It’s called Art Week LA (not Frieze Week, thank you very much) and anyway the Frieze Art Fair is already sold out plus Art Week is two weeks long, actually. Everything in the art world is shiny, important, over-scheduled, simultaneous, whirlwind, exciting, and impossible—but the good news is that beyond the confines of next week’s core of five art fairs hitting town, nearly all the galleries and a slew of popups and special projects get going early and many remain on view after. Take your pick of galleries, museum programs, tours, and sponsored cocktail parties, or skip out to Palm Springs for a fresh edition of the Intersect Art Fair—or instead opt for romantic theater, progressive design, installations in historic architecture sites, avant-garde dance and design, social justice-themed visual and performance art, an enchanted botanical garden light show, or a body-conscious evening meditation. And it’s Valentine’s Day, too.
Thursday, February 9
Kenturah Davis: Dark Illumination at Oxy Arts. For the culmination of her residency, Davis presents a body of work that illuminates the significance of shadows in our sensory experience. Taking inspiration from Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s classic text, In Praise of Shadows, Davis explores the premise that shadows and darkness do not just conceal, but also reveal and illuminate. Using hybrid forms of drawing, photography and printmaking, Davis experiments with the contingent relationship between shadow and light at the intersection of text, image, and object—considering how we embody and disseminate meaning. 4757 York Blvd., Eagle Rock; Opening reception: Thursday, February 9, 6-8pm; On view through April 29; free; oxyarts.oxy.edu.
Intersect Palm Springs Art Fair. An art and design fair that brings together a dynamic mix of 50+ modern and contemporary galleries, and is activated by timely and original programming. Intersect will present special exhibitions and talks throughout the run of the Fair, exploring topics as diverse as sports, spirituality, ecology, and urban abstraction; as well as off-site events in collaboration with regional arts organizations in the Coachella Valley, including the Palm Springs Art Museum, Elemental, High Desert Test Sites; the VIP Program includes home and architecture tours, artist studio visits, receptions, and parties. Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs; Opening night: Thursday, Feb 9, 5-9pm; Regular hours: Fri-Sun, Feb 10-12; $25-$100; intersectpalmsprings.com.
Friday, February 10
Theater Pick: Seven Loves at the Getty Villa. Conceived and Directed by Mark Valdez, with Music Director Steven Argila and Co-Produced with Mark-n-Sparks, this Valentine’s cabaret brings together award-winning performers singing songs from Broadway musicals based on Greek and Roman myths, to explore the full range and complexities of love. Show tunes, both familiar and obscure, will take audiences on a journey as only music can—at once silly and sad, ridiculous and sublime…very much like love itself. The post-performance reception offers champagne and treats. 17985 PCH, Pacific Palisades; Friday, February 10, 7pm; $30; getty.edu.
Jennifer Chen: No Evil at SCI-Arc. Chen is faculty at SCI-Arc and an architect and designer who works at the intersection of science and fiction, exploring themes of geoengineering, remote sensing, and climate change futures in projects that take the form of buildings, installation, film, and performance. Her new exhibition imagines a long distant future when, after planetary scaled geoengineering systems have saved earth’s population from climate extinction, planet surviving events have become new creation stories. 960 E. Third St., downtown; Opening reception: Friday, February 10, 6-8pm; On view through April 30; free; sciarc.edu.
Saturday, February 11
Visual Language: The Art of Protest at Subliminal Projects. The alliance between art and protest is rooted in the understanding that effective change begins with a cultural shift, with art serving as a societal crux between dissent and action. This exhibition features pivotal artists working in eclectic styles, genres, and mediums, challenging systematic corruption in ways subtle, ironic, poetic, and assertive—collectively serving as a beacon of resistance and awakening. Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to Amnesty International and Inner-City Arts. Visual Language is an ongoing project curated in collaboration with Coates & Scarry, that aims to investigate and spark dialogue about how art acts as a vehicle of communication. 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Opening reception: Saturday, February 11, 7-10pm; On view through March 25; free; subliminalprojects.com.
