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Los Angeles arts calendarIconic BTS celebrity photography, Avedon’s portraits of ordinary Americans, celebrations of art and nature, dancing for joy, a self-portrait extravaganza curated by Kehinde Wiley; David Sedaris laughs to keep from crying, a festival of artistry fetes one of the world’s most famous cemeteries, Francesco Clemente and Vito Schnabel play post office, magical mixed media photography brings the starlight closer, plus more art and culture to illuminate your Los Angeles arts calendar this week.

Los Angeles arts calendar

Bob Willoughby: Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift share a laugh on the way to the Natchez Mississippi location for “Raintree County”, 1956 (Courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery)

Thursday, November 4

Phil Stern & Bob Willoughby: Picture’s Up, at Fahey Klein. An exhibition of photographs by two legendary photojournalists and Hollywood photographers. As chroniclers of Hollywood and the Jazz scene, both Stern and Willoughby produced iconic images during their long and illustrious careers. Their photographs convey an extraordinary access, and mutual trust, between photographer and subjects. In their unique and individual ways they each pioneered a behind-the-scenes approach to documenting Hollywood that contributed to an entire era’s visual vocabulary of “cool” that feels undeniably authentic today. 148 N. La Brea, Opening reception: Thursday, November 4; on view through January 8; free; faheykleingallery.com

Los Angeles arts calendar

Rebeca Mendez: Any-Instant-Whatever, 2-channel looping video, 90 minute. Dimensions: 15 x 36 feet. (Laguna Art Museum)

Art & Nature Festival at the Laguna Art Museum. Special exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions, films and family activities on the theme of art’s engagement with the natural world. The beloved annual series aims to provide a festival of art and ideas for the community, to inspire artists, to find and develop connections between art and science, to raise awareness of environmental issues, and to celebrate Laguna Beach as a center for the appreciation of art and nature. Laguna Art Museum will celebrate nine years of Art & Nature with the annual Art & Nature Gala on Saturday, November 6 at the Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona del Mar; the exhibitions and programs continue through April. 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach; November 4 – April 25; $12; lagunaartmuseum.org.

Los Angeles arts calendar

Richard Avedon: Juan Patricio Lobato, carney, Rocky Ford, Colorado August 23, 1980, 1980, printed 1984-85. Gelatin silver print, 81 3/4 x 66 3/4 inches (© The Richard Avedon Foundation Courtesy Gagosian)

Richard Avedon: Selections from In the American West at Gagosian. An exhibition of large-scale photographic portraits from Avedon’s series In the American West (1979–84). The ten photographs on view are the original exhibition prints created for the 1985 debut of the series, and have not been shown together publicly since then. To produce In the American West, Avedon spent five years journeying through twenty-one western states, photographing more than a thousand people as they went about their daily lives. Also on view at Gagosian will be archival photographs and other materials documenting Avedon’s development of this celebrated series. 456 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills; On view November 4 – December 18; free; gagosian.com

Los Angeles arts calendar

Ate9 Dance Company: Joy, at the Wallis

Ate9 Dance Company at The Wallis. A humorous and poignant reflection on human habits and addictions, Joy (World Premiere) examines humanity’s yearning for moments of elation amidst despair, and offers intimate flashes into the mental and physical states of each cast member. Joy is choreographed by Ate9’s Artistic Director Danielle Agami with music composed by Isaiah Gage. Stay after the November 5 performance for an intimate discussion with the artists moderated by The Wallis’ Artistic Director Paul Crewes. 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Thursday – Saturday, November 4-6, 7:30pm; $39-99; thewallis.org

Los Angeles arts calendar

Francesco Clemente: White Flags I, 2015. Mixed media on canvas, 78 x 93 inches (© Francesco Clemente. Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery)

Friday, November 5

Vito Schnabel Gallery presents Francesco Clemente at the Old Santa Monica Post Office. Francesco Clemente: Twenty Years of Painting: 2001-2021 is the internationally acclaimed artist’s first Los Angeles solo exhibition in nearly two decades. Featuring 30 works that reveal Clemente’s remarkable mastery of the many mediums that fall within the tradition of painting — from fresco on plaster panels and watercolor on paper, to oils and mixed media pigments on canvas, linen, and glass — the show brings viewers along on his journey through themes both metaphysical and sensual. The exhibition includes a suite of monumental new paintings created during the course of the pandemic, and uses as its foil the classic Art Deco features of the historic 1938 Post Office building. 1248 5th St., Santa Monica; On view by appointment November 5 – January 16; free; vitoschnabel.com.

