This is one of those circus-comes-to-town weeks where everywhere you look (and shop, and drink, and scroll), you’ll see an art event. Digital, installation, post-illustration, hyper-realism, dissolute abstraction, feminism, NFTism, avant-garde design, architecture, Black History Month, and both live and virtual conversations about all of it — with a dose of literature and musical theater for balance. And that’s just what’s going on besides the #FriezeWeek art fairs and their adjacent party circuits. Anyway, good luck out there!
Thursday, February 17
E.J. Hill: Wherever we will to root at Oxy Arts. Hill is known for his rigorous, embodied and durational performances and his exploration of the social construction of identity. Reception: Thursday, February 17, 5-8pm; on view through April 22; programming throughout; free; oxyarts.oxy.edu.
Nancy Baker Cahill: Mushroom Cloud L.A. & Proximities at the Santa Monica Pier and Frieze LA (Beverly Hilton Hotel). Outdoor geolocative Mixed Reality artworks now viewable through the free 4thwall app; nancybakercahill.com.
Botto: The Decentralized Unicists at Vellum LA. Botto is an algorithm that produces work based on feedback from a community of surrounding stakeholders. Reception: Thursday, February 17, 7-9pm; on view through March 6; vellumla.com.
Frieze Week at Neuehouse: Art&… A week of gatherings and events featuring some of the most culturally relevant conversations taking place in the art world today, under the theme Art&. Programs nightly with fascinating practitioners within topics from NFTs to textiles, architecture, wine, photography, poetic biographies now through February 20; Hollywood and Downtown locations; neuehouse.com.
Friday, February 18
Jacqui C. Smith: Know Yourself Art Show at New Profanity. The first solo gallery show for illustrator Jacqui C. Smith, who creates unique artwork that showcases diversity amongst women of color. Reception: Friday, February 18, 6-10pm; on view through February 28; jacquicsmith.com.
WOMANHOUSE. Celebrating the 50th anniversary and expanding upon narratives surrounding the historic environmental art installation and performance space. 4859 Fountain Ave.; Reception: Friday, February 18, 5-9pm (performances at 7pm); on view through April 2; anatebgi.com.
Saturday, February 19
Sayre Gomez: Halloween City at Ghebaly Gallery. A cognitive mapping of late America as seen through the cultural and topographic specificity of Southern California’s urban sprawl. As seems fitting, this inquiry has recently taken a ghoulish turn. Reception: Saturday, February 19, 5-8pm; On view through March 19; ghebaly.com.
Robert Nava: Bloodsport at Night Gallery. Nava’s tableaux originate in a compulsive, near-constant act of drawing that allows for intuitive gestures and interplays between materials to emerge without constraint. February 19 – March 26; nightgallery.ca.
Eric Joyner: Someday World at Corey Helford Gallery. Joyner is renowned around the world for his “robots and donuts” scenes, depicting the tenuous conflict between children’s toys and adulthood as a portrait of another reality. Reception: Saturday, February 19, 7-10pm; on view through March 26; coreyhelfordgallery.com.
Gary Simmons at Hauser & Wirth. DJ Jihaari’s vinyl set “For Lovers Only” will mark the first of a series of public performances and activations on Gary Simmons’ sculptural installation Recapturing Memories of the Black Ark (2014–ongoing) on view in the gallery’s outdoor courtyard. Reception: Saturday, February 19, 3-6pm; hauserwirth.com.
Bendix Building Open House. All the diverse galleries (Track 16, 515, JOAN, Tiger Strikes Asteroid and more) plus a great many of the resident artists’ studios are open for late viewing and conversations throughout the landmark arts warren. Reception: Saturday, February 19, 7-10pm; thehirshcollective.com.
Aqux at The Mistake Room. The first exhibition of TMR’s 2022-23 curatorial cycle focusing on Latinx art and artists from across the U.S., Aqux brings together the work of 23 artists to re-imagine ideas and understandings of home and how they shape our sense of subjecthood. Reception: Saturday, February 19, 7-9pm; on view through April 23; tmr.la.
