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Simone Leigh for LACM and CAAM, Los Angeles 2024

Best Exhibitions This July in LA at The Broad, Jeffrey Deitch, Honor Fraser, and More

From Simone Leigh's largest show on the West Coast to Jeffrey Deitch's show of Eli Russell Linnetz, and Keny Scharf at Honor Fraser, these are the best exhibitions on view this month in Los Angeles.

Here are some of our latest favorites, including at Gagosian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the California African American Museum, The Broad, David Kordansky Gallery, Jeffrey Deitch, Karma, the Journal Gallery, and Honor Fraser

“Social Abstraction”

Gagosian

Gagosian, Eric N. Mack, Los Angeles 2024 Eric N. Mack, “There Is No Other Way,” 2022, Silk and wool scarves, cotton apron, Irish linen, rope, ribbon, polyester, felt, cotton shirt, and wool, 128 x 88 inches; © Eric N. Mack, photo by Jeff McLane, courtesy of the artist, Morán Morán and Gagosian.
Gagosian, Lauren Halsey, Los Angeles 2024 Lauren Halsey, “untitled,” 2024, synthetic hair on wood, 120 x 56 x 8 inches; © Lauren Halsey, Photo by Allen Chen, courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

July 18–August 30, 2024
 456 N Camden Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Opening on July 18, Gagosian presents “Social Abstraction,” an exhibition curated by director Antwaun Sargent. The Beverly Hills gallery has compiled an array of Black artists whose unique creations navigate beyond mere abstraction and figuration and explore landscapes and cityscapes. The presented artists employ color to push the boundaries of perception, utilizing ranges of texture to chart the complexity of life’s encounters. Featured artists include Kyle Abraham, Kevin Beasley, Allana Clarke, Theaster Gates, Cy Gavin, Alteronce Gumby, Lauren Halsey, Kahlil Robert Irving, Devin B. Johnson, Rick Lowe, Eric N. Mack, Cameron Welch, and Amanda Williams. In September, “Social Abstraction” will be followed by a complementary exhibition in Hong Kong, presenting different works from the same artists. 

The show is an array of creative materials, ranging from paint in oils and acrylics to ceramics, hair glue, mosaics, resins, textiles, wigs, and other materials. In Lauren Halsey’s untitled 2024 piece, for example, the artist layered multicolored synthetic hair, an arrangement that spoke to the vibrancy and strength of the material. 

Simone Leigh

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the California African American Museum 

Simone Leigh for LACM and CAAM, Los Angeles 2024 Simone Leigh, “Last Garment,” 2022, installation view, Simone Leigh, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2023, © Simone Leigh, courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, photo by Timothy Schenck.
Simone Leigh for LACM and CAAM, Los Angeles 2024 Simone Leigh, “Cupboard,” 2022. Bronze, 88 1/2 × 85 × 44 7/8 inches. Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery. © Simone Leigh; Photo by Timothy Schenck.

May 26, 2024–January 20, 2025
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036 & 600 State Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037

With Simone Leigh’s most extensive West Coast exhibition thus far, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and California African American Museum (CAAM) invite visitors to view dozens of Leigh’s unique creations across their two locations. The Los Angeles shows, organized by Rita Gonzalez, Naima J. Keith, and Taylor Renee Aldridge, are a comprehensive array of Leigh’s most revered pieces alongside lesser-known works that further encapsulate her artistic breadth. Among the included works are pieces from Leigh’s presentation at the U.S. Pavilion in the 2022 Venice Biennale, a fortifying testament to her artistic impact.

Leigh’s sculpture, video, installation, and social initiatives are centered on the Black female-identified experience, focused on the history, geography, and traditions of the African diaspora. This collaboration between LACMA and CAAM highlights Leigh as a pivotal figure in the contemporary art world.

Mickalene Thomas

The Broad 

Mickalene Thomas at the Broad Los Angeles 2024 Installation view of ”Mickalene Thomas: All About Love” at The Broad, Los Angeles, May 25–September 29, 2024. Photo by Joshua White/JWPictures.com, courtesy of The Broad.

May 25–September 29, 2024
221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

This summer, Los Angeles’ The Broad presents “Mickalene Thomas: All About Love,” in collaboration with Hayward Gallery in London and in partnership with the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia. The exhibition’s debut in Los Angeles presents over 80 works by Thomas that span over 20 years, including experimental mixed-media painting, collage, installations, and photography. The show’s name, taken from leading feminist bell hooks, highlights the artist’s focus on liberation and healing through her work.  

Included in her array of pieces, Thomas pushes back against Western narratives by rethinking classical scenes by 19th-century French painters such as Henri Matisse and Édouard Manet. “In Mickalene Thomas’s hands, collage becomes a way of thinking about love in a serious way,” explained The Broad curator Ed Schad. “As Thomas keeps the essence of individuals alive in her work – as the individuals are re-imagined and remade, configured from different moods and different circumstances over many years of trust and commitment – it is a love ethic she is after.”

“In Mickalene Thomas’s hands, collage becomes a way of thinking about love in a serious way,”

– Ed Schad

Simphiwe Mbunyuza

David Kordansky Gallery

Simphiwe Mbunyuza at David Kordansky Gallery Los Angeles Simphiwe Mbunyuza, “STULO SIKA PITI,” 2023, ceramic, 49 x 54 x 36 inches; Photo by Elon Schoenholz, Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery.
Simphiwe Mbunyuza at David Kordansky Gallery Los Angeles Simphiwe MbunyuzaI, “CAMAGU’LIVUMILE,” 2024, ceramic, 62 x 33 x 33 inches; Photo by Elon Schoenholz, Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery.

July 2–August 24, 2024.
5130 W Edgewood Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90019

INTLOMBE” at David Kordansky Gallery debuts a series of ceramic sculptures by artist and sculptor Simphiwe Mbunyuza. Born in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, Mbunyuza’s large-scale creations cite the traditional ceremonies, iconographies, and rituals of the region’s native Xhosa people.

Each piece is deeply fused with Mbunyua’s personal homages to traditional techniques and imagery: in STULO SIKA PITI, Mbunyuza adorns the clay with vividly colored white and blue circles that mimic the phases of the moon and agricultural plots. Throughout the show, clay as a medium speaks to Mbunyua’s personal history, stemming from his memories as a young boy digging up clay by local river banks and forging them into animals. 

Eli Russell Linnetz

Jeffrey Deitch Gallery

Installation view of Eli Russell Linnetz's Installation view of Eli Russell Linnetz’s “Monuments” at David Kordansky Gallery Los Angeles, courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery.

June 29–August 3, 2024
925 N Orange Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Until August 3, Jeffrey Deitch presents Eli Russell Linnetz’s “Monuments,” the artist’s debut solo fine art exhibition. The show stands at the pinnacle of contemporary modern nostalgia, as Linnetz reworks and interprets classical American monuments and iconography. Upon entering the space, visitors are welcomed by a recreation of the iconic Mount Rushmore, featuring a pizza oven. 

From the large-scale Lady Liberty sinking into the floor and a consistent red and gray palette throughout the show, “Monuments” is a testament to Linnetz’s innovative position in the contemporary arts sphere as an all-encompassing creative: a fashion designer, filmmaker, and fine artist, among others. 

Keith Mayerson 

Karma

Installation view of Keith Mayerson’s “American Dream: City of Angels” at Karma Los Angeles, