If Frieze LA 2022 was the last time you were in Los Angeles, you’ll notice that we’ve made a few changes since you’ve been gone. The fair tent has since migrated west to Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar, just a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. At the same time, further east, Hollywood and Mid-Wilshire are booming as gallery hubs, with new big-box locations for Roberts Projects, Make Room, Karma, Ghebaly, and more, with new David Zwirner, Lisson, and Marian Goodman locations soon to follow. Happily, more venues amount to more shows to see.
Below is a painstakingly curated list of my absolute highest recommendations.
“Elliott Hundley: Echo” at Regen Projects
This is, hands down, the best show in Los Angeles right now: a beautifully and chaotically composed presentation that includes ceramics, photography, assemblage, and painting. Most notable are the photographic collages that include, as the gallery puts it, “all manner of cultural debris.” The artist’s painstaking attention to detail is marvelous as thousands of miniscule cutouts individually pinned to the walls form captivating storyboards, patterns, and rhythms. These are enormous compositions that somehow simultaneously function on a minute scale. The paintings are gorgeous, spanning the sweetness of still life to abstraction of torrential energy. To borrow from Hollywood parlance, in his staggering range, Hundley offers the viewer everything, everywhere, all at once.
Through February 19. 6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90038.
“Softcore Payasos by LOS JAICHACKERS” at LaPau Gallery
LOS JAICHACKERS—the multidisciplinary duo comprising artists Eamon Ore-Giron and Julio Cesar Morales (pronounced “hijackers” in Spanglish)—is a perfect representation of LaPau’s hybridized, high-energy interests. Both engage with various elements of Chicanx culture across fine art, nightlife, poetry, and political histories, crossing national and disciplinary borders. A highlight of Ore-Giron and Morales’s fantastical and conceptual collaboration is the invention of new musical genres. Their new experimental documentary Psychomagic (2023) headlines the exhibition, tracing the journey of Migrant Dubs, a 2006 sound sculpture in the form of an enormous mirrored cube that somehow found a second life as the recording studio of musician DJ Escuby. Also on view is a sculptural installation of hand-painted glass in the style of Mexican Rótulos street signs.
Through March 25. 3006 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005 (Door Code 01220).
“Anselm Kiefer: Exodus” at Gagosian at Marciano Art Foundation
Critic John Yau recently described Anselm Kiefer as the Steven Spielberg of the art world, and he was 100 percent correct. The comparison yields both positive and negative implications: on one hand is the big-budget blockbuster of self-appointed genius, while on the other is the tremendous grandeur and mastery of craft. Enormous paintings fortified with gold leaf, rust, patinated metal, straw, and in some cases a submarine, a satellite dish, a ladder, or a bicycle, stand softly spot-lit in the black box of a former masonic temple that was the short-lived exhibition space of the Marciano Art Foundation only a few years ago. (Gagosian is now a tenant.) Kiefer’s made a spectacle, yes, but also a moving meditation on the dispossession of the Holocaust—yet another point of comparison with Spielberg.
Through March 25. 4357 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010.
“Helen Cammock: I Will Keep My Soul” at Art + Practice
In 2019, British artist Helen Cammock won the Turner Prize for her practice of seeking out lesser-known histories, in particular those of Black British people. Through research, she weaves together disparate points in time and space to create new narratives, or to retell existing narratives that might have been forgotten or purposefully erased. Her first US exhibition, a collaboration between the California African American Museum, the Rivers Institute for Contemporary Art & Thought, and nonprofit space Art + Practice, is based on her research into the social history of New Orleans and specifically the life and activism of artist Elizabeth Catlett. The show includes archival material from the Civil Rights movement, woven together with Cammock’s poetry, ceramics, and trumpet-playing, a fairly new project the artist began while in New Orleans.
Through August 5. Art + Practice 3401 W. 43rd Place Los Angeles, CA 90008.
“Paul McCarthy: WS White Snow” at the artist’s studio
In 2013, McCarthy both repulsed and elated critics with WS White Snow, an immersive film installation that debuted in New York’s Park Avenue Armory. It was an abject perversion of familiar Disney fairy tale, and an exercise in prurient, scatological humor that included an 8,800-square-foot artificial forest and overt depictions of sexual violence. As the emblematic work of McCarthy’s divisive practice, you either love it or you hate it. The installation has actually spent the last decade in an East Los Angeles warehouse, and to garner support for its permanent preservation, various L.A. institutions have worked together to activate the space for a four-day engagement of this four-channel video projection.
February 16–19. Downtown Los Angeles, address provided upon RSVP at the link here.