Mika Yokota: Your God Once Looked Like You at Residency Project Space. Your God Once Looked Like You explores the theme of reclaiming the cultural landscape of the East Asian American diaspora through the lens of an ancestral matriarchy. This project seeks out the reclamation of the femme intuition and the access to erotic bodily knowledge as guiding sources. Yokota honors the use of the sensual, physical, emotional and psychic expressions that exists in each of us to inform life pursuits that bring us the most joy and fulfillment. Yokota seeks to ask what are the visual and somatic clues that your body is being conquered, and in what ways can we reach the euphoric? 310 E. Queen St., Inglewood; Opening reception: Saturday, February 11, 6-9pm; On view through February 25; free; residencyart.com.
Rosanna Gamson World Wide Gala at Stomping Ground LA. RGWW dance company’s benefit gala features Cheos Tacos, margaritas, auctions, and of course, dance performances. The Quartets series—an ongoing project highlighted in tonight’s performances—presents different casts for each of the eight movements of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. The expansive, detail-rich, emotional series has been developed, most recently, through 2022 residencies in both Los Angeles and Mexico. The chamber piece for clarinet, violin, cello and piano is beloved for its promise to find hope, resilience, and inspiration in darkest times—the same theme celebrated by the gala itself. 5453 Alhambra Ave., El Sereno; Saturday, February 11, 6-9pm; $25-$1000; rgww.org/gala.
Sam Friedman: Composite Paintings at Library Street Collective. At its popup Art Week LA space, Detroit’s LSC exhibits new paintings by Friedman examining methodical processes wherein repetition and self-imposed parameters lay the groundwork, yet permit the freedom to build each piece instinctively. The exhibition introduces a body of work in which the artist distills the breadth of his visual vocabulary down to its most essential elements and reassembles them into new configurations that accentuate the limitless possibility of form within his practice. Friedman cheekily refers to this process as “the recomposition of the component elements from the decomposition of the original composition.” 1443 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles; On view February 11-19; free; lscgallery.com.
Samantha Harrison: Pleasing Sorrow at Merry Karnowsky Gallery. Samantha Harrison’s work focuses inward, toward the self, capturing in painted, drawn, and embroidered on textiles, the multifaceted thoughts that run compulsively through the mind. The work is a process of excavation and exorcism, observation, and catharsis, from which new skin can grow. Introspective, self-deprecating, rebellious, and self-aware, each medium, including a new series of videos being shown for the first time, echoes the duality of the artist’s discourse with desire, worth, love and forgiveness. 633 N. La Brea, Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, February 11, 6-9pm; On view through March 11; free; kpprojects.net.
Sunday, February 12
Ánima Correa: Ambergris at Hunter Shaw Fine Art. A dynamic installation of paintings and sculptures, in a flowing circuit alluding to the ten arms and three hearts of a squid. This subject appears throughout the works, providing an unlikely but apt lens through which the artist relates specifics of her own family history to greater geopolitical narratives, elucidating the complex interrelationship between extraction, surveillance, migration and technology. These works bring to light a critical conduit for telecommunications and geopolitical relationships that is usually invisible, submerged on the ocean floor. Network cables, dehydrated pacific kelp and mylar circuitry are tangled together in organized loops blending biomorphic and manufactured forms. 5513 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Opening reception: Sunday, February 12, 3-6pm; On view through March 26; free; huntershawfineart.com.
AERO SALON presents the salt. A compelling group exhibition featuring 20 eclectic artists of both considerable renown and almost complete and utter obscurity; from artists whose careers are enviable pictures of success and from artists who are at the humble but breathtakingly ecstatic trail head of their professional lives. A conscientious measure of disregard for most if not all details unrelated to the artworks themselves, under close reading and regard, is a principle AERO SALON seeks to embrace in its approach to experiencing and evaluating works of art on their own and to investigate how they might communicate with each other and with the world around them. 1516 S. Flower, downtown; Opening reception: Sunday, February 12, 1-3pm; On view through April 2; free; aerosalon.la/salt.
