Expand your arts appreciation and creative horizons with a panoply of new gallery and museum exhibitions, open houses, neighborhood art nights, theater and poetry, films by artists, engagements with science and nature, technology-enhanced cultural experiences, future architectures, Latine authors, spoken word, conscious gatherings, a new bookstore, and a festival of historical trainspotting.
Thursday, September 7
Artist Film Series: Diane Severin Nguyen at MOCA. Filmed entirely in Ho Chi Minh City, Tyrant Star (2009) prompts viewers to consider how cultural touchstones like songs and shared histories are fragmented and woven together in new ways over time. Set in Warsaw, IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS (2021) follows the character of an orphaned Vietnamese child who grows up to be absorbed into a South Korean pop-inspired dance group. Widely popular within a Polish youth subculture, K-pop is used by the artist as a vernacular to trace a relationship between Eastern Europe and Asia with roots in Cold War allegiances. The screenings are followed by a conversation with the artist and MOCA Curator Anna Katz. 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thursday, September 7, 6pm; free w/rsvp; moca.org.
The Gospel at Colonus at the Getty Villa. Soulful and stirring, this one-of-a-kind theatrical event in the Villa’s outdoor amphitheater reimagines the story of Oedipus as the centerpiece of a redemptive musical celebration. The blinded Oedipus arrives at the town of Colonus, near Athens, seeking rest after a lifetime of tragedy. But he is pursued by enemies, including his own son. Based on Sophocles’s Oedipus at Colonus from the 5th century BCE, this adaptation blends Greek myth with Black spiritual practice for a jubilant, life-affirming journey. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades; Thursday–Saturday, September 7-30, 8pm; $45; getty.edu.
Friday, September 8
Kara Walker: Cut to the Quick, From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation at USC Fisher Museum. A career-spanning exhibition presents Walker’s powerful and provocative images that employ contradictions to critique the painful legacies of slavery, sexism, violence, imperialism, and other power structures, including those in the history and hierarchies of art and contemporary culture. Walker’s process involves extensive research in history, literature, art history, and popular culture. Intentionally unsentimental and ambiguous, the works explore the irreconcilable inconsistencies that mirror the human condition. 823 Exposition Blvd., downtown; On view September 8 – December 9; free; fisher.usc.edu.
Emma Webster: Intermission, and Vanessa Beecroft: Rules of Non-Engagement at Jeffrey Deitch. Deitch opened his gallery in January 1996 with a now legendary performance by Beecroft, and to celebrate their long history, the gallery is presenting a 30-year survey of Beecroft’s work. VB95, a revisitation of her iconic performance at Deitch Projects, will be presented as part of the exhibition, bringing her creative trajectory full circle. Webster paints landscapes that are not landscapes, fusing high technology with traditional painting techniques. Her studio is a combination of a computer lab and a Renaissance atelier, where she has invented a process that merges hand drawing, virtual reality and sculptural models. 925 N. Orange Dr. & 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Opening receptions: Friday, September 8, 6-8pm; On view through October 21; free; deitch.com.
Graduate Thesis Weekend 2023 at SCI-Arc. The famed architecture school’s Arts District campus opens to the public this weekend in recognition of the exceptional talents of the Graduate Thesis class of 2023. This year’s graduating M.Arch 1 and M.Arch 2 students will share their thesis projects with the community, colleagues, and public, capping a year of extensive research and experimentation. Visit the dedicated Graduate Thesis 2023 website to preview students’ work, see the list of guest critics and speakers, and get additional details on the Graduate Thesis Weekend schedule. 960 E. 3rd St., downtown; Friday-Sunday, September 8-10; visit the site for hours and the robust event lineup; the exhibition remains on view through September 13; sciarc.edu.
Daughters of Latin America at 92Y (Virtual). Rosie Perez hosts a historic, multilingual gathering of major and emerging Caribbean and Latine writers from the new anthology Daughters of Latin America — including Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, acclaimed memoirist and screenwriter Esmeralda Santiago, and others. Spanning time, styles, and traditions — and expertly curated by Sandra Guzmán — Daughters of Latin America is a dazzling collection of essential works from 140 Latine writers, scholars, and activists. This celebratory summit of literary voices kicks off the Unterberg Poetry Center’s 85th-anniversary season. Friday, September 8, 4:30pm; $20; 92ny.org.
Saturday, September 9
Jeff Soto: Sadlands at KP Projects. Past, present, and the distant future converge in Jeff Soto’s exploration of Southern California terrain in his new solo exhibition. Inspired by nature and contemporary landscape painting, Soto forgoes the laws of time, space, and material reality to imagine a place where relics from L.A. and surrounding cities still exist—in a kaleidoscopic wonderland that is both dreamy and disaster-prone, emotional and evasive, insightful and psychedelic. 633 N. La Brea, Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, September 9, 6-9pm; On view through September 30; free; kpprojectsgallery.net.
Bergamot Station Arts Center Open House. Wrapping up summer break? Ringing in the start of a new fall season? Either way, the outdoor arts campus at former trainyard Bergamot is a great place to spend all or most of your Saturday, with about a dozen exhibition opening receptions, a number of special presentations with artists, scientists, curators, and writers, a major auction preview, book releases, live music, ticketed comedy and theater events, plus food, drinks, and all the late-summer art vibes. Bergamot parking can be dodgy, and it has its own Metro Station, so consider taking the train! 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Saturday, September 9, 11am-9pm; free; bergamotstation.com.
Alessandra Sanguinetti: The Sixth Day at MACK 939 + WEBBER. The posh London bookstore sets up shop in style, inaugurating its new Arts District gallery and reading room concept, 939, in collaboration with arts company WEBBER. The first solo Los Angeles exhibition of work by Argentine American photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti brings together works from across her singular career encompassing the dusty farmlands of western Buenos Aires province and the remote, eerie Wisconsin town of Black River Falls. This event also features Sofia Coppola’s long-awaited new book Archive, and Jim Goldberg’s magnum opus Coming and Going. 939 S. Santa Fe, downtown; Saturday, September 9, 4:30-8pm; free; mackbooks.co.uk.
Flypoet Summer Classic at The Ford. Flypoet All-Star Spoken Word Summer Classic features a highly curated line-up of the hardest hitting, most-decorated spoken word artists in the country and then punctuates the night with a surprise performance by a major R&B and soul musical guest. Flypoet returns to The Ford for an entertaining night of art, music, and of course, lyrical fire. 2580 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; Saturday, September 9, 8pm; $65; theford.com.
Train Festival at Union Station. Celebrate the past, present, and future of train travel with activations and programs throughout the iconic Los Angeles station’s Ticket Concourse, Waiting Room, North and South Patios, and Railway Platforms, including Equipment Tours & Displays, Model Train Displays; Architecture, Arts & Culture Docent Tours, Shops, Giveaways, Light Bites, Live Music, Rail equipment from the decades since the opening of the station, rare model trains and more. 800 N. Alameda, downtown; Saturday-Sunday, September 9-10; 10am-6pm daily; free; unionstationla.com.
Sunday, September 10
Andrea Nakhla and Gia Rush: A Separate Reality at Luna Anais Gallery. Andrea Nakhla’s artistry embodies the post-modern and hyper-real, delving deep into the subconscious with an innovative fusion of digital technology and traditional artistry that invites us to embrace the thin line between the artificial and the material world. Gia Rush, known for her intriguing collision of the sacred and profane, brings a fervent perspective to her thought-provoking painted collages, challenging societal norms and inviting questions about established boundaries in a harmonious chaos of colors and arrangements, compelling us to reevaluate our perceptions of reality and conformity. LAUNCH LA, 170 S. La Brea, Mid-Wilshire; Opening reception: Sunday, September 10, 1-8pm; On view through October 22; Artist Talk: Sunday, October 8, 5pm; free; lunaanais.com.
Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives Open House at LACMA. A festive free day celebrating LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives, the second collection in this innovative art and technology collaboration, featuring 13 augmented reality monuments created by some of today’s most celebrated artists. Amid live DJ sets, experience the augmented reality monuments in person, create a one-of-a-kind mobile inspired by Yassi Mazandi’s Language of the Birds, learn about Caribbean, African, and Latin American folk art and spirituality with Alison Saar, or design a kite inspired by Kang Seung Lee’s ¡la revolución es la solución!, which centers Latasha Harlins and the 1992 L.A. Uprising. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Sunday, September 10, 10am-7pm; free; lacma.org.
Materials & Applications: Black—Still / Present Continuous at Craft Contemporary. M&A’s summer-long installation in the museum’s courtyard closes with a celebratory weekend and benefit party. The project’s design and its complementing programs explored narratives of wellness, access, and cultural expression with specific attention to marginalized communities—through the nexus of simple, familiar materials in the project’s reverential volume. Saturday, noon-5pm the spot hosts a free, celebratory penultimate afternoon among stalls and stands featuring Black-owned art, craft, and cultural businesses. Sunday evening, the project wraps with a ticketed fundraiser featuring tacos, beverages, donuts, art, music, and conversation. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Saturday, September 10, 6-9pm; $150; materialsandapplications.org.
Monday, September 11
**POSTPONED UNTIL EARLY NOVEMBER** The Writing’s on the Wall: aja monet at Basquiat: King Pleasure. This immersive experience blends performance, conversation, and exploration while delving into the profound impact of language and poetry. Discover the driving forces behind aja monet’s literary prowess and activism, while decoding the hidden narratives within Jean-Michel’s artwork. The evening begins with exhibition viewing from 6pm, before live performances at 7pm, and an Artist Talk moderated by Mashonda Tifrere, featuring aja monet, Jeanine Heriveaux and Lisane Basquiat at 8:30pm. 100 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Monday, September 11, 6pm; $40; NB: Exhibition extended through December 31; kingpleasure.basquiat.com.
Tuesday, September 12
Strange Reality at L.A. Mission College. An exhibition exploring alternatives to the notion of reality, curated by Mario Vasquez and organized by AMP Gallery Director Curtis Stage. Artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, performance, mixed media, new media, and other hybrid forms include include Casey Kauffmann, Trulee Hall, Samara Golden, Alison Blickle, Emily Silver, Jacquelin Nagel, Cameron Cameron, Katie Hector, Jon Pylypchuk, Robert Yarber, Jim Shaw, and The Royal Art Lodge. 13356 Eldridge Ave., Sylmar; Opening reception: Tuesday, September 12, 5-9pm; Panel Discussion: Moderated by Peter Frank, October 21, 3pm; On view through October 27; free; lamission.edu.
Wednesday, September 13
The Feminist Art Program (1970–1975): Cycles of Collectivity at REDCAT. In 1970, artist Judy Chicago pioneered a feminist model for art and education with her students at Fresno State College. Chicago was invited by Miriam Schapiro to collaboratively expand this program at CalArts in 1971, where they would go on to develop radical and now-influential forms of art, pedagogy, and performance. The exhibition gathers materials from institutional and personal archives, joining them with new responsive artworks by CalArts alumni ak jenkins, Andrea Bowers, Gala Porras-Kim, and Suzanne Lacy. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Opening reception: Wednesday, September 13, 7-9pm; On view through January 21; free; redcat.org.
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