This week, we have a seldom seen documentary starring LA itself, early digital art from the 1960s, the last chance to see proto-PoMo painter John Altoon’s LACMA retrospective, and lots more.
Los Angeles Plays Itself
When: Tuesday, September 9, 7:15pm, 10:45pm; Thursday, September 11, 7:15pm, 10:45pm; Monday, September 15, 10:45pm; Tuesday, September 16, 9:45pm; Wednesday, September 17, 7:15pm, 10:45pm
Where: Cinefamily (611 North Fairfax Avenue, Fairfax District, Los Angeles)
Thom Andersen’s epic 3-hour film Los Angeles Plays Itself is composed solely of clips from movies shot in the City of Angels. Lauded as “the best documentary ever made about Los Angeles” by film critic Kenneth Turan, it was previously only available in bootleg versions or youtube snippets. Don’t miss this newly remastered HD version when it comes to the big screen at Cinefamily.
“Act so there is no use of a Center” Panel
When: Wednesday, September 10, 7:30pm
Where: Fahrenheit (2245 East Washington Boulevard, Downtown, Los Angeles)
This panel discussion subtitled De(centering) Contemporary Art in the Digital Age “aims to examine how the internet and social media have disrupted our perceptions of distance and proximity, challenging positions of power between centers and peripheries.” Organized by curator Dorothée Dupuis, Fahrenheit’s summer 2014 writer-in-residence, the panel also includes artist Débora Delmar Corp., writer/curator Adam Kleinman, YBCA curator Ceci Moss, and collector/consultant and Jerry Saltz nemesis Stefan Simchowitz. After-party at the Ace Hotel in DTLA.
David Weldzius’s News from Nowhere
When: Opens Thursday, September 11, 7–9pm
Where: Cohen Gallery (7354 Beverly Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
This exhibition of new work from LA-based artist David Weldzius features photographs, drawings and documents focusing on two icons of SoCal architecture: the turn-of-the-last-century Lummis House, also known as El Alisal, and Pierre Koenig’s mid-century Case Study House No. 22.
More than simply documenting the architecture of these structures, Weldzius looks at their “corresponding regional histories” such as the destruction of the Chavez Ravine neighborhood to build Dodger Stadium that took place concurrently with Koenig’s affordable housing prototype.
Stan VanDerBeek’s Classic Poemfield Films
When: Opens Saturday, September 13, 6–9pm
Where: The Box (805 Traction Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Created at Bell Labs in New Jersey between 1966-71, Stan VanDerBeek’s Poemfield films are some of the earliest examples of computer art. In these works, created using the earliest computer animation language BEFLIX, “powerful sequences of words gradually emerge from twinkling mosaics of geometric graphics.” They are paired with soundtracks from VanDerBeek’s contemporaries John Cage and Paul Motian to created “multilayered, moving image experiences.”
Lisa Anne Auerbach: Spells
When: Opens Saturday, September 13, 6–8pm
Where: Gavlak (1034 North Highland Ave, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
Lisa Anne Auerbach is an artist well-known for her combination of progressive ideals and handcraft, creating deftly knitted works convered in political slogans. Her latest exhibition Spells at Sarah Gavlak’s newish Hollywood space features black-and-white knitted and stitched pieces that engage with politics, literature, and cats.
When: Closes Sunday, September 14
Where: LACMA (5905 Wilshire Boulevard., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)
Painter John Altoon was one of the central figures of the seminal Ferus Gallery art scene in the 1950s and 60s. Since his passing in 1969, however, his work has become far less well known than that of fellow artists like Robert Irwin and Ed Ruscha.
This retrospective aims to correct that, including 70 works spanning his career, from abstract-figurative hybrids, to wry pop-art send-ups, much of it suffused with erotic imagery. Labelled “a post-modernist before his time” by LACMA, see why artists from Paul McCarthy to Laura Owens cite him as an influence.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.