Kristina Wong: Sweatshop Overlord at Kirk Douglas Theater. On day three of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kristina Wong began sewing masks out of old bed sheets and bra straps on her Hello Kitty sewing machine. Before long, she was leading the Auntie Sewing Squad, a work-from-home sweatshop of hundreds of volunteers fixing the U.S. public health care system while in quarantine. It was a feminist care utopia forming in the midst of crisis—or possibly a mutual aid doomsday cult. This Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Lortel Award-winning Pulitzer Finalist invites the audience in on the 2022 East West Players Visionary’s work building community in isolation, while reflecting on what we’ve been through and imagining what we want to become. 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Performances February 12 – March 12; $30-$79 ($25-$35 with code EWP); eastwestplayers.org.
Monday, February 13
Frieze Los Angeles: Against the Edge at the Villa Aurora and Thomas Mann House. Curated by Jay Ezra Nayssan as part of Frieze Los Angeles, the two-part exhibition Against the Edge brings the work of contemporary artists to historic cultural sites across the Westside. Works by Moroccan-born French artist Nicola L. will be spread throughout the living room and study of German writer Thomas Mann’s home in Pacific Palisades, as functional sculptures reveal a profound purpose while playing with the legacy of modernist architecture. Historic landmark works by Kelly Akashi will be displayed at Villa Aurora in the garden, salon, and courtyard of the storied residence. The works speak to many of Akashi’s sculptural and conceptual concerns—how materials encode presence and absence, flowers as a marker of ephemerality, and cycles of life, death, and rebirth. Thomas Mann House, 1550 N. San Remo Dr., & Villa Aurora: 520 Paseo Miramar, Pacific Palisades; On view February 13-19; free; rsvp required; vatmh.org.
Tuesday, February 14
Liz Goldwyn: Sex, Health, and Consciousness: How to Reclaim Your Pleasure Potential at the Hammer. Writer, filmmaker, and artist Liz Goldwyn leads a guided interactive meditation designed to help you get out of your head and drop into your body to enhance your sense of love for yourself, for the people around you—whether romantic or platonic—and in community. Goldwyn is joined by Soulei Goe, who will play live sound bowls, which use sound frequencies to induce a state of tranquility in the body and brain. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Tuesday, February 14, 7:30pm; free; hammer.ucla.edu.
Vanessa Prager: Portraits at Diane Rosenstein. Oil paintings that depict individuals in a profound state of metamorphosis. In her mythic portraits, Prager works between still life and classicism to depict subjects that are a hybrid of floral life and human beings. With a humorous nod to Arcimboldo’s Proto-Surrealistic naturalist visages, Prager’s portraits employ the flower as a metaphor for both the transformative and transitory qualities of life. The artist, acknowledging profound ‘cataclysmic shifts’ in the world over the past few years, notes that this body of work is a gesture towards connection and reconnection with others, an expression of optimism. 831 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Opening reception: Tuesday, February 14, 6-8pm; On view through April 1; free; dianerosenstein.com.
Sunday in the Park with George at Pasadena Playhouse. One of the most acclaimed musicals of all time, Sondheim’s most innovative and groundbreaking musical has rarely been produced in Los Angeles with the full-scale production it deserves—until now. Inventive, insightful, and in a class of its own, this ravishing, captivating masterpiece encapsulates the complexity of life—and the art of understanding it. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Book by James Lapine; Directed by Sarna Lapine. 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena; Performances February 14 – March 19; $39-$105; pasadenaplayhouse.org.
Maarten Baas: Play Time at Carpenters Workshop Gallery. Throughout his career, Maarten Baas has often worked with deliberate naivety and a focus on playful experimentation. Baas’ first solo exhibition in Los Angeles will unveil his latest bodies of work, The Children’s Clock and The Grandfather Clock The Son. These new pieces are fitting examples of Maarten’s whimsical and intellectual craftsmanship, performance art, and theatrical style, experienced in the immersive scenography in which the work will be presented. 7070 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; Opening reception: Tuesday, February 14, 6pm; On view through May 13; free; carpentersworkshopgallery.com.
