All eyes may be on the Santa Monica Airport this week, but that doesn't mean that Los Angeles's vibrant art ecosystem has ceased its slate of engaging, high-caliber exhibitions. From the PCH to the depths of Downtown, and Hollywood to the far reaches of the East Side, a flurry of exciting shows are opening their doors to the public this week, highlighting what makes LA so attractive to artists and art lovers in the first place. Amid the dizzying array of gallery openings, pop-up projects, and one-off performances taking place this week, CULTURED highlights seven of LA's not-to-be-missed exhibitions taking place outside of Frieze.
"Alex Katz: Sunrise”
At the Schindler House, the 95-year-old New York artist presents new paintings of actress Sunrise Ruffalo that continue the lineage of his uncanny, illogical “splits” painting style, in which the vertical halves of a painting’s subject are misaligned. The works weave together an array of influences, including Édouard Manet’s women in the sunshine; the early, analytical style of Cubism; and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1971 film Beware of a Holy Whore. "Alex Katz: Sunrise” is on view through March 12, 2023 at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House.
“Helen Cammock: I Will Keep My Soul”
For the 2019 Turner Award winner’s first show in the U.S., the artist conducted deep research into the legacy of New Orleans, diving into the city’s history after visiting for the first time just over a year ago. An offering of poems, ceramic sculptures, and music (she took up the trumpet during her initial visit to the city) presented by the California African American Museum at Art + Practice incorporate accounts from New Orleans archives at the Amistad Research Center, artists, and civil rights leaders. “Helen Cammock: I Will Keep My Soul” is on view through August 5, 2023 at Art + Practice.
“Karon Davis: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection”
To create her signature life-size figures, Karon Davis casts the bodies of friends and family members—as well as her own—through a plaster process informed by ancient Egyptian mummification rituals. Drawing on her background in film and theater, she then breathes life to her sculpted works by arranging them in scenes that explore subjects of race and brutality in the U.S. At the Hammer, Davis shows work from her 2019 project GAME, which unpacks the subject of violence in schools. “Karon Davis: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection” is on view through April 9, 2023 at the Hammer Museum.
"Forrest Kirk: The Owl of Minerva Flies at Dusk”
LA artist Forrest Kirk looks to the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel’s 1820 book Elements of the Philosophy of the Right as inspiration for his latest paintings. Kirk is specifically taken with the story of Minerva—goddess of wisdom—and her pet owl, who symbolizes knowledge acquired through trial and error; cultivating wisdom through the process of making mistakes. His neon orange sunsets and sci-fi skyscraper vistas, painted with Gorilla Glue and spray paint, function as markers of time, change, and spirituality. "Forrest Kirk: The Owl of Minerva Flies at Dusk” is on view through March 11, 2023 at Vielmetter Los Angeles.
"Fernando Campana: Cine São José”
This tribute to Fernando Campana, co-founder of the famed Estúdio Campana in collaboration with his brother Humberto, puts some of the pair's best-known work into focus: the Yanomani Chair, 1989, from their early Desconfortáveis (Uncomfortable) collection; the Plástico Bolha Chair, 1995; and the Sushi series, 2000s, among others. The title, suitably nostalgia-laden, is a nod to a local cinema in their hometown of Brotas, São Paulo, Brazil, where the young brothers would to watch films and find inspiration. "Fernando Campana: Cine São José” is on view through April 15, 2023 at Friedman Benda.
"Sula Bermúdez-Silverman: Ichthyocentaur”
The LA artist uses historical accounts of the Spanish conquistadors colonizing the Americas as a launch point for her research-driven installations. European colonialization confronts Greek mythology, emerging Global South scholarship, and established indigenous history in her charged combinations of craftwork and debris, crafting new narratives about the "discovery" of the “New World.” "Sula Bermúdez-Silverman: Ichthyocentaur” is on view through March 18, 2023 at Matthew Brown.
"Juliana Halpert: Civilization”
In this exhibition, the photographer and writer walks visitors through her own version of Civilization—the famed series of strategic video games—in which her character, Queen Maria Theresa (18th-century ruler of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire), helms a society over thousands of years. Halpert’s new texts and complex photographic style (including silver gelatin prints and archival inkjet prints) represent her unique perspective on power and humanity, and an enticing remix of history and legend. "Juliana Halpert: Civilization” is on view through April 2, 2023 at Larder.