This same weekend last year was a crosstown frenzy, a deep dive down the 6-8pm Saturday night rabbit hole social crush of a new art season. While this year is obviously a bit different, we do have our habits, and September 12 is doing its best to rule the culture calendar even at a distance. Several galleries are having all-day spread out receptions with low maximum capacity; and while bowls of snacks might be a thing of the past, these artists will be in attendance to chat with fewer than eight of you at a time, masks on. Most venues are simply open by appointment as of the first day, so you’ve got all month to choose your own adventure. A handful are offering fresh online-only projects as well, with total respect for anyone who is not quite ready to get back out there so hard. And we’ve added some streaming literary and video picks for the same reason, plus a streaming sound bath and some dance you can drive into.
Thursday, September 10
L.A. Dance Project’s Drive-In Dance. L.A. Dance Project is taking its season and (new subscription packages) outside for the Drive-In Dance series with two new productions. Performances will take place around the exteriors of the studio at 2245 East Washington Blvd., as well as live-streamed, as the shows are limited to eight cars each. Beginning September 10, various dates, $75-100 per car; live-streams free-$24.99; ladanceproject.org.
Isabelle Albuquerque at Nicodim. They say a dancer’s instrument is their body. But when a movement artist moves into the world of sculpture, that can become truer than ever. Isabelle Albuquerque is on that journey now, transmogrifying her background in performance, music, and artificial intelligence/tech into dimensional objects that in a sense, continue to perform. Using her own body as the physical template for a series of surreal, sexual, and seductively strange sculptures enacting abstract poses and scandalous intimacy, Albuquerque simultaneously interrogates issues of identity, agency, humanoidism, fantasy, memory, and whimsy in bronze, metal, wood, and flame. Sextet, Albuquerque’s first solo exhibition with Nicodim, presents six sculptures from Orgy for 10 People in One Body series. Nicodim Gallery, 1700 S. Sante Fe, downtown; September 10 – October 17, by appointment; nicodimgallery.com.
Friday, September 11
myselves at Kohn Gallery. A group exhibition curated by Joshua Friedman, myselves brings together 27 artists who investigate ideas about the fluidity of identity by deconstructing the conventions of their mediums. Examining the interlaced spheres of race, gender, sexuality, and heritage across painting, collage, sculpture, and mixed media, this anticipated exhibition offers not only a look at new art-making modalities, but at a generation of rising stars whose works, “confront the myth of selfhood’s unchanging rigidity and turn instead to its fertile nebulousness.” Kohn Gallery, 1227 N. Highland, Hollywood; opening days, Friday – Saturday, September 11-12 with extended hours by appointment; on view through October 31, by appointment; kohngallery.com.
Soy Cubana at the Fowler Museum. This award-winning short documentary features the Vocal Vidas, a female Cuban a cappella quartet whose infectious spirit and precise vocal harmonies embody the sounds of Santiago de Cuba. A post-screening program includes a conversation between Producer Robin Miller Ungar and Afro-Cuban pianist, composer, and arranger Dayramir Gonzales, followed by an appearance by the Vocal Vidas. Friday, September 11, 5pm; free; fowler.ucla.edu.
Saturday September 12
Lesley Vance at David Kordansky. Some folks paint with their wrist, some their elbow, and some swing from the shoulder — generating sweeping gestures that create a sense of scale and movement that discourse not only with the eye, but the space of the whole body. In the work of Lesley Vance, this physicality is augmented and amplified with a vivacious chromatic sensibility that keeps vision and cognition in a constant state of flux and motion as well. From energetic engagement with the architectural space to a proliferation of emotional moments within each composition, Vance’s work creates a pocket universe of contemplation and agitation that speaks to the enduring power of abstract painting. David Kordansky Gallery, 5130 Edgewood Place, Mid-city; September 12 – October 24, by appointment; davidkordanskygallery.com.
Aaron Garber-Maikovska at Blum & Poe. Garber-Maikovska works across painting, drawing, performance and video, but with a perhaps unexpected armature of conceptual connectivity between his genres — his own body. From performance-based videos which document his awkward attempts at inserting himself and enacting his existence within eccentric public spaces, to his labor-intensive and materially omnivorous painting practice whose abstract expressionism bears and enshrines the scars of their own making, the artist is always present. A forthcoming performance will also be live streamed from the gallery’s parking lot. Blum & Poe, 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; September 12 – October 24, by appointment; blumandpoe.com.
John Bankston and Robb Putnam at Walter Maciel Gallery. A pair of exhibitions proving that allegories, fantasies and magical beasts aren’t just for children. Walter Maciel, 2642 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; opening reception Saturday, September 12, 2-6pm; through October 31 by appointment; waltermacielgallery.com.
Lindsay Warren at George Billis Gallery. Painter Lindsay Warren examines the urban and suburban landscapes of Los Angeles through the dramatic and fleeting light unique to Southern California. George Billis, 2716 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; opening reception Saturday, September 12, 3-6pm; September 12- October 10, by appointment; gbgla.com.
