This week, there’s talks on California design and the avant-garde, a show of new work from a longtime LA performance practitioner, a gallery sleepover, and more!
West Coast Avant-Garde, Part 2 Artist Talk
When: Thursday, November 20, 6–8pm
Where: Orange County Museum of Art (850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, CA)
Orange County is not a place typically associated with the avant-garde, but the Orange County Museum of Art is changing that with their current exhibition, The Avant-Garde Collection, which highlights five decades of the museum’s acquisitions. In conjunction with the show, this Thursday three LA artists — Tom LaDuke, Glenn Kaino, and Alexandra Grant — will “discuss the new guard and what it means to be groundbreaking in today’s art world,” according to OCMA’s website. The talk is free with museum admission and food trucks will be on site from 5:30–7pm.
Traveling Without Doing Harm
When: Opens, Friday, November 21, 7–10pm
Where: Elephant (3325 Division Street, Glassell Park, Los Angeles)
Diana-Sofia Estrada’s exhibition at this artist-run space contemplates how traveling always has an impact on the community being visited. Specifically she looks at Alexandria and Cairo, both before and during the Arab Spring of 2011. “Addressing issues of cultural insensitivity and voyeurism, Estrada’s works seek to record immediate reactions and considerations unto themselves, creating an installation of paintings and objects that voyeuristically contemplate beauty and change,” explains the press release.
She has also organized a series of performances for the night of the opening featuring Joy Harris, Guan Rong, and Henry Taylor, that explore “issues of identity/persona, urban planning, immigration, and capitalism.” One of the performances may even involve audience participation in the form of tequila, exploring how alcohol plays a role in the social life of different cultures.
Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936–1986 Book Discussion
When: Saturday, November 22, 3:30pm
Where: MOCA Grand (250 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)
The title of this comprehensive new book covering fifty years of California graphic design may sound like a series of disasters, but it accurately conveys the dynamic and groundbreaking creative landscape that is the Golden State. “(E)veryone knows that in California there’s no terra firma…California is fluid,” states the publisher’s website. From mid-century icons like Alvin Lustig, to psychedelic shows by Single Wing Turquoise Bird, to environmental designs by Gere Kavanaugh and Deborah Sussman, this book shows the breadth of California graphics. This Saturday Alice Twemlow hosts a discussion on the book featuring four of LA’s most iconic graphic designers: John van Hamersveld, April Greiman, Richard Taylor, and Lou Danziger.
Skip Arnold: Bout This
When: Opens Saturday, November 22, 6–8pm
Where: Greene Exhibitions (1639 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Mid-City, Los Angeles)
For over three decades, LA-based performance / video artist Skip Arnold has been using his body to “explore the relationships between self, place, and particular time,” as he states in a manifesto on his website. “What is common to all my work is ‘Skip.’ Skip is the artwork,” it continues, “The act of doing, my actions, my choices.”
These actions range from the mundane, like smoking and drinking as in 2005’s Portrait #2, to the extreme, such a Marks from 20 years earlier where Arnold violently throws himself around a white room, clad only in jeans and a motorcycle helmet. For the first exhibition in their new space, Greene Exhibitions will be showing new work from Arnold as well as selections from his three decade career.
When: Saturday, November 22, 7pm–Sunday, November 23, 11am
Where: Human Resources (410 Cottage Home Street, Chinatown, Los Angeles)
My Father’s Side of Home, Carmen Argote’s current exhibition at Human Resources, deals with architecture, family, and displacement, and is based around a mansion in Guadalajara that her family owns. Argote has recreated a central room from the mansion out of manta, a common Mexican fabric. She has painted the “walls” of the room, leaving ghostly blank areas where furniture or pictures used to be. To explore the theme of artwork as habitation, Argote is planning a 16-hour sleepover in the gallery space, with a folding workshop, storytelling, and tarot readings, followed by pan dulce the next morning. What began as a project to trace her family connections to Guadalajara will take on another layer when the audience makes a home in her work for one night.
Declaration of Instigation
When: Sunday, November 23, 4–6pm
Where: LAX Art (7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
Who says political art is dead? For one of the first events in their new Hollywood space, LAX Art has invited a number of artists to “activate Jody Baral’s lecterns with a series of manifesto performances,” according to press materials. This Declaration of Instagation is organized by Anna Sew Hoy, and features Paul Gellman, Jade Gordon, Rebecca Morris/Gary Cannone, Paul Pescador, Jenni Sorkin, A.L. Steiner, and Mario Ybarra Jr.