What to See Now: Los Angeles November 2017

Art | Oct 2017 | BY Maxwell Williams

Maxwell Williams runs through the highlights of the season.

Gary Simmons, “Balcony Seating Only,”
November 11–December 22; Regen Projects, 6750 Santa Monica Boulevard
Gary Simmons’s “erasure”-technique paintings—a building up and wiping away style that leaves his the paint on his canvases looking vibrational, haunting, and ablaze all at once—have been getting tons of attention lately with his current survey, “Fade to Black,” at the California African American Museum (through July 31, 2018). For “Balcony Seating Only” at Regen Projects, his second solo show with the gallery, Simmons will present a sculpture of a staircase leading to nowhere with the phrase “Colored Only” on it, alongside paintings that display the names of films from the 1930s and ‘40s and the black actors that performed in them. Running concurrently at Regen will be an exhibition of new work by Jack Pierson.

Jonathas de Andrade’s O Levante (The Uprising), 2013. Image © Jonathas de Andrade.

“Por que somos e não somos tropicalistas”
November 8–November 19; Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home Street
Recife, Pernambuco in Brazil has a long history with art and especially cinema. The fourth largest city in Brazil, it is home to numerous museums, a large artist population, and the Recife Cinema Festival, an important competitive film festival held annually. Curated by Zanna Gilbert, “Por que somos e não somos tropicalistas (We are not tropicalists)” will feature six films from the contemporary Recife-based independent filmmakers, each with their own take on the city that surrounds them.

Miami Dutch

Miami-Dutch’s Border Dance without Shoes, 2017, final rehearsal still.

Miami-Dutch, “Traffic in the Square,”
November 4–December 9;
Club Pro Los Angeles, 1525 South Main Street
The five-member Miami-Dutch—Lauren Elder, Brian Khek, André Lenox, Evan Lenox, and Micah Schippa—all prominent artists in their own right who reside in between Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, describe themselves as “a core collectif of self-evasive characters, formed in 2010.” Their shows in the past have challenged colonialism and mob-mentality, among other flashpoints, and this exhibition, titled “Traffic in the Square,” sets its sights on mythmaking, borders, and a migratory experience.

Ellen Gallagher

Ellen Gallagher’s Whale Falls, 2017. Photo: Ernst Moritz.

Ellen Gallagher, “Accidental Records,”
November 4–January 28; Hauser & Wirth, 901 East 3rd Street

It’s shocking to find out that Ellen Gallagher has never had a solo show in L.A. in her 20-plus year career, but “Accidental Records” is indeed her first. Featuring new paintings, collages and drawings—nautical-themed depictions of “the complex histories of the Black Atlantic and the afterlives of the Middle Passage”—as well a slide projection installation.

Miguel Cabrera’s The Divine Spouse (El Divino Esposo), c. 1750. Courtesy of © Museum Associates/LACMA/Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C., by Rafael Doniz.

“Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici”
November 19, 2017–March 18, 2018; LACMA, Resnick Pavilion, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard

Pacific Standard Time LA/LA, the citywide initiative to highlight Latinx and Latin American art, officially kicked off in September, but it runs through January, and LACMA—which has already presented a number of outstanding shows, from a Carlos Almaraz survey to “A Universal History of Infamy” to “Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985.” They’re taking a look at 18th century Mexico for their next exhibition, and it will travel to the Met in New York afterwards. The highlight here is a set of casta (or caste) paintings by Miguel Cabrera, considered one of the great Mexican painters of the time. Two of the set disappeared many years ago, and one was found rolled up in a couch in Northern California. To add to the intrigue, LACMA received a letter written from the perspective of the other missing painting, saying that it hangs less than two miles from the museum. They’re hoping the owners come out of the woodworks during the show.

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