Penda Diakité and Leila Rose Fanner at Band of Vices. An international collaboration, bringing West Africa and South Africa together is the foundation for Mousso-Ya (Womanhood). And introducing Leila Rose Fanner in the gallery annex. Band of Vices, 5376 W. Adams Blvd, West Adams, opening reception: Saturday, September 12, noon-8pm; on view through October 10 by appointment; bandofvices.com.
José Luis Vargas at Lowell Ryan Projects. Este es mi mundo. ¡Entra! is a solo exhibition by José Luis Vargas (b. 1965, Puerto Rico) featuring large-scale free hanging, hand-painted circus banners as well as sculptural shopping-cart assemblages. Lowell Ryan Projects, 4851 W. Adams Blvd, West Adams; opening day: Saturday, September 12, 11am-6pm; on view through October 31 by appointment; lowellryanprojects.com.
Aryana Minai, Shirley Villavicencio Pizango, and Patrick Bayly at Steve Turner. Three concurrent solo exhibitions take painting technique, conventions of portraiture, and considerations of the abstract landscape in diverse yet complementary directions. Steve Turner, 6830 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood; September 12 – October 10, by appointment; steveturner.la.
Raymond Pettibon at Regen Projects. Pacific Ocean Pop is an exhibition of new drawings and collages that sees the return of iconic characters and motifs from Pettibon such as Gumby and his horse Pokey, Batman and Superman, random celebrities, baseball players, and new wave paintings speaking to the artist’s well documented fascination with surf culture. Regen Projects, 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; September 12 – October 31, by appointment; regenprojects.com.
Heather Day at Diane Rosenstein. Day’s abstract paintings are made of scraped, smeared, and flooded pools of pigment. Her murals, large canvases, and intimate drawings study the mechanisms of sensory perception, even to the point of synesthesia. Diane Rosenstein Gallery, 831 N. Highland Blvd., Hollywood; September 12 – October 24, by appointment; dianerosenstein.com.
Amir H. Fallah at Shulamit Nazarian. Exciting new works from Fallah depart from his examinations of the history of portraiture, in a new series which defies traditional notions of the genre of painting by removing the figure of his subjects altogether. Shulamit Nazarian, 616 N. La Brea, Hollywood; opening weekend extended hours Saturday-Sunday, September 12-13 by appointment, on view through October 31; shulamitnazarian.com.
Eric Nash at KP Projects. Nash’s work celebrates scenes from daily encounters with a city he loves — Los Angeles. Street signs, notable buildings, business signs and iconic landmarks become cinematic landscapes and urban still lifes when rendered in Nash’s meticulous monochromatic charcoal on paper palette. KP Projects, 633 N. La Brea, Hollywood; opening reception: Saturday, September 12, 1-7pm; on view through September 19, by appointment; kpprojects.net.
Camilla Taylor at Track 16. Presenting a new body of work, the show includes sculpture using a variety of media, among them ceramic, glass, wood, paper, and thread, and several drypoint prints. In these works, Taylor seeks to understand the phenomena of internal deception. Track 16, Bendix Building, 1206 Maple #1005, downtown; opening reception: Saturday, September 12, noon-7pm; on view through October 17, by appointment; track16.com.
Osceola Refetoff at Von Lintel Gallery. Kinematic Exposures is an exhibition featuring Osceola Refetoff’s ethereal pinhole camera works. The term Kinematic Exposure was coined by the artist to describe the handheld exposures he makes while moving about with a pinhole camera. Most of the images featured in this exhibition were all taken during a recent trip to Antarctica. Von Lintel Gallery, Bendix Building, 1206 Maple #1005, downtown; opening reception: Saturday, September 12, 3-8pm; on view through October 30, by appointment; vonlintel.com.
Ivy Haldeman at Ghebaly. New paintings of the abstract figure. Francois Ghebaly, 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; on view September 12 – October 11, by appointment; ghebaly.com.
Andrea Marie Breiling and Lucille Littot at Night Gallery. Large, expressive, urgent abstract paintings by Breiling and quirky, disheveled but insistent ceramic sculptures by Littot. Night Gallery, 2276 E. 16th Street, downtown; on view through September 26, by appointment; nightgallery.ca.
Kathryn Garcia and Kim Dacres at Gavlak. The Feminine Divine is a solo exhibition of drawings, sculptures and video by multi-media artist Kathryn Garcia. The “sexual” display of these female figures reflects the numinosity of the prehistoric divine feminine and her magical genitalia. Wisdom Embedded in the Treads is a solo exhibition by Jamaican American artist Kim Dacres. Dacres honors her cultural heritage by creating sculptures that speak to the presence of Black bodies and cultural identifiers in relation to social environments and the underlying knowledge gained from these experiences. Gavlak, 1700 S. Santa Fe, downtown; on view September 12 – October 24, by appointment; gavlakgallery.com.
Ferrari Sheppard at Wilding Cran. As Kristina Kay Robinson writes of the paintings in Ferrari’s Heroines of Innocence, “Rendered in charcoal, acrylic and 24 karat gold, the edifying and terrifying experiences of a people are explored and set in a place that exists beyond the act of emancipation — and rests in the individual and collective self-freeing possibility of liberation.” Wilding Cran, 1700 S. Santa Fe, downtown; on view September 12 – October 31, by appointment; wildingcran.com.
Emma Larsson at Simard Bilodeau. Larsson’s watercolors, paintings, collages and sculptures are in constant flow. She describes her creative process as the synergy between the artist, the material and an unknown presence, that she calls “force.” Larsson’s paintings are purely intuitive, they source from pleasure and freedom. Simard Bilodeau Contemporary, 1923 S. Santa Fe, downtown; opening day by appointment: Saturday, September 12, 11am-7pm, on view by appointment through September 29; simardbilodeau.com.
Spaceland V: War at Bermudez Projects. The fifth iteration of this ambitious indie outfit’s ceaselessly innovative biennial group exhibition projects addresses the theme of War. “The war is a result of the positioning of a rising tide of able young creators against the entire artistic hierarchy of Los Angeles, its nomenklatura of success, fame, wealth, power, recognition, and accomplishment. It’s a struggle that will stretch the horizons and aspirations of the upcoming generation as it overcomes what can best be described as The Opposition.” Bermudez Projects, 1225 Cypress Ave, Northeast L.A.; timed entry opening reception: Saturday, September 12, 6-9pm, on view through October 24, by appointment; bermudezprojects.com.
Brian Randolph at Odd Ark L.A. For The Septum, Randolph has produced a series of new colored-pencil works on paper mounted on wood panels. Using wax-based colored pencil, Randolph builds up luminosity and opacity. The saturated surfaces and symmetrical compositions are the result of a rigorous process and a thoughtful reflection into the relationship between the body’s biological processes of perception and the ontology of formal aesthetics. Odd Ark L.A., 7101 N. Figueroa, Northeast L.A.; September 12 – October 17, by appointment; oddarkla.com.
A Composite Leviathan at Bridge Projects. Curated by James Elaine, founder of Telescope, a non-profit art space in Beijing and former curator of Hammer Projects in Los Angeles and the Drawing Center in New York, A Composite Leviathan features 20 contemporary artists from China. The diverse practices of these artists do not fit neatly into any single category. However, all of their artworks investigate or reflect the rapidly transforming landscape of contemporary culture, including the impact of emergent technologies, globalization, and urban sprawl. A series of conversations, readings, and lectures accompanies the exhibition throughout its run. Bridge Projects, 6820 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Open House: Saturday, September 12, noon-8pm, on view September 12 – February 13, 2021, by appointment; bridgeprojects.com.
Larry Kline at BBAX. This performance features four robotic vacuums, each topped with hand-made M1 tanks molded from sugar. The tanks do battle by patrolling their territory. When they meet at the borders, the tanks may shatter on impact. As these armies initiate hostilities, they clean up the mess by vacuuming up the remains of their encounters. This spectacle evokes military drones actively engaged around the globe, or our own need to maintain personal perimeters due to the pandemic. Building Bridges Art Exchange, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica; Saturday, September 12, 2-5pm, by appointment; buildingbridgesartexchange.org.
15th Annual BLAB! Show at Copro Gallery. A beloved and boisterous tradition featuring new works from all your post-lowbrow favorites, curated by Monte Beauchamp. Copro Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica; opening reception: Saturday, September 12, 1-7pm, on view through October 3, by appointment; copronason.com.
Joakim Ojanen at Richard Heller Gallery. A show for the lonely distant baby souls features eccentric biomorphic and wild ceramics that are each a whole mood. Richard Heller Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica; opening reception: on view September 12 – October 31, by appointment; richardhellergallery.com.
Sunday, September 13
Grand Performances presents Grace Oh at Heritage Square. GP’s first Feature Presentation in the Heritage Square Series features a live-streaming vibrational healing sound bath with artist Grace Oh. Oh’s synthesis of sacred sounds incorporates Frosted Crystal Bowls, Symphonic Gong, Planetary Tuning Forks, Tingsha, Cacho Seed Shaker, Elemental Koshi Chimes and Vocal Tones. Sunday, September 13, 11:11am, YouTube and FB live; facebook.com.
Janna Ireland virtual book launch. In her book Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer’s View, artist Janna Ireland explores the work and legacy of the great architect Williams through a series of intimate black-and-white photographs. Ireland gives the reader a vision of Williams that is both universal and highly personal. More than a book of architectural photographs, Regarding Paul R. Williams is the result of one artist’s encounter with another, connecting across different generations within the same city. Join Barbara Bestor of Bestor Architecture, and the book’s publishers at Angel City Press to celebrate the publication on Crowdcast. Sunday, September 13, 4pm; jannaireland.com.