Audio and visual artists collaborate in some wild and unexpected ways, political comedy tests the choppy waters, Indigenous People’s Day gets celebrated with art and music, artists get personal with their new and recent projects, a beloved public television show roars back, a new documentary figures out the Witkin twins, online auctions and experiences entertain at home, public happenings activate the streets, ceramics in the courtyard.
Thursday, October 7
Wonzimer presents Synesthesia at the L.A. Athletic Club. A curated sound and visual observation named after the condition of sensory overlap – seeing music, hearing color, etc. – Synesthesia was curated with five visual artists and five musicians working in pairs. Each visual artist provided reference images of their work to the musician. The musician created a song inspired by and in reference to the visual portfolio. Finally, the musicians sent their audio to their corresponding artists, who used the music as inspiration for five new visual works which will be displayed at the show. 431 W. 7th St., downtown; opening reception: Thursday, October 7, 5-10pm; on view through October 22; free w/rsvp; wonzimer.com.
New Original Works Festival at REDCAT. The 18th edition of REDCAT’s New Original Works (NOW) Festival returns to in-person performances with nine new works by Los Angeles artists who are redefining the boundaries of contemporary performance, inventing hybrid artistic disciplines, reimagining traditions, and confronting urgent issues. Back in person, the 18th edition of NOW will unfold over three weekends and feature a triple bill of performances. Week One: October 7-9: Melissa Cisneros, Pau S. Pescador, Marissa Brown. Week Two: October 14-16: Eloquent Peasants, Joshua Hill, Rosanna Tavarez. Week Three: October 21-23: Jobel Medina, Jasmine Orpilla, Amy O’Neal. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thursday-Saturday; 8:30pm; $20; redcat.org.
Lens on Life Exhibition and Benefit Auction. In the spring of 2021, Lens on Life Project, a nonprofit organization that supports photography and computer literacy training for at-risk youth in the U.S. and around the world, invited Brooklyn-based / Haiti-raised photographer Philip-Daniel Ducasse to lead a workshop in the city of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. For this exhibition and auction, Ducasse has curated a selection of student works along with images of his own, installed in a non-traditional setting by LA-based artist and designer Azadeh Shladovsky alongside new sculptural works she has created. This event is the first Lens on Life Project in L.A. and launches Azadeh Shladovsky Studio’s new exhibition and collaborative programming space. This is also the first time Ducasse’s works will be shown in L.A. 100% of proceeds from the auction will support Lens on Life Project’s important work in the Congo. Azadeh Shladovsky Studio, 3641 Tenth Ave., Jefferson Park; Exhibition on view by appointment, October 7-9; auction runs online through October 10; free; azadehshladovsky.com.
Friday, October 8
Cao Fei at Sprüth Magers. Cao Fei, based in Beijing and recognized for her groundbreaking work since the mid-1990s, is one of today’s foremost contemporary artists and filmmakers. Across her multimedia projects we witness individuals coming to terms with both the beauty and the perils of a global, industrialized and hyperconnected world. This solo exhibition of recent films, photographs and sculptures marks the artist’s largest presentation to date on the West Coast. 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; October 8 – December 22; free; spruethmagers.com.
Sandra Bernhard: Madness & Mayhem at The Wallis. Join comedian and actress Sandra Bernhard for a night of standup comedy as she looks back over the madness and mayhem and predicts the future. She’ll lift you up and soothe your frazzled nerves, with her one-of-a-kind mix of social commentary, music and a glimpse into her world. 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; Friday, October 8, 7:30pm; $69-99; thewallis.org.
Witkin & Witkin (Streaming). The new documentary film Witkin & Witkin explores the worlds of identical twins, Joel-Peter — world famous photographer — and Jerome, painter and lifelong educator. An intensely human film that addresses the philosophy of their practices, their art and personal relationship. We meet the women in their lives who give us access to their worlds, beyond their images. A film about perception and growing older, two artists working in different media who shared a childhood but whose lives took very different directions. Filmed over the course of four years following the changes they experience as time tells its own distinct and disparate narrative. Available on VOD platforms everywhere; 212berlin.com.
