This week curate.la celebrates its birthday, Grand Avenue has a block party, Richard Hawkins opens a two-venue exhibition based on Antonin Artaud, and more.
Curate LA One Year Anniversary
When: Thursday, October 22, 8pm–midnight
Where: Werkärtz (927 S. Santa Fe Ave., Downtown, Los Angeles)
In contrast to New York, where you can visit dozens of galleries in the space of a few blocks, the Los Angeles art scene is diffuse, decentralized, and constantly shifting. Fortunately for Angelenos, there’s curate.la which lists each week’s openings, exhibitions and performances on a ridiculously comprehensive map and list. To celebrate their one year anniversary, and the release of their new iPhone app, they’re throwing a party this thursday with music by RAM and Foreigner/Co, and visuals by Akiko Ymsht and Julieta Gil. The 21 and over event is free as long as you’ve got the app installed or, for Android users, you share the event on Instagram. RSVP here.
Ann Hirsch: Dr. Guttman’s Office
When: Opens Friday, October 23, 7–10pm
Where: Smart Objects (1828 W. Sunset Blvd, Echo Park, Los Angeles)
Ann Hirsch’s work unflinchingly explores the intersection of technology, media, gender, and sexuality. To this end, she has performed as a webcam girl, appeared as a contestant on a reality dating show, and created an e-book and play recounting her experience as a twelve-year old girl in an online relationship with a man twice her age. Her latest show at smart objects, Dr. Guttman’s Office, includes paintings based on drawings she made while in therapy as a child. Hirsch describes these repetitive drawings, all depicting attractive, happy young women, “as a way to reconcile my own position as a woman in a complex, often hostile world.”
Grand Ave Arts: All Access
When: Saturday, October 24, 10am–5pm
Where: various locations (Grand Avenue between Temple and 6th St., Downtown, Los Angeles)
With the opening of the Broad Museum last month, downtown LA’s Grand Avenue is poised to become one of the city’s major artistic arteries. To spotlight this cultural critical mass, 11 organizations will be participating in Grand Ave Arts: All Access, a free one-day event featuring performances, exhibitions, and behind-the-scenes tours. Highlights include Tim Hecker’s sound piece in the Broad plaza, a rehearsal of LA Opera’s Moby Dick, Día de los Muertos altars in Grand Park, “To Live and Dine in LA,” a show of historic LA menus at the central library, free admission to MOCA, and much more.
Devin Troy Strother: They Should’ve Never Given You Niggas Money
When: Opens Saturday, October 24, 6–9pm
Where: Richard Heller Gallery (Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave. #B-5A, Santa Monica, California)
The smiling, cartoonish, black figures that people Devin Troy Strother’s paintings exemplify the mix of discomfort and humor that characterizes his work. Exploring race, sports, pop culture, and art history, Strother’s paintings are a joy to look at even as they make you question your visual pleasure. Hopefully visitors to his upcoming show at Richard Heller can look past his provocative titles to appreciate the uneasy tension of these layered works.
William Powhida: Mediations
When: Opens Saturday, October 24, 6–9pm
Where: Charlie James Gallery (969 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles)
For a decade, William Powhida has been critiquing the network of class and power relations in the art world through satirical text-based works, often resembling trompe l’oeil pages torn from his notebook. His pithy observations seemed perfectly suited to an online medium like Twitter, and he soon began to erase the distinction between his artistic persona and personal character by sharing these quips and criticisms on his Twitter feed. Mediations, his upcoming show with Charlie James, features paintings that incorporate text from his twitter posts since 2009, representing a dialogue “between myself, William Powhida (my bad idea), aesthetics (other people’s bad ideas), and the prevalence of the object in a post-internet (tech’s bad ideas), socially mediated / market oriented art world (Capitalism’s bad ideas).”
When: Opens Saturday October 24, 5–7pm (Richard Telles), and 7–9pm (Jenny’s)
Where: Richard Telles (7380 Beverly Blvd, Fairfax District, Los Angeles) and Jenny’s (4220 Sunset Blvd, Silver Lake, Los Angeles)
Bouncing from realistic painting to abstraction to sculpture to collage, LA-based artist Richard Hawkins’s oeuvre reflects a fascination with (but not limited to) queer culture, Classical statuary, the Gothic aesthetic, and zombies. It’s no wonder that his upcoming exhibition needs two venues to contain it. Organized by Jenny’s and Richard Telles, the shows feature polychromed ceramics and mixed media collages inspired by the post-electroshock drawings of avant-garde theatrical madman Antonin Artaud. Branching out from these drawings to examine Artaud’s writings on Roman boy emperor Heliogabale and anthropological texts on the Indians of the Sierra Madre, the two shows are sure to be greater than the sum of their parts.