"I did masturbate to Elvis the first time. But I didn’t know what it was. It was like a new thing for me." – John Waters.
Introducing Autre’s 8th issue – a little late for Summer, but timely nonetheless – featuring the inimitable Pope Of Trash himself, JOHN WATERS, in conversation with LA-based artist and musician SETH BOGART. At 10 pages, 3,500 words and portraits by Bennet Perez on the beach in Provincetown, it’s the filthiest and most entertaining interview we have ever published. Click here to pre-order.
Founded in 1989, Union’s history first started in New York’s Soho with the gracious ambition of giving a space to young, local designers on their way to recognition. The Los Angeles shop followed a few years later and strived to maintain the same principle born thirty years ago: embracing the creativity of fresh designers within the city while being inspired by trends coming from Japan and the UK. Union Los Angeles has now become one of LA’s prime destinations for men's contemporary fashion and streetwear. Earlier this month, Chris Gibbs, who used to work at the original NYC shop and is now the owner and operator behind Union LA, announced Union’s first ever collaboration with a national retailer: Nordstrom. Click here to read more.
A exhibition of nine large, vibrant new paintings by artist André Butzer is now on view at Metro Pictures. Butzer’s latest paintings employ vivid color and his signature figures bringing to mind motifs and approaches that predate the stark abstraction and distinctive brushwork of his N-Bilder, begun in 2010. However, Butzer asserts that everything he does is unified by an exploration of color and that this new series is a natural continuation of his work. This exhibition continues Butzer’s longstanding investigation into the medium of painting, while pushing the limits of his oeuvre, and furthers the ideas explored throughout his career from art history to consumer culture.
André Butzer is on view through August 9 at Metro Pictures 519 West 24th Street New York, NY. photographs courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
Diedrick Brackens constructs intricately woven textiles that speak to the complexities of black and queer identity in the United States. Interlacing diverse traditions, including West African weaving, European tapestries, and quilting from the American south, Brackens creates cosmographic abstractions and figurative narratives that lyrically merge lived experience, commemoration, and allegory. He uses both commercial dyes and unconventional colorants such as wine, tea, and bleach, and foregrounds the loaded symbolism of materials like cotton, with its links to the transatlantic slave trade.
Darling Divined is on view through September 15 at the New Museum 235 Bowery, New York. photographs courtesy of the gallery
Employing absurdist satire to address the critical issues of our time, Rottenberg creates videos and installations that offer subversive allegories for contemporary life. Her works interweave documentary elements and fiction, and often feature protagonists who work in factory-like settings to manufacture goods ranging from cultured pearls (NoNoseKnows, 2015) to the millions of brightly colored plastic wholesale items sold in Chinese superstores (Cosmic Generator, 2017). The exhibition presents several of her recent video installations and kinetic sculptures, and premieres a new video installation, Spaghetti Blockchain (2019), that explores ancient and new ideas about materialism and considers how humans both comprise and manipulate matter. Together, the works in the exhibition trace central themes in Rottenberg’s oeuvre, including labor, technology, distance, energy, and the interconnectedness of the mechanical and the corporeal. Easy Pieces is on view through September 15 at the New Museum 235 Bowery, New York. photographs courtesy of the gallery
Using a wide range of media, Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade creates elegant, experiential sculptures and installations that reflect on time, perception, and scientific inquiry. With equal parts poetry and critical insight, she calls into question the systems designed to make sense of an otherwise unfathomable universe. Kwade has created ParaPivot I and II for The Met’s Roof Garden Commission, an annual site-specific installation by a living artist. These towering sculptures consist of powder-coated steel frames that intersect at oblique angles with massive spheres that float in apparent weightlessness in between. Although static, ParaPivot I and II are charged with the possibility of movement: their steel appendages, which fan outward around multiple axes, seem to trace the orbital pathways of the globes evoking an astrolabe or even a miniature solar system. Confronted with the artist’s abstract cosmos, our experience of scale, both human and galactic, is unsettled. Overall, Kwade seeks to recover the mystery and absurdity of the human condition, heightening our powers of self-awareness.
ParaPivot is on view through October 27 at The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY. photographs courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Charles White was a prolific painter, printmaker, muralist, draftsman, and photographer whose career spanned more than half a century. His portrayals of black subjects, life, and history were extensive and his emotional works struck a particular chord with his viewers. Plumb Line features contemporary artists whose work resonates with White’s profound and continuing influence. From abstraction to figuration, the artists of this exhibition find conversation with White through their expressive renderings of black skin and black community, as well as the treatment of black past and presence in both epic and intimate ways.
