This month, boundaries collapse between high and low, art and science, the street and the white cube. A major Keith Haring retrospective at the Broad and an expansive solo show by hometown hero Mister Cartoon highlight their links to both graffiti and the gallery. Sarah Rosalena enlists computers to create her beaded textile tributes to forgotten female science workers and Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez-Delgado creates handmade living systems for a dystopian future. Jackie Castillo recycles building materials to reflect the tumultuous transformation of the city, while Beck + Col’s anti-capitalist slasher slices and dices lowbrow cinema with bespoke costumes and elegant visuals. Finally, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Frank Bowling celebrate diasporic identity, bringing together aesthetic touchstones from disparate geographic regions.
Sarah Rosalena: Standard Candle
Located at the top of a 5700-foot-high peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, Mount Wilson Observatory has been at the forefront of astronomical research for over a century. The discoveries made here were only possible through the under-recognized labor of women who analyzed and plotted data using photographs of the cosmos printed on glass plates. Sarah Rosalena pays homage to these women with Standard Candle, an installation of beaded textiles made with computer code based on these celestial images, situated in the Observatory’s shrine-like 100-inch Hooker telescope.
Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez-Delgado: Porvenir/Portátil
Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez-Delgado creates mobile living systems for a post-apocalyptic near future. His first solo show in LA, Porvenir/Portátil, features wearable sculptures that filter air and water, made from everyday items like PVC pipe, rechargeable batteries, and hairdryer fans. Two of the units house saplings smuggled into the United States from the Puerto Rican rainforest, “aliens” that will provide sustenance for inhabitants of a brave new world.
Canary Test (thecanarytest.com)
526 E 12th Street, Unit C, Downtown, Los Angeles
Through July 14
Mister Cartoon: Just My Imagination
Mister Cartoon is one of the most iconic figures in street art/graffiti/tattoo scenes. The LA native got his start airbrushing t-shirts at car shows, before building a career that spans graffiti, sign painting, and tattooing, counting Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and Eminem among his roster of celebrity tattoo clients. His work draws on lowrider aesthetics, classic soul, and Chicano culture, reflecting a vision that is quintessentially LA, but often excluded from (or simplistically stereotyped in) Hollywood representations of the city. Just My Imagination, the artist’s first solo show in his hometown, will be the largest presentation of his work, including drawings, airbrush paintings, a customized car, and a tattoo station.
Beyond the Streets/Control Gallery (control.gallery)
434 North La Brea Avenue, Fairfax, Los Angeles
June 10–July 16
Kang Seung Lee: The Heart of A Hand
The Heart of a Hand is a memorial homage to Goh Choo San, a Singaporean-born choreographer who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1987. Kang Seung Lee weaves together archival materials in evocative ways to create a patchwork portrait of his life and work, constructed through drawings on goatskin and gold embroidery on Korean Sambe cloth. The centerpiece is a video collaboration with Joshua Serafin and Nathan Mercury Kim, that creatively restages Goh’s 1981 ballet Configurations, adapting it into a celebration of queer community and resilience.
Vincent Price Art Museum (vincentpriceartmuseum.org)
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, California
Through July 22
Jackie Castillo: Turning
Los Angeles is a town that is constantly being reinvented, both through the migration of people and the disruption and development of the urban fabric. Jackie Castillo’s sculptures reference the physical transformation of the city to call attention to the effect it has on its residents. Turning features stacks on building materials such as bricks and tiles, onto which have been affixed sliced-up images of residential architecture. These stacks resemble both mounds of debris and building foundations, their ambiguous status tied to the beholder’s perspective.
As Is (as-is.la)
1133 Venice Boulevard, Pico-Union, Los Angeles
June 17–July 29
Beck + Col: Red Night
Drawing on campy B-movies, stylish Italian Giallo films, and theatrical pro-wrestling, the new film “Red Night” by artist duo Beck + Col follows a family of friendly monsters who are hunted through their suburban home by a killer. Helpless on their own, their only chance for survival is to unite against the intruder, a metaphor for the need for communal solidarity amongst those who wish to change society. The film will debut this month at Lauren Powell Projects’ offsite location, which will be transformed into a room from the monsters’ home, complete with artworks featured in the movie by Alicia Piller, Amia Yokoyama, Ofelia Marquez, Tanya Brodsky, and others.
Lauren Powell Projects (0ffsite at the Art Room) (laurenpowellprojects.com)
908 South Olive Street, Downtown, Los Angeles
June 8–July 29
Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Coming Back to See Through, Again
Njideka Akunyili Crosby investigates diasporic identities through her richly layered works, which incorporate hand painting and photo transfers of images sourced from popular media. Born in Nigeria, she moved to the US at the age of 16. A sense of inclusive hybridity is reflected in her subjects, who are depicted in intimate domestic settings brimming with lush foliage. Coming Back to See Through, Again, the inaugural show at David Zwirner’s new LA space, will include two new works from the Beautyful Ones series focused on children, earlier examples of which are on view in Crosby’s current show at the Huntington Gardens.
David Zwirner (davidzwirner.com)
616 North Western Avenue, East Hollywood, Los Angeles
Through July 29
Frank Bowling: Landscape
British artist Frank Bowling has been exploring the idea of the landscape since the 1960s when he garnered acclaim for his Map Paintings, which featured the crisp outlines of countries or continents on vast swaths of luminous color. His current show at Hauser & Wirth West Hollywood shows that his obsession has not waned, featuring 11 new abstract paintings that suggest physical or psychological landscapes. Bowling pulls from a range of techniques: pouring paint, brushing, and staining his canvases, onto which he collages found objects. The resulting works recall the atmospheric light of J. M. W. Turner as much as the tropical palette of Bowling’s native Guyana, revealing an autobiographical landscape of sorts.
Hauser & Wirth West Hollywood (vip-hauserwirth.com)
8980 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, California
Through August 5
Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody
Although Keith Haring’s prolific career lasted little more than a decade before his untimely death at the age of 31 due to AIDS, his signature bold style could be seen everywhere from the NYC subway to the gallery, the runway, and beyond. Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody displays his multifaceted oeuvre, featuring over 120 artworks and pieces of ephemera, spanning paintings, sculpture, video, and prints, as well as documentation of his public murals and subway drawings. It also includes protest posters he designed to support the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, nuclear disarmament, and activism surrounding HIV/AIDS. Events including a re-envisioning of seminal downtown NYC space Club 57 and a 50th-anniversary celebration of the origin of hip hop culture will provide a taste of the cultural milieu in which Haring lived and worked.
The Broad (thebroad.org)
221 South Grand Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles
Through October 8
This show explores and challenges conceptions of Mexican, Mexican-American, Xicanx, and Latinx bodies in art over the past sixty years. Organized by The American Federation of Arts (AFA), it features roughly 70 artists and collectives who are committed to reclaiming and reframing their own representations. It defines Xicanisma as a movement that grew out of the Chicano Movement in the 1990s, echoing its calls for civil rights and recognition with an increased focus on feminism, intersectionality, and indigeneity. Participating artists include Laura Aguilar, Mario Ayala, ASCO, Judith F. Baca, Alice Bag, Nao Bustamante, Enrique Chagoya, Vaginal Davis, Sandra de la Loza, rafa esparza, Jay Lynn Gomez, James Luna, Patrick Martínez, Shizu Saldamando, Patssi Valdez, and many others.
The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum (riversideartmuseum.org)
3581 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, California
June 17–January 7, 2024