Contemporary dance meets the power of flowers, the morning greets the forest, a counterculture legend greets their admirers; great authors talk about their poetry, prose, satire, and zines; an international gallery moves to Los Angeles, a dance film gets intimate and dark, a group show of contemporary Asian artists gets big and bright; plus an arts-minded variety show, gallery exhibitions featuring textile art, paintings by legends of progressive L.A. history, and a group show about storytelling, place, and memory.
Thursday, April 13
Live Talks LA presents Clint Smith in conversation with Safia Elhillo at William Turner Gallery. Clint Smith is that rare writer who has mastered both poetry and prose. Tonight he speaks about two of his books: the instant best-seller, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, and his latest, Above Ground, in which he traverses the vast emotional terrain of new parenthood. Through his reflections and insights, Smith offers a new understanding of the role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica; Thursday, April 13, 8pm; $20/$46 with signed book; livetalksla.org.
Friday, April 14
Sharon Lockhart and Oriel Osterweis: Talent Show at REDCAT (Live & Streaming). Talent Show emerges from faculty members Sharon Lockhart and Ariel Osterweis’ CalArts course of the same name. Graduates, undergraduates, alumni, and professional guest artists come together to put on a talent show, featuring acts that may lie outside their formal training. Yes to amateurism! Yes to virtuosity! Yes to awkwardness and adolescence, aspiration, and ambition! From concert performance to clunky experimentalism, Talent Show unites high and low—freak show, magic show, circus, pageant, musical, TV competition. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Friday, April 14, 8:30pm; $12; redcat.org.
Spectrum at Arushi Gallery. A selected group of vibrant Asian artists debuting their works in the U.S. in a celebration of the rich cultural heritage and contemporary artistry of Asia. Including artworks from Benzilla, Mr Kreme, Suntur, Lucas Price, Geoffrey Bouillot, TUTU, Anton Afganial, Valdo Manullang, Naufal Abshar, Lugas Syllabus, Jonty Hurwitz, Sellout, and Sophie Kipner, the curation focuses on bright colors, dynamic compositions, and uplifting themes that combine to create an atmosphere of joy and optimism just like the cities they hail from in Asia and Los Angeles. 1243 W. Temple St., Echo Park; Opening reception: Friday, April 14, 6-9pm; free; instagram.com/arushigallery.
Saturday, April 15
Carmen Herrera, The 1970s: Part 2 at Lisson Gallery. Lisson Gallery debuts its Los Angeles location with the first solo exhibition in Los Angeles for Herrera as well—echoing Lisson Gallery’s opening in New York in 2016, which was inaugurated with paintings and sculptures by Herrera. To celebrate the opening of the new L.A. gallery, a monumental Estructura by Herrera is also installed in the front courtyard. Herrera’s work in the 1970s, one of the least-explored decades of the artist’s career, can be characterized by her reluctance to follow the prevalent male-dominated art movements of the era. Herrera never considered herself part of any specific art historical category, focusing instead on sharpening the geometric lyricism and vibrant abstractions for which she is now known. 1037 N. Sycamore, Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, April 15, 3-6pm; On view through June 10; free; lissongallery.com.
Alicia Reyes McNamara: The Summoning, and Carmen Mardónez: Textiledermy Five Car Garage. Reyes McNamara’s recent works revolve around a gathering of ancient turtle and snail spirits that were seen as non-binary and feminine figures within folklore and mythology of both Ireland and Mexico. Mardónez liberates the art of embroidery from its narrow picturesque functions in the domestic craft sphere, instead approaching its mediums and materials with the expressionist pictorial gusto of abstract painting and sculpture. Santa Monica address provided with rsvp; Opening reception: Saturday, April 15, noon-5pm; On view through May 20; free; emmagrayhq.com.
Restore + Explore: Forest Bathing with Debra Wilbur at the Huntington. Join Certified Forest Therapy Guide Debra Wilbur for a two-day forest bathing class in the lush Palm Garden and discover pathways to restore emotional and physical well-being. Wilbur leads a guided nature immersion experience while exploring the beauty and tranquility of The Huntington. Suitable for all levels, no previous experience necessary. Registration includes two consecutive Saturdays. 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino; Saturdays, April 15 & 22, 8:30-10:30am; $80; huntington.org.
