Gabriel Sanchez at Luis de Jesus (DTLA through Dec. 17).
Sanchez is a 29 year old Cuban-American born in Miami. His painted subjects are Cubans who, while desperate to leave Cuba, have a Cuban sensibility that is tough to forsake. While Sanchez’s painted portraits seem flattened in dimension/technique they are full of humanity. The viewer witnesses the angst of being young and in Cuba (Sanchez’s perspective). This is a warm, understandable exhibition where portraits tell the story.
Paulo Nimer Pjota at Francois Ghebaly (DTLA through Nov. 30).
This Ghebaly show is worth a look. Pjota is Brazilian. His paintings sample cultural artifacts from many cultures and amalgamate them into his perception of history. To use a music term – Pjota’s paintings are cultural hip-hop.
Rakuko Naito at Shoshana Wayne (West Adams through Dec. 22).
Ms. Naito is showing with her husband, Tadaaki Kuwayama (painter). Rakulo Naito’s works are hand-made from mulberry-bark paper. The iterated elements are contained within a simple open-box. Depending on one’s angle of view, Naito’s micro-worlds are perceived differently. These sublime paper works honor classic Japanese sensibilities.
Lucy McRae at Honor Fraser (Culver City through Dec. 17).
See this exhibition. Plan on spending time engaging with her short films and soft sculptures (tangible science fiction). Her views are of a future far removed from the “now” but nonetheless plausible. In that sense her future view is dystopic. Her work resonates with Andrea Zittel’s environmental sculptures. Zittel may repurpose the environments in which humans might live. McRae repurposes what humans become. ‘Tis a bit frightening.
"Post Apocalyptic Sherpa"
Roby Dwi Antono at Anat Ebgi (Culver City through Dec. 10).
Less than a month ago I was in the Netherlands reveling in the work of the CoBrA artists (Appel, Corneille, Constant, Jorn). Roby Dwi Antono (Indonesian) seems to be channeling and resurrecting the spirit of the CoBrAs.
Daniel Dove at Philip Martin (Culver City through Nov. 26).
Dove’s paintings are flat amalgamations of Modernist sculptures presented as “characters” against luminist landscapes. Thus the sculptural masterworks evolve into desert-dwelling junk sculpture. Humm? Curious at best.
Justin Liam O’Brien at Richard Heller (Bergamot through Dec.
As I stated, I have just returned from the Pays-Bas and repeat lessons about ecclesiastical art (think Peter Paul Rubens) sensitized me to the humor in O’Brien’s paintings. His humor does not deride religion. Rather O’Brien uses contemporary rendering styles and digital “perspectives” to express a contemporary view of humanness and godliness.
Bruce Cohen at Leslie Sacks (Bergamot through December).
Bruce Cohen (born 1953) has been painting in this style for his whole career. He channels the Dutch 17th century Golden Age painters. There can be no mistaking his work it is so particularly unique and focused. ‘Tis a quiet joy to stand before his painting.
Vija Celmins at Matthew Marks (Hollywood through Dec. 23).
Vija Celmins and Robert Gober are currently installed. It is a small exhibition. Vija Celmins’ “Porsche” 1966-67 is the oldest Celmins I have ever seen. She has been consistent.
Robert Gober at Matthew Marks (Hollywood through Dec. 23).
Classic Gober from 1992. This Gober and the Celmins (as above) are the two reasons to go here.
Tony Matelli at Nino Mier (Hollywood through Dec. 23).
The fabrication skills of Tony Matelli are astounding. There are two self-portrait, full-sized sculptures made of silicone. This work is the equal of Duane Hanson and Ron Mueck. His floral still-lifes are cast in bronze and then meticulously polychromed. They are presented on pedestals seemingly defying gravity.
Andre Butzer at Nino Mier (Hollywood through Jan 7).
Butzer (born 1973, lives in Berlin) has been painting these characters in his fundamentally abstract works for a professional lifetime. While I have a hard time caring about the “why”, I do find his compositions engrossing.
Ramellzee at Jeffrey Deitch (Hollywood through Jan. 14).
Ramellzee (1960-2010) (he died probably from exposure to all the toxic materials he used to make his art). Ramellzee was a collaborator with Jean-Michel Basquiat. He was a “visual artist, gothic futurist, graffiti writer, painter, performance artist, art theoretician, sculptor, and hip-hop musician…” (Wikipedia) Deitch represents his estate. This exhibition is idiosyncratic and nuts.
Daniel Richter at Regen Projects (Hollywood through Dec. 23).
Richter’s abstract paintings are rooted in figurative forms. Perhaps that yields a good reference point by which to understand this body of work. But – finally, they are just terrific abstract paintings. Practiced and confident great abstract art is not easy to make – but easy to identify.
“Ghost kitchens” produce ready to eat meals that are delivered by robots. Ghost kitchens have no public presence or signage. One knows where they are by following the “swarms’ of robots.
Todd Schorr at KP Projects (La Brea through Jan. 7).
Todd Schorr is 68 years old. He began his artistic career as a commercial artist (e.g. magazine covers) until his fine art career was launched in 1992. He is amongst the elders of the Lowbrow/Pop Surrealism movement. No doubt about it – he is a master of his technique.
Robert Longo at Pace (lower La Brea through Dec. 13).
This hanging sculpture is the only interesting work in an otherwise forgettable exhibition. The sphere is covered with copper-clad, live, rifle ammunition. The dramatic lighting causes the sphere to shimmer seductively inviting closer inspection. Inspection delivers the chilling reality for its “beauty”.
Sam Gilliam at David Kordansky (lower La Brea through Dec. 17).
I have great respect for Sam Gilliam (1933-2022). A Washington, DC artist he was recognized and critically important – but had a hard time being seen outside of Washington DC. The paintings in this exhibition are curious to me. Gilliam was a colorific artist. Whether his paintings on cloth were either draped or stretched there was a lyrical quality in experiencing them. The paintings illustrated here are curious. The underpainting looks like colorific Gilliam. But the underpainting is obscured by thick overcoating of either white or black. This muddies otherwise classic Gilliam paintings.
Helen Lundeberg at Louis Stern (West Hollywood through Dec. 3).
Lundeberg (1908-1999) is best represented by her later, hard-edge, abstract paintings. This exhibition focusses on her early (1930-1950) figurative works.
A month ago I spent 2 ½ weeks in the Netherlands and Belgium pursing my interest in Flemish art. There is a photoblog of that trip which may be of interest. It is heavily invested in painting. Follow this link…
Get out, look at Art; have fun.
Doug Simay November 2022