Some folks like the mystical silvery skies of June Gloom—others eagerly look forward to the day the season finally blooms into summer. We’re not sure about the weather, but this week’s arts calendar brings a profusion of art both thoughtful and lively. From steel-backed and issues-driven new and historical Pop art to commemorative ballet, a vibey bass-based soundbath, a pair of group shows merging the meta with the embodied, ecological, and architectural, an indie arts publishing book fair, a botanical explosion at Bergamot, the visual culture of hip hop, Juneteenth, Indigenous film, Pride-themed arts and literature, and so much more. Plus don’t forget to check the regularly updated L.A. Weekly Pride Guide all month.
Thursday, June 15
Ben Sanders: New Caps at Marta. An exhibition of twelve signature Bottle Cap paintings by multi-disciplinary artist Ben Sanders. Identical in exaggerated size—each twenty-six times the scale of their petite counterparts—these richly-enameled, carefully-shaped steel works represent the most recent incarnation of Sanders’ Cap series: a near decade-long exploration of this patently industrial and quotidian form and its varied [often imagined] colloquial adornments. The exhibition coincides with the release of a monograph published by Marta and OCHI Gallery. 3021 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake; Opening reception: Thursday, June 15, 6-8pm; On view through July 30 free; marta.la.
Los Angeles Ballet: Memoryhouse at the Broad Stage. The world premiere of a full-length evening work by Artistic Director Melissa Barak, Los Angeles Ballet’s Memoryhouse is an abstract piece composed of vignettes commemorating World War II and in particular, the Holocaust. Set to Max Richter’s powerful album of the same name, Memoryhouse will reflect on both the somber as well as more heroic moments that illuminate this period in human history. 1350 11th St., Santa Monica; Performances Thursday-Saturday, June 15-17, 7:30pm; from $50; broadstage.org.
John von Seggern Concert & Soundbath at Philosophical Research Society. Jon Hassell collaborator John von Seggern is a virtuosic bassist, electronic music producer and sonic alchemist. Tonight he brings his progressive bass waves to an immersive audiovisual experience in the PRS auditorium to celebrate the release of his solo album Ambient Bass Guitar. BYO yoga mat/blankets to lie down and enjoy the full relaxation experience, which includes vibrational video projections by Steve Nalepa and Branden Sahagun. Preview the first track of the album ‘Unfolding’ here: on.soundcloud.com. 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz; Thursday, June 15, 7pm reception, 8pm show; $10-$15; prs.org.
Friday, June 16
Charlie Roberts: Short Stories at Anna Zorina Gallery. Roberts’ new paintings offer imagined portraits of contemporary existence, each a richly detailed tableau shaped by the artist’s love of pop culture and exploration of the philosophical complexities of life. As an avid consumer of the 1990s cultural milieu, Roberts builds a unique visual lexicon from the movies, books, and music of his generation. Mining the often-overlooked background details of a scene in a movie or music video, he hones in on objects, decor, and color in his paintings to tell a fuller story, applying them as coded identifiers to help define his characters. 734 East 3rd St., downtown; Opening reception: Friday, June 16, 5-8pm; On view through July 15; free; annazorinagallery.com.
We Are They: Glitch Ecology and the Thickness of Now, and at Catalyst at Honor Fraser Gallery. We Are They… features 22 artists who chart the blurry boundaries between human networks, ecological systems, and the technologies that give form to our so-called “man-made” geological era. Catalyst, a group exhibition in collaboration with heretofore web-only EPOCH Gallery, features 7 internationally celebrated artists who have developed artworks situated within a speculative 3D model of LACMA’s forthcoming Peter Zumthor building. 2622 La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Opening reception: Friday, June 16, 6-8pm; On view through August 19; free; honorfraser.com.
Acid-Free Los Angeles at Blum & Poe. Founded by a programming collective of L.A.-based independent publishers in 2018, this independent, local book fair aims to create new spaces for critical discussion and commerce in support of the diversity of independent publishing practices in the arts. This year’s edition welcomes 90+ West Coast and international exhibitors presenting new publications and projects alongside film programming by Whammy! and Philosophical Research Society, an archival exhibition from Dublab, and a full schedule of ongoing discursive programming, music, and signings. 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Opening night party: Friday, June 16, 6-9pm; Fair hours: Saturday-Sunday, June 17-18, 11am-7pm; free; acid-free.info.
Wild Up! Julius Eastman Vol. 3 release party at 2220 Arts + Archives. A listening party and celebration for the most recent installment in Wild Up’s Julius Eastman Anthology, Vol. 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? Plus conversations about Eastman’s legacy, the symbols in his work, and playing the record in full while everyone lies on the floor with wine and baklava. 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Friday, June 16, 8pm; $20; 2220arts.org.
Saturday, June 17
Squash & Biscuit at Craft in America Center. Shuwen Zhao and Brian Griffith create musical atmospheres for moving images, with an experimental sonic approach. Zhao, a pianist, has an ear for detail creating lush soundscapes and intricate melodic lines. Griffith, a bassist, builds deep currents of sound and delicate tonal whispers. Together, they compliment each other’s styles, able to build a piece that is expertly crafted and surprising. In conjunction with the current exhibition Couples in Craft. 8415 W. Third St., West Hollywood; Saturday, June 17, 7pm; free; craftinamerica.org.
