In Los Angeles this season, the gallery calendar is packed with a healthy selection of excellent work to be seen, from the conceptual to the socially realistic, from the textile-based to the figurative. There are two very different approaches to studio portrait photography, as well as extensive displays by or dedicated to loved ones who have recently passed, and a spate of galleries new to town (Karma, Fork of New York, and more to come). To give you some guidance, Artnet News has compiled our top 10 picks below.
Kaari Upson, “never, never, never in my life, never in all my birthdays, never in my whole life”
Sprüth Magers, until October 15th
Prior to her untimely death from cancer in 2021, Kaari Upson was a popular fixture on the art scene in Los Angeles and beyond, whose multidisciplinary practice showcased dark humor and boundless imagination. Sprüth Magers presents her last groups of works, including Portrait (vain German), spooky wall-mounted panels of paintings and sculptures that made their debut during the last Venice Biennale.
Blum & Poe, through October 22nd
Yukie Ishikawa’s distinct painting style is characterized by a pointed deconstruction of the monochromes and neat, rectangular grids of minimalism, replacing them with curved and irregular lines. Blum & Poe presents the latest in the Japanese artist’s ‘Impermanence’ series, a continuous body painted over previous work, sometimes adding sand to the paint for texture. Based on the ever-changing view from her studio window in Hidaka City, delicate grids form the ghostly abstractions of buildings that dot the cityscape.
Shahryar Nashat, “happier than ever”
David Kordansky Gallery, until October 22, 2022
Nashat creates fascinating tactile floor and wall sculptures as well as paintings and video installations. In his second show with David Kordansky, Lover.JPEG, Nashat coolly conveys the sometimes disconcertingly brutal aspects of love and passion. We see paintings of a cross-section of a thoracic cavity; Strands of viscous urethane dripping from the ceiling like sweat running down a spine; while floor sculptures give clues to a now-absent body form, such as the imprint of a lover’s body in bed.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya, “Daylight Studio/Darkroom Studio”
Much more, until October 22nd
Photographing nudes against a black velvet backdrop with salon-style furniture, Paul Mpagi Sepuya explores the traditions of 19th-century European and North American photography through a strange, playful lens. In the artist’s latest photo series, “dark room” functions as an ambiguity in which his motifs are immersed in the red light of film development and at the same time evoke secret encounters. He also captures them in broad daylight, creating two contrasting moods in the exhibition.
Nikita Gale, “Hollowscene”
Commonwealth & Council, until October 22nd
Los Angeles-based Nikita Gale is a conceptual artist working with assemblage and installation, often with kinetic and sonic-based features. Her latest solo show, featuring roving spotlights and musical equipment, looks at the Holocene, an era of life on Earth shaped by large-scale agriculture and the civilizations that have shaped it, as one hollow scene– that is, a potential vacancy.
“Stars Don’t Stand Still in the Sky: A Tribute to Lawrence Weiner”
Regen Projects, until October 22nd
Regen Projects bids a fond farewell to the seminal conceptual art pioneer who passed away late last year, and presents works from a sprawling constellation of more than 50 artists who, in one way or another, were in Weiner’s orbit. There are the text-based artists working on his legacy of language as a medium (Jenny Holzer, Ed Ruscha); the artists who made his portrait (Catherine Opie, Wolfgang Tillmans); and those who were longtime friends (Matthew Barney, Abraham Cruzvillegas, and many more). Taken together, their works show that the dialogue Weiner sparked remains strong.
Peter Bradley, “Ruling Light: Paintings from the 1970s” and Hughie Lee-Smith
Karma Gallery, through November 5th
Where Peter Bradley’s abstract canvases are colorful and exuberant, splattered and brushed with kaleidoscopic shades of gel-acrylic, the late Hughie Lee-Smith often painted the desolation of urban decay and evoked his early life in the industrial Midwest during the Great Depression. According to Karma, these disparate works, shown together, represent “two divergent avenues of Black Modernism” and inaugurate the New York gallery’s new space in West Hollywood.
Mira Dancy, “Madonna Undone”
Night Gallery, until November 25th
Known for her chromatic, abstracted approach to the female body, Mira Dancy’s latest works subvert traditional Annunciation painting and reflect on bodily autonomy by depicting a Madonna without a child. The gallery’s recently expanded space also features Convict Lake, a solo show of new photographs by Melanie Schiff, and a group show, The Heavy Light Show. The latter features sculptures and installations in which light is the ‘silent collaborator’ as orchestrated by artists such as Olivia Erlanger, Anne Libby and MPA.
“The New Bend,” “Cindy Sherman: 1977-1982” and Martin Creed, “Hats!”
Hauser & Wirth, October 27 to December 30
Hauser & Wirth is delivering a trio of heavyweights this fall. Curated by Legacy Russell of Kitchen in New York, “The New Bend” features artists, including Dawn Williams Boyd, Diedrick Brackens, and Eric N. Mack, whose quilting and textile practices are part of a legacy passed down from the traditions of Black women in the american south. Also on display are over 100 works from Cindy’s Sherman’s groundbreaking early series from the 1970s and 1980s, including the Untitled Film Stills and rear projections, as well as a Martin Creed solo show simply titled “HATS!”.
Gagosian Beverly Hills, through December 17th
The prolific Abstract Expressionist painter, Cy Twombly, who divided his time between his birthplace of Lexington, Virginia, and his adopted home of Gaeta, Italy, worked well into the 21st century, returning to large-scale canvases in the last decade of his life. Gagosian is presenting a series of late Twomblies, including paintings, works on paper, and sculptures he made in his studio from leftovers, as part of the Getty Museum’s Cy Twombly: Making Past Present exhibition, which runs through October 30 made.
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