This week is barely half over and it’s already been exhausting. But if you need some small oases of art, culture, distraction and tranquility, as always artists have you covered — with live artist talks, readings, fresh online and by appointment gallery exhibitions, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, concertos and conversations.
Thursday, January 7
Chad Attie at The People Concern. About ten years ago Attie started to explore the theme of home in his work. Over the years this idea has expanded to specifically include the intractable and worsening tragedy of homelessness in Los Angeles. Attie recently teamed up with The People Concern, a group working to solve the crisis, and in partnership with arts organization CURA, will be offering selected limited edition prints of stills from his short film Cyprus Avenue, to benefit their work. This morning, Attie joins them on Instagram live to discuss the art and the urgent work to be done. Thursday, January 7, 11am on IG Live at instagram.com/thepeopleconcern.
Michael Posner in conversation with Robert Faggen at Book Soup. The author discusses Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years, Volume 1, chronicling the extraordinary life of one of the world’s greatest music and literary icons, in the words of those who knew him best. The first of three volumes, The Early Years follows Cohen from his boyhood in Montreal to university, and his burgeoning literary career to the world of music, culminating with his first international tour in 1970. Thursday, January 7, 6pm; free; booksoup.com.
Carol Es: All’s Well In The High Desert at Craig Krull Gallery. “Joshua Tree is the place where I have become whole,” writes the artist. “It is here where I have found my mind, my imagination, and my true self. Desert people are a strange bunch. You have to be to endure these elements. It gets extremely hot, and unbearably cold. Everything slows down, and the outdoors smell better than a chocolate factory, especially after it rains.” Online exhibition at craigkrullgallery.com.
Friday, January 8
Modulation at L.A. Opera. Presented in collaboration with the Prototype Festival, Modulation is an exploration of opera and theater adapting to a new format. Audience members are in control as they navigate through a landscape of new musical pieces, each with its own visual component, exploring the strands that weave our lives together over this tumultuous and revelatory year. With themes of isolation, identity and fear, with the connection of breath, the experience brings together 13 provocative and diverse voices in contemporary music. $25 per household, accessible for one week only from January 8-16; laopera.org.
The Shape of Life at Wonzimer Gallery. “The concept of the exhibition,” writes its curator, the artist Gary Brewer, “has become a larger overarching idea of how the arc of time, from the deep time of evolution, to the human scale of the transformations of social systems. Many artists’ work will creatively fill the space of natural history and the forms of life that have been shaped through the organic processes of evolution, others will touch upon profound shifts to the shape of life of an individual, a people or a civilization within the arc of time of our human understanding.” Wonzimer Gallery, 621 S. Olive St., downtown, by appointment January 8 – February 7; wonzimer.com.
David Bowie’s Lazarus. The filmed London production of Lazarus will stream, for three performances only, in remembrance of David Bowie on his birthday and to mark the fifth anniversary of his untimely death. One of Bowie’s final completed projects before his passing in 2016, Lazarus was captured live on stage during the musical’s sold-out run at King’s Cross Theatre later that year. The show includes songs from Bowie’s iconic catalogue as well as new songs written for the stage, and stars, interestingly, Michael C. Hall. Friday, January 8, 6pm; Saturday, January 9, 6pm; and Sunday, January 10, 1pm; $21.50; link.dice.fm/lazarus.
Saturday, January 9
Cara Benedetto: Origin of Love and Other Tales of Degradation Live Reading at Night Gallery. Benedetto will read from her new book, Origin of Love and Other Tales of Degradation, published by Night Gallery in November 2020. The reading will be followed by a Q&A with the artist. The book serves as a stage for further intra-actions including collective writing workshops, an interactive website, and this upcoming reading/reaching. Night Gallery on Zoom, Saturday, January 9, 1pm; nightgallery/origin.
Jeffrey Gibson: It Can Be Said of Them at Roberts Projects. Jeffrey Gibson’s exhibition will feature new work exploring themes of identity, as it relates to diversity and inclusivity, to uplift unique experiences, struggles and personal victories shaping the fight for LGBTQIA visibility, and takes its title from a print produced by Sister Corita Kent in 1969 of the same name. Roberts Projects, 5801 Washington Blvd., Culver City; by appointment January 9 – February 20; robertsprojectsla.com.
Accra Shepp: Folium Pictum at Von Lintel Gallery. Shepp has developed a unique process in his photography-based practice over the years, a captivating transformation of preserved tobacco and certain mammoth indigenous leaves into photoreactive materials. Onto these tanned, veined, physically huge but texturally fragile surfaces, Shepp enacts photographic portraits of the laborers who work these crops and farmlands. By grafting their images in such a physically integrated way, the image seems to emerge from within the leaf. Von Lintel Gallery, Bendix Building, 1206 Maple, downtown; by appointment January 9 – March 6; vonlintel.com.
Jackie Marsh at Tierra del Sol Gallery. Marsh’s vivid flower paintings are layers of bold colors that celebrate her relationship to nature and to humanity. Her colored pencil, pen and acrylic works feel like sacred geometry: mandalas in motion, demonstrating Marsh’s love of movement. These landscapes depict contained universes, yet she invites the viewer in by showing us her hand, connecting us to flowers, psychedelic colors and self-referential forms she creates. Tierra del Sol, 945 Chung King Road, Chinatown; by appointment January 9 – March 6; tierradelsolgallery.org.
Sunday, January 10
Philip Glass Piano Concerto at CAP UCLA. Performed by Maki Namekawa — the performer for whom the 2019 piece was created — this program is presented in association with Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria. Stay tuned directly after the performance for a conversation with Philip Glass, Maki Namekawa and Kristy Edmunds. Sunday, January 10, 3pm; free; cap.ucla.edu.