See the world of art right here at home this week, as more than one new gallery opens their doors amid the already rather epic crush of a new art season. With fantastical stylization and a darker aspect of exuberance, photographers, painters, sculptors, and more explore themes of identity, history, politics, sexuality, rebellion, desire, destruction, natural phenomena, eco-consciousness, vulnerability, and nostalgia. Performance- and installation-based events unfold on museum grounds, in a parking lot, and across an art school campus explore personal, environmental, and societal actions; plus literature for humanity, dreamy classical in the forest, gender-fluid musical theater, design as cozy psychedelia, avant-garde cinema, and an arts-based celebration of the Bahia connection.
Thursday, September 14
Philippe Shangti at Andaz Hotel. Shangti’s art serves as a poignant commentary on the intricacies of our modern society, capturing societal flaws and human behavior in elaborate scenic performances. His artwork delves into themes of opulence and excess, encouraging viewers to question the allure of materialism and societal obsession with appearances. Shangti’s use of symbols challenges conventional perceptions of wealth and beauty, sparking a dialogue about authenticity in a consumer-driven world. 8401 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Reception: Thursday, September 14, 6-9pm; On view through September 30; free w/rsvp; philippeshangti.com.
Derrick Adams: Come as You Are at Gagosian. Adams continues to develop pictorial vignettes centering the Black figure, this time in new works born from the artist’s imagined invitation to the real or fictional personalities he paints. Adding elements of fantastical daydreams along with a few icons familiar from previous series, he dramatizes lived experience and self-actualization in compositions that balance vivid and muted tones, flat planes and multidimensional space. 456 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills; Opening reception: Thursday, September 14; On view through October 28; free; gagosian.com.
Michael Grecco: Days of Punk, and Elizabeth Waterman: Moneygame at Leica Gallery. Los Angeles-based fine art photographers—and spouses—Michael Grecco and Elizabeth Waterman present side-by-side solo shows. Grecco’s multimedia exhibition Days of Punk celebrates music and culture with photographs he shot in Boston and New York City from 1978-91. Waterman’s Moneygame features photographs from her five-year foray photographing strippers in five cities across the U.S. from 2016-20, as well as several new images shot in Bangkok earlier this year. 8783 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood; Opening reception: Thursday, September 14, 6-8pm; On view through November 5; free; leicagalleryla.com.
Harmony Korine: AGGRESSIVE DR1FTER at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles. American artist and filmmaker Harmony Korine will present a new series of acid-hued paintings drawn from his new film Aggro Dr1ft. This unprecedented fusion of Korine’s painting and filmic practices expands the irreverent polymath’s exploration of the aesthetics of gaming and their seepage into the wider culture. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown; Opening reception: Thursday, September 14, 5-7pm; Conversation with Korine and LAXART Deputy Director Catherine Taft: Saturday, September 16, 1pm; On view through January 14; free; hauserwirth.com.
Fellows of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at Beyond Baroque. Celebrate the LAIH as they kick off their 25th Anniversary with an evening of poetry, prose, and music. The LAIH is a hub of cross-disciplinary exchange for the city, bringing together academics, authors, historians, architects, artists, curators, journalists, and poets to integrate intellectual life with the active civic life of the city, and to reflect the diversity that is so palpably a hallmark of Southern California. Featuring Amy Gerstler, Shook, Danzy Senna, Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, Liz Brown, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and a special curated selection of music by dublab. 681 Venice Blvd., Venice; Thursday, September 14, 7pm; $10; beyondbaroque.org.
Friday, September 15
Earth Edition: Festival of Eco-Consciousness at CalArts. For ten days across 12 acres of the CalArts campus, this novel festival seeks to counter the catastrophic storytelling surrounding the climate crisis, and foster imagination to envision and prototype new eco-futures. Produced as part of the speculative design project Visions2030, Earth Edition will showcase the work of urban farmers, biotech entrepreneurs, climate activists, and artists, anchored by The Lumisphere Experience which combines sculpture and an AI interface. Additional highlights include design innovations from our steadily growing green economy from biotech entrepreneurs to grassroots organizations; a site-specific installation by Tongva artist Mercedes Dorame; and art installations throughout the grounds. 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia; September 15-24; $15-$100; eartheditionfestival.la.
