LOS ANGELES — Just because the insanity of the start of the season is over, doesn’t mean there’s not a lot to see out there. This week we’ve got rarely-screened gems from Gordon Matta-Clark, a (art) star-studded benefit auction for Planned Parenthood, and two not-to-be-missed new shows opening.
Cities on Screens: Film Works by Gordon Matta-Clark
When: Wednesday, September 17, 7–9:30pm, Thursday, September 18, 7-9:30pm
Where: The Mistake Room (1811 East 20th Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Gordon Matta-Clark is one of those rare artists whose work is as influential as it is seldom seen. He operated in the space between architecture and and art, dubbing his work “anarchitecture.” Matta-Clark’s building interventions were often site-specific and temporary, and the rarely-screened films he made are the best documentation of some of his important works. The Mistake Room will be showing seven of these films, divided into two different programs across two nights. Although none of the films were shot in LA, the screening organizers are hoping to spur discussion about “the rapidly changing nature of Los Angeles itself, particularly its Downtown,” informed by Matta-Clark’s unique urban vision. More info on the program here.
Sexy Beast: A Benefit for Planned Parenthood
When: Saturday, September 20, 7–10pm
Where: The Ace Hotel Theatre (929 S. Broadway, Downtown, Los Angeles)
This gala event hosted by Jack Black aims to celebrate ” the art world’s power to effect positive change, touch peoples’ lives, and create value far beyond commercial gain.” There will be an art auction (with paddles designed by Alex Israel) featuring work by some of L.A.’s hottest talents — Lisa Anne Auerbach, Math Bass, Sam Falls, Laura Owens, and Pae White among many others — as well as a performance by larger-than-life dancer and choreographer Ryan Heffington. On top of which Jenny Slate will be receiving an award. Single tickets are $550. All proceeds will benefit the Planned Parenthood clinics of Los Angeles.
Rob Sato: Curses
When: Opens Saturday, September 20, 7–9pm
Where: Martha Otero Gallery (820 N. Fairfax Avenue, Fairfax District, Los Angeles)
Rob Sato‘s obsessive watercolors combine a fantastical, child-like vision with some serious painting chops. They resemble what would happen if a kid were left alone to sketch in the basement rec room, and didn’t emerge for 20 years. His first solo exhibition with the gallery includes Five Movements for Little Guys, a series of ten-foot tall works in which Sato attempts to paint every single person he can remember, as they traverse colorful, imaginary landscapes.
Jennifer Boysen: Trans-Mutes
When: Opens Saturday, September 20, 4–6pm
Where: Cherry and Martin Gallery (2712 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City, California)
Offering a new twist on the monochrome, Jennifer Boysen‘s large-scale canvases “hover between painting and sculpture.”
She stretches canvas over found objects, which strain against the surface, threatening to break through. On this ground she paints with egg tempera and non-traditional pigments to create works with a meditative quality. “The richness inherent to tempera as a medium, mixed with the sculptural form, creates a sort of visual absorption … thus giving these objects or forms an alternate function or power.”
Book Signing: Pamela Littky: Vacancy
When: Friday, September 19, 7–9pm
Where: Arcana Gallery (8675 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, California)
The photographs in Pamela Littky‘s new book, Vacancy, chronicle life in two desert towns that both claim the mantle of “Gateway to Death Valley”: Baker, California, and Beatty, Nevada.
“From domestic scenes to colorful bars, trailers to bingo halls and the always beautiful-but-unrelenting landscape,” she presents a nuanced portrait of these often overlooked oases.
Artist Talk: Mario Garcia Torres
When: Wednesday, September 17, 7;30pm
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles)
Mexico City-based artist Mario Garcia Torres’ video now on view at the Hammer takes the form of a monologue purportedly by Alan Smithee — the pseudonym adopted by directors “wishing to disown films in which their creative vision had been compromised.” Incorporating elements from motivational lectures and TED talks, Garcia Torres’ video imagines what it would be like to be the worst director in history. This first solo exhibition of his work in Los Angeles will be accompanied by a free artist talk.