Josh Mannis, “So Much for Working for Change From Within the System” (2013), ink on paper, 21 x 18 inches, part of the Amplify Compassion art sale to benefit the ACLU (via

 Artists for Racial Justice

When: Wednesday, January 18, 7–9pm
Where: Baik Art (2600 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, Los Angeles)

With the presidential inauguration looming, the role of art to reflect, confront, and challenge injustice and inequality seems especially urgent. Curator Anuradha Vikram will moderate this discussion between artists who address racial justice in their work. These include Thinh Nguyen, Elana Mann, Derrick Maddox, and Dorit Cypis, who has facilitated “Days of Dialogue,” a series of conversations between police and communities throughout Los Angeles.

Elana Mann, “Talk Through the Hand” mural at Baik Art (via Facebook)

 Llyn Foulkes: Old Man Blues

When: Opens Thursday, January 19, 6–8pm
Where: Sprüth Magers (5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

Since the late ’50s, Llyn Foulkes has been plumbing the dark depths and uncharted corners of American culture through assemblage, collage, painting, and musical compositions performed with handmade instruments. Old Man Blues, his first exhibition at Sprüth Magers, will feature work produced since his 2013 Hammer Museum retrospective. As with much of his oeuvre over the past few decades, Foulkes’s new body of work lays bare the ugliness of corruption and greed under the surface of gentile society.

Llyn Foulkes, “To Bernie, From Llyn” (2016), photograph, oil paint, fabric, ink and found objects on plywood, 11 X 12 1/2 in. (via

 Petra Cortright: quack doctor violet “saltwater fish”

When: Opens Friday, January 20, 6–8pm
Where: 1301PE (6150 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

Created when she was barely in her 20s, Petra Cortright’s “VVEBCAM” (2007) is a pioneering work of post-internet art, recently picked by Rhizome as one of the 100 influential works to be preserved in their Net Art Anthology. In the ensuing decade, the wunderkind has created digital and web-based work that examines the way we view the world, and ourselves, through an online filter. Quack doctor violet “saltwater fish” is her first show at 1301PE,  featuring new digital paintings.

quack doctor violet “saltwater fish” (via

 The Collectivists

When: Opens Saturday, January 21, 6–9pm
Where: Brand Library (1601 W Mountain St, Glendale, California)

Alongside the tony, blue-chip galleries and private museums, artist-run spaces have been cropping up all over LA. Six of them are highlighted in The Collectivists, presenting an artistic vision that runs counter to the hierarchical, commercial gallery system. Over 60 artists are included, offering a glimpse of the range of work on view at Durden & Ray, Eastside International, Manual History Machines, Monte Vista Projects, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and the public programs of Association of Hysteric Curators.

The Collectivists (via Facebook)

 Ron Nagle: Ice Breaker

When: Opens Saturday, January 21, 3–5pm
Where: Matthew Marks Gallery (1062 N. Orange Grove, West Hollywood, California)

Ron Nagle, “Intangible Assets” (2016), ceramic, catalyzed polyurethane and epoxy resin, 4 3/8 x 6 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches (via

Alongside Peter Voulkos, Ken Price, and Peter Shire, Ron Nagle is one of the seminal figures of 20th-century ceramic art in California. Not limiting himself to traditional clay and glaze, Nagle uses industrial materials like epoxy resin, polyurethane, and car paint to create a dazzling range of effects. His upcoming exhibition at Matthew Marks, Ice Breaker, features all new work and is his largest show on the West Coast.

 Amplify Compassion

When: Saturday, January 21, 6–9pm & Sunday, January 22, 11am–6pm
Where: 356 Mission (356 S. Mission Road, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles)

A common theme in many of this week’s picks is the power of art to challenge dominant paradigms and effect social change. In keeping with this spirit, 356 Mission hosts Amplify Compassion,  a two-day art sale to benefit the ACLU, who will certainly have their work cut out for them over the next four years. The work of dozens of artists will be featured including Lisa Anne Auerbach, Lecia Dole-Recio, Erik Frydenborg, Julian Hoeber, Dawn Kasper, Rachel Roske, Mark Verabioff, and many more.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.