Art This Week in Culture

This Week in Culture: January 8 - 14

Artwork by Jessie Homer French. Image courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires.

Welcome to This Week in Culture, a weekly agenda of show openings and events in major cities across the globe. From galleries to institutions and one-of-a-kind happenings, our ongoing survey highlights the best of contemporary culture, for those willing to make the journey.

Los Angeles

“Normal Landscapes” by Jessie Homer French
Various Small Fires
When: January 13 - February 17, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: California-based Jessie Homer French’s antipastoral paintings are characterized by bold brushstrokes and an enduring irony. Coyotes appear to be traversing a traditional wilderness in one of the octogenarian's compositions, only for the eye to register Los Angeles’s urban skyline emerging from the treetops. The interconnectedness of death and everyday life is put on display in intermingled depictions of wildfires, wild animals, and cemeteries.
Know Before You Go: The exhibition follows the artist’s notable inclusion in the Hammer Museum’s 2023 “Made in L.A.” biennial.

“Standing on Fishes” by William Wright
Sea View
When: January 14 - February 17, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: “Standing on Fishes,” Wright’s debut solo exhibition with the gallery, documents a daily creative life over the course of more than a year. The paintings, often rendered in a single, neutral palette with small touches of bright color, breath life into the artist's mundane routines and surroundings.
Know Before You Go: The deceptively simple paintings on view are made by layering oil paint on top of itself after repeated sanding, a process that spans months of time.

Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo

“Thirty Years: Written with a Splash of Blood”
Where: Blum
When: January 13 - March 3, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: This exhibition, marking the gallery’s 30th anniversary (following its recent pivot from Blum & Poe to Blum), offers an intergenerational survey of Japanese art from the 1960s to the present. Co-curated by Tim Blum and postwar Japanese historian Mika Yoshitake, it takes its title from Yukio Mishima’s 1969 novel Runaway Horses. A fitting text for the gallery's next chapter, the book centers on the power of rebirth and self-actualization.
Know Before You Go: The show is installed across Blum’s Los Angeles and Tokyo locations, and will inaugurate its new Tribeca outpost in New York this fall.

Artwork by Françoise Pétrovitch. Image courtesy of the artist and Semiose.


“Dans mes mains” by Françoise Pétrovitch
When: January 13 - March 9, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: “Dans mes mains” is the title of both Pétrovitch’s new show and a towering bronze sculpture on display. Exploring 21st century youth and femininity, the figure is accompanied by a series of paintings that depict contemporary adolescents. Looking at their phones or brushing against one another in repose, Pétrovitch seeks to understand their preoccupations and modern limitations.
Know Before You Go: In a written statement (translated from French), the artist explained, “These images are snapshots of today’s world. These teenagers rarely look at each other, nor do they exchange a great deal verbally, yet they come together, almost blending into one another. Their identities merge in intense friendships, where each is the reflection of the other.”

“Seede" by Alioune Diagne
When: January 6 - February 24, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: Eight paintings are now view at Templon’s Beaubourg outpost, all composed by Senegalese artist Alioune Diagne for his first show with the gallery. Each depicts daily life on Senegal’s coastline, where the painter traveled to observe the locals. Diagne’s unique take on pointillism captured the region’s fishermen dealing with the growing industrialization of their trade.
Know Before You Go: The painter is also set to represent his country in the Senegalese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale later this year. In a statement, he said, “Emigration is still a painful reality today. Up till now, people only envisaged living a successful life in Europe or the USA. I want to show the younger generations that it’s possible to have a future in Africa.”

“Hotel Paintings” by Grace Weaver
Galerie Max Hetzler
When: January 13 - February 17, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: In her first solo presentation in France, the artist explores hotel rooms' intimate but transient atmosphere in a series of paintings. Weaver portrays figures engaged in ordinary activities, pulling from the stylized attributes of Byzantine and Russian religious iconography, and the distorted compositions of Henri Matisse.  
Know Before You Go: The pieces call upon moments from Weaver’s travels through Marrakech, Fes, Essaouira, Casablanca, Rabat, and Tangier in Morocco, the keepsakes from which are scattered throughout a number of collages on display.

Roby Dwi Antono, MENARI; MENTARI, 2023. Photography by Moza Alatta. Image courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech.


“TUK” by Roby Dwi Antono
Almine Rech
When: January 11 - February 17, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: Inspired by the birth of his daughter in July of last year, Roby Dwi Antono’s latest exhibition explores his evolving perspective on everyday life, parenthood, and community. Oscillating between moments from his daughter’s early life and his own childhood, the artist is developing a painting style that lands more quickly on the canvas, capturing the accelerated pace of his new normal.
Know Before You Go: The show's title, “TUK,” is the name of a water spring that emerges from a well, which the artist once had to build as a water source in his native Ambarawa, in central Java. The man-made structure is likened to his baby’s experience with breast milk.

“The Fifer” by Deimantas Narkevičius
Maureen Paley
When: January 12 - February 11, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: The artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery continues a career-long exploration of the political and personal history of his native Lithuania in the post-Soviet era. Employing archival photography, holographic film, bronze castings, and more, he explores the sonic landscape that surrounds us, prompting visitors to imagine the noises emitted from a flying bird or nearby musician, all presented in a quiet space.
Know Before You Go: The namesake work in the exhibition is now visiting London after stops in Lithuania and Paris following its inception in 2019.

Chris Curreri, Self Portrait with Luis Jacob, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist and Daniel Faria Gallery.


“Now You Don’t” by Chris Curreri
Daniel Faria Gallery
When: January 11 - February 17, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: In the Toronto premiere of Curreri’s expansive piece Self Portrait with Luis Jacob, a slight trick is played on unsuspecting viewers. At first, guests are invited to look upon the expansive installation, a riff on a 1974 self-portrait by Rodney Werden, an experimental filmmaker, and artist Jorge Zontal. The figures have been replaced by Curreri and his partner, positioning them in the queer history of the Canadian city. After a few minutes, however, the lights flicker off and viewers are left gazing at their own reflections. Now you see me, and, as the exhibition title suggests, “now you don’t.”
Know Before You Go: The piece, which shows Curreri sitting nude in a seat, holding the camera trigger for his tripod, prompts questions of vulnerability and authorship. Who holds the power in this relationship: the one standing fully dressed, or the one who decides when and how to capture their own image?