Artists challenge us all to see the world differently—more intimately, more holistically, more empathetically, more engaged with nature and each other—in video-based installation, micro/macro research, durational dance, aesthetic semiotics, material abstraction, life-long critique, environmental portraiture, telling still lifes, science-based choreography, poets and painters on sunset pilgrimage, metabolic architecture, the infinite expanse of spiritual imagination, environmentalist surrealism, matriarchs of edgy comedy, and art historical flower power.
Thursday, June 1
Martine Syms: Loser Back Home, at Sprüth Magers. The international gallery announces their representation of L.A.-based Martine Syms, and presents her first solo show with the gallery. Garnering widespread attention for her work that combines conceptual grit, humor and social commentary, Syms has emerged in recent years as one of the defining artists of her generation. Her work focuses on identity and the portrayal of the self in relation to themes such as feminism and Black culture. Loser Back Home will premiere Syms’ latest works in video, sculpture, painting and photography. 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Opening reception: Thursday, June 1, 6-8pm; On view through August 26; free; spruethmagers.com.
Kelly Akashi: Formations Book Signing and Shells Film Screening at MOCA. The first in-depth monograph on the artist accompanies the major survey exhibition at the San José Museum of Art. Much like the artist’s work, the catalog cultivates relationships between objects and materials. For her looping video Shells, Akashi collaborated with the NHM’s Invertebrate Paleontology department to document shell fossils from extinct species in the collection. Combined into a pulsing animation, the work dwells on interiority, transference from organic to mineral, and the spiral as a non-linear model for time. 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thursday, June 1, 6-8pm; free; moca.org.
Friday, June 2
L.A. Dance Project Presents EYIBRA & Oldo Erréve, members of MUXX Project. Performance and multidisciplinary artist EYIBRA presents two new works: Veles/Tini (a one-hour evening show) will have its L.A. premiere on June 2; and Motherlines, a six-hour durational performance with 3D visuals by Oswaldo Erréve, will premiere on June 3. The lobby space in collaboration with François Ghebaly Gallery will present the artist’s new video installation Marenxxa, which explores a futuristic version of the Ukrainian pagan deity of death and rebirth, Marena. 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown: Friday-Saturday, June 2-3; $15-$35; ladanceproject.org.
Alee Peoples: Hello My Friend Book Launch and Closing Party at General Projects. Peoples is an innovative multimedia artist whose work explores the intersections of text, pattern, and visual communication. Her work is like a Rubik’s Cube, deceptively simple and eternally fascinating. Peoples transforms everyday objects into unique, abstract narratives that explore the absurdities and banalities of our contemporary imagination. Elements of a cosmic aesthetic run throughout her work, bringing her handcrafted look to life. Her work engages in a fierce form of play, grappling with meaning instead of trying to grasp it. 3609 Pomona St., Lincoln Heights; Friday, June 2, 7-10pm; free; insertblancpress.net.
David Hammons: The Melt Goes on Forever at Laemmle Monica Film Center. The acclaimed new documentary chronicles the singular career of the elusive African American art star David Hammons, from Watts rebellion era ’60s L.A. to global art world prominence today. Hammons’ category-defying practice—rooted in a deep critique of American society and the elite art world—seeks to go beyond the dominant culture and his own to a new one for the 21st century. Featuring eminent artists, curators and critics, a rich trove of archival footage, animation, and an evocative soundscape, The Melt is a record of the work of an artist who constantly defies the establishment and remains subversive at every turn. On screen June 2-8; $14; laemmle.com.
Saturday, June 3
Corey Pemberton: Person, place, thing at UNREPD. From heirlooms and collectables to creature comforts and detritus—Pemberton’s Person, place, thing asks what it looks like for us to be our most authentic selves. In Pemberton’s mixed media portraits and hand blown glass, authenticity looks like the casserole dish a father crafted with his own hands and a clump of earth; the bottle of malt liquor that is easier to come by than fresh produce; the 2-liter of cola whose recipe was developed by slave owners in Georgia. It’s a tea set passed through generations and an earring gifted from an old lover. Each of these objects carries a story, its use pointing straight to the heart of its user. 100 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Opening reception: Saturday, June 3, 6-9pm; On view through July 15; free; unrepd.com.
Donna Sternberg & Dancers: Awe & Wonder. Four choreographers create new dances inspired by their conversations with four scientists. One scientist is paired with each choreographer, dialoguing about the scientist’s field of study, which then becomes the starting point for the choreographer. This year’s program explores space with scientists from NASA/JPL, Caltech, and Pepperdine, paired with choreographers specializing in jazz, flamenco, hip hop, and contemporary movement, and examines the myriad ways scientists and choreographers collaborate. Atwater Village Theater, 3269 Casitas Ave., Atwater; Saturday, June 3, 8pm; Sunday, June 4, 3pm; $20-$25; dsdancers.com.
Senon Williams: six sunset paintings at Lauren Powell Projects. Williams’ work finds space in the natural, exposing outstanding and devastating stages of human evolution. A special edition of the Sunset Hiking Club features Williams’ paintings, plus poetry by Williams, Mandy Kahn, and Eric Ernest Johnson. The procession departs the gallery at 5pm, maneuvers past Griffith Observatory up to the Berlin Forrest, where a public viewing of the pilgrimage-transported work will be held from 6pm until sunset, with poetry readings at 7pm. This is a unique experience for both the paintings and humans alike—and by the way, you can choose to meet the group at the top where parking is readily available, just saying. The artist requests that you wear warm colors like red, yellow, orange, pink, white to match the sunset. Depart from 5225 Hollywood Blvd.; arrive at the Berlin Forest in Griffith Park; Saturday, June 3, 5-8pm; free; laurenpowellprojects.com.