Plumb Line: Charles White and the Contemporary is on view through August 25 at the California African American Museum 600 State Dr, Los Angeles, CA. photographs courtesy of the California African American Museum
Shulamit Nazarian presents Roommates, an exhibition of works by Chris Bogia, Woody De Othello, Rachel Granofsky, and Michael Stamm. These artists investigate the domestic space as a psychological, and at times psychedelic realm. Drawing from a variety of sources and forms that evoke a sense of home, these artists embed objects and environments with the peculiarities of living beings, illustrating our relationship to possessions that share our most intimate spaces. Like the dancing furniture in Disney’s Fantasia, subject and object wiggle back and forth with a magical realism. The home dweller melts into the sofa, while objects begin to take on a life of their own –all achieved through means similarly found in cartoon animation: flatness, movement, and artifice.
Roommates is on view through August 31 at Shulamit Nazarian 616 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036. photographs courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles
Teyo’s Lightshield is Fresh Bread’s inaugural exhibition. Fresh Bread is a kitchen-based exhibition series in Rogers Park, Chicago, run by artist Morgan Mandalay and writer Kim-Anh Schreiber. Each show meditates on metaphors of digestion and features an accompanying cookbook, a document of process and practice.
Teyo’s Lightshield is on view through August 4 at Fresh Bread, reservations recommended. photographs courtesy of the artist and Fresh Bread
Karma International presents FUN HANG, a group show curated by Jools Braiman-Rothblatt and featuring artists Alex Becerra, Poy Born, Nick Farhi, Kim Fuck, Kezia Harrell, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Rachelle Sawatsky, Nicole-Antonia Spagnola, Ambrose Vallard, Bri Williams, and Phillip Zach.
What is a FUN HANG? Is hanging a fun activity? Subjects and objects that hang: fruits hang, friends can hang, art hangs once it has been hung, and, on a more macabre note, bodies can hang too. Does art hang as bodies, fruits, or friends? Can we separate the schema of art hanging from the bodies who made them and then the body who hung it? How is the body, the object and the hanger always in flux?
How fun is the process of FUN HANG? Did all bodies have fun hanging, participating, making, and being in the FUN HANG. Does the labor account for this FUN? If we accounted for this FUN could FUN still be had? Is the install FUN, does making need to be FUN, or is FUN more of an affect, a position of resistance, of jouissance, of pleasure that can not be removed from one's liberation to the world? How subjective are our FUNs?
Are these decisions situated in a kind of subjective relationship to FUN? Does FUN have or could have an aesthetic like cool could be said to once have had an aesthetic? Have FUN!
FUN HANG is on view through August 10 at Karma International 4619 W Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016. photographs by Oliver Maxwell Kupper
If It Were A Snake It Would Have Bit Me, Lauren Quin’s first solo show in Los Angeles, presents a body of work characterized by a nimble image and a sentimental mark. Dipping into the networks of an organism, these paintings are biotic, and they need for their small and large elements to coexist as a whole being. With a drag of a dull knife or the tip of a fingernail, fine-lined drawings are carved into wet paint on the surface. They are sharp marks that pull themselves up and away from the whole of the painting; incisions that linger in a shallower focal plane, only to be discovered with a certain degree of intimacy.
Inspired by the exhibition The Wondrous Cosmos in Medieval Manuscripts, Ever Present brings together a group of artists who integrate the intergalactic into their varied work. Like their medieval forbearers, they quest for new artistic, analytic, and spiritual ways of understanding our connection to the cosmos. Performances include music by vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and Vedic astrologer Deradoorian (known for her work with Dirty Projectors), choral scores translated from the constellations by experimental artist and composer Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, an interdimensional ritual by A.S.T.R.A.L.O.R.A.C.L.E.S with live music accompaniment by ambient composer Ana Roxanne, a planetarium-style visual lecture on the multiverse by artists Jennifer Moon and laub, and site-wide energy work by multidimensional artist and Afrofuturist Jordi.
As part of her exhibition Dana Hoey Presents, artist Dana Hoey organized a live Ladies Muay Thai Fight Night featuring 5 amateur fights, emceed by JoAnn Falanga, which took place on Friday night in the 20’ x 20’ boxing ring installed inside Petzel Gallery. Dana Hoey Presents challenges and confronts preconceived ideas and realities of feminism, combat, violence, self defense and the martial arts.
