arts calendar los angelesMurakami on the metaverse, fantasy creatures, mythic lands, memories of fictional homes, inventions of childhoods past, songs of belonging, art in the park, go fly a kite, growing up punk, blowing your own mind, emerging from the darkness, art as activism, war is hell.

murakami arts calendar

The Broad Un-Private Collection with Takashi Murakami

Thursday, May 19

Takashi Murakami and Benoit Pagotto in Conversation at The Broad. In advance of this weekend’s opening of Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, The Broad presents an Un-Private Collection conversation between the iconic visual artist and co-founder of RTFKT Studios Benoit Pagotto, moderated by Broad Curator & Publications Manager Ed Schad. Murakami’s paintings welcome Buddhist Arhats and Daoist Immortals to ward off disaster. This conversation will explore Murakami’s interest in the possibilities of the metaverse and the potential for transcendent, spiritual, or healing experiences through it. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thursday, May 19, 7:30pm; $20;

Jordan Kerwick: 3 Angels Versus 3 Saviors, 2022, Oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 94 1/2 x 177 1/8 inches (© Jordan Kerwick. Photo by Ed Mumford; Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery)

Jordan Kerwick: Pink sunsets, cigarettes, 3 regrets and hope to haunt the future at Vito Schnabel Gallery. The 25 new monumentally-scaled paintings on view comprise the first LA solo exhibition for the critically admired Australian-born Kerwick, who lives and works in the South of France. Replete with outlandish, commanding figures drawn from his imagination, Kerwick’s fantastical visual style is expressed in scenes of menacing beasts and predatory animals rendered in an intense, vibrant palette of electric color. Old Santa Monica Post Office, 1248 Fifth St., Santa Monica; On view through June 26; free;

Parangal Dance Company (Photo: Francis Gum)

Friday, May 20

Belonging: A Filipino American Arts and Culture Experience at the LA Art Box. A collaborative showcase of Filipino American creatives exploring cultural identities both past and present — from contemporary Filipino American artists working to belong and enrich the current AAPI creative landscape, to the traditional rituals and ceremonies of the six Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines. Belonging is presented in partnership with Parangal Dance Company, and features eight contemporary Filipino American creatives whose work spans a diverse array of mediums, including sound and film production, fashion design and culinary arts, to create a multisensory experience. 8020 Melrose Ave., WeHo: May 20 – June 26; $10;

Dorian Wood (Photo: Carlos Canales Ciudad)

Metro Art presents Dorian Wood at Union Station. A live concert by LA-based Dorian Wood, XAVELA LUX AETERNA is a chamber orchestra tribute to legendary Costa Rican and Mexican singer Chavela Vargas (1919-2012). Dorian Wood is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Los Angeles whose subject matter is informed by her own perspective as a genderfluid brown person, a child of Costa Rican and Nicaraguan immigrants and an autodidact. XAVELA LUX AETERNA toured internationally in 2019-20. For this performance in Union Station’s historic Ticketing Hall, Wood will be accompanied by Isaura String Quartet and guitarist Michael Corwin. 800 N. Alameda; Friday, May 20, 8pm; free;

Beverly Hills Art Show

Saturday, May 21

Beverly Hills Art Show (Outdoor). Held each May and October for over forty-eight years, and now returning to its iconic location on the long city park, the Beverly Hills Art Show is one of the most popular art events of the spring season. Over 150 artists and makers from throughout California, the Southwest and the country working in eclectic and inventive mediums — painting, sculpture, watercolor, photography, mixed media, ceramics, glass, jewelry, drawing and printmaking — arrive to exhibit and sell their work. Beverly Gardens Park, 9439 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Saturday-Sunday, May 21-22, 10am-6pm; free;

Community & Unity Kite Festival

Clockshop presents: Community & Unity People’s Kite Festival at LA State Historic Park (Outdoor). A family-friendly cultural festival full of joy, culture, and uplifting arts. In collaboration with the American Kitefliers Association it will feature a “gallery in the sky,” including flying demonstrations with kite masters Kim Wong and the Tyrus Wong Family, Scott Skinner, and Joe Hadzicki; natural fabric dyeing and design/printmaking workshops; paper crafts with the Chinese American Museum; site-specific kite-based sculpture by Audrey Chan; plus music and food trucks. 1245 N. Spring St., Chinatown; Saturday, May 21, 2-6pm; free;

Creator unknown, “Stonewall,” 1976. LGBTQ Poster Collection, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

Conversations with the Curator of Days of Rage at ONE Archives. This weekend, meet Andy Campbell, the curator of Days of Rage, the current and timely exhibition on LGBTQ+ activist posters  from the 1970s-1990s, presented through the lens of the lived histories and experiences of several activists and graphic designers. Enjoy beverages and snacks in the courtyard of ONE Archives at the USC Libraries; there will be organized tours inside the Archives to see some of the historical posters featured in the exhibition. USC Library, 909 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; Saturday, May 21, 3:30pm; free;

Roy Dowell, Untitled #1201, Acrylic on linen, 54 x 48, 2022 (Courtesy of The Landing)

