The season of longer nights and the realization that the year is almost over combine to produce this week’s arts calendar that’s as overstuffed as a turkey. Gallery openings spotlight photography, painting, sculpture, South Asian voices, hip hop friendships, the spirit of collaboration, the story of Ukraine, the secret life of cardboard, the mediated imagery of Black femininity, the dynamics of spectacle, the sun behind the clouds, everyday surrealism, and talking back to the internet. Plus documentary films on the Civil Rights movement, an iconic dancer, and a pirate of stained glass; a new thriller, live shorts, and an artist made publication on the eco-future; new theater on generational history, a high desert conceptual land art festival, night walks in the garden, an open studios art walk in Inglewood, a panel on Indigeneity in contemporary art, and more.
Thursday, November 9
Item Number at Rajiv Menon Contemporary. A new art space with a program focused on perspectives from emerging regions and their diasporas, with a special focus on artists with origins in South Asia, inaugurates its Los Angeles presence with a group exhibition featuring 15 South Asian artists working in the United States and beyond, many showing in the US for the first time. Across an array of visions, mediums, and styles, the show explores the ways these artists reimagine stereotypical ideas of the exotic, locating a source of defiance and empowerment. 3110 W. Sunset Blvd, Silver Lake; Opening reception: Thursday, November 9, 6-9pm; On view through November 18; free; rmcontemporary.com.
Nikolas Soren Goodich: We Need Mirrors To See Ourselves at Gallery 169. Goodich explores the intricate web of identity, with works that serve as mirrors, reflecting not only his own multicultural identity, but also the collective essence of our humanity. Through his unique mono-typing process, Goodich creates profile portraits that, whether invented or discovered, are simultaneously symbolic forms and representations of individuals—reflecting the duality of human perception. These works reveal a visual dance, forming questions about the nature of our perception and our psyche’s relationship to external reality. 169 W. Channel Rd., Santa Monica; Opening reception: Saturday, November 11, 5-8pm; On view through January 11; free; gallery169.com.
Bright Moments: Polaroid Photography Exhibition by Mike Schreiber at NeueHouse Venice Beach. Bright Moments showcases Schreiber’s ongoing collaboration with the legendary music artist Yasiin Bey. Full of warmth, movement and joy, these images were captured during a series of performances in Paris in 2013. The opening night celebration will include a Polaroid photo booth where guests can create their own “Bright Moment” followed by an artist Q&A led by Cultural Custodian and Storyteller Raymond Leon Roker, founder of URB. The legendary hip hop DJ Preservation will also spin throughout the night. 73 Market St., Venice; Opening reception: Thursday, November 9, 5pm-late; On view through February 8; free w/ rsvp; rsvp.neuehouse.com/brightmomentspolaroid.
COLLABORATED at Compound Contemporary. A unique exploration of the intersection between photography and visual art, the exhibit brings together an eclectic group of artists who have reimagined and enriched photographic works with their distinctive styles, uniting the vision of the original photographers with the inventive touch of contemporary artists. Photographers: Estevan Oriol, Josh “Bagel” Klassman, Fabrice Henssens, Richard Abagon, and Trox. Artists: Risk, Vyal, Sel, Pyro, Axis, Chase, Vision, Dave Navarro, Billy Morrison, Jason Brown, Benji Gamaza, and Joey Feldman. 1125 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; Opening reception: Saturday, November 11, 6-9pm; free; instagram.com/compoundcontemporary.
Civil Rights on Film at the Skirball. When James Blue’s The March (1964) and Harold Wexler’s The Bus (1965) are paired, they offer a striking cinematic portrayal of American citizens who journey to Washington, D.C. to join the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963 (The Bus), and the experience of 240,000 Black and white Americans who participated in the event and witnessed Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech (The March). Arrive early to view the related exhibition This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement; and stay after for a conversation between Pastor William Smart Jr., and Professor David Frank. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Thursday, November 9, 7:30pm; $15; skirball.org.
