A masterful doc on masterpieces of painting, an exhibition of this year’s Master Artist project awards, iconic actors in canonical plays from across the pond, winners of global wildlife photography awards; invent your own plants, curate your own dance festival, welcome another major gallery transplant to town; big summer art shows, a timely theatrical revival, Dudamel.
Thursday, July 13
2023 City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Master Artist Project Exhibition at Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Awarded annually to L.A.-based artists, COLA supports the creation of new works by a selection of the City’s most exemplary mid-career artists, honoring the synergetic relationship between Los Angeles, its artists, its history, and its identity as an international arts capital. The Literary and Performing Artists debuted their works at Grand Performances in June, and now the six visual artists are showcased at Barnsdall Art Park. 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Opening reception: Thursday, July 13, 6-8pm; On view through September 16; free; lamag.org.
Deep Field at the Getty Center. An interactive AR and sonic experience by artists Tin&Ed, in which visitors virtually co-create a digital ecosystem of fantastical plants using a custom iPad Pro drawing app connected to a global database. Almost instantly, drawings—joined in real-time by other users’ art—bloom into 3D plant structures, trailing across the floor, walls, and ceiling. Using the app’s UV mode, participants can observe colors on living flowers and plants that cannot normally be seen by humans, allowing them to perceive the world as butterflies, bees, and fireflies do. A layered multichannel soundscape by audio naturalist Martyn Stewart highlights endangered and extinct species. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; 10:45am, 12:30pm & 2pm daily through July 16; free; getty.edu.
Friday, July 14
Daydreaming pressed against a fence at Harkawik Gallery. Harkawik inaugurates their new Melrose Hill location with a group exhibition focused on translation, reconstitution and reimagination as it relates to the creative process. Artists frequently re-make works, beginning in one medium and moving to another, creating process-oriented constructions and responding to their peculiarly handmade qualities, or taking already-made artworks and using them as baseline, found object or raw material—adding, removing, rebuilding them in different ways. 5538 Santa Monica Blvd., Melrose Hill; Opening reception: Friday, July 14, 7-10pm; On view through September 11; free; harkawik.com.
2022 Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards Exhibition at Natural History Museum. More than 40 award-winning photographs and videos selected from over 9,500 entries from 57 countries—chosen by a panel of judges that includes accomplished wildlife photographers, conservation professionals, safari guides, and youth conservation activists, providing an emotional and dynamic look at the breadth and majesty of African wildlife as well as the challenges many species face. 900 Exposition Blvd., Expo Park; On view July 14 – October 9; $18; free to L.A. County residents Mon-Fri, 3-5pm; nhmlac.org.
Dance at the Odyssey. Curated by Barbara Mueller-Wittmann, this pop-up summer festival promises an intimate experience between you and the dancers onstage as they share a “first look” at adventurous, mystifying, warm and witty short-length pieces. Artists include Friidom Dunn, Corina Kinnear, Marcella Lewis, Hannah Millar, Alejandro Perez, Lara Wilson, Vanessa Hernández Cruz and Chie Saito. 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A.; Performances July 14-23; $25, 3 shows for $60, full festival passes available; odysseytheatre.com.
Saturday, July 15
Wendell Gladstone: Spooky Action at Shulamit Nazarian Gallery. Gladstone’s figurative compositions examine the indescribable psychic impact of human relationships. Drawing from elements of Jungian psychology and taking inspiration from quantum physics, the artist engages a variety of visual styles and painting methods. With a bright, often candy-colored palette layered with transparent mediums that subtly reveal the forms beneath, his paintings lure the viewer in to consider the boundless realm of the human psyche. 616 N. La Brea, Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, July 15, 6-8pm; On view through August 19; free; shulamitnazarian.com.
Hank Willis Thomas: I’ve Known Rivers at Pace Gallery. A selection of new retroreflective artworks—which reveal latent images depending on lighting and the perspective of the viewer, to reveal two distinct scenes transfigured by both ambient and flash lighting. Seen from one perspective, these artworks present bold figurations, abstractions, and landscapes in saturated colors; seen from another, fragmented archival scraps. As these elements converge and transform, they shed light on new layers of images, ideas, and meanings that are hidden in plain sight. 1201 S. La Brea, Mid-Wilshire; Opening reception: July 15, 6-8pm; On view through August 26; free; pacegallery.com.
