Running until November 2, Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles presents a remarkable body of Judy Chicago’s work that has been largely unseen for fifty years. On the occasion of this monumental show, Prospect and Judy Chicago created a Book of Postcards, including thirty-six 4 by 6 inch postcards featuring iconic works by the artist, many of which will be on view at the gallery. Additional items, never before seen in Los Angeles, will be available from the Prospect X Judy Chicago collection, including fine bone china plates, silk throw pillows, scarves, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and a new pomegranate goddess soap sculpture. Limited editions range from $18 to $225 and will be available online at prospectny.com
Punch, curated by artist Nina Chanel Abney, features thirty-three artists who examine contemporary culture and society through the lens of figuration. The exhibition focuses on artists primarily from Los Angeles in Abney’s circle who explore connections and disconnections between culture and subculture, figuration and abstraction, and the physical and the digital. The pieces featured in the exhibition contain references to art historical precedents such as Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, as well as street art, while integrating elements of design, graffiti, cartoons, and satire. Using painting, sculpture, and performance as acts of defiance, these artists explore how they can create figurative and abstract representations with visual punch while portraying a society immersed in new media and pop culture.
Punch, Curated by Nina Chanel Abney is on view through August 17 at Jeffrey Deitch Los Angeles 925 North Orange Drive, Los Angeles. photographs courtesy of Jeffrey Deitch
Autre magazine celebrated its new issue at the newly redesigned Hotel Figueroa in Downtown Los Angeles. The evening began with a four-course supper by chef Casey Lane at the hotel’s restaurant Breva, which was followed by a soiree by the pool at Rick’s. Madre Mezcal provided libations throughout the night. photographs by Oliver Maxwell Kupper
Jeffrey Deitch has just opened his new Los Angeles gallery with a museum-scale exhibition entitled, Zodiac, by Ai Weiwei. This inaugural exhibition at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery Los Angeles, is one of three major exhibitions by the artist concurrently on view in Los Angeles.
The center of the space is filled by one of the artist’s most remarkable works, Stools (2013), comprised of 5,929 wooden stools from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and the Republican period, gathered from villages across northern China. Very few of these stools remain in Chinese households today, but they were once a ubiquitous staple of domestic life. Each stool reveals traces of use and evokes the experience of generations of lives. Ai Weiwei admires the stools for their simple design and solid structure, a design language that remained unchanged for thousands of years.
Complementing the stools is a new series of Zodiac works composed from thousands of plastic LEGO bricks. The set of twelve works incorporates imagery from two well-known series by the artist. The twelve LEGO Zodiac animal heads deriving from his sculpture series Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (2010) are overlaid onto twelve landscapes and monuments from Ai’s Study of Perspective (1995–2003) series of photographs. He appreciates how LEGO is accessible to everyone, especially young people. His use of LEGO components is a response to the pixelated structure of digital images.
Both the Stools and the Zodiac installations are assembled from accumulated elements, a creative method that Ai has employed in many of his best-known works. His interest in accumulation and collecting relates to his desire to understand how an individual relates to society, to memory, and to objects that evoke a particular time. His use of antique stools and modern LEGO bricks are examples of how his art redefines these elements, subverting their history and nature.
The sculpture Grapes (2017) reassembles the stools into a completely different shape but uses the original structural logic so that it remains true to its original form. It provides a graceful and whimsical counterpoint to the accumulation of the 5,929 stools. Zodiac is on view through January 5, 2019 at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery 925 N Orange Drive, Los Angeles. photographs by Oliver Kupper
This summer, LAXART will be welcoming the international art community to celebrate its newly revamped exhibition space, kicking off the celebration with a multi-week festival of events and a new site-specific mural by Barbara Kruger. Under the leadership of Director Hamza Walker, LAXART will share its newly expanded mission and reinvigorated programming. Founded in 2005, LAXART promotes developments in contemporary culture through exhibitions, publications and public programs, using contemporary art and performance as a means of understanding key issues of our time. For this launch, the exterior of the building has been visually adorned with a new site specific work by Barbara Kruger. Wrapping around the building’s façade, Untitled (It) speaks to the immediate central Hollywood environ with its pawn shops, peep shows, dollar stores, nail salons, marijuana dispensaries and currency exchanges—all nodes of identity, commerce and elements that define the unique urban topology of Los Angeles. The opening benefit included musical performances by Rob Mazurek and Ambrose Akinmusire, as well as a selection of works on auction by Liz Larner, Karl Holmqvist, Arthur Jafa, Glenn Ligon and Jonas Wood. Kruger’s Untitled (It) is on display from June 3 through Fall 2018. photographs by Oliver Kupper
“How did these get here!?” I was shocked to see a pile of stickers on my gallery reception desk in the Spring of 1996 with the outrageously provocative phrase “Nuke the Swiss” printed above a red cross. “They were left there by that funny guy who comes in here all the time,” my staff explained. A few weeks later, I was there when the culprit walked in, smirking as he handed me a fresh stack of Nuke the Swiss stickers. His engaging manner somehow neutralized the egregious content of his free art. This was my first introduction to Tom Sachs, who twenty years later, still visits during his walks around the neighborhood, and who continues to perfect his fusion of radical conceptual performance, Modernist idealism, bricolage and provocation. Click here to read more.
On Saturday, November 12, renowned performance artist Marina Abramović brought her manifesto to Grand Avenue, as the artistic director of MOCA’s 2011 gala, An Artist’s Life Manifesto. Abramović arrived with 85 performers to serve as human centerpieces on dinner tables and enough white lab coats, her prescribed gala-tent attire, to outfit the 750 guests who attended.