Astra Lumina at South Coast Botanic Garden (Outdoor; Ongoing). Moment Factory’s Astra Lumina nighttime botanical garden immersive outdoor light show is an imaginative and enchanting spectacle that fuses the magic of technology and nature. The series of intricate site-specific arrangements of colorful lights, lasers, and video effects that illuminate the garden’s lush gardens and groves create a whimsical and ethereal atmosphere. Their very clever use of light and color is contextualized by a theme of sentient space dust and shooting stars, with the gentle rustle of leaves, ethereal Enya-esque music, and the melodic chirping of crickets along the mile-long walk of gentle forest terrain. The visual and sculptural choreography is flawless, the rich earthy scent of moss and flowers, lasers that dance like fireflies, a spaceship-size disco ball, and more surprises combine in an experience that can be as surreal, poetic, solitary, trippy, goofy, or romantic as you want to make it. 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes; Timed entry nightly 6-10pm through March 19; $29-$34; astraluminalosangeles.com.
Wednesday, February 15
Ernie Barnes: Where Music and Soul Live at UTA Artist Space. Barnes was an American artist, actor, author, and the first American professional athlete to become a noted painter. His paintings are known for their elongated figures and celebration of Black joy. A survey of paintings by Barnes (1938-2009) that explores the history and music scene in Los Angeles, where the artist lived for many years. Works in the exhibition include prominent paintings Barnes made between the 1970s and 2008. It will include over 30 well-known and also never-before-seen works from his estate and loans from important collectors. The exhibition coincides with a co-presentation of Barnes’s work by Ortuzar Projects and Andrew Kreps at Frieze Los Angeles. 403 Foothill Blvd., Beverly Hills; On view: February 15 – April 1; free; utaartistspace.com.
Art in Common presents: Boil, Toil & Trouble. A highlight of Art Week LA, this group features 50 contemporary artists working in a range of media who explore mystical, mythological, or spiritual frameworks and practices as they pertain to water. Artists selected have created works that deal with magic, ritual, the alchemy of water and the role of the ‘witch’ or medium in contemporary art. In addition to a series of new works, site-specific commissions, and large-scale installations, significant historic works are on loan from the private collections of Beth Rudin DeWoody, Craig Robins, and Priscila & Alvin Hudgins. Curated by Zoe Lukov; Produced by Abby Pucker. 708 N. Manhattan Pl., Melrose Hill; On view February 15-26, with special programming throughout; free; artincommon.art.
Entanglements: Louise Bonnet and Adam Silverman at Hollyhock House.The first artist intervention at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the first formal collaboration for the LA-based couple. In dialogue with the site, Bonnet’s paintings and drawing and Silverman’s ceramics engage the house’s 100-year history as a platform for artists and experimentation. Known for her portraits of exaggerated proportions and grotesque features, Bonnet explores emotions of melancholy, loneliness, nostalgia and grief. Silverman is among the most dynamic practitioners of ceramics today, and is known for his sculptural vessels and richly textured glazes. Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Feliz; On view February 15 – May 27; $7, advance tickets required; hollyhockhouse.org.
The Fairs of Art Week LA
Wednesday, February 15
Spring/Break Art Show, Skylight Culver City. Hyper-indie curator- and artist-led fair, heavy on installations and experiments. Collectors preview: February 15, noon-5pm. Public hours: Thursday-Sunday, February 16-19; $30-$100. springbreakartshow.com
Felix Art Fair, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Extremely Los Angeles, old-school cabana and suite fair and pool party. Preview day: February 15, 11am-6pm; Opening night party: February 15, 8pm. Public Hours: Thursday-Sunday, February 16-19; $40-$80. felixfair.com
LA Art Show, Convention Center Downtown. Over 120 galleries, museums, and non-profits from around the world exhibiting painting, sculpture, works on paper, installation, photography, design, video and performance. Opening night party: February 15, 6-10pm; Public Hours: Thursday-Sunday, February 16-19; $30-$250. laartshow.com
Thursday, February 16
Frieze Los Angeles, Barker Hangar Santa Monica. The fancy one. VIP Preview day: February 16, 10am-7pm; Public Hours: Friday-Sunday, February 17-19; $56-$152, already saying tickets are sold out but maybe more will be released. frieze.com.
Saturday, February 18
Photo Forward, Bergamot Station. The inaugural fair by the Photographic Arts Council features photography and lens-based art from the vintage to the contemporary, installed throughout the site, with diverse curatorial focuses. Also at Bergamot: Julian Lennon. Saturday-Sunday, February 18-19; free. photoforwardla.com
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