LOS ANGELES — This week, an exhibition on influential art school Black Mountain College opens at the Hammer Museum, Last Projects opens a group show of beautiful failures, James Welling’s hyper-saturated photographs come to Regen Projects, and more.
James Welling: Photography and Dance
When: Opens Friday, February 19, 6–8pm
Where: Regen Projects (6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
Los Angeles-based photographer James Welling has been pushing the boundaries of the medium for 40 years, and shows no signs of slowing down. Choreograph, his ninth solo exhibition at Regen Projects, harkens back to a period in the early 1970s when Welling briefly studied dance before attending CalArts. The works in this series were created by layering photographs of dancers, icons of modern architecture, and landscapes, then altering the colors via Photoshop, resulting in vibrant, hyper-saturated composite images.
When: Opens Friday, February 19, 7–10pm
Where: LAST Projects (6546 Hollywood Blvd, Ste 215, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
Failure is an integral part of the creative process. After all, the best way to get to a remotely decent second draft is through a really bad first one. This is the conceit behind Last Project’s upcoming group show Fail Better, a Salon de Refusés of sorts including work by Daniel Herr, Brigid Mason, Mats Stromberg, Lola Rose Thompson, Liz Walsh, Andrew Wingler, Shelley Holcomb, and others. At 9pm, Anthony Ausgang — crown prince of good bad art — will read from The Pawnee Republican, accompanied by The Cat Museum Literary Guild.
YoungArts Los Angeles
When: Friday, February 19–Sunday, February 21
Where: The Los Angeles Theatre Center (514 South Spring Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)
YoungArts is a national foundation that offers support and guidance to talented young people in the fields of design and visual, literary, and performing arts. In Los Angeles this week, artists int he program will participate in intensive workshops with leaders in their fields, followed by exhibitions, showcases, and performances highlighting their accomplishments. The public program kicks off this Friday at 6:30pm with a visual art exhibition curated by Getty Research Institute curator John Tain, followed by readings, a film screening, and dance, theater, and music performances. Check here for the complete schedule and ticket information.
Artist Talk with Devan Shimoyama and Toro Castaño
When: Saturday, February 20, 4–5pm
Where: Samuel Freeman Gallery (2639 South La Cienega Blvd, Culver City, California)
The current exhibition at Samuel Freeman Gallery pairs two decidedly different artists: Salomón Huerta, a Latino artist from East LA who first gained recognition in the early 1990s, and Devan Shimoyama, a young Pittsburgh-based painter who explores queer black identity in his canvases. According to curator Toro Castaño, “abjectness and recovered beauty are a parallel to the messiness of being male but also being human,” which is what unites the two artists’ work. In conjunction with the exhibition’s closing, Castaño will lead an artist talk with Shimoyama about his practice and the show’s artistic pairing.
Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957
When: Opens Sunday, February 21, 11am–5pm
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles)
Few schools have had as deep an influence on 20th-century American art as Black Mountain College. Located in the mountains of North Carolina, this experimental college was only open for a little over two decades, but its staff and alumni lists read like a who’s who of American modernism. Pedagogically, the school promoted an interdisciplinary approach, one that viewed the arts as an integral part of — not separate from — a civil, democratic, and thoughtful society. Leap Before You Look, the first comprehensive museum exhibition to focus on Black Mountain, will feature work by its four main instructors — Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, and Charles Olson — as well as work by alumni, including Ruth Asawa, Robert Creeley, Cy Twombly, Susan Weil, Robert Rauschenberg, and many others.
Helen Lundeberg: A Retrospective
When: Opens Sunday, February 21, 11am–5pm
Where: Laguna Art Museum (307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, California)
Although she may not be as well known as some of her contemporaries, Helen Lundeberg was a pioneering member of not just one, but two important art movements in California. In the 1930s, with her husband Lorser Feitelson, she organized and wrote the manifesto for the Post-Surrealist group — the first group to embrace European Surrealism and give it an American twist. Twenty years later, she pared down her canvases to large, flat planes of color as a seminal member of the West Coast “hard-edge” school of painting. The Laguna Art Museum’s upcoming retrospective will present over 60 works, giving Lundeberg the attention she rightly deserves.