Dana Hoey Presents is on view through August 2 at Petzel Gallery 456 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011. photographs by Rann Golamco
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists made over two revolutionary decades in American history, beginning in 1963 at the height of the civil rights movement. The exhibition examines the influences, from the civil rights and Black Power movements to Minimalism and developments in abstraction, on artists such as Romare Bearden, Barkley Hendricks, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams. Los Angeles-based artists appear throughout Soul of a Nation, and more deeply in three specific galleries, foregrounding the significant role of Los Angeles in the art and history of the civil rights movement and the subsequent activist era, and the critical influence and sustained originality of the city’s artists, many of whom have lacked wider recognition.
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is on view through September 1st at The Broas Museum 221 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles. photographs by Oliver Maxwell Kupper
Faux real is the deranged child of Franco-American brothers Elliott and Virgile Arndt. In the summer of 2018, they invoked the union of their inner-gene genies and gave birth to faux realism. The brothers started playing their first shows as a duo with nothing but a couple of microphones, a flute, some handmade costumes and a weird/incestuous/compelling 30-minute long choreography. With no music online or a single confirmed show on the horizon, they took off on a month-long US tour in march 2019, with high hopes and low expectations.
They ended up performing over 30 times that month from SXSW in Austin, to Los Angeles and New York City, performing anywhere and everywhere the city would allow, from large venues to sweaty nightclubs to street corners, house parties, art galleries, illegal raves, or hijacking existing bills with impromptu slots. The two brothers are quickly becoming notorious for their wild, unhinged, retro-futuristic and avant-garde anti-rock performances, ranging from flute-infused 808 ballads to feverish stooge-esque self-flagellation, tongue-in-cheek frenglish poetry, faux athletics and improvised quasi-ballet.
Liz Johnson Artur’s first solo show in the UK presents new sculptural works incorporating photographs selected from her substantial archive of images documenting the lives of people from the African diaspora. While Artur has taken photographs across Europe, America, Africa, and the Caribbean for more than three decades, this exhibition focuses on images that capture the richness and complexity of Black British life in London.
Liz Johnson Artur: If you know the beginning, the end is no trouble is on view through September 1 at the South London Gallery 65-67 Peckham Road, London. photographs courtesy of the South London Gallery
Multidisciplinary artists, Greg Ito and Honor Titus, are currently exhibiting their work in a group show at Penske Projects in Los Angeles. Both artists have taken the urban landscapes they have lived in and frequented, and reflected the beauty and the mystery of these cities in their respective artwork. While Ito uses iconography engrained in Los Angeles’s urban surroundings to express the many faces of the city, Titus focuses on depicting street scenes which encapsulate the memory of hot summer months spent in cities such as London, New York, and Paris. Ito and Titus’s complementary bodies of work come together in this exhibition to navigate the viewers through a tour of the magical urban gardens they have created through their work.
Greg Ito & Honor Titus: Enter the Garden is on view through July 27 at Penske Projects 4859 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles, California. photographs by Oliver Kupper
Big Pictures Los Angeles presents I Dedicate This Song to You, an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures from Los Angeles based artist Lauren Spencer King. King weaves together personal experiences, in past work around death and grief but more recently an exploration of partnership and relationship, together with historical sites and practices rooted in relatively unknown ceremonial rites of passage. A constellation is created between the works in disparate mediums to create a new narrative woven from threads of personal and collective history.
I Dedicate This Song to You is on view through August 3 at Big Pictures Los Angeles 2424 W Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018. photographs courtesy of Big Pictures Los Angeles
Hauser & Wirth presents ‘Lorna Simpson. Darkening,’ the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery in New York. Debuting a suite of new large-scale paintings, the exhibition finds Simpson returning to and building upon themes and motifs at the center of her practice: explorations focused on the nature of representation, identity, gender, race, and history. For more than 30 years, Simpson’s powerful works have entangled viewers in an equivocal web of meaning, drawing upon techniques of collage through the use of found materials, often culled from the pages of vintage Jet and Ebony magazines. In ‘Darkening,’ Simpson continues to thread dichotomies of figuration and abstraction with vast and enthralling tableaux that subsume spliced photos and fragmented text, abstracted beyond comprehension. Equally arresting and poetic, the paintings engage viewers with layers of paradox, capturing the mystifying allure of an arctic landscape in inky washes of blacks, grays, and startling blues.
Darkening is on view through July 26 at Hauser & Wirth 548 W 22nd St. New York, NY 10011. all images courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth