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For the last month of this rollercoaster of a year, we’ve put together a selection of some thoughtful shows currently open across Los Angeles. If you don’t feel comfortable visiting spaces in-person, most of these are also available to view online — and it’s worth seeing the images.
When: through December 19
Where: Latin American Masters (open by appointment only) (2525 Michigan Ave Suite E2, Santa Monica)
The Mexican Zapotec artist Francisco Toledo died just last year and left behind thousands of memorable works, including paintings, sculptures, and graphic prints. This exhibition focuses on the latter, claiming that printmaking was in fact “Toledo’s first love” — he made his first print when he was still a teenager, and he continued making prints through the very end of his life. This is a fantastic opportunity to see a generous selection of his prints featuring a wondrous cast of animals, evoking the artist’s tropical hometown in the state of Oaxaca.
When: through December 20
Where: Hunter Shaw Fine Art (open by appointment only) (5513 W Pico Blvd, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)
Over the past few months we’ve begun to see the art that has been made during the coronavirus pandemic. Exhibitions such as this one have tried to zero in on some of the themes that have emerged, including “connection and alienation, acceleration and stagnation, hope and hopelessness.” XX:XX incorporates textile design, graffiti, witchcraft, animation, and more, and features the works of Alex Nguyen-Vo, Commonolithic, Don Edler, Huntrezz, Molly Surazhsky, and Tarik Garrett.
When: through January 9, 2021
Where: Anat Ebgi (open by appointment only) (2660 S La Cienega Blvd, Mid-City, Los Angeles)
In Cosmo Whyte’s stirring, first solo exhibition with the gallery, he makes connections between contemporary Black Lives Matter protests, Black Civil Rights movements in the 1960s, and African-Caribbean protests in 1980s London. The Jamaican-born artist builds a complex, moving portrait of the Black diaspora in charcoal and gouache drawings, as well as one stunning hand-painted beaded curtain based on a 1964 photo of Black activists swimming on a segregated beach. To see the show, viewers must pass through this curtain. [i love this as an idea but yikes, amid covid]
When: through January 16
Where: Murmurs (open by appointment only) (1411 Newton Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)
For Bri Williams’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, where the artist lives and works, she creates a slightly unsettling environment that invokes a house populated by ghosts. Notably, Williams requested that the show not be accompanied by a press release, presumably so that viewers can wander the rooms she created with their own imaginations.
When: through January 30, 2021
Where: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (open by appointment only) (1010 N Highland Ave, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
At the heart of Liu Shiyuan’s exhibition is a fictional character named Jord, a word that in Danish means “earth” or “dirt.” According to exhibition materials, “this character is not human, not from the past or the future, and has no race or gender.” Liu brings this character to life through photos, videos, and drawings, often using Google image searches to make her pixel-like grids. The artist, who is a Chinese national, has also included her new video inspired by a Hans Christian Anderson book that was used by the Chinese government during the Cultural Revolution to explain “how the communist party was saving China from the problems of Western capitalism.”
When: through January 30, 2021
Where: Online at Holocaust Museum LA
This poignant online exhibition showcases artist David Labkovski’s illustrations of stories by the Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem. The images and stories allude to everyday life in Vilna, Lithuania, where Labkovski grew up. During World War II, the artist was imprisoned in a Siberian Gulag, and when he returned to his hometown, the city and Jewish community as he knew it was gone. In the words of Labkovski, he wanted his art to remember and celebrate the Jewish “world that was.”