Arts all along the Miracle Mile, a full roster of virtual conversations with some of the culture’s most impressive women, book signings, performance art, dance on film, digital art on center stage, art inspired by music, video inspired by indigo blue, and artists excavate the generational memory of objects and the poetry of the elements.
Thursday, January 27
Miles Aldridge: High-Gloss at Fahey/Klein. An exhibition of photographs and screenprints by Miles Aldridge, an artist renowned for staging elaborate technicolor dream-like worlds and fragmented narratives that defy expectations. This exhibition features a selection of familiar and newly released images that, in pure Aldridge fashion, are exuberantly glamorous yet probe society’s idealized notions of domestic bliss for sinister undercurrents. 148 N. La Brea, Hollywood; On view: January 27 – March 19; Reception: Saturday, February 19; free; faheykleingallery.com.
In Conversation: Patrisse Cullors and Angela Davis at CAAM (Virtual). In An Abolitionist’s Handbook, artist, author and organizer Patrisse Cullors charts a framework for how everyday activists can effectively fight for an abolitionist present and future. Filled with relatable pedagogy on the history of abolition, a reimagining of what reparations look like for Black lives and real-life anecdotes, the book offers a bold and humanistic approach to how to be a modern-day abolitionist. Cullors discusses her work with political activist, scholar and philosopher Angela Davis, in a program moderated by L.A. County Library Director Skye Patrick. Thursday, January 27, 7-8:30pm; free; caamuseum.org.
Friday, January 28
how we are in time and space: Nancy Buchanan, Marcia Hafif, Barbara T. Smith at the Armory. In an exhibition shaped by the forces of proximity, friendship, generosity, and longevity, Buchanan, Hafif, and Smith met in the newly formed MFA program at UC Irvine and remained friends for life. Structured around the subjects of bodies, communication, and dwelling, this exhibition reveals a remarkable range of pursuits explored by the three artists for the past 50 years. Though each followed their own trajectory, this exhibition — organized by guest curator Michael Ned Holte — highlights the differences as well as the “empathic overlaps” of these life-long friends. Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; On view January 28 – June 12; free; armoryarts.org.
Judy Baca & El Taller Siqueiros, with Dennis Broe at MOLAA (Virtual). Baca, ever the innovator, can’t be confined within the walls of a single medium. But walls are where Baca’s work is best seen. In conjunction with her landmark survey show at MOLAA, join this conversation to learn about El Taller Siqueiros, the great Mexican muralist, and how his work influenced Judy Baca’s murals today. Rescheduled to: Thursday, January 28; 11am; free with zoom registration; molaa.org.
Bernardine Evaristo and Roxane Gay at Writers Bloc (Virtual). Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo’s new book, her nonfiction debut Manifesto: On Never Giving Up combines a memoir and a manifesto about achieving the impossible, about simply refusing to give up despite the odds. Bitingly candid about her insistence on filling the void where voices like hers were absent, her discussions on race, class, sexuality, and aging are not only resonant with a wide audience, but hit home with power and humor. She is joined in conversation by author Roxane Gay, herself considered to be one of our most influential cultural observers. Friday, January 28, 1pm; $5/ticket only; $29/includes a signed book; writersblocpresents.com.
Saturday, January 29
Senon Williams: Words Don’t Mean Much Book Signing at Arcana Books. The old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” is turned on its side in Williams’ new book of aphoristic phrasing. This book of poems is derived from the text in Williams’ ink on paper drawings, in which few words are needed to create an illuminating image in the mind’s eye, conjuring immediate multi-sensory experiences. The drawings are textual extractions and gather momentum within the book, exhibiting great attention to materials and craftsmanship. 8675 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Saturday, January 29, 4-6pm; free; arcanabooks.com.
Christiane Lyons: Some Women – A Total Portrait with No Omissions at Meliksetian Briggs. Lyons’s painting practice is driven by an ongoing investigation into the cognitive and non-linguistic processes used in interpreting imagery. Primarily using paint as a medium, she recontextualizes appropriated imagery to provoke new meanings and visual interpretations. Directly utilizing content from art history she re-addresses the issue of painting’s importance as part of the canon, confronting the primary elements of paint, such as line and form, representation and abstraction, and color. 313 N. Fairfax, West Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, January 29, 6-8pm; On view through March 19; free; meliksetianbriggs.com.
Shade Théret: Throwaway Line at Odyssey Theatre. A tragic-romantic-thrill-comedy dance solo composed for a deadbeat actress, the story manifests as a stream of consciousness, a play-through of events which take place in the aftermath of “giving her all” to her beloved audience. The woman’s movements are a dialogue with her fragmented past, and she stages them publicly. She draws on the emotions and makes physical the desires of various personas and social relations from these memories. Music and Technical Direction by Alexander lezzi. 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Mar Vista; Saturday, January 29, 8pm; $20; odysseytheatre.com.
Tori Wrånes: Mussel Tears at Shulamit Nazarian. Sculptures, paintings, sound, and performance merge together to evoke dream-like narratives, where the familiar becomes fantastical. As a synesthete, a person with a condition of combining senses such as seeing color and form in sound and language, Wrånes visualizes sound into a sculptural and physical dimension. This experience allows the artist to use sound to dictate the form of painting and sculpture and, in turn, she also visualizes objects through vocal projection. 616 N. La Brea, Hollywood; On view January 29 – March 5; free; shulamitnazarian.com.