Luncheon on the Grass at Jeffrey Deitch. More than thirty of today’s most acclaimed painters will respond to Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1863), regularly cited as the first modern painting, which even today, still has the power to shock. Reception: Saturday, February 19, 11am-7pm; on view through April 23; deitch.com.
Heidi Hahn: Soft Joy at Kohn Gallery. Known for her lushly evocative compositions of melancholic figures, Hahn wholly prioritizes the female experience, examining bodily autonomy through the creation of personal space in the context of paint, ownership over imagery and materiality, and the representation of privacy in the midst of vulnerability. Reception: Saturday, February 19, 6-8pm; on view through April 9; kohngallery.com.
Fritz Chesnut: Floating Windows at AF Projects. Process-driven abstract paintings that continue Chesnut’s material explorations, crafting an evolving abstract language where bands of color and line allude to form and images. Reception: Saturday, February 19, 6-8pm; on view through April 2; louise-alexander.com.
Endless Summer at Albertz Benda. The first public exhibition at the galleries’ Los Angeles space, highlighting new explorations from established and emerging voices, Endless Summer references the seminal surf documentary from 1966 and channels similar themes of commitment to storytelling and dedication to one’s craft. Reception: Saturday, February 19; Brunch: 11am-3pm; BBQ: 4-7pm; DJ party: 6-9pm; albertzbenda.com.
Bergamot Station Open House. New and ongoing exhibitions plus talks, performances and other surprises at resident galleries William Turner, Richard Heller, Rose Gallery, Von Lintel, Building Bridges, Craig Krull, Peter Fetterman, Marshall Gallery, Robert Berman, BG Gallery and more. Saturday, February 19, noon-7pm; bergamotstation.com.
A Celebration of the Performing Arts at Forest Lawn (Virtual). Dance, music, and spoken word featuring cast members of Hamilton and the choral group Tonality, performer Ash Lawson, choreography by Sade Keinu, the female tap-dance band Syncopated Ladies, and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Hosted by actor and director Etienne Maurice, with a keynote by singer Ebony Fay and a spiritual keynote from Reverend Pamela Broadous. Saturday, February 19, 7pm; forestlawn.com.
Sunday, February 20
Lui Shtini: Thaw at Harkawik. The paintings have an uncanny presence, and more in common with photo-transfer or fresco than a work on canvas. Shtini engineers them meticulously, going to painstaking lengths to create moments that might seem to emerge from serendipitous experimentation. Reception: Sunday, February 20, 4-8pm; on view through March 26; harkawik.com.
Monday, February 21
Last chance to see Le French Design 100 (Virtual). The only design award in France to honor the international work of its designers, will celebrate its second edition with a digital festival running through February 20. The 100 winning projects establish a panorama of the current diverse profiles and projects. Each project demonstrates that despite the health crisis and the ordeals endured by our design community we can be even more creative, that geographical distances are not insurmountable, and, as always, cultural differences enrich our collaborations as well as our heritage. Live now at lefrenchdesign.org.
Tuesday, February 22
Lebohang Kganye: What Are You Leaving Behind? at Rose Gallery. Kganye is a South African photographer who explores the contradictions of family history through the concept of family photo albums. The key themes in Lebohang’s work are the role of the archive, memory and fantasy. Her works confront how family photo albums don’t have a fixed narrative — they are open to use to reinterpret our past. On view February 22- April 9; rosegallery.net.
Wednesday, February 23
Jamal Cyrus at ICA LA (Virtual). On the occasion of Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning, watch and listen to a conversation that examines 15 years of the artist’s expansive practice — one that explores the evolution of African-American identity within Black political movements and the African diaspora. Cyrus will be in conversation with the exhibition curator, Steven Matijcio, Director and Chief Curator at Blaffer Art Museum. February 23, 5-6pm; theicala.org.