Feros: Escape from Reality at Art Axcess Gallery. The Ukrainian contemporary artist’s first exhibition in Los Angeles is an immersive collection of 10 artworks, weaving together elements of abstraction and representation to offer a profound exploration of trauma, resilience, and the depth of emotions experienced during the Russian invasion. The artist’s intricate symbolism invites viewers to contemplate the existential nature of war, the resilience of the human spirit, and the enduring hope for peace and freedom. West Hollywood location w/ rsvp; Opening day: Thursday, November 9, 11am-4pm; On view by appointment through December 28; free; artaxcess.com.
Astra Lumina Enchanted Night Walks at South Coast Botanic Garden. Moment Factory’s awe-inspiring nighttime experience returns to the gardens. Experience a visit from the stars through projections, lighting and music as the expansive garden grounds are transformed into an immersive outdoor, multimedia spectacle along a pathway of imagination. Come nightfall, luminous celestial apparitions regenerate, rise, and reunite in the night sky. 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes; November 9 – January 1, timed entry tickets 5:30-10pm; $35; astralumina.com/los-angeles.
Friday, November 10
Ann Weber: O What Fools We Mortals Be at Wonzimer Gallery. Weber creates large-scale sculptural forms from woven cardboard exploring the themes of relationships, community, and sustainability. Each curvaceous abstract cabochon and odalisque is crafted from foraged boxes, painstakingly hand-assembled from stapled strips, and animated by the found juxtaposition of printed colors and letters. And in the 21st century, the vast proliferation of excess cardboard shipping detritus has amplified the meaning of the material she has been utilizing since 1991, as this unassuming substance is elevated to a narrative voice. 341-B S. Avenue 17, downtown; Opening reception: Friday, November 10, 5-10pm; On view through December 22 with related programming throughout; free; wonzimer.com.
Holy Frit at Laemmle NoHo 7. In this visceral three-year race against time, Tim Carey—a talented yet nearly unknown L.A. artist—bluffs his way into winning the commission to create the largest stained-glass window of its kind. The problem is, he doesn’t know how. When he hits the many obstacles, predictable and otherwise, that emerge while attempting to make a masterpiece with no training, he has to suppress his ego and submit to the life and artistic lessons of a complicated master of the medium. As the story unfolds, the clash of two big personalities slowly transforms into the forging of a lasting friendship. Opens November 10 in North Hollywood; Q&As with filmmaker Justin Monroe and artist Tim Carey follow the November 10 & 11 screenings; holyfrit.com.
Bella at Laemmle Royal. A feature-length documentary about the life, work, influence, and impact of Los Angeles-based dancer, choreographer, and arts activist Bella Lewitzky. Lewitzky joined Lester Horton’s multi-racial modern dance company in 1934, formed her own company in 1966, and continued to dance at the age of 62. Lewitzky was also famous for battles against the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s and the NEA in 1990. The film incorporates rare archival footage of Lewitzky’s performances and interviews with her former students and fellow dancers, as it demonstrates how a “uniquely Californian” artist with vision and tenacity influenced the lives she touched. 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; Showtimes daily November 10-16, with conversations featuring the filmmakers and writers on various evenings; $16; laemmle.com.
Saturday, November 11
Caitlin Cherry: Womanizer at The Hole. Through painting, sculpture and installation, Cherry creates a personal archive of Black internet culture centering femme entertainers as her muses. Composed of celebrities from online image banks like Getty Images as well as sex workers, drag queens and social media influencers, these paintings depict popular radical aesthetics within the global Black diaspora. Through a simulated moiré pattern system, Cherry is able to recreate the phenomena of viewing through a computer screen in order to express how contemporary Black femininity is co-produced by technology. 844 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, November 11, 6-8pm; On view through December 30; free; thehole.com.