Veronika Kellndorfer: Dialogue with Silver Lake Metabolism of Architecture at Neutra VDL House. In an exhibition exploring the idea that architecture serves as a preservation of history, the artist investigates how the past manifests itself in buildings and how these traces can be transformed into images of architectural spaces. After immersing herself in the Neutra VDL House’s history and design during an intensive research period in March 2022, Kellndorfer has produced a collection of new works that respond to the site’s context, history, and design. 2300 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; Opening reception: Saturday, June 3, 4-7pm; On view through July 29; free; neutra-vdl.org.
Adrian Cox: The Brush and the Torch at Corey Helford Gallery. Cox crafts an intricate and epic mythology with his paintings, in which he explores questions of identity, spirituality, and our relationship with the natural world. He draws inspiration from art history, science fiction, mythic archetypes, and his own experience of growing up in a closeted queer family. Cox shares that the exhibition is, “an exploration of the nature and source of creativity [and] depicts spiritual development as an engagement with the world rather than a departure from it.” 571 S. Anderson St., downtown; Opening reception: Saturday, June 3, 7-11pm; On view through July 8; free; coreyhelfordgallery.com.
Dulk: Heritage at Thinkspace Projects. Antonio Segura, known internationally by the pseudonym Dulk, brings his worlds of stylized animalia and character creatures to Thinkspace, striking an unlikely balance between the playful ease of children’s make-believe and the prescient threat of ecological doomsday. Dulk’s works celebrate the beauty of nature’s biodiversity while simultaneously mourning the imminence of its loss. Much in the same way that fantasy actively invites collusion with nightmare, Dulk’s extravagantly lush imagination, for all of its seductive warmth, is punctuated by premonitory distress, and poignantly aberrant, if not predictive, details. 4207 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams; Opening reception: Saturday, June 3, 6-10pm; On view through June 24; free; thinkspaceprojects.com.
EMEK: Epid-EMEK at Gabba Gallery. In this latest collection of “doodles,” Emek builds on the whimsical cast of characters from his 2019 show, Picture Day. Each inked portrait on paper captures a different monster, insect, skeleton, or other odd creature dressed up in his finest attire, perhaps with an eyeball peeking out of his breast pocket. The drawings are impressive, with stunningly detailed fine line work, but shine brightest thanks to their understated wit. Even though his subjects are conventionally unapproachable (bugs, ghouls, even a brick wall) Emek manages to infuse them all with the charm and dignity of lovable misfits. 3126 Beverly Blvd., East Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, June 3, 6-10pm; On view through June 17; free; gabbagallery.com.
Boston Court Theater Summer Soiree. Boston Court Pasadena, Pasadena’s premier nonprofit performing arts center is celebrating their 20th Anniversary with a free performance-based open house and party to bring community members together to celebrate the milestone. The dynamic afternoon and evening of free entertainment includes special performances by jazz trumpeter Nolan Shaheed, interactive art and theater activities, and a unique behind-the-scenes tour of Boston Court’s intimate performing arts venue—plus food, drinks, art, photo ops, and more. 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Saturday, June 3, 4-8pm; free; bostoncourtpasadena.org.
Sunday, June 4
Feigning Death Sessa Englund & Andrew Rutherdale at Hunter Shaw Fine Art. An exhibition of new works by L.A.-based artist Sessa Englund and Montreal-based artist Andrew Rutherdale. The works on view articulate an ornate, contemporary gothic sensibility, drawing upon specific cultural and art historical traditions to explore liminal zones between the metaphysical and material, the sacred and profane. While calling upon diverse aesthetic lineages, Englund and Rutherdale’s works are each possessed of an architectonic sensitivity, examining how the built environment both shapes and reflects culture and its inner ideals. 5513 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-city; Opening reception: Sunday, June 4, 5-8pm; On view through July 16; free; instagram.com/hunter_shaw_fine_art.
Tuesday, June 6
Writers Bloc present Sandra Tsing Loh at The Ebell of Los Angeles. What happens when four old friends—Boomer feminists—get together for a reunion for brunch in Brentwood? Loh’s new play, Madwomen of the West, features Caroline Aaron (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Marilu Henner (Taxi), Melanie Mayron (Thirtysomething; Jane the Virgin), and JoBeth Williams (The Big Chill; Poltergeist). Besides the smoking, the drinking, and a bowl of gummies, there’s bewilderment and real exploration about life, men, aging, and dealing with children. Writers Bloc hosts Loh and her dream-team cast for a discussion about what draws them to their characters and what messages the play delivers. The play itself runs at the Odyssey Theater through June 25. 741 S. Lucerne Blvd., Echo Park; Tuesday, June 6, 7:30pm; $25; writersblocpresents.com.
Wednesday, June 7
The Flower Show at L.A. Louver. In an ever-changing and disappearing natural world, artists have increasingly looked to nature’s beauty, mystery, and mutability. The Flower Show includes over 50 artists who work from diverse perspectives and cultural origins. From historic botanical study and still life composition, to assemblage sculpture and interactive video, the exhibition features flowers in formal, symbolic and narrative contexts. Themes of life, death, identity, memory and the environment infuse the presentation. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice; Opening reception: Wednesday, June 7, 6-8pm; On view through September 1; free; lalouver.com.
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