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Anticipating the fall exhibition season in Los Angeles can be a bit daunting with dozens of shows opening over the next few months. As the weather gets slightly cooler here, gallerists and curators emerge from their sweaty, summer torpor to unveil solo debuts of emerging talents, highly anticipated career retrospectives, or group exhibitions that reframe artistic movements. We’ve selected 10 exhibitions worth checking out, including a survey of car culture aesthetics, a damning photographic study of the prison system, and an overdue retrospective of the work of pioneering conceptual artist Adrian Piper.
1. The Mojave Project at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
Kim Stringfellow’s Mojave Project is a multi-part documentary endeavor that looks at the vast desert east of Los Angeles through geological, historical, and cultural perspectives. It contains interviews, photographs, and video to present an immersive portrait of this complex landscape. The results of Stringfellow’s research will be on view at LACE, alongside installments on KCET’s Artbound, field trips, and other programming, to give participants a chance to explore this dynamic desert community for themselves.
When: Opens Saturday, September 15, 4–7pm
Where: Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) (6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
More info at LACE.
2. Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun: Slavery, The Prison Industrial Complex at Art + Practice
The 13th Amendment brought an end to slavery in the US; however, the nation’s massive prison system perpetuates a system of exploitative labor. Nowhere can this condition be seen as clearly as at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola, the largest maximum-security prison in the nation, located on land that was once a plantation. Capitalism fuels the prison’s existence and growth, as inmates work on a farm that produces cash crops and the local community relies on it for jobs. For three decades, Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick have been photographing the prison’s residents, documenting workers in the fields, inmates in their cells, and even moments of diversion like the prison rodeo.
When: Opens Saturday, September 22, 2–5pm
Where: Art + Practice (3401 West 43rd Place, Leimert Park, Los Angeles)
More info at Art + Practice.
3. OneHouse ArtExperience Museum with Guan Rong at Visitor Welcome Center
Based in the San Gabriel Valley, OneHouse ArtExperience Museum is a children’s museum and art school for 3 to 11 year-old kids founded by artist Guan Rong. It combines folk objects and children’s toys from around the world with work by contemporary artists. For her fall exhibition at Visitor Welcome Center, Rong will be presenting a large, immersive cityscape created by her students composed of found and donated materials.
When: Opens Saturday, September 22
Where: Visitor Welcome Center (3006 West 7th Street, Koreatown, Los Angeles)
More info at Visitor Welcome Center.
4. Auto-Didactic: The Juxtapoz School at Petersen Automotive Museum
Founded in 1994 by artists including Robert Williams, Craig Stecyk, Eric Swenson, and the late gallerist Greg Escalante, Juxtapoz Magazine stood out as an alternative to the slick, establishment art magazines of the time. Although it was based in San Francisco, it celebrated a certain strain of SoCal underground and low-brow art that included street art, skateboard graphics, custom car culture, psychedelia, and pop art. In the ensuing two decades, it would boast one of the largest circulations of any art magazine in the country. Auto-Didactic: The Juxtapoz School at the Petersen Automotive Museum explores the influence of this groundbreaking magazine, showcasing underground favorites like Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Von Dutch, alongside artists that bridge the gap between lowbrow and high art, like Kenny Scharf, Anthony Ausgang, and Sandow Birk, proving that the barriers between the street and the white cube are more porous than they may at first seem.
When: Opens Thursday, September 27, 7–10pm (VIP $60 | General $30)
Where: Petersen Automotive Museum (6060 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)
More info at Petersen Automotive Museum.
5. Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology at Vincent Price Art Museum
Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology traces the intersection of political activism and artistic ideas between Mexico and Los Angeles over the past century. The first example is the radical newspaper Regeración, published by the anarchist Flores Magón brothers in the early 20th century. Begun in Mexico, it was forced to relocate to Los Angeles in 1905, where it covered the Mexican Revolution with a perspective that was critical of both the Mexican and US government. Then in the ’70s, Chicano art collective ASCO borrowed the name Regeneración for their political and cultural periodical, which offered an avant-garde perspective on the Chicano Movement. Most recently in the ’90s, experimental community arts space Regeneración/Popular Resource Center of Highland Park, founded by Rage Against the Machine’s Zach de la Rocha, brought together performances from underground bands and transgressive artists, with political content, like fundraisers for the Zapatistas. Through these three very distinctive phenomena, the exhibition tells a story of transnational creative resistance.
When: Opens Saturday, September 29, 5–8pm
Where: Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM) (East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, California)
More info at Vincent Price Art Museum.
6. Visual Language at Subliminal Projects
Text has a long history in visual art, from hieroglyphs to medieval illuminated manuscripts and conceptual art. Visual Language, a bi-coastal exhibition at Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles and Faction Art Projects in New York, looks at contemporary artists who combine the aesthetic and the linguistic. Participating artists include Betty Tompkins, Guerrilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Umar Rashid, Wayne White, and others.
When: Runs through Saturday, October 6
Where: Subliminal Projects (1313 West Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, Los Angeles)
More info at Subliminal Projects.
7. Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016 at the Hammer Museum
Adrian Piper’s oeuvre ranges from early street performances to drawings, photography, paintings, and installation. At odds with the cool remove of her conceptual art peers, Piper’s diverse body of work engages with issues of race, gender, politics, and institutional critique, often with a healthy dose of biting wit. Organized by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Hammer’s presentation of Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016 is the most comprehensive survey of her work ever on the West Coast, giving this influential artist a proper and much deserved retrospective.
When: Opens Sunday, October 7
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles)
More info at the Hammer Museum.
8. Aria Dean: Lonesome Crowded West at Château Shatto
Through a varied practice that belies its straightforwardness, Aria Dean explores what she terms an “ontology of blackness.” Her first solo show at Chateau Shatto, Lonesome Crowded West, includes round, red wall sculptures that flirt with minimalism, while incorporating personal narrative. Made from Mississippi clay, they allude to her family’s origins there, rooted in the earth, and their ensuing migration once they left the area. A video compilation of crowd scenes taken from hip-hop videos focuses on black identity as it manifests itself through theatrical collective action. A ghostly floating sheet is a whimsical nod to haunted, hidden histories.
When: Runs through Saturday, October 27
Where: Château Shatto (1206 S. Maple Ave, Ste 1030, Downtown, Los Angeles)
More info at Château Shatto.
9. Outliers and American Vanguard Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The lines between self-taught or “outsider” artists and those with institutional training are often clearly demarcated, but in reality there is much overlap between the two groups. Outliers and American Vanguard Art looks at instances of crossover, beginning with the MoMA’s early advocacy of folk artists. It then looks at groups in the 1960s like the Chicago Imagists and West Coast Assemblage Movement who were influenced by outsider artists, before turning to contemporary examples. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, the exhibition includes work by Henry Darger, Greer Lankton, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Matt Mullican, Martín Ramírez, Betye Saar, Kara Walker, and others.
When: Opens Sunday, November 18
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (5905 Wilshire Boulevard., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)
More info at LACMA.
10. Monumentality at the Getty Center
Monuments are some of the oldest and boldest remnants of bygone civilizations, transmitting messages about what the ruling classes found important hundreds or thousands of years ago. As new regimes take over, monuments are toppled or co-opted as their meaning is erased or updated. Contemporary artists have also engaged with the monumental, using scale and size to raise questions and challenge dominant paradigms. Monumentality at the Getty Center looks at the history of this phenomenon, examining the longevity and limitations of monuments. Artists include Tacita Dean, Ed Ruscha, Lebbeus Woods, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Leandro Katz, and others.
When: Opens Tuesday, December 4
Where: The Getty Center (1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles)
More info at the Getty Center.