Celebrating the photographers who have played a critical role in bringing hip-hop’s visual culture to the global stage, CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop is an inside look at the work of hip-hop photographers, as told through their most intimate diaries: their unedited contact sheets. Curated by Vikki Tobak—produced in partnership with United Photo Industries—and based on her book of the same name, the photographic exhibition includes over 120 works from more than 60 photographers. Taking the audience into the original and unedited contact sheets—from Barron Claiborne’s iconic Notorious B.I.G. portraits, to early images of Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West as they first took to the scene, to Janette Beckman’s defining photos of Salt-N-Pepa, to Jamel Shabazz and Gordon Parks documenting hip-hop culture—CONTACT HIGH allows visitors to look directly through the photographer’s lens and observe all of the pictures taken during these legendary photo shoots. The exhibit also includes rare videos, memorabilia, and music to demonstrate how the documentation of a cultural phenomenon impacts not just music, but politics and social movements around the world. CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop is on view through August 18 at Annenberg Space For Photography 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles. photographs courtesy of the gallery
In 1991, Aperture published Nick Waplington’s first book, Living Room, to great critical acclaim. A major exhibition followed at their 23rd Street gallery in New York, and for a number of years the exhibition toured the world. The exhibition prints were then put into storage, and soon thereafter Waplington – having moved on to new projects – asked his gallerist, Holly Solomon, to destroy them. In 2018, Solomon’s son Thomas contacted Waplington with surprising news: the original Living Room exhibition prints had not been destroyed, and were still in his possession. Little Big Man is delighted to present these historically significant vintage works, appearing in an exhibition for the first time since the early 1990s. The exhibition is on view through May 15 at Little Big Man Gallery 1427 EAST 4th Street, Los Angeles. photographs by Oliver Maxwell Kupper
SIS is a solo exhibition by Rikkí Wright analyzing the themes of the sibling relationship and exploring how it shapes the future of those involved in it. “This series of images are based around a subject matter that’s dear to me, sisterhood. Analyzing the themes of the sibling relationship and exploring how it shapes the future of those involved in it.” - Rikkí Wright. SIS is on view through March 29th at Nous Tous 454b Jung Jing Road, Los Angeles. photographs by Lani Trock
Landscapes is a selection of new work by David Black that explores paranormality and everyday life in Los Angeles. The images displayed in a sequential line present a day to night cyclical narrative of a landscape of our collected dreams. These visual glitches suggest the point of view of a passenger in a fast moving car on the city’s expansive freeway system. Black is interested in capturing opposing forces: light and dark, commercial and artistic, micro and macro, and they fuse to pose questions about illusion, mortality and truth. He also likes to play with archetypes: a dove flutters on the hood of a big car in its dark shadow; sunsets stutter into a strange series moiréd by the artifice of an LED screen from which they radiate. These allusive symbols and characters suggest a twisted storyline that feels fictional but also inherently autobiographical and vulnerable. Landscapes is on view through March 30 at the Lodge 10 24 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles. photographs by Agathe Pinard
The form known as Iast common ancestor is the most recent population of organisms from which all organisms now living on Earth have a common descendant. Born 3.5 billion years ago in a primordial soup or a deep sea vent, this tentative existence bore life to us all. 355 of your very own genes projected over the enormity of a billion years. How simple or complex could this life have been, how many iterations, dead ends and spectacular transformations has this tiny candle of life undergone to lead us to our current body?
Occupying a liminal space between the real and the imaginary Mountford’s latest body of work explores evolutionary theories of origins, creation, and mortality through photography, time sensitive sculpture, video and live performance.