Los Angeles arts calendar

Kelly Akashi at Francois Ghebaly

Kelly Akashi: Faultline, at François Ghebaly. Known for her work in cast bronze and hand-blown glass that captures the fleeting passage of time, Akashi’s new body of work incorporates carved stone, polished aluminum, and heirloom objects personal to the artist. The resulting exhibition is a meditation on impermanence, loss, and memorialization, expanding her already diverse sculptural and photographic repertoire. 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown; Opening reception: Friday, November 5, 6-9pm; on view through December 4; free; ghebaly.com.

Los Angeles arts calendar

Laurie Lipton: Drawings, installation view at Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery (Photo by Gareth Mackay)

Saturday, November 6

Laurie Lipton: Drawings at CalState LA. Lipton is most known for her striking and extraordinary drawings, exhibited internationally in galleries and museums during the last five decades. Lipton has been inspired by the religious paintings of the Flemish School, which excited her to teach herself how to paint in the style of the 15th Century Dutch Masters; she gradually developed her own style of drawing. She builds up tone with thousands of fine cross-hatched lines like an egg tempera painting. “It’s an insane way to draw,” Lipton says, “but the resulting detail and luminosity are worth the amount of effort..” Ronald H. Silverman Gallery, 5151 State University Dr., East Los Angeles; Opening reception: Saturday, November 6, noon-5pm; Artist Talk: Saturday, November 13, 11am; free; onview through November 17; free; ronaldhsilvermangallery.com.

Los Angeles arts calendar

Mikael Owunna at Iris Project

Mikael Owunna: Reconstructing the Primordial House, at Iris Project. Exploring a panoply of diasporic African myths (Dogon, Igbo, and African-American), Reconstructing the Primordial House is the debut L.A. solo show of the Pittsburgh-based multidisciplinary artist Mikael Owunna. In Owunna’s photographic series Infinite Essence, the artist leveraged his training as an engineer to build a camera flash that only transmits ultraviolet light. Owunna meticulously hand paints the nude bodies of Black models with fluorescent paints that only glow under ultraviolet light and photographs them in total darkness. For the fraction of a second that his shutter snaps, a transfiguration happens: the Black body is illuminated as the starry universe itself. 953 Amoroso Pl., Venice; Opening reception: Saturday, November 6, 2-5pm (film screening, 3pm); on view through December 19; free; irisproject.com

Los Angeles arts calendar

Ilana Savdie: The Enablers (an adaptation), 2021. Oil, acrylic, and beeswax on canvas stretched on panel (Courtesy Kohn Gallery)

Ilana Savdie: Entrañadas at Kohn Gallery. With hot-colored, electrifying paintings, Savdie’s large-scale works actualize tension as a state of being. Humanoid forms are suspended beyond normative order to narrate the displacement of power through invasion, control, and defiance. The exaggeration, perversion, and contortion of the body understand ridicule as a form of resistance, and ultimately, what it means for an inconvenient body to reorganize itself. As a queer artist raised in Baranquilla, Colombia, Savdie’s work remains inspired by the ethos of her hometown’s annual Carnival, a time and place that embodies the queering of becoming in resistance to social norms. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, November 6, 6-8pm; on view through January 29; free; kohngallery.com

Los Angeles arts calendar

Stories from Pere Lachaise: La Douleur (Grief) from City of Immortals. (Photo by Carolyn Campbell)

Stories from Père Lachaise at Theatre Raymond Kabbaz. Inspired by Carolyn Campbell’s bestselling book City of Immortals: Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, this multidisciplinary festival pays tribute to the exhilarating and poetic artistry of the place itself and the many great artists resting in Père-Lachaise — from Bizet to Jim Morrison, Molière, Oscar Wilde, and Isadora Duncan — through photography, literature, music, dance, film, talks, a book signing, and of course, because France, food and wine. “I believe that our collective vision has been brought to fruition,” says Campbell of the festival inspired by her book. “All the artists in this program are buried in Père-Lachaise, their work having endured the ravages of time and fickleness of generational popularity. We like to think that they are joined together in the afterlife, and their presence will be felt on stage.” 10361 W. Pico Blvd., West Los Angeles; Saturday, November 6, 3-10pm; $15-35; theatreraymondkabbaz.com.