Hybrid Art Night Pasadena (Live & Virtual). As the name suggests, this first one back after the pandemic hiatus is taking welcome steps to keep a small number of in-person, often outdoor events safe and to offer streaming experiences (like a streaming-only MUSE/IQUE performance) for those who prefer. With beloved venues from the Armory (unveiling Alison Saar’s new outdoor sculpture Catfish Dreamin’, to Art Center, Boston Court and Parson’s Nose Theaters, the Library and Red Hen Press, the Gamble House and the Pacific Asia Museum, to loads of further educational and civic venues, the city of roses is ready for its cautiously optimistic close-up. Various locations in greater Pasadena; Friday, October 8, 6-10pm; free; cityofpasadena.net/artnight.
Roots and Wings Project’s Matriarch (Streaming). Over the summer, the Roots and Wings Project (Jesse Bliss and Gabriela López de Dennis, Co-Producers) in association with the Houston Coalition Against Hate present Matriarch, a transformative theatre experience that explores the roles women play in our patriarchal society and the urgent need to transform that dynamic. The performance will stream free of charge, followed by discussion with leaders of the Houston Coalition Against Hate, The Roots and Wings Project, HCAH members and domestic violence prevention advocates. October 8, 4pm PT; free; therootsandwingsproject.com.
Saturday, October 9
ONE Archives presents Pride Publics: Words and Actions (Outdoor). Curated by Rubén Esparza, this temporary public art installation features 28 large-scale wheatpaste posters staging a visual dialogue between historical and contemporary LGBTQ+ changemakers. For the opening reception, transgender singer-songwriter, performance artist, and designer Yozmit will present WALK – a silent, durational, meditative walk in monochromatic and sculptural costumes which will lead to a live performance of songs from her recent album, Sun Moon Door. Performance artist and curator Marval A Rex becomes Marilyn Monroe (or does she become him?) in MARILYN MON REX, a timed, performative meditation drenched in the violence of “fame.” Visual/ performance artist Peter Kalisch explores how noise, chaos, pain, struggle, heartbreak have transformed into growth. L.A. State Historic Park, 1315 N. Spring St., Chinatown; opening performances: Saturday, October 9, 3pm-sunset; exhibition on view through October 24; free; pridepublics.onearchives.org.
Paul McCarthy: Parts Make Up a Hole at The Box. “The Inner connection between pieces related to central hubs, tree trunks as performances as breeders of branches,” writes celebrated artist Paul McCarthy, whose new exhibition includes three works never before shown in Los Angeles — two large sculptures and one large scale drawing — along with corresponding video works. This grouping seeks to explore the parallels between three of McCarthy’s major series from the past two decades: Caribbean Pirates (2001-2016), a collaboration with Damon McCarthy; White Snow (2008-2017); and A&E, Adolf & Eva/Adam & Eve (2019-Present). A selection of videos will be shown in the smaller exhibition galleries that correspond with each of the three major bodies of work. 805 Traction Ave., downtown; Opening Reception: Saturday, October 9, 4-8pm; on view through December 18; free; theboxla.com.
Jack Winthrop, Christina Ramos, and Judy Ostro at Gabba Gallery. Jack Winthrop’s debut solo exhibition, The Wounded Healer, is a powerful collection of large-scale paintings of abstracted human forms, flowers, symbols, and text dance amidst kinetic webs of bold, graffiti-like lines. Christina Ramos’ Child’s Play captures the spirit of youth in her paintings of kids and kids-at-heart. Judy Ostro celebrates her recent move from Detroit to Los Angeles with a cheerful solo exhibition, Never Too Late, in which candy colors and geometric patterns take center stage in lively abstract paintings. 3125 Beverly Blvd., East Hollywood; opening reception: Saturday, October 9, 7-11pm; on view through October 30; free; gabbagallery.com.
