A group show about the emotional environment, paintings and installations about interconnectedness, dysfunction, and empowerment, a drag queen from outer space (via the UK), three weeks of boundary-blurring performance pieces, classic theater about class struggles, new theater about the new normal, paintings full love love for our very good boys, five decades of community art-making, a pioneering Moroccan filmmaker, the fine art of vintage sign design, the dawn of hard-edge abstraction, the metaphor of birds in flight.
Thursday, August 17
New Original Works Festival at REDCAT. This year’s 20th NOW festival showcases nine new works by Los Angeles artists who are redefining the boundaries of contemporary performance, reinventing disciplines, reimagining traditions, and confronting today’s most urgent issues. With a sharp interest in rituals, fantasies and memories, these works use history and technology to formulate diverse, other-worldly futures that provide a counterpart to our reality while allowing us to examine the injustices around us. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thursday-Saturday, August 17-19, 24-26, 31-September 2, 8:30pm; $25/Full 9-performance series, $50; redcat.org.
Moral Turgeman: Rooted Signals and Thomas Linder & Liz Walsh: Portals at Praz Delavallade. Turgeman’s exhibition pays homage to the resilience of the humble mushroom and its vast mycelial networks connecting individual plants at the root in a vital and decentralized structure of collective intelligence. In a duo exhibition with two artists with process-driven cosmologies, Linder’s cropped wall hangings of ephemeral and abstract swathes of color counterbalance Walsh’s tableaux of plant and animal motifs. One artist creates spatial illusion through the use of color and materials, while the other skirts the edges of perception through fantasy. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Closing reception: Thursday, August 17, 5-7pm; On view through August 19; free; praz-delavallade.com.
Friday, August 18
The Juno Show at Theater at the Ace Hotel. Everyone’s favorite alien drag queen Juno Birch stars in her theatrical one woman show, The Juno Show! Witness the alien queen express her delusional self love through slapstick song and “dance.” She will be joined by her plastic puppet daughter on a chaotic stage adventure full of lobsters, legs, and laughter. Planet Earth, prepare to be stunned! Yes, that’s happening! 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Friday, August 18, 8pm; $35-$70; acehotel.com.
how swift, how far at Wonzimer Gallery. A group exhibition of 9 artists that engage environmentalism beyond the realm of documentary images, creating transformative and metaphorical works about the various ecologies we inhabit in media that includes painting, photography, sculpture and video. While issues like climate change are always in the forefront, this show seeks to acknowledge the multiple issues that our environmental woes as a society interconnect with: concepts of identity, class and other cultural resonances that are relevant in our current discourse. 341-B S. Avenue 17, downtown; Opening reception: Friday, August 18, 5-10pm; On view through September 20; free; wonzimer.com.
Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge at Ruskin Group Theatre. Set in 1950s Brooklyn, this timeless masterpiece delves into the complexities of love, loyalty, and obsession. Follow Eddie Carbone (Ray Abruzzo), a longshoreman whose life unravels when his niece falls for an immigrant. As tensions rise, take a theatrical journey through raw emotions and their tragic consequences in this powerful exploration of human nature with its unforgettable characters and unyielding drama. 3000 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; Performances August 18 – October 8; $25-$35; ruskingrouptheatre.com.
Saturday, August 19
For the Love of Dog at Hashimoto Contemporary. A group exhibition featuring dozens of artists toasting lifelong relationships between (hu)man and dog. The gallery is partnering with the nonprofit dog rescue Wags and Walks, an organization placing dogs from kill shelters into loving homes. As part of the gallery’s celebration of dogs in all shapes and sizes, the Opening Reception will double as an adoption event, hosting doggies from Wags and Walks program who need caring homes. 2754 S. La Cienega, Culver City; Opening reception: Saturday, August 19, 6-8pm; On view through September 9; free; hashimotocontemporary.com.
Marking an Era: Celebrating Self-Help Graphics at 50 at Laguna Art Museum. Founded in a garage in East Los Angeles by Sister Karen Boccalero, a Franciscan nun, working alongside artists and other collaborators, Self Help Graphics & Art has remained dedicated to nurturing the creation and advancement of new artworks by Chicana/o/x and Latinx artists, specializing in experimental and innovative printmaking techniques and various other visual art forms. In celebration of SHG’s 50th anniversary, Laguna Art Museum presents the largest selection of works by SHG artists from the museum’s collection to date. 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach; Members’ Opening: Saturday, August 19,5-8pm; On view through January 15; $12; lagunaartmuseum.org.
Heroes of the Fourth Turning at Rogue Machine Theater. On a dark night, in the middle of America, four young conservatives gather to toast the newly inducted president of their tiny Catholic college.Their reunion spirals into chaos and clashing generational politics, becoming less a celebration than a vicious fight to be understood. Will Arbery’s haunting Pulitzer Prize Finalist play speaks to the heart of a country at war with itself, offering both grace and disarming clarity. 7657 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Performances August 19 – October 2; $45; roguemachinetheatre.org.