Los Angeles arts calendar

Self-Addressed curated by Kehinde Wiley at Jeffrey Deitch. Image: Details of artworks by Tyna Adebowale, Tosin Kalejaye, and Lindokuhle Khumalo (Design by Audrey d’Erneville)

Sunday, November 7

Self-Addressed, curated by Kehinde Wiley at Jeffrey Deitch. Presented to benefit Wiley’s Black Rock Senegal programs, the acclaimed artist curates an exhibition of self-portraits by contemporary African artists living throughout the world, commissioning them to each produce a self-portrait. Together these portraits will present a new exploration of identity, perception, and self-regard within the global stage through the lens of figuration, exploring notions of perspective, authorship and control within acts of expression that directly address the self. This collection of self-portraits will offer an examination of the myth of the monolithic ‘Africa’ and an exploration of contemporary artists’ visual definitions of what it means to be ‘African’ or ‘of Africa.’ 925 N. Orange Dr., Hollywood; Artist reception: Sunday, November 7, 1-6pm; on view through December 23; free; deitch.com

Los Angeles arts calendar

Keith Haring: An Homage to Andy Warhol, Andy Mouse, 1986 (Santa Monica Auctions)

Santa Monica Auctions at Bergamot Station (Outdoor). Everyone’s favorite lively live auction of modern and contemporary artwork in all mediums returns after a 2.5 year hiatus. Based in Santa Monica for 37 years, Santa Monica Auctions is the longest running independently owned and operated boutique auction house in Los Angeles. This upcoming sale presents modern and contemporary works by mid-career and established artists of all mediums including painting, photography, sculpture, multiples and prints by artists like John Baldessari, Henry Taylor, Betye Saar, David Hockney, Jean Michel Basquiat, Raymond Pettibon, Ed Moses, Dennis Hopper, Llyn Foulkes, William Burroughs, Ed Ruscha, Diane Arbus, Alex Prager, Carlos Almaraz, Gronk, Frank Romero, Barry McGee, Patrick Nagel and many more — making the currently available in-person previews and special pre-sale evening hours (5-8pm) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to the Sunday live auction worth a visit in their own right. Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Sunday, November 7; 1pm; free; smauctions.com

Los Angeles arts calendar

Jordan Casteel: Jordan, 2020 (© Jordan Casteel. Courtesy of Casey Kaplan, New York)

Tuesday, November 9

5 Questions, 5 Artists: Reframing Portraiture with Jordan Casteel at LACMA (Virtual). Presented in conjunction with the arrival of the Obama Portraits Tour in Los Angeles and the related Black American Portraits, an exhibition that reframes portraiture to center Black American subjects, sitters, and spaces, this series will include conversations between artists and LACMA curators and educators. Each artist will be presented with the same five key questions about portraiture, exploring how this art form functioned historically in an encyclopedic collection while also providing us with new perspectives on representation. Tuesday, November 9, noon; free; lacma.org

Los Angeles arts calendar

Umar Rashid: Map of the Greater West (or, The Lemurian Triangle) (detail), 2017. Ink, acrylic, coffee, and tea on paper. 134.62 x 154.94 cm. (Courtesy the artist)

Wednesday, November 10

Imaginaries of L.A.: Umar Rashid and Sandy Rodriguez at the Getty Research Institute (Virtual). Artists Umar Rashid and Sandy Rodriguez will discuss how interweaving histories, cartographies, and cosmologies helps us see the stories of conquest, violence, and survival that constitute Los Angeles’s past and present in new ways. Since before its official founding in 1781, Los Angeles has existed on contested Tongva land. Although long recognized as a diverse and multicultural city, its history is marked by segregation, racist city planning, and harmful urban redevelopment policies. Imaginaries of L.A. is a series of conversations between Los Angeles-based artists and curators that explores what is at stake in the various strategies that artists use to represent Los Angeles and provides a forum for debate about the past, present and future of the city. Wednesday, November 10, 5-630pm; free; getty.edu

Los Angeles arts calendar

David Sedaris

David Sedaris at the Soraya. Whether it’s his sardonic wit or famously reedy voice, bestselling author David Sedaris is one of the most observant writers of the human condition. With essays in The New Yorker, bestselling books, endless tours, and a perennial presence on NPR, Sedaris is one of the most recognizable humorists in America today. He returns to The Soraya for one night to read from his latest book, The Best of Me, a collection of 42 previously published stories and essays, about which novelist Andrew Sean Greer wrote in The New York Times: “You must read The Best of Me. It will be a new experience, knowing that enough time has passed to find humor in the hardest parts of life. More than ever — we’re allowed to laugh.” 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Wednesday, November 10, 8pm; $41-109; thesoraya.org.

Los Angeles arts calendar

Ed Ruscha: Made in California, 1971. Lithograph from the numbered edition of 100 (Santa Monica Auctions)

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