Fawn Rogers: GODOG at Lauren Powell Projects. Organized by Michael Slenske, in Rogers’ exhibition of new and recent paintings and sculptures, an interactive system invites visitors to either create or destroy the sculptures—pair of slumped, cybernetic figures hewn from clay, steel mesh, and nails. Large oil paintings depicting 18th century grotto chairs serve as a counterpoint to the sculptures, a vantage from which to view this space of destruction or creation. Yet Rogers invites visitors to intervene on the paintings with spray paint, paint thinners, oil paint, markers, clay, nails, and a hammer. 5225 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood; Opening reception: Friday, September 15, 5-8pm; On view through October 14; free; laurenpowellprojects.com.
Christian Rogers: Heaven on Earth at NOON Projects. In his paintings, drawings, and photographs, Rogers constructs fantasias of queer joy through the gauzy, layered patina of vintage porn and its textured materiality. Vision and touch are thoroughly intertwined in the sexy solicitations of his hunky figures embedded in a vibrant landscape of cactus blooms, a landscape that Rogers has provocatively likened to the winding pathways of a cruising ground and its visual language of a subtle look or gesture. 951 Chung King Rd., Chinatown; Opening reception: Friday September 15, 6-9pm; On view through October 21; free; noon-projects.com.
Under the Oaks: A Midsummer Night’s Music at Theatricum Botanicum. While their magical signature repertory production of Shakespeare’s merry masterpiece A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues on the historical theater’s iconic open air forest stage through September 21, Friday nights are given over to live music. This edition features enchanting classical selections—Schönberg’s Transfigured Night and Mendelssohn’s Octet—intertwined with dramatic performances. 1419N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Friday, September 15, 7:30pm; $25; theatricum.com.
Michael Kearns: It Must Be Him at Highways. Throughout the past-half century, Michael Kearns has woven his work as an artist and social activist into the fabric of Los Angeles (and beyond). It would be virtually impossible to chronicle the theater scene in Los Angeles, the AIDS crisis that shocked Hollywood, homophobia’s insidious hold on The Industry, the artistic response to homelessness in L.A., the teaching of underserved populations within the city without mentioning his name. 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Friday-Saturday, September 15-16, 8:30pm; $25; highwaysperformance.org.
Saturday, September 16
Eric Yahnker: Lost Angeles at The Hole. Yahnker lived in Los Angeles for 40 years until, in what he calls a “reverse David Hockney,” he moved away to gain some perspective. In a corkboard-covered front room he pins up in paranoiac style an assortment of interrelated images. These 26 drawings and two video works in Lost Angeles are about getting lost, mourning loss, and completely losing it in LA. 844 N. La Brea, Hollywood; Opening reception: Saturday, September 16, 6-8pm; On view through October 28; free; thehole.com.
Bahia Reverb: Artists and Place at Art + Practice. A new group exhibition gathers together the work of ten artists who are all former fellows at the Sacatar Institute in Bahia, Brazil, and all from North America and of African descent. Across mediums—including installation, work on paper, video, painting, textile, watercolor—and imagery, the exhibition reflects on how Bahia, an epicenter of the African diaspora that is located in northeast Brazil, has fueled their work and changed their understanding of themselves. Programming includes dance and writing events, beginning this week. 3401 W. 43rd Pl., Leimert Park; Opening day: September 16, 11am-5pm; On view through March 2; free; artandpractice.org.
Verge: New Films by Amy Halpern at Zorthian Ranch. Los Angeles Filmforum and Livonian Cinema present a bewitching and powerful group of films that harness cinema’s associative and sensory power to the utmost. Halpern, who began making films in the early 70’s, uses light, the elements (substances and objects of different densities, textures and colors) and different kinds of beings in films with a special conception of framing and mise en scène, establishing powerful primary associations in the montage. 3990 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Altadena; Saturday, September 16, 7pm; $10; lafilmforum.org.