Roy Dowell at The Landing Gallery. The awareness of humanity’s need to create, decorate and invent a personal language based on an extensive knowledge of signs, symbols, formal concerns and a broad selection of diverse references drives Dowell’s work. His multi-layered images present a personalized language founded in the utilitarian, quotidian and functional. Both quirky and seemingly familiar, his paintings present an individualized world of complex compositions that utilize representational elements, abstraction, with elements of surrealism and humor. 5118 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams; Opening reception: Saturday, May 21, 5-7pm; On view through July 2; free;

James Spooner at Beyond Baroque

James Spooner: The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere Book Launch at Beyond Baroque. In a formative coming-of-age graphic memoir by the creator of the award-winning documentary Afro-punk, a young man’s immersive reckoning with identity, racism, clumsy teen love and belonging in an isolated California desert leads to a search for salvation and community, weaving in the Black roots of punk rock and a vivid interlude in the 80’s punk scene in the East Village. The party features a mini-zine fest with several local zine vendors and indie publications, and live music by LA punk bands The Tissues and Dangers. 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Saturday, May 21, 5-10pm; free;

Alec Egan: Sunset waves with wildflower, 2022 Oil on canvas 72 x 60 (Courtesy of Anat Ebgi)

Alec Egan: Look Out, at Anat Ebgi Gallery. Look Out and Egan’s concurrent presentation at Art Basel Hong Kong, Out Look, continue a sequence depicting new portions of a singular imagined home. Drawn from his own memory and imagination, the fictitious interiors and vast atmospheric landscapes speak to tropes of nostalgia, Americana, and the profundity of the mundane. Egan’s large interiors, decorated with lavish floral patterns, use typical domestic items as symbolic motifs that harken back to personal histories while conjuring hypothetical narratives about the absent residents. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Opening: Saturday, May 21, 6-8pm; On view through June 25; free;

Amelia Carley at Otra Vox

Amelia Carley: Thinking About Forgetting, at Otra Vox. A new series of paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Amelia Carley culls memories from her childhood to construct a visual representation of an artificial place. Carley’s process starts with collecting debris from a rehabilitated landfill in Brooklyn’s Glass Bottle Beach; she then constructs small models and, through several manipulations, translates the trash into strange worlds on canvas. The paintings depict an imagined land through toxically bright and otherworldly forms. Through layers of light and shadow, the work considers how within dreams, your environment can change almost immediately without being aware of the transition. 1317 Palmetto St., downtown; Opening: Saturday, May 21, 6-9pm; On view through June 12; free;

Strangeloop at Music is Medicine

Music as Medicine. Numinus presents a series of ceremonial concerts, multimedia art and guided meditations exploring the role music plays in psychedelic-assisted therapy and mental health. The first event is this weekend, in a consciousness-expanding experience of continuous music and visuals by Superposition, Justin Boreta, Matthew Davis and East Forest. LA-based multimedia art studio Strangeloop, known for captivating visuals for artists such as Lil NasX, Flying Lotus and The Weeknd, will envelop the space in live projection-mapping. The event concludes with a 3D spatial audio playback of Jon Hopkins’ acclaimed album Music For Psychedelic Therapy, and an intimate live piano performance. Lighthouse Immersive, 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Saturday, May 21, doors at 7pm; $100-$150;

Dress Codes at the Autry

Sunday, May 22

Dress Codes at the Autry Museum. Dress Codes is about what we wear, how we wear it, and why. Visitors can explore how the clothing in our closets has long and often surprising histories, unpacking cultural icons of western style — blue jeans, plaid shirt, fringed jackets, aloha shirt, China Poblana dress, and the cowboy boot. Over 150 objects will be on display and the exhibition draws primarily from the Autry’s extensive clothing and textile collection plus art, photography, and historical artifacts. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Members preview: Saturday, May 21; On view starting May 22; $14;

Se Young Au at Luna Anais

Radical Dawn at Luna Anais. “These last two years of the pandemic have felt like we have been slowly plowing through darkness; political shifts, racial violence & daily turmoil saturating our environment,” writes exhibition curator Alicia Piller. “The breaking dawn represents a tonality of light, an opening for rebirth/s of a new era, of new rituals, surroundings, moods. Radical Dawn celebrates the work of 10 mixed media artists — Anais Franco, Ginger Q, Jaklin Romine, Jessica Taylor Bellamy, Kayla Tange, Linnea Spransy, Molly Shea, Sarah Stefana Smith, Se Young Au, & Silvi Naci — each taking us on a journey, uniquely navigating the temporal energy of now, attempting to find the light, if any, within this ever-shifting time.” D2 Art, 1205 N. La Brea; Inglewood; Opening: Sunday, May 22, 1-8pm; Artist talk: June 12; On view through July 10; free;