Last Summer at Bluefish Cove at The Fountain Theatre. Set in 1974, a group of queer women spend their summers together in a remote oceanfront town on Long Island. Their lesbian enclave is disrupted when Eva, a naïve straight woman recently separated from her husband, stumbles unaware into their circle and falls for the charming, tough-talking Lil. This heartfelt play, a landmark in lesbian history, is bursting with friendship, laughter, love and hope, bringing well-rounded, three-dimensional characters that transcend stereotypes and preconceptions to the stage. Written by Jane Chambers and directed by Hannah Wolf, the theater transforms its outdoor stage to create an oceanfront experience for its 40th anniversary production of the groundbreaking comedy/drama. 5060 Fountain Ave., Hollywood; Performances through August 24; $45; fountaintheatre.com.
Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax book-signing at Arcana. Working across photography, film, video, painting, and installation, Erizku’s work references and re-imagines African American and African visual culture, from hip hop vernacular to Nefertiti, while nodding to traditions of spirituality and Surrealism. This comprehensive monograph spans the artist’s career, blending his studio practice with his work as an in-demand editorial photographer working regularly for the New Yorker, New York magazine, Time, and GQ, among others, and features his conceptual portraits of Black cultural icons such as Solange, Amanda Gorman, and Michael B. Jordan. 8675 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Saturday, July 15, 4-6pm; free (book $75); arcanabooks.com.
Sunday, July 16
National Theatre Live: King Lear at Boston Court. Broadcast live from London’s West End, see Ian McKellen’s extraordinarily moving portrayal of King Lear, broadcast live in cinemas around the world. Chichester Festival Theatre’s production received five-star reviews for its sell-out run, and transfers to the West End for a limited season. Jonathan Munby directs this nuanced and powerful contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s tender, violent, moving and shocking play. Considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written, King Lear sees two aging fathers—one a King, one his courtier—reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends. 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Sunday, July 16, 2pm; $20; bostoncourtpasadena.org. Also playing at Laemmle Theaters on Monday, July 24.
Monday, July 17
Close to Vermeer at Laemmle Theaters, Culture Vulture series. What makes a Vermeer a Vermeer? Provenance, authentication, museological annotation; magic, skill, vision, empathy, a gift for rendering light and eliciting emotion, a borrowed camera obscura; a receipt for tens of millions of dollars? This brilliant documentary goes behind the scenes of the largest Vermeer exhibition ever mounted, the instantly legendary 2023 exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and does the seemingly impossible—turns a story of admin and research into a nail-biting procedural full of mystery, drama, tension, suspense, nuance, and the thrill of the chase. Director Suzanne Raes follows curators, conservators, collectors, and experts like the Rijksmuseum’s Gregor Weber and Pieter Roelofs and conservators Abbie Vandivere and Anna Krekeler in their mission as passions run high.
From behind the scenes politics and intrigue affecting the unprecedented scope of international loans of priceless masterpieces, to the game-changing role of new technology, and a deeper look into the headline-grabbing news that at least one marquee work may not be by Vermeer at all, the trove of interviews with artists and aficionados contextualizes our enduring obsession with the elusive Dutch Master with an examination of how art history gets made—and by whom. Monday, July 17, 7pm; at Laemmle Monica, Glendale, and Claremont locations; $15; laemmle.com/culturevulture. The film is also now available on VOD.
Tuesday, July 18
Grupo Corpo and Estancia with Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl. Dance company Grupo Corpo—internationally renowned for combining classical technique with a modern take on popular Brazilian dance—joins Dudamel and the L.A. Phil orchestra for this rare full performance of Ginastera’s ballet. Set against the landscape of disappearing Argentine gaucho culture, Ginastera’s Estancia tells the tale of a city boy who tries to win the heart of a rancher’s daughter by showing off his skills as a horseman and dancer. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Tuesday, July 18, 8pm; $1-$134; hollywoodbowl.com.
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