Perhaps it is the season of spring that imbues everything with renewed vitality. Or perhaps he sees a new cohort of freshly graduated MFA students tackling their own problems, the arts system, and the world at large – a reminder of the constant regeneration taking place. Either way, something in the upcoming exhibits this month looks extremely raw, vulnerable, and full of emotion.
When: until May 21
Or: The Box (805 Traction Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)
The inimitable, legendary and iconic Simone Forti has undoubtedly been the subject of countless exhibitions, but rarely does one feel as soft in an embrace as Another beautiful fall. Videos of Forti weeding in his garden – the camera still lingering painfully on the movement of his hands – are woven with writings, drawings, ephemera from the artist’s early performances and readings of the eponymous poem. of the exhibition, to create a sort of choreography that reflects on the totality, and the extreme depth, of Forti’s life and work.
When: until May 21
Or: Hannah Hoffman (2504 West 7th Street, 2nd Floor, Westlake, Los Angeles)
Although the exhibit may seem enigmatic at first – with ceremonial offerings laid out on the floor, an artist statement of stream of consciousness projecting over an entire wall, and the green-lit gallery installation infused with the overwhelming smell of Earth – Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo) is surprisingly direct and vulnerable. Here, the trans artist abandons some of the mechanics of distance like sex appeal, humor and critique that characterized much of her work under the moniker Puppies Puppies to reveal herself more as Jade Guanaro Kuriki- Olive.
When: until May 21
Or: Bel Ami (709 North Hill Street, Suite 105 Floor, Chinatown, Los Angeles)
CFGNY, short for Concept Foreign Garment New York or Cute Fucking Gay New York, makes its Los Angeles debut in Chinatown’s Bel Ami (even creating new labels marking a temporary name change to “CFGLA”). Playfully describing themselves as “vaguely Asian”, the art/fashion collective develops their practice of sculpture and installation in Import Import explore the in-between of Asian identity, from porcelain to globalized production methods, with humor and an incisive spirit.
When: until May 21
Or: Los Angeles Contemporary Archives (709 North Hill Street, Upstairs Suite 104-8, Chinatown, Los Angeles)
Right next door to Bel Ami is the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA), a treasure trove of art-related ephemera, artists’ writings, audiovisual recordings, and more. Archives do not always host exhibitions, but when they do, they are usually research-based, inviting viewers to delve into the surrounding resources. The individual is no exception. Curated by Joshua Simon, the exhibition tackles one of the greatest questions of all time: that of the definition of subjectivity. The list of artists, writers and thinkers included in the exhibition is equally ambitious, from giants like Karl Marx, Walter Benjamin, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, to local artists like Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Ignacio Perez Meruane and Shana Lutker.
When: until June 5
Or: Motion Picture Academy Museum (6067 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)
Even if you think you know each of Hayao Miyazaki’s films by heart – or even if you don’t – you won’t regret spending an afternoon at the Academy Museum’s retrospective of the work of the Japanese master. . Bring your family and friends, anime fans and non-anime fans alike, to get lost in the whimsical world of Miyazaki and relive his films through the array of interactive installations, miniature models, documentary footage from the filmmaker and the studio, and of course, the artist’s signature effortless sketches.
When: April 5–June 25
Or: Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, California State University Long Beach (CSULB) (1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach)
In homage to the handcart used by ubiquitous street vendors in Mexican communities on both sides of the US-Mexico border, Anabel Juárez creates her own interpretation for her solo exhibition Recordar Es Vivir (To remember is to live). Instead of carrying goods, however, Juárez’s version carries keepsakes—almost like votives—stored in the form of handcrafted ceramic objects, ranging from the sentimental to the symbolic. Collectively, the sculptures speak to things we can and cannot carry in the process of migration, prompting the artist to remember “the experiences, the people I left behind and the place I called home.”
When: May 7–June 25
Or: Regen Projects (6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
Fresh from announcing their portrayal of Kevin Beasley, known for his textile and sound sculptures addressing Black American history, Regen Projects presents the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. Title On the site, the exhibit features a modified utility pole, cable wires extending from its center and buzzing with field recordings. Beasley, who presented similar work at Prospect New Orleans earlier this year, is sure to unearth the connections and contradictions of a place as complicated as Los Angeles.
When: May 14–July 2
Or: Mixography (1419 East Adams Boulevard, Central-Alameda, Los Angeles)
Alongside an exhibition of works by Sonya Clark, Mixografía presents a new edition with the artist: “Confederate, render” (2022), an image of the tea towel used as a flag of truce by the Confederate army during its surrender to the palace Justice of Appomattox on April 9, 1865. With this close-up of the kitchen towel – waffle weave, frayed edges and all – waving against the blue sky, Clark asks the viewer to reconsider what it means to the humble cloth, and all it stands for, being used as a Confederate peace flag, and what it means for it to be flown again.
When: May 28–August 20
Or: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) (631 West 2nd Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Taking as a starting point the famous science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler, American Artist: Shaper of God draws on both his novels and his life to explore the elements of science fiction shaping the history and mythology of Los Angeles – Pasadena, to be exact. Here, curator Adam Kleinman connects Butler’s stories to the fact and fiction of another Pasadena institution: Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Whether sci-fi or fiction-bound, the show promises to ground Butler’s universe in the realities of Los Angeles and, conversely, to unearth the fantasies that are ingrained in the making of the city.
MFA Thesis Shows
When: In progress; last show at UC Irvine (May 14-28)
Or: Art Center, CalArts, Otis, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, USC
Finally, don’t forget the MFA thesis exhibitions that take place all over the city! Although most programs have already held their open studio events, there are still several smaller exhibits going on that feature 2-3 students from their MFA programs. With Los Angeles as the capital of art schools (the city hosts the largest number of art schools in the country), there is no shortage of exhibitions, from private schools like art center in Pasadena, USC and Otis in downtown LA, and CalArtsComment in Valencia, to audiences like UCLA, UC Riversideand UC Irvine. Get out there and support your friends – most of whom probably started their programs in the middle of the pandemic and will certainly appreciate the support from IRL.