The Flower Show at Peter Fetterman Gallery. The first half of this collaborative group exhibition opened last week at L.A. Louver in Venice. Now part two—the photography edition— joins in. The Flower Show at L.A. Louver includes over 50 artists who have embraced the floral motif in a range of media including painting, sculpture, drawing, film and digital technology—as well as photographs by Sebastiao Salgado, Cig Harvey, Horst P. Horst, Bruce Davidson, Minor White, and Graciela Iturbide. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Opening reception: Saturday, June 17, 3-6pm; On view through October 7; free; peterfetterman.com.
Arts, Crafts & Comics at WeHo Arts Division. The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division delivers a broad array of arts programs throughout the year, but as you’d expect, for Pride Month everything’s extra. Just today, Plummer Park, West Hollywood Library, and West Hollywood Park all host events for the arts-minded. Beginning in Plummer Park (7377 Santa Monica Blvd.) at 10am, enjoy both the indoor/outdoor Beautiful Things Craft Market celebrating LGBTQIA+ artisans and makers, and the LGBTQ+ comics, games, and popular media festival Q-Con (both through 5pm). At 11am at the Library (625 N. San Vicente) it’s Drag Story Hour! And the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles performs in the WeHo Park next door at 7pm. All these events and more are free and open to the public; weho.org.
Farbod Elkaei: Double Take at Hamzianpour & Kia. Like a long line of artists before him, Elkaei aspires to delineate nature; but his approach is situated in something rarely found in nature: geometry. The deployment of geometry’s rigor to depict the most sinuous of subjects is one of the many contradictions that power his work. The sharp lines, lucid colors, acute angles and scissor-like precision of Elkaei’s forms cut against the monochromatic and/or fluid backgrounds, creating a tension that eventually brings everything full circle. 5225 Wilshire Blvd. #212, Miracle Mile; Opening Reception: Saturday, June 17, 4-8pm; On view through July 8; free; hamzianpourandkia.com.
Origenes/Origins and Xican–a.o.x. Body at The Cheech. Origenes/Origins features the work of seven Chicana/o and Mexican American artists—Man One, Andrew J. Castillo, Carlos Beltran Arechiga, Richie Velazquez, Martin Sanchez, Denise Silva, and Jacqueline Valenzuela—who leverage their personal histories as inspiration in their artistic creation. Xican–a.o.x. Body adds complexity to understandings of Chicanx art and culture by exploring the visual practices that foreground the body as the site in which imagination and political enunciation are articulated. The artists in the exhibition celebrate the creativity of decolonized political personas that are playful, unapologetic, and irreverent. These multidisciplinary perspectives erase any presumed hierarchy between popular art and what has traditionally been thought of as “high art.” 3581 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; Both exhibitions open June 17; Origenes on view through October 1; Body through January 7; $15.95; riversideartmuseum.org.
Sunday, June 18
An Evening with Sky Hopinka at the Hammer. Sky Hopinka, a Ho-Chunk Nation member, is a renowned contemporary Indigenous filmmaker whose work explores memory, language and place. His most current film, Sunflower Siege Engine, showcases the woven narrative of resiliency and resistance at the heart of contemporary Indigenous life, offering an essential perspective on Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination struggles. Part of the UCLA Film & Television Archive screening series Imagining Indigenous Cinema: New Voices, New Visions. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sunday, June 18, 7pm; free w/ rsvp; hammer.ucla.edu.
Monday, June 19
Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival. Forty years ago Robert Leonard began the tradition of Juneteenth in Leimert Park Village, commemorating the original of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the slow spread of news of it across the territories; and the tradition continues to evolve and be celebrated to this day. The 2023 edition—still only a couple of years after official recognition of the day as a Federal Holiday—features more than 300 Black owned businesses, three main stages, two DJs stages, a spoken word stage and more. It is not just a market, but a curated experience featuring food, drinks, music, art and culture, networking opportunities, and amazing community energy. leimertparkjuneteenth.com.
Tuesday, June 20
The Broad presents How Hip Hop Became a Revolution in American Visual Art and Culture, at Colburn School. In this conversation among legendary artist and Public Enemy co-founder Chuck D, Keith Haring Foundation Executive Director Gil Vazquez, Lisane Basquiat, sister of the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and producer, curator and President of Channel Zero Productions Lorrie Boula will discuss hip hop’s global impact, including its influence on visual art and culture of 1980s New York and beyond. 200 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Tuesday, June 20, 7:30pm; $25; thebroad.org.
Wednesday, June 21
A Public Thing: Celebrating Keith Haring’s ArtCenter Mural at ArtCenter. A film screening, reception, and panel discussion in partnership with The Broad and Keith Haring Foundation. In 1989, Haring was invited to paint a mural at ArtCenter’s Hillside Campus in honor of the second annual World AIDS Day, and as part of the first-ever Day Without Art. Haring agreed, with the stipulation that the mural remain in place until AIDS has been eradicated. He spent two days painting freehand in front of an audience of awe-struck students and the untitled work has become a centerpiece of the campus—Haring’s first and only mural in Los Angeles. 1700 Lida St., Pasadena; Wednesday, June 21, 6:30pm; free; artcenter.edu.
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