LOS ANGELES — This week, Machine Project presents an underwater art show, an exhibition on youth culture in Los Angeles opens at the Vincent Price Museum, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel hosts German artist Isa Genzken’s first solo show in LA, and more.
The Art of Alchemy
When: Opens Tuesday, October 11
Where: Getty Research Institute (1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles)
The ancient and mysterious practice of alchemy never resulted in creating gold from base elements, but it can be viewed as a metaphor for the artistic enterprise: using simple materials to create exquisite objects that are much more than the sum of their parts. The Art of Alchemy at the Getty Research Institute features artwork from antiquity through the 20th century that explores the eternal human drive to control and shape nature. A related exhibition focuses on The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts.
When: Friday, October 14–Sunday, October 16, 12–6pm daily
Where: Annenberg Community Beach House (415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, California)
The backyard pool is a quintessential icon of the good life in Southern California, and for one weekend, Machine Project will reimagine it as a space for art as well. Snorkel Dreams: A Machine Project Guide to Art Underwater features 18 artists whose paintings, sculptures, and videos will fill the pool at the Annenberg Community Beach House. Built in the 1920s by William Randolph Hearst for his mistress, the actress Marion Davies, the beach house is now open to the public for free, but reservations are highly recommended.
Awazu Kiyoshi’s Graphic Design: Summoning the Outdated
When: Opens Saturday, October 15
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)
The work of late Japanese designer and artist Awazu Kiyoshi reflects his interest in Japanese folklore and craft traditions, instead of the sleek modernism so often associated with Japanese aesthetics. Summoning the Outdated presents his book poster designs from the 1960s and ’70s that fuse traditional Japanese imagery with his own idiosyncratic, hand-drawn style.
Tastemakers & Earthshakers: Notes from Los Angeles Youth Culture, 1943 – 2016
When: Opens Saturday, October 15, 5–8pm
Where: Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College (1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park)
American youth culture is not monolithic, with intersecting histories developing based on geography, race, gender, and sexual identity. Tastemakers & Earthshakers is a wide-ranging survey of youth culture in Los Angeles that focuses primarily — but not solely — on a Latino/a experience. Beginning with Pachuco culture and the Zoot Suit riots of 1943, the exhibition explores activism and resistance, queer life, and musical subcultures such as punk, rap, and rave through a combination of contemporary art and popular media. Featured artists include Judy Baca, Mario Ybarra Jr., Carolyn Castaño, Salomón Huerta, Jose Montoya, Guadalupe Rosales, and many more.
Isa Genzken: I Love Michael Asher
When: Opens Saturday, October 15, 6–8pm
Where: Hauser Wirth & Schimmel (901 East 3rd Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)
On the surface, the work of German sculptor Isa Genzken and the late conceptual artist Michael Asher may not appear to have much in common, but both artists are united by their interrogation of formal and institutional structures. For her first solo show in Los Angeles, I Love Michael Asher, Genzken will present a broad selection of new sculptural assemblages including mannequins from her Schauspieler (Actors) series, wall-mounted collages, and a dividing wall and window taken from her actual studio. “Rose III,” an eight-meter tall sculpture of a flower, will occupy Hauser Wirth & Schimmel’s central courtyard.
Mickalene Thomas: Do I Look Like a Lady?
When: Opens Sunday, October 16
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Grand (250 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)
With her glam and glitzy paintings, Mickalene Thomas focuses on the image of the African-American woman, giving her agency as subject, not just the object of the spectator’s gaze. Her new exhibition, Do I Look Like a Lady?, features silk-screened portraits and a ’70s interiors-inspired installation alongside a video work celebrating the diverse pantheon of black female entertainers, from Nina Simone, Pam Grier, and Whitney Houston, to Wanda Sykes and “Moms” Mabley.