Michael Draghi: A California Far, Far Away at The Trophy Room LA. In the new gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Michael Draghi explores influences from his upbringing in Southern California. “As an artist, I am constantly inspired by California’s vibrant and dynamic culture,” he writes. “I love incorporating various elements into my paintings, from colorful emojis and playful phrases to intricate 3-D objects and iconic surfing imagery. By blending these diverse elements, I aim to create unique and engaging pieces that capture the energy and spirit of the Golden State.” 4134 Verdugo Rd., Northeast Los Angeles; Opening reception: Saturday, September 16, 5-9pm; On view through October 21; free; thetrophyroomla.com.
Big Time Sensuality at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery. Marking the official launch of the Boston-based gallery’s new Los Angeles location, Alexandra Terry curates a group show of paintings, ceramics, fiber works, and photography from artists across the Central Coast and Southern California. The exhibition is a jubilant celebration of the vibrant, the bold, and the playful, inspired by the 1993 Björk song to explore vulnerability and courage as necessary tools for creativity. 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown; Opening Reception: Saturday, September 16, 4-8pm; On view through October 28; free; abigailogilvy.com.
High Beams #7: Cruising at Plummer Park. A pop-up exhibition of 20 artist projects transforming the north parking lot of Plummer Park into a temporary art garden. Wide-ranging and interactive, the group is reflective of a diverse city, and pays homage to West Hollywood’s legendary nightlife. The themes associated with the work are varied, though commonalities include trauma, an impending planetary crisis, body autonomy, and eco-feminism. Other artists have chosen to work with themes around hedonism, pleasure, and simple comfort as a way to distract from the endless parade of anxiety-inducing news. 1200 N. Vista St., West Hollywood; Saturday, September 16, 5-9pm; free; highbeams.art.
Sunday, September 17
Becca Mann: Sleepwalk at Le Maximum. Drawing on sensory phenomena of light, air, and space peculiar to LA, Sleepwalk approaches the momentary from a subjective position: heat radiating from asphalt after dark, blinding sunlight reflecting off chrome, overexposed foliage. Taken together, the works record an experience of a place and time without divulging anything in particular about what may have happened there. Mise en scène without a narrative. 2525 S. Lincoln Blvd., Venice; Opening reception: Sunday: September 17, 4-7pm; On view through October 28; free; lemaximumvenice.com.
Ever Present: JJJJJerome Ellis, Kerry Tribe, Maral at the Getty Center. As part of an ongoing experimental series that brings contemporary performance into the Getty’s architecture and gardens, three artists navigate their relationships to the natural world, shifting intensities across the phases of life, and inhabiting a collision of cultures. In this afternoon of performances that engage with language, psychology, and sound, JJJJJerome Ellis presents a site-specific performance of poetry and music in the Central Garden. Kerry Tribe stages a new work titled The Complaint. Maral performs a unique musical set on the Garden Terrace Stage. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; Sunday, September 17, 4:30pm; free w/ rsvp; getty.edu.
Wednesday, September 20
Zadie Smith with David Ulin at the Aratani Theater. The Library Foundation and Skylight Books presents acclaimed novelist Zadie Smith, discussing her historical novel, The Fraud. Based on real events involving the “Tichborne Trial,” one of the longest and most controversial trials in England during the Victorian Age, this kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction is set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England, and is ultimately about who gets to tell their story—and who gets to be believed. 244 San Pedro, Little Tokyo; Wednesday, September 20, 7pm; $43.20 includes a copy of the book; lfla.org.
Harry Nuriev, Léa Mestres and Martin Laforêt at Carpenters Workshop Gallery. Harry Nuriev, Léa Mestres and Martin Laforêt present concurrent solo shows. Nuriev’s Denim House presents a total environment that merges a luxurious lifestyle with function and expression. In Family Business, Mestres’ outsized sculptures offer a journey through the looking glass to the world of the French artist’s colorful imagination. In Laforêt’s new Variations collections, the colorful and unique artworks pay homage to the levity and charisma he conjures from concrete, his material of choice. 7070 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Opening reception: Wednesday, September 20, 6-8pm; On view through December 22; free; carpentersworkshopgallery.com.
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