Last Common Ancestor is on view through March 17 at NOH/WAVE 420 East Third Street, Los Angeles. photographs by Summer Bowie
The pyrotechnic Atmospheres series began in 1968, when Chicago lined an unsuspecting Pasadena Street with billowing fog machines, an action that was meant to radically feminize an urban space, cloud its use value, and soften its hard man-made edges. The series evolved over the next decade as a protest against the male-dominated art scene of the 1970s. Chicago played with the inherent density of smoke as a way to disrupt what the eye can see, as well as to soften and inject beauty into the landscape. On display at Nina Johnson will be a series of twelve photographs documenting these delicate and beautiful performances, along with one related video work. Atmospheres will be on view @ Nina Johnson 6315 NW 2nd Ave Miami, Florida 33150 until March 2. photographs provided by Nina Johnson
Callicoon Fine Arts presents an exhibition of photographs by Hervé Guibert (1955–1991). The exhibition includes 15 vintage silver gelatin prints created between 1976 and 1988, many of which have never been seen in the United States. Bodies, specifically the male nude and Guibert’s own self-portraits, are the focus of this exhibition. These images refrain from truth-telling, even if their apparent innocence or romanticism suggests otherwise. Sleeping, laying, bathing, bending bodies often have the recognizable features of their faces obscured. Light always finds the body, but not necessarily the likeness of Guibert’s subjects. His lens offers us fragments and perceptions to navigate. In these images, bodies are the texture of Guibert’s fictional narrative, swept up in the entanglement of the self and other. Rather than offer a version of the truth, he suggests a distance innate to observation and to photography. Hervé Guibert will be on view through February 10, 2019 at Callicoon Fine Arts 49 Delancey Street New York, NY. photographs provided by Callicoon Fine Arts
Stylist: James Valeri
Model: Mariam Eya (Supreme)
Casting: Alexandra Sandberg
Make Up: Karin Westerlund
Hair: Franco Argento
Stylist Assistant: Stacy Guetta
Photo Assistant: Talo Buccellati
Executive Producer: Benoit Dreyfus
On Set Production: Fabien Jallot and Pierre Goldberg
Tender presents a segment of contemporary Czech photography with deliberately wide range of photographic strategies – from snapshot-like images that have appeared in the context of fashion editorials to post-conceptual works by artists skeptical of the very photographic medium. Curated by Michal Nanoru. Tender is on view through March 28 at The Czech Center 321 East 73rd Street, New York. photographs courtesy of Czech Center
Fire Island, Edmund White writes, is a place of rituals, where dinners, tea-dances and sex parties rhyme in the ‘imagination with the rituals of medieval Japan or Versailles’. This composite sensibility, of the past rhyming with the present, of anarchy blended with grandeur, is manifest in Matthew Leifheit’s photo series Fire Island Night. In the Belvedere Guest House in Cherry Grove, a male-only and clothes-optional hotel, intimate scenes play out amidst the faded glamour of gaudy interiors. A nude model, classical and twink-like, reclines on a bed beneath a chandelier; elsewhere, a nude with his back to the camera uncannily meets our gaze in the reflection of a mirror. Out on the balcony older guests congregate like gatekeepers standing amidst the ornate matter of their culture. In a different Cherry Grove palace, fire meets its symbolic opposite, Leifheit’s dispatches from the dance-floor of The Ice Palace Nightclub.
Although no single area of Fire Island can account for its multiplicity, the beach offers a distinct reflective space for taking stock of this infernal paradise. It is there that the narrator of Andrew Holleran’s iconic 1978 novel “Dancer from the Dance” sat to recall the blur of faces and parties, past denizens of a place where ‘death and desire’ are inextricably linked, in a passage eerily prescient of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that began to ravage the island community just a few years later.
Leifheit captures this funereal quality, photographing the death site of Margaret Fuller, one of a number of notable fatalities, but also, in another image, the attendant notes of hope and solidarity. In Wave (Hudson and MeHow), (2018), two figures embrace in the surf of a wave, like the ‘two boys together clinging’ in Walt Whitman’s utopian vision of America’s queer future. Captured amongst the waters and sands of a place that has long provided refuge from the oppressive, it is an image of intimacy that feels true to the island’s word; an image, simply, of fighting fire with fire.
