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A.; Thursday, November 16, 8pm; $17; theatreraymondkabbaz.com.
Focus Photo L.A. Finalists Exhibition at Galerie XII. For 30 years, photo l.a. has celebrated and brought together the photographic arts community. Their biannual photography competition and in-person portfolio reviews help provide emerging and mid-career photographers with opportunities to broaden their career prospects and promote their winning work. As the weekend of in-person portfolio reviews gets underway, celebrate the Top 20 highlight competition finalists at this one-night exhibition. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave. #B2, Santa Monica; Thursday, November 16, 5-8pm; free; focusphotola.com.
Tony Marsh: Fever Dream Duets at albertz benda. Long before this exhibition of collaborative sculptural works, Marsh has been inviting artists to the CSULB ceramics studios—a dynamic art space that allows artists to share in the creative process of working with clay. Marsh’s long-standing arrangement gave rise to the creation of many “duets” such as with these 14 artists, across a spectrum of identities, interests, and modes of practice: Amy Bessone, Bryan Burk, Roger Herman, Anna Sew Hoy, Akinsanya Kambon, Heidi Lau, Ramekon O’Arwisters, Mai-Thu Perret, Christopher Miles, Jean Pierre Larocque, Jennifer Rochlin, Cauleen Smith, and Tam Van Tran. 8260 Marmont Lane, West Hollywood; Opening reception: Thursday, November 16, 6-9pm; On view through December 21; free; albertzbenda.com.
Wu Tsang at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles. Filmmaker and visual artist Wu Tsang and the collective Moved by the Motion’s feature-length silent-film telling of Melville’s novel is presented for The Performance Project at HWLA. The film includes original music composed by Caroline Shaw and Andrew Yee with Asma Maroof, performed live by Monday Evening Concerts Ensemble in Residence, ECHOI, conducted by Jonathan Hepfer. This adaptation, written by Sophia Al-Maria and directed by Tsang, follows the white whale above and below the surface of the water, developing a visual cosmology that resists the exploration and exploitation of the earth under imperial colonialism. 901 E. Third St., downtown; Thursday-Saturday, November 16-18, 8pm; free w/ rsvp; hauserwirth.com.
Friday, November 17
Larry Li: Ask Your Ma About ‘89 at Residency Art Gallery. Continuing his exploration of family, memory recollection and politics amidst the background of communist China, Li presents a stunning glimpse into family dynamics navigating traumatic events that set his family on a divergent path. “In actuality,” says the artist, “I have asked my mom about 1989 before. That was the year of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the student protest that ended in devastation and changed the political and cultural landscape of an entire generation.” 1245 S. District Dr., Inglewood; Opening reception: Friday, November 17, 6-9pm; On view through January 20; free; residencyart.com.
Southern California Poetry Festival 2023 at Beyond Baroque. The free weekend of readings, performances, talks, parties, and workshops kicks off with the renaming of Beyond Baroque’s theater after Los Angeles literary icon and BB alumna Wanda Coleman with a ceremony and reception, performances by Terrance Hayes and Mimi Tempestt, and readings of Coleman’s poems by Pam Ward, Luis J. Rodriguez, Sesshu Foster, and Laurel Ann Bogen. Weekend highlights include curations by Huizache, World Stage Press, Lambda Literary, Air/Light, PEN America, Graywolf Press, the Tuesday Night Project, the Inlandia Institute; and a bilingual reading and conversation from Donde Somos Humanos/Somewhere We Are Human Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings. 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Thursday-Sunday, November 17-19; free; beyondbaroque.org.
Tim Biskup: Smoke at Gallery SADE. A new body of works by storied Los Angeles artist Tim Biskup expands the uniquely fluid graphite on paper drawing practice for which he is known. Smoke represents the results of the artist’s vast experimentation of techniques to transition the initial effortlessness of expression to the permanence of canvas. “Drawing is meditation,” says the artist. “My attention is on what is emerging. Like watching life form. I don’t know what it’s going to be…What emerges is deeply personal and therapeutic.” 204 S. Ave 19, Elysian Park; Opening reception: Friday, November 17, 7-11pm; On view through December 17; free; instagram.com/sadelosangeles.
Saturday. November 18
Opening Community Day for Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog) at The Broad. Originally a Spring 2020 show poised to open when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, a re-envisioned Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog) mines the paradoxes of a post-2020 lens. Featuring a wider spectrum of LA-based artists and practices in the evolving Broad collection, including works made from 1969 to 2023 across abstract and photorealistic painting, photography, sculpture, and political signage, the exhibition contains fragments, attitudes, and everyday experiences absorbed and worked through in Los Angeles that reflect back on our collective present moment, and invoke alternate histories, states of mind, and futures. Saturday’s community opening celebration includes Family Workshops, Food and Coffee Vendors, and DJ Sets by Chulita Vinyl Club. Saturday, November 18, 10am-6pm; Exhibition on view through April 7; free; thebroad.org.
Shepard Fairey: ICONS at Subliminal Projects. A new series and method of hand-embellished “mono-engravings,” as well as screen prints on wood and metal, hand-painted multiples, and modular works focused around Fairey’s career-long investigation into iconography and phenomenology. Understanding that using identifiable symbols rendered in his unique style was the best way to communicate ideas effectively and memorably, illustrations of creative and political individuals who have both subjectively and objectively become icons for their profound contributions to culture remains a consistent facet of Fairey’s practice, whether he’s amplifying his heroes or critiquing villains of the socio-political landscape. 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Opening reception: Saturday, November 18, 7-10pm; On view through December 30; free; subliminalprojects.com.
Cristina Iglesias: Ellipses at Marian Goodman Gallery. Throughout her career, Iglesias has defined a unique sculptural vocabulary, building immersive and experiential environments that combine Minimalist sensitivity to form with complex narrative constructions to create thresholds and portals to the temporal and the imaginary. The exhibition presents a monumental, suspended pavilion and new sculptures in bronze which continue her use of non-traditional materials, such as language, water and sound—especially The Pavilion of Dreams (Elliptical Galaxy), 2011-2016, shown for the first time in the United States. 1120 Seward St., Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, November 18, 5-7pm; On view through January 27; free; mariangoodman.com.
Todd Gray: Rome Work at Vielmetter Los Angeles. Best known for photography, performance, and sculpture that address race, class, and power, Gray explores the legacies of colonialism in Africa and strives to dismantle the visual conditions that pervade art and culture today. His three-dimensional photocollages contest anti-Black narratives through the artist’s deconstruction of images from his archive, compiled over the past 50 years and including pictures of individuals, historic sites, rural scenes, slave fortresses and trails, formal gardens of imperial Europe, stars and galaxies, and images of musicians taken by Gray as a professional photographer. The exhibition features Gray’s work from a recent six-month residency as a 2022-23 Rome Prize Fellow. 1700 S. Santa Fe., downtown; Opening reception: Saturday, November 18, 4-6pm; On view through January 13; free; vielmetter.com.
Joe Koppal: Anthem, Arena, Sanctuary at Lauren Powell Projects. Enter the world of Joe Koppal, looking at works produced in West Marin and Los Angeles over a span of twenty years. Koppal has been developing a singular language of painting and sculpture for the past 50 years; a global and postmodern vernacular of signifiers and motifs that coalesce in a distinctly Californian register of late Capitalocene anomie. Themes of ecological devastation, rapacious capitalism, religion, and colonization, commingle with a parade of art historical references in paintings, sculpture and the recombinable installations he refers to as tableaux. 5225 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood; Closing reception: Saturday, November 18, 2pm; free; laurenpowellprojects.com.
INTERREALITY: Interactive Dance by Aya & Collab with WhiteBoxLA at Desmond Towers. Interreality hosts its second opening with an interactive dance avatar experience by artist Aya, live music by Randy Randal of NoAge, as well as an artist talk between Aya and curator, educator, and cultural producer Alice Scope. Aya’s ImmerseMe is a seamless fusion of movement and technology that captures each sway and step, crafting an animated echo that’s as unique as the moves it senses. Additionally, Interreality is collaborating with WhiteBoxLA to present Curt LeMieux: HEROES, an exhibition of minimal, puerile renditions of classic LP album cover art, on view in a gallery wing. 5500 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Opening reception: Saturday, November 18, 6-9pm; free; eventbrite.com.
ComplexCon at Long Beach Convention Center. A new edition of this comprehensive, expertly-curated visual culture festival takes a holistic approach to discussions about style, entertainment, and brands that would not be complete without art. With a refreshed dedication to inclusivity, 2023’s ComplexCon presents an immersive and unforgettable weekend of style, sneakers, art, food, music, inspiration, and more. Of special note is the curated exhibition section Queer Kicks, a co-presentation of San Francisco gallery Schlomer House and LA-based Hijinx Arts, using the thriving sneaker culture as a means to explore the effects of LGBTQIA+ identity on style and pop culture. 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach: Saturday-Sunday, November 18-19; $115 and up; complexcon.com.
Lucas Reiner: Inglewood Cathedral at Arcane Space. Since 2001 Reiner has devoted himself to the theme of the unobserved urban tree in sustained contemplation. Starting with photographs and sketches taken enroute to his Inglewood studio, he paints their ‘portraits’, as they grow, some crooked, hindered or maltreated, on the sidewalks of the city. A new solo exhibition of recent paintings by Reiner focuses on the trees near his Inglewood studio—normally a background element for the urban environment, here foregrounded to become the subject for a kind of devotional portrait, suggesting an expanded, empathic vision of urban nature as resilient and sacred. 324 Sunset Ave., Venice; Opening reception: Saturday, November 18, 5-7pm; free w/ rsvp; Artist talk: Sunday, December 10, 2pm; free/ rsvp; On view through December 17; arcanespacela.com.
Sunday, November 19
Dominique Moody: N.O.M.A.D. at the Hammer Museum. Dominique Moody works at the intersection of assemblage, performance, and life. In 2015 she created N.O.M.A.D., a 150-square-foot multipurpose mobile structure that the artist describes as an “inspiration studio.” As a celebration of the artist’s itinerant lifestyle, the piece proposes an exceptional case for life as a creative act while looking proactively at the housing crisis in urban centers throughout the United States. Functioning as a residence and a studio, N.O.M.A.D. offers Moody both a living space and the opportunity to merge the ethics of movement and her artistic practice, engaging with communities across the country. As part of her inclusion in Made In L.A. 2023: Acts of Living, Moody invites the public to visit her in her mobile studio on site at the museum. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sundays: November 19 and December 3 & 17, 11am-3pm; free; hammer.ucla.edu.
Bianca Turner: The Business of Art Book Launch at TAG Gallery. Bianca Turner is a self-taught artist, though she holds degrees in economics and biology, and while her emotional, gestural, prismatic work is inspired by nature and its vivid colors, she is also deeply engaged with social issues—with the legacy of messages that an artist leaves behind. To that latter end, she has also penned a new book. Not just a career guide, Dr. Turner sees it as, “a testament to the infinite possibilities of art and its transformative impact on individuals and the world.” 5458 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Sunday, November 19, 3-6pm; free; taggallery.net.
Tuesday, November 21
Writers Bloc presents Sam Ezersky. We have Sam Ezersky, the Digital Puzzles Editor of the New York Times, to thank for seemingly endless hours spent on those word games; he’s responsible for editing and creating content for Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, The Crossword and other equally addictive projects. He has been making crosswords professionally since he was 16 years old, with more than 50 puzzles published in The Times to date—his specialty is a tough Saturday challenge. Ezersky will discuss words, puzzles, fans, the challenges of constructing, and more. 741 S. Lucerne Blvd., Wilshire Park; Tuesday, November 21, 7:30pm; $25; ebellofla.org.
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