Notions of Place at Angels Gate Cultural Center. Drawing on dreams, memories, and the spaces in between, the artists articulate facets of what we call place—refuge, home, or safe harbor. It can also be a border that separates or a wall holding us back. In ways both spiritual and physical, Notions of Place explores the contours of the artist’s experience of the world. Curated by Lauren Kasmer, Notions of Place includes works by Hilary Baker, Natalie M. Godinez, Kio Griffith, Flora Kao, Lauren Kasmer, LaRissa Rogers, Jenny Yurshansky, and HK Zamani. The galleries will also feature Homesĭtē, a participatory food-based storytelling work by Kasmer and Joyce Dallal culminating in a Culinary Performance event on May 13. 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro; Opening reception: Saturday, April 15, 3-5pm; On view through June 17; free; angelsgateart.org.
Sunday, April 16
Vaginal Davis: Macha Family Romance, and Cameron: The Lion Path: Art, Astrology and Magic at Marc Selwyn Fine Art. Davis got her start in the late 1970s in the L.A. queer and punk club scenes with “multiracial, maxi-gendered” performances. Davis’ often humorous yet socially critical work is considered groundbreaking in the history of queer culture in nearly every medium: music, performance, video, installation, and visual art. The works on paper in Macha Family Romance are a concoction of beauty creams, tonics, oils, and varnishes, materials conventionally reserved for the body. An enigmatic figure in the early years of California’s burgeoning art scene, Cameron was a visionary painter, draftswoman, actress, and poet who bridged the spiritual and artistic countercultures flourishing in mid-century Los Angeles. 9953 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Opening reception: Sunday, April 16, 5-7pm; On view through May 27; free; marcselwynfineart.com.
An Audience with V. Vale at The Aster. The writer, publisher, researcher, documentarian, musician, constant curator, and contributor to the counterculture continuum described as the first (and last!) 70s punk publisher, Vale is in perpetual motion. After launching San Francisco’s first punk zine Search & Destroy in 1977 with $100 each from Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Vale founded RE/Search in 1980 for his other cultural-anthropological explorations—including Industrial music, the writings of J.G. Ballard and William S. Burroughs, body modification, feminism, “Incredibly Strange” filmmaking and much more. The event includes a conversation between V. Vale, Aaron Rose, and Beatie Wolfe; a live DJ set from Money Mark on tape cassettes; a reading of Vale’s cat haikus and “Goals for Life,” and a live performance from V. Vale and Marian Wallace. 1717 Vine St., Hollywood; Sunday, April 16, 4-6:30pm; free w/ rsvp; beatiewolfeaaronrose.splashthat.com.
Monday, April 17
The Severing at Laemmle Theaters. From acclaimed filmmaker Mark Pellington (The Mothman Prophecies) comes this new visceral and powerful feature-length dance film. This cathartic movement piece was created in collaboration with choreographer Nina McNeely (Gaspar Noe’s Climax), rising Dutch cinematographer Evelin Van Rei, and editor Sergio Pinheiro. Inspired by the Wim Wenders film Pina, Pellington was interested in expressing feelings and emotions through a ‘narrative of movement and text,’ told through the physical expression of dancers’ bodies and souls. Opens Monday April 17 at Laemmle’s Claremont, Glendale, and Monica theaters; laemmle.com.
Tuesday, April 18
PEN Out Loud presents Alexandra Petri with Megan Amram at Second Home Hollywood. Humorist and Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri joins PEN Out Loud to celebrate the release of her satirical new book Alexandra Petri’s US History. Witty and irreverent, this collection of over 80 short satirical pieces provides a refreshing and hilarious new take on centuries of American history. She will be joined in conversation by author, performer, and Emmy-award-winning screenwriter, Megan Amram. Join PEN for an indoor/outdoor evening of drinks, hilarity, and American history as you’ve never heard it before. 1370 N. St. Andrews Pl., Hollywood; Tuesday, April 18, 7pm; $15/$40 includes signed book; pen.org.
Wednesday, April 19
The Movement Sessions by Kaylee Gibson at Dries Van Noten. A project-based performance series led by multidisciplinary artist Kaylee Gibson brings together artists, dancers, and musicians in unique spaces to explore ideas through performance and presence. Celebrating the Earth and inspired by the designs of Dries Van Noten, the cultural emporium’s series at The Little House concludes with a multidisciplinary work by acclaimed dancer Nayomi Van Brunt, experimental multi-instrumentalist and producer Victoria Mordoch, and artist, florist, and designer Sophia Moreno-Bunge. 451 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; Wednesday, April 19 and Saturday, April 22; 5pm; free; driesvannoten.com.
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