Sunday, January 30
Shinique Smith: Breathing Room: Moon Marked Journey (Virtual). A live-stream performance and preview of Smith’s new film — a meditation on breath, Indigo, and blue as a color that has long inspired her art practice. This work is an homage to blue, one that has been slowly percolating since 2009, when she began to incorporate body prints within her work. “This new, evolved version of Breathing Room is about Indigo, blue, the body, my body as a black woman, and the effect that the blue can have on the body, on memory, and spirit,” says Smith. The full film will debut at Smith’s forthcoming solo exhibition at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. Sunday, January 30, 1pm; free; eventbrite.com.
Karen Hochman Brown: Digital Playground at TAG. Using the medium of photography, Hochman Brown translates nature through a digital lens. Her personal meditations take you inside a world of balance, patterns and visual trickery. Many versions of a distorted and reflected image are woven together to create precise visual symphonies in the form of multi-layered mandalas. In a world of digital over-simulation, the artist recognizes the irony of using the computer to create a peaceful, focused world. 5458 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Artist reception (and birthday party!): Sunday, January 30, 3-6pm; On view through February 12; free; taggallery.net.
Rosalyn Myles: Daisy Hightower; Diedrick Bracken: Heaven is a Muddy Riverbed; Jaishri Abichandani: Flower-Headed Children at Craft Contemporary. Myles uses the traditional epicenter of family gatherings — the table and tablecloth — as a vehicle to tell her maternal grandmother’s life story. An intimate survey examines the use of the catfish motif in Brackens’ weavings and poetry. The first comprehensive museum show of New York-based artist and curator Abichandani’s varied creative production — over 25-years of folk and vernacular aesthetics and craft-based materials that create intricate figurative sculptures and painted portraits — is curated by writer, independent curator, and educator Anuradha Vikram. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; January 30 – May 8; $9; craftcontemporary.org.
Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reimagined at LACMA. To mark the 30th anniversary of Interscope Records, the company invited artists to select albums and songs from Interscope’s catalog and fostered exchanges with musicians to generate resonant pairings. The exhibition includes over 50 works, from an intergenerational group of visual artists including Cecily Brown, Lauren Halsey, Rashid Johnson, Takashi Murakami, and Ed Ruscha — in dialog with iconic musicians from the last three decades like Dr. Dre, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Nine Inch Nails, and Lady Gaga. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile: January 30 – February 13; $20 / free after 3pm Monday-Friday for LA County residents; lacma.org.
Monday, January 31
Digital Baroque at 4ArtTechnologies (Digital). A curated NFT art show examining the continuity between digital technology and art history, launching the company’s new NFT+ platform. Pressing issues are tackled by the artists, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, digital surveillance and feminism, data paintings and abstract expressionism, horror vacui and science fiction. The inspiration for the exhibition — Timothy Murray’s groundbreaking book, Digital Baroque: New Media and Cinematic Folds — draws a line of continuity between new digital technologies and art history, specifically the Baroque period. Works in the show portray historical figures, optical citations and techniques borrowed from art history and classical architecture, ancient myth and spiritual pageantry, folk idioms and early-internet vernacular. The unique 1/1 NFTs assembled are also complemented by physical works — prints, paintings, text, music and sculptures — in tandem with the exhibition. Artists include Neïl Beloufa, Claudia Hart, Ahmed Elgammal, Ouchhh, Rewind Collective, and more. January 31 – February 7; free; 4art-technologies.com.
Artists on the Future: Catherine Opie and Rebecca Solnit in conversation at Stanford Arts (Virtual). Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than 20 books on feminism, western and urban history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and catastrophe. Catherine Opie is an artist working with photography, film, collage, and ceramics. Opie’s work is known for its frank, empathetic critique of the humans and their constructed realms. Together they’re going to go deep on the big and small choices we’re making now and what that means for the future we’re going to share. Monday, January 31, 5-6:30pm; free; arts.stanford.edu.
Ailey All Access (Streaming). Beginning on January 31, Ailey All Access free programs debuts new titles on Mondays through June. The series kicks off with a celebration of Black History program showcasing former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream., a work inspired by the sermons and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The large ensemble work melds creative storytelling, music by Ali Jackson, and historic and original writings recorded by Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. On February 14 celebrate Valentine’s Day with Robert Battle’s swirling duet Unfold, evoking the tenderness and ecstasy in Gustave Charpentier’s aria “Depuis Le Jour,” sung by the incomparable Leontyne Price. Free; alvinailey.org.
Tuesday, February 1
Nao Bustamante at Roski Talks. Artist, performer and USC Roski Professor Nao Bustamante’s interdisciplinary work encompasses performance art, video installation, visual art, filmmaking and writing. With a fearless willingness to locate her witty transgressions on her own body and a pronounced flair for the dramatic, Bustamante has presented in galleries, museums, universities and underground sites all around the world. Tonight she will discuss her multivalent practice, and if we’re lucky throw in some extra spice. Tuesday, February 1, 7pm; free; eventbrite.com.
Wednesday, February 2
Enrique Martínez Celaya: Sea Sky Land: towards a map of everything at USC Fisher Museum of Art. Martínez Celaya’s philosophical and poetic probing in writings plays an integral part in his artistic practice. Together these works suggest a map of sorts, and this artistic, poetic, and intellectual mapping reveals a territory shaped by self, time, memory, meaning, myth, ideations of home, and the world as it is. Each of the three galleries at the Fisher Museum will present the artist’s writings alongside paintings and sculptures dedicated to one of three motifs — sea, sky, and land. Concurrently, an exhibition of Martínez Celaya’s work related to the early 20th-century California poet Robinson Jeffers will be on view in the USC Doheny Memorial Library beginning February 22. Martínez Celaya’s site-specific installation, There-bound, on view at The Huntington through November. 823 W. Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park; February 2 – April 9; free; fisher.usc.edu.