Inglewood Open Studios Fall Art Walk. Since 2006, this beloved annual event has drawn hundreds of visitors each year for a self-guided tour of artist’s studios, art galleries, creative coops, and cultural organizations throughout Inglewood; as well as a robust schedule of workshops, talks, performances, exhibitions, receptions, and creative events all weekend—with more than 70 artists across 15 locations, working in drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, printmaking, installation, video, and performance. Tip: Park and ride at the Beacon Arts Building, 808 N. La Brea, for free shuttle service. Kick off party: Friday, November 10, 4-7pm at Inglewood Project Space; Open Studios Hours: Saturday-Sunday, November 11-12, noon-5pm; free; inglewoodopenstudios.org.
Selected Shorts on Tour at the Getty Center. This year, the tradition of Selected Shorts is amplified by the vibrant literature-lovers of online reading community Belletrist. Two Saturday performances feature a selection of classical and contemporary short stories, performed by stars of film, TV, and stage. Tales by narrative masters and bold new voices are co-curated by Selected Shorts and Belletrist founders Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss. This year’s performances feature stories by authors Deirdre Coyle, Samantha Irby, Tania James, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Victoria Lancelotta, Honor Levy, Ian McEwan, Jen Spyra, Charles Watts, and Alexander Weinstein. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; Saturday, November 11, 3pm & 6pm (each performance features different casts and stories); $20; getty.edu.
Yoskay Yamamoto: Cry Cry Shine Shine at GR2. This exhibition features both paintings and drawings by Yamamoto, largely created while moving back to Los Angeles from a sojourn in Arizona. Of the work and this time in his life, the artist movingly shares, “My parents selected the Japanese symbol for the Sun to represent the first part of my name, Yo. They hoped I would radiate like the largest celestial body in our solar system…but I never truly felt that I embodied the name’s inherent positivity. I must have drawn and painted a hundred moons before I dared to incorporate the sun. Some of my recent work reflects this sentiment—shedding one’s shadow to shine brighter.” 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., West LA; Opening reception: Saturday, November 11, 6-9pm; On view through November 28; free; giantrobot.com.
Daniel Ingroff: Appendix at Tyler Park Presents. Ingroff approaches image-making as the process of constructing and reconstructing narratives, experiences, memories, and dreams. His paintings often start from photographic source material, but are increasingly informed by his own imagination. The caressing way in which the quasi-mystical paintings are made involves studies and multiple layers of paint; there is a feeling of heightened fingertip and psychical sensitivity permeating the work. 4043 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Opening reception: Saturday, November 11, 5-8pm; On view through December 30; free; tylerparkpresents.com.
Julia Rooney: Blueprint at Band of Vices. In an era when paintings are routinely photographed for their consumption on Instagram, online viewing rooms, and websites, Rooney posits, “What if instead of being photographed, a painting could make its own photograph?” Her process touches on digital and extremely analog mediums and techniques including making cyanotypes, cutting, stitching, stretching, gluing, tinting, and bleaching to capture, create, transform, and translate images from the cloud to the screen to the photograph to the canvas—and maybe back again. In each of these works, the sensation of being transported through a portal is palpable, as though one is looking through a window within a window. 5351 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; Opening reception: Saturday, November 11, 4-7pm; free; bandofvices.com.
Forecast Journal Issue 11: Atmosphere release party. Forecast is an art collective collaborating within an experimental creative process. Atmosphere was generated between August and October 2023 by 70 artists both on land across six states and five countries, and in the air between 3,000 and 30,000 feet. It contains 18 essays presenting unexpected perspectives on the space between Earth and outer space accompanied by visual experiments attempting nonhuman dialogues with air. Join Forecast for the release of Atmosphere and discover air making art, water making a building, earth making sound, trees marking time, clouds unmaking borders, atmosphere becoming philosophy, a planet regulating itself, there becoming here, then becoming now. Saturday, November 11, 7-11pm; free; Address with rsvp; forecastjournal.us.