Ewa Słapa: constellating_body_(files) at PHASE Gallery. The final exhibition at the gallery’s current spins out from the traces of the events that have taken place at the gallery space. Słapa’s works echo the configurations of people present at previous art openings, but at the same time they overlap with other traces, transposed from a distant location of a family home, or derived from an imagined formation of a renaissance sculpture. The figures fixated as points in/of memory become connected with the implied lines, mapping the psycho-spatial dynamics between them. 1718 Albion St., downtown; Closing reception: Saturday, August 19, 6-9pm; free; phasegallery.com.
Victoria Cassinova: PARADOX at Band of Vices. Figurative oil paintings on canvas and graphite works on paper foster the interconnected themes of self-discovery, spiritual autonomy, and claiming agency over the body from the female perspective. Cassinova depicts the female form in dynamic and sensual poses, challenging the historical objectification of women in art. Her works on paper transcend the physical realm to explore the spiritual dimensions of femininity–encapsulating moments of solitude, reflection, and transcendence–while her oil paintings capture women in moments of self-empowerment and assertion. 5351 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; Opening Reception: Saturday, August 19, 4-7pm; On View through September 16; free; bandofvices.com.
Clovis Schlumberger: Virtual Cravings at Yiwei Gallery. Schlumberger’s bright, mostly yellow visuals could be seen as modern versions of cave paintings. His repertoire of familiar icon-like characters that everybody can “read” communicates in a fun, dynamic, and direct mode, through their coded body language in simplified backgrounds. Though this body of work depicts individuals finding solace and satisfaction by channeling their emotions through digital constructs, it gently encourages us to reflect on the role of these tools in our lives. These same characters might seem entrapped by the device they use to escape. Schlumberger’s visual narratives explore this modern paradox. 1350 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; Opening Reception: Saturday, August 19, 2-5pm; On view through September 17; free; yiweigallery.com.
Sunday, August 20
Kathy Kikkert: Hollywood Signs: The Golden Age of Glittering Graphics and Glowing Neon at La Luz de Jesus. Step back in time and experience the vibrant, eye-catching world of mid-century Hollywood with this stunning illustrated book celebrating vintage signs. Set above iconic theaters, classic restaurants, and bustling boulevards, these glowing masterpieces illuminated the streets and storefronts of the city of dreams. Filled with more than 300 images, the new book from Angel City Press highlights the most memorable examples from this golden era of design. 4633 Hollywood Blvd; Sunday, August 30, 3pm; free; angelcitypress.com.
A Door to the Sky (باب السماء مفتوح, Bab al-Samah Maftuh) at Lumiere Music Hall. Presented in conjunction with LACMA’s current exhibition Women Defining Women in Contemporary Art of the Middle East and Beyond. From the start of her career in the 1970s until 2003, the film’s director Farida Benlyazid was the only woman in Morocco working as a professional filmmaker. Her debut feature offers a caring and rapturous look at one woman’s spiritual and cultural awakening amid the shifting values of Moroccan society. With introduction to the film by filmmaker Mounir Aicha Soussan. 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sunday, August 20, 2:30pm; $8; lacma.org.
Wednesday, August 23
June Harwood: Paintings at the Benton Museum of Art. The first survey of the career of a key but under-recognized figure in the Los Angeles Hard-Edge movement. Harwood developed and refined her signature style of vivid colors and dynamic compositions in the 1960s. This exhibition showcases her paintings from this era and includes work from several of her series, including Sliver, Colorform, Loop, Jigsaw, and Rock. Many critics and scholars have posited Hard-Edge as a precursor to the Light and Space movement in Southern California. Most of the original Hard-Edge artists have received retrospectives, but this exhibition is the first to acknowledge Harwood’s legacy and her role in the movement. The Hard-Edge movement is also linked to Pomona College; both Karl Benjamin and Frederick Hammersley taught at the school. 120 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont; On view August 23 – January 7; free; pomona.edu.
Artist Talk: Enrique Martínez Celaya at the Huntington. Martínez Celaya, the Huntington’s inaugural Fellow in the Visual Arts, will join Dennis Carr, Virginia Steele Scott Chief Curator of American Art, in a conversation about the artist’s work and artistic practice, which merges elements of art, philosophy, and poetry. This conversation will consider the inspirations that have shaped Martínez Celaya’s practice, especially the immersive installation There-Bound, currently on view in the Erburu Galleries, which interweaves borders, place, memory, movement, dislocation, and time. 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino; Wednesday, August 23, 7pm; free w/ rsvp; huntington.org.
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