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For this week’s Must See spotlight, we’re highlighting exhibitions from galleries in Los Angeles like David Kordansky, Sprueth Magers, Regen Projects, and more.
Chris Martin: The Eighties
David Kordansky Gallery
“The Eighties” is an exhibition of Chris Martin’s paintings and works on paper, all created during the 1980s—a seminal period in the artist’s life. Through a selection of both known and never-before-seen pieces, viewers can see the beginning traces of what Martin’s artistic vocabulary is considered to be today. Influences like Beat Generation literature, psychedelia subculture, and Buddhist meditation were infused with hints of the street art practices of the time. Here, Martin played with technique, style, and the inclusion of different media—all leading up to his current standing as an artist today. Works on view include the oil on canvas painting, Psilocybin, and Griffin, an oil and aluminum piece featuring the image of a griffin—a recurring mythical motif in Martin’s work during this period.
Don’t miss your last chance to visit Sterling Ruby’s exhibition “Damnation” at Sprueth Magers, closing tomorrow. With a practice focused on the American experience (and all its triumphs, peculiarities, and tragedies), Ruby’s work is known best for exposing the faults in our country’s social and aesthetic constructs. At the center of the show, Ruby’s new video project STATE depicts an aerial view of California’s 35 adult state prisons, drawing parallels between the prison network and the way war zones are depicted in the media. Also on view is the artist’s latest series of sculptural works, SKULLS—a body of strange, slightly grotesque figures replicating Hollywood special effects creatures.
Silke Otto-Knapp: Land and Sea
Silke Otto-Knapp’s debut exhibition at Regen Projects, “Land and Sea,” is a presentation of large watercolor works depicting a series of seascapes and figural tableaus in the artist’s signature grayscale style. Informed by a number of sources, including poetry, dance choreography, theater design, and landscapes, Otto-Knapp’s compositions are created by building up and removing washes of water color, layer by layer, until forms have been created. This technique is seen in works like Bühnenbild, where a series of shadowed two-dimensional human figures interact with geometric shapes.
Annie Leibovitz: The Early Years, 1970 – 1983: Archive Project No. 1
Hauser & Wirth
A retrospective of the first years of Annie Leibovitz’s career, “The Early Years, 1970 – 1983: Archive Project No. 1” features over 4,000 photographs arranged in chronological and thematic installments. The exhibition sheds light on the artist’s unique ability to bring together the best of photojournalism and portraiture—seen through a selection of images deemed most significant to the formative years of her career, chosen by Leibovitz, who also curated the show. Highlights include the series of portraits Leibovitz captured of her idols, like Andy Warhol and Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the up-close look into the political landscape of the time, seen in photographs taken during the 1976 election.
Jason Bailer Losh: Three Holes in a Parachute
Sarah Ann Weber: Tropical Disease
Now on view at Anat Ebgi are two not-to-miss shows. The first is “Three Holes in a Parachute”—Jason Bailer Losh’s newest body of work, informed by a skillset of carpentry and craftsmanship passed down to Losh by his father. The exhibition—which was named for the difficulties faced in balancing a family life and a studio practice—includes a series of new sculptures and paintings, highlighting a selection of dysfunctional references to everyday objects (like an upended chair, or a row of chairs alluding to church pews). The second is Sarah Ann Weber’s “Tropical Disease”—an exhibition of new drawings influenced by the artist’s memories, family archives, and the nature of California. In her abstracted drawings, Weber uses colored pencils water colors to create whimsical, collage-like compositions of biomorphic flora and fauna.
Anna Sew Hoy: The Wettest Letter
Diedrick Brackens: unholy ghosts
Various Small Fires
On view through April 27 at Various Small Fires are two exhibitions. The first is Anna Sew Hoy’s exhibition “The Wettest Letter,” wherein the artist presents a new body of sculptures that suggest skewed views of the human anatomy, morphing to imply corporeal sensations, like pain, pleasure, touch, depletion, and rest. Sew Hoy’s sculptures are most notable for their incredible range of texture and surface, often appearing to be dewy, rigid, dry, sagging, or taut. The second is Diedrick Brackens’s “unholy ghosts”—a hand-woven narrative that draws from the artist’s personal life and ancestry, as well as folklore and American history. Named for the poem The Father, Son and Unholy Ghosts by Essex Hemphill, the exhibition tells stories of the American Soul, rebirth, and the changing of seasons through a mixture of weaving techniques from all over the world, including textiles from West Africa, tapestries from European, and quilts from America.