Clay L.A. at the Craft Contemporary (Outdoor). An anticipated annual weekend of shopping, music, and air-dry clay activities, CLAY L.A. is a sale and fundraiser for Craft Contemporary, showcasing emerging and established ceramic makers in the Los Angeles area. Meet and shop vibrant and dynamic makers, celebrated for their accomplishments and often unexpected approaches to art and design. And enjoy the museum’s three exciting newly opened exhibitions while you’re there. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Saturday, October 9, 11:30am-5pm (preview brunch 10-11:30am); Sunday, October 10, 11am-5pm; $9 Saturday, pay what you can Sunday; craftcontemporary.org.
Sunday, October 10
Jane Chafin: Map of DTLA at El Nopal press (Outdoor). Artist Jane Chafin’s monumental drawing will be on view in the window of this landmark printer’s studio, paying emotional tribute to the character of the Historic COre neighborhood which she now calls home. “This map is not meant to be an accurate representation of anything except perhaps my own dubious mental state as I begin to explore my new DTLA neighborhood,” writes the artist. “One thing I know for sure: it is humbling to live at Fifth and Broadway, where Skid Row meets the Financial District, and first-world problems melt into meaninglessness. The contrast is staggering, on display 24/7 and impossible to ignore — so much so, that I feel overwhelmingly compelled to make this crazy-quilt map of my first impressions of life in DTLA.” 109 W. 5th St., downtown; opening reception: Sunday, October 10, 1pm; on view through November 7; free; janechafin.com.
Lani Trock: and so we blossom gently into the infinite garden at the Philosophical Research Society. Artist Lani Trock’s site-specific installation and related series of free public programs includes the co-creation of aural harmony, facilitated by the Open Source Community Choir. An evolving installation, the work will shapeshift throughout its duration as a living, breathing sanctuary. The exhibit is part of www.web3edu.us, an ongoing research project and curated archive of educational resources, meaningful dialogue, and opportunities to participate. 3910 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz; opening reception: Sunday, October 10, 1-5pm; on view and activated through December 3; free; prs.org.
The Collection of Lady Victoria White at Andrew Jones Auctions (Virtual). The collection of Lady Victoria White (briefly Mrs. Robert Evans) of Beverly Hills is best described as “English country house meets California chic.” It tells a story that is elegant and personal, with a rare range of genres from horses to British Impressionism, bold Modernism and Pop, Chinese porcelain, gems, rare books. The art collection alone includes fine art by figures ranging from Sir Alfred Munnings to Ed Ruscha, Robert Longo, Richard Serra, Kiki Smith and Andy Warhol, plus English and European antiques. The woman obviously had amazing and eclectic tastes, and this auction is something of a landmark occasion. Sunday, October 10, 10am; free to register; liveauctioneers.com.
Monday, October 11
The Chapter House REZidency at Transformative Arts. Opening on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Transformative Arts will host The Chapter House at their location on Tongvaland — DTLA. This collaboration marks The Chapter House’s first in-person arts events, including musical performances, workshops and demos, artist talks and panels, and a raffle. This residency will celebrate the community of Indigenous Peoples, allies, and accomplices whom the Chapter House has cultivated through online programming over the past year in Transformative Arts’ physical space. This is the first step for The Chapter House towards opening a permanent brick and mortar space in Tongvaland/Los Angeles. 410 S. Spring St., downtown; Opening day: Monday, October 11, noon-6pm; open through November 11; free; thechapterhouse.org.
Wednesday, October 13
KCET’s Artbound Season 12 Premiere (Broadcast & Streaming). For its 12th season, “Artbound” will examine the life of Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara, one of Chicano rock ‘n’ roll’s pioneers; the remarkable life story of renowned ceramicist and educator Helen Jean Taylor; the making of The Industry’s groundbreaking site-specific opera Sweet Land, named Best Opera of 2020; the 2021 edition of recurring site-specific, international art exhibition Desert X; the Autry Museum’s work to recontextualize a large mural expressing foundational, problematic myths of the American West; and the creative impact and legacy of the Queer art community in the 2000s. Episodes begin airing Wednesday, October 13, 9pm; a new one drops each Wednesday and are thereafter available for streaming on all the sites and platforms; free; kcet.org/shows/artbound.