— Jack Parlett, 2018
Matthew Leifheit's "Fire Island Night" will be on view at the Deli Gallery 10 Waterbury Street Brooklyn, NY 11206 through December 2, 2018. photos courtesy of Deli Gallery
The landmark, decade-long project, ‘Analogue’ (1998 – 2009) is comprised of 412 photographs arranged in grids and organized into 25 chapters. Originally conceived as a chronicle of the rapidly changing Lower East Side, where Leonard once had her studio, ‘Analogue’ evolved into a parable of cultural production, touching on issues of gentrification and the exchange of commodities as an extension of colonialism. The images in this installation depict storefronts and objects on the brink of obsolescence due to an expanding global economy and rapid technological advancements emerging at the turn of the millennium. An allegory for globalization, Leonard’s photographic series is the result of a peripatetic process that led her from the declining mom and pop shops of New York City to roadside markets in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Cuba, and Mexico, tracing the circulation of recycled merchandise. The exhibition is on view through January 20, 2019 at Hauser & Wirth 901 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles. images courtesy of Hauser & Wirth
Manifesto (2015), the 13-channel film installation by visual artist Julian Rosefeldt. Manifesto pays homage to the moving tradition and literary beauty of artist manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. ‘Manifesto’ draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists, Dogme 95 and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers. Passing the ideas of Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, Jim Jarmusch, and other influencers through his lens, Rosefeldt has edited and reassembled thirteen collages of artists’ manifestos. Manifesto is on view through January 6, 2019 at Hauser & Wirth 901 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles. images courtesy of Hauser & Wirth
Medium of Exchange combines photographic tableaus with a scripted film. The freestanding photographs portray theatrical interplays between caricatured OPEC Oil Ministers and the western government officials who together control the oil industry. Solitary or group portraits are staged against backdrops composed of found images of oil fields and refineries, strewn with props relating to the commodities or cultural signifiers that shape each specific narrative. Medium of Exchange is on view through December 21 at Edel Assanti 74a Newman Street, London. photographs courtesy of Edel Assanti
Over the past thirty years, Lucas has created a distinctive and provocative body of work that subverts traditional notions of gender, sexuality, and identity. Since the late 1980s, she has transformed found objects and everyday materials such as cigarettes, vegetables, and stockings into disorienting, confrontational tableaux that boldly challenge social norms. The human body and anthropomorphic forms recur throughout Lucas’s works, often appearing erotic, humorous, fragmented, or reconfigured into fantastical anatomies of desire.
Initially associated with a group known as the Young British Artists (YBAs), who began exhibiting together in London in the late 1980s, Lucas is now one of the UK’s most influential artists. This presentation, which takes place across the three main floors of the New Museum, brings together more than 150 works in photography, sculpture, and installation to reveal the breadth and ingenuity of her practice. The exhibition addresses the ways in which Lucas’s works engage with crucial debates about gender and power, along with the legacy of Surrealism—from her clever transformations of everyday objects to her exploration of sexual ambiguity and the tension between the familiar and the absurd.
“Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel” features some of Lucas’s most important projects, including early sculptures from the 1990s that substitute domestic furniture for body parts and enlarged spreads from tabloid newspapers from the same period, which reflect objectified representations of the female body. Alongside the photographic self-portraits that Lucas has produced throughout her career, the exhibition features biomorphic sculptures including her stuffed-stocking Bunnies (1997–ongoing) and NUDS (2009–ongoing), the Penetralia series (2008–ongoing), and selections from her installations at the Freud Museum in London (2000) and the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2015). These works, which complicate inscribed codes of sexual and social normativity, have never before been shown together in the US. Lucas has also created new sculptural works for the exhibition, including This Jaguar’s Going to Heaven (2018), a severed 2003 Jaguar X-Type—the car’s back half burned and its front half collaged with cigarettes—and VOX POP DORIS (2018), a pair of eleven-foot-tall thigh-high platform boots cast in concrete.
Au Naturel is on view through January 20, 2019 at the New Museum 235 Bowery New York, 10002. photographs by Adam Lehrer
Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles is the shared vision of a group of influencers in the arts, united by a mission to harness the goodwill and powerful connections of the creative community to effect positive change, touch lives, and create a meaningful social impact. They believe we should all have access to safe, caring, and affordable healthcare services. During these challenging times for Planned Parenthood, it's more important than ever that the organization has our support, so it can remain focused on the vital care it provides. Since its founding in 2014, the Sexy Beast art auction and gala has raised nearly one million dollars for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles across two milestone events. This year, they raised almost one million dollars in one night alone, bringing Sexy Beast back for an unmissable evening of art, food, music and culture. photographs by Oliver Kupper
Zoe Crosher, enamored by Los Angeles, has an obsession that began during her time receiving her MFA from CalArts. Here, she has reimagined her “Day for Night” photographic works. In “Day for Night,” Crosher uses a photography technique used during the Film Noir days of Hollywood, by shooting images in such a way that they look like they were taken at night. She documents the disappearance of the Los Angeles River, using the sunlight to spotlight the image in frame. For this show, she has taken that process a step further and made light boxes out of the photographs, further emulating the film-like aspect by placing light behind the image, creating, in essence, a single-shot movie. Sunlight as Spotlight is on view through November 24 at Patrick Painter B2, 4031, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica.