The Joshua Treenial 2023: Aterritorial at BoxoPROJECTS. This is a time when boundaries of all forms are being enforced: territorial boundaries, binary thinking, and ideological lines in the sand. The artists in Aterritorial propose new ways of seeing, of challenging the many lines being drawn, and of reconnecting us to a greater arc of wholeness and fluidity beyond holding ground. By blurring the binary, acknowledging past histories and preserving hope, they offer paths to new futures. Curated by Kóan Jeff Baysa & Bernard Leibov, this edition includes the work of over a dozen multidisciplinary artists across several Joshua Tree-area locations, as well as a dozen local art, culture, and public lands partnerships. Exhibitions and special events November 11-19; free but some require reserved tickets; boxoprojects.com.
Sunday, November 12
Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom at MOCA. A pioneering artist known for incisive work that interrogates ideas of spectacle, belonging and identity, especially as inspired by televised sporting events and popular entertainment, Pfeiffer’s work deconstructs our fascination and obsession with celebrity culture, unpacking how collective consciousness is shaped and manipulated through his masterful editing of found footage. In tracing the global trajectory of image circulation, Pfeiffer demonstrates how desire, heroism and worship operate as part of the mechanisms of art, religion, politics, and nationhood. Bringing together more than 30 works and debuting a new commission, this is the first retrospective of the artist’s multi-disciplinary practice. The Geffen Contemporary, 152 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo; On view November 12 – June 16; $18, free Thursdays, 5-8pm; moca.org.
FREIGHT: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green at Fountain Theatre. In the West Coast Premiere of this acclaimed solo play, J. Alphonse Nicholson (P-Valley, They Cloned Tyrone, Broadway’s A Soldier’s Play) embodies five incarnations of Abel Green, an African American “Everyman,” as he travels through time as many selves, from a 19th Century minstrel to a fallen 21st Century securities trader. In each life, Abel is guided, distracted, helped, or hindered by a handful of characters with whom his destiny is forever intertwined. 5060 Fountain Ave., E. Hollywood; Opening night performance and reception: Sunday, November 12, 8pm; Performances through December 16; $10-$40; fountaintheatre.com.
PXL This 33 Toy Camera Film Festival (Online). The PXL-2000 (Pixelvision) is a toy camera, manufactured by Fisher-Price from 1987-89, that records on quarter-inch audio cassette tape. The low resolution and high contrast was made for kids, and became an art tool. Today Pixelators are merging Pixelvision with cell phones and live streaming experiments from electronic Folk Art to all manner of Lo-Fi imaging. PXL THIS 33 celebrates visionary moving image artists from seminal experimental filmmakers, children, homeless artists, and professionals. Sunday, November 12, 7-10pm; free on YouTube; facebook.com/gerryfialka.
Monday, November 13
Stephen Markley, in conversation with Chris Pine, discusses The Deluge at Book Soup. In the first decades of the 21st century, the world is convulsing, its governments mired in gridlock while a patient but unrelenting ecological crisis looms. America is in upheaval, battered by violent weather and extreme politics. In California in 2013, Tony Pietrus, a scientist studying deposits of undersea methane, receives a death threat. His fate will become bound to a stunning cast of characters–a broken drug addict, a star advertising strategist, a neurodivergent mathematician, a cunning eco-terrorist, an actor turned religious zealot, and a brazen young activist named Kate Morris, who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begins a project that will alter the course of the decades to come. 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Monday, November 13, 7pm; free; booksoup.com.
Wednesday, November 15
An Indigenous Present: Indigeneity in Made in L.A. 2023 at the Hammer Museum. Co-presented with the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, this conversation celebrates the launch of the new book An Indigenous Present, conceived by artist Jeffrey Gibson. This panel takes a closer look at Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living from the perspective of Indigenous intersectionality, as Made in L.A. artists Ishi Glinsky, Melissa Cody, Teresa Baker, and Esteban Ramón Pérez join Gibson and curator Pablo José Ramírez in this conversation on indigeneity through a larger understanding of native land, diasporic and queer histories, mestizaje, and ideas of ancestry. Wednesday, November 15, 7:30pm; free; hammer.ucla.edu.
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