Biogenesis at 2220 Arts + Archives

Films on the Origins of Weird Life at 2220 Arts + Archives. Los Angeles Filmforum presents BIOGENESIS: Films on the Origins of Weird Life, featuring 16mm films by Charlotte Pryce, Sky David, Courtney Hoskins, Cherlyn Hsing-Hsin Liu, OJOBOCA+Andrew Kim, Elwood Decker, and Daina Krumins, with select artists in person. This program celebrates the unique union between the medium of 16mm film and its use by various artists to consider the origins of life itself, albeit on the weirder end of the biological spectrum. Transformations of matter and spirit will be on display, traversing a wildly unpredictable biogenetical spectrum which includes everything from insects to slime molds and lunar bodies to microscopic crystals. 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Sunday, May 22, 7:30pm; $8;

Gisela McDaniel at The Mistake Room (Photo: Megan McIsaac)

Gisela McDaniel: Tulu, Tatlo, III at The Mistake Room (Outdoor). The first live performance work by diasporic indigenous Chamorro artist Gisela McDaniel takes her monumental mixed media mural installation on TMR’s facade — Sakkan Eku LA — as a point of departure. McDaniel’s performance aims to expand the process, visual and sonic languages, and object-viewer relationship of her paintings to the realm of embodied experience. The performance centers around McDaniel and her collaborators Morgan Hutson and Lancer Casem who are all subjects depicted in the large scale paintings on the facade mural. As the performers begin to move in front of the mural, a new video work is projected onto it, creating layers that connect historical film footage of American expansionism to a soundscape that overlaps the stories of trauma, strength, and perseverance of the performers. 1811 E. 20th St., downtown; Sunday, May 22, 8pm; free;

City of West Hollywood Fundraiser for Refugees from Ukraine at Plummer Park. An all-day event combining a silent auction, theatrical (circus arts, puppets, classes, picnic games) family arts activities, an art show, and a gala benefit concert in the evening. Beyond fundraising, the event’s goal is to show solidarity with Ukraine and advocate for peace, and celebrate the diverse cultures of the region’s diaspora and their vibrant presence in Los Angeles.The gala concert in the evening features a cohort of contemporary classical musicians along with opera singer and bandura player Siuzanna Iglidan and singer Mika Newton who, both of Ukrainian descent, and singer Vasiliy Bondarchuk, who represented Ukraine in Eurovision in 2007. At the park’s Long Hall, Lark Gallery presents Peaceful Freedom, a free group show featuring talented artists from the community. 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; Sunday, May 22, 11am-7pm; free-$100;

Wadada Leo Smith at LAXART

Monday, May 23

Wadada Leo Smith: Redkoral quartet: dark lady of the sonnets, at LAXART. Monday Evening Concerts hosts one of today’s most important living composers. An early member of the revolutionary AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), Smith has spent a lifetime thinking, writing, composing, performing, teaching and collaborating. Wadada’s scores reveal an inner cosmos, spanning a wide range of experimental techniques including his signature Ankhrasmations. Performing three of Smith’s most recent string quartets is the RedKoral Quartet, a group that was formed by the composer for the purposes of performing his own works. 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo; Monday-Tuesday, May 23-24; 8pm; free;

Printing and Activism at the Fowler Museum

Tuesday, May 24

Share the Mic: Printing and Activism in Los Angeles at the Fowler Museum (Virtual). Since 1973, Self Help Graphics & Art has produced more than 2,000 art print editions and exhibitions all over the world. The organization remains dedicated to the production, interpretation, and distribution of prints and other art media by Chicana/o and Latinx artists; and continues to empower LA’s artistic community by providing access to working space, tools, and training. As a complement to our current exhibition, Aboriginal Screen Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End, the Fowler and SHG are proud to co-present a program exploring the dynamic intersection of printing and activism in Los Angeles and the role of artists as community leaders. Tuesday, May 24, 5pm; free;

The Francis Effect by Tania Bruguera on 6/13/2014

Wednesday, May 25

Book Talk: Tania Bruguera’s The Francis Effect  at ICA LA. A presentation and Q&A with Noah Simblist, editor of Tania Bruguera’s The Francis Effect (2014) — a performance in the guise of a political campaign, requesting that the Pope grant Vatican City citizenship to all immigrants and refugees. Stemming from this performance’s provocative inception in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas, the book-project explores Bruguera’s work as an artist, activist, and Cuban immigrant to the US and the tension created with art’s pragmatic, activist, and aesthetic possibilities. For this talk, Simblist will describe the unique process of the book-project with the artist and the ways it was designed to illuminate layers of meaning; provide examples of impact, and introduce models for social action with cultural dimensions. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown; Wednesday, May 25, 7pm; free;

Mama Mama Can’t You See: Abe Martell and Cecilia Fairchild (Photo by Kendall Johnson)


Mama Mama Can’t You See at The Other Space Theater. Coin & Ghost presents the world premiere of Stan Mayer & Cecilia Fairchild’s Mama Mama Can’t You See. Based on Mayer’s life as a U.S. Marine, the play is a unique, existential war story, marrying physicality and surrealism to give an emotional context to the landscape of war. Mama Mama centers on a particularly harrowing moment from Mayer’s first deployment to Iraq, when his Humvee was struck by an IED. His gunner and best friend was killed; Mayer awoke to a deadly firefight. This play is a metaphysical meditation on the space between life and death. 916 N. Formosa, West Hollywood; Performances through May 29; $30;

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