Charles White: A Retrospective is the first major museum survey devoted to the artist in over 30 years. The exhibition charts White’s full career—from the 1930s through his premature death in 1979—with over 100 works, including drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, illustrated books, record covers and archival materials.
The exhibition is organized chronologically, with groupings centered on the cities and creative communities in which White lived and worked. Each section is supported by relevant ephemera and supporting materials detailing White’s working process, political and social activities, and role as a teacher.
The exhibition includes representative work from the three artistic centers in which White lived, created, and taught throughout his life: Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. It begins with early paintings and murals White made for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Depression-era Chicago, where he grew up. Shortly thereafter, between 1942 and 1956, White lived mainly in New York City, teaching drawing, exhibiting at the progressive ACA Gallery on 57th Street, and supporting the Committee for the Negro in the Arts in Harlem. A selection of White’s personal photographs, also on view in the exhibition, capture his life in New York, while the inclusion of his work for album covers, publications, film, and television emphasize his dedication to more accessible distribution outlets for his art. The presentation concludes with the inventive output from his last decades as an internationally established figure and influential teacher in Los Angeles during the 1960s and ’70s.
The retrospective is on view through January 13, 2019 at MoMA 11 West 53 Street, Manhattan, New York. Following its MoMA presentation, the exhibition will travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where it will be on view in Spring 2019. photographs courtesy of MoMA
Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016 is the most comprehensive West Coast exhibition to date of the work of Adrian Piper (b. 1948, New York). It is also the first West Coast museum presentation of Piper’s works in more than a decade, and her first since receiving the Golden Lion Award for Best Artist at the 56th Venice Biennale of 2015 and Germany’s Käthe Kollwitz Prize in 2018. Organized by The Museum of Modern Art, this expansive retrospective features more than 270 works gathered from public and private collections from around the world, and encompasses a wide range of mediums that Piper has explored for over 50 years: drawing, photography, works on paper, video, multimedia installations, performance, painting, sculpture, and sound.
Piper’s groundbreaking, transformative work has profoundly shaped the form and content of Conceptual art since the 1960s, exerting an incalculable influence on artists working today. Her investigations into the political, social, and spiritual potential of Conceptual art frequently address gender, race, and xenophobia through incisive humor and wit, and draw on her long-standing involvement with philosophy and yoga.
For this exhibition, the Hammer is partnering with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) to present Piper’s work What It’s Like, What It Is #3, a large-scale mixed-media installation addressing racial stereotypes. Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016 in on view through January 6 at Hammer Museum 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. photographs by Summer Bowie
Chris Engman’s Containment (2018) is a site-specific installation created as a part of the FotoFocus Biennial 2018, which starts today. The piece is part of a larger exhibition, titled Chris Engman: Prospect and Refuge at Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery. This is the largest biennial for photography and lens-based art in the country. This edition counts over 400 artists, galleries, museums, and cultural partners across Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio. As part of the Biennial, LA artist, Chris Engman creates a new site-specific installation for the Biennial, accompanied by a selection of his mind-bending photographic constructions of landscapes. Curated by Carissa Barnard, FotoFocus Deputy Director, Containment is on view through November 18 at Weston Art Gallery 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, Ohio. photographs by Tony Walsh
Glass Sabbath, a solo presentation of new works by Melanie Schiff is the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery. Schiff’s photographs revel in an assertion of the physicality of objects. Isolated from their use value, items are connected by an attention to shape and texture that nods to the tradition of still life painting. Glass Sabbath is on view through October 6th at Night Gallery, 2276 East 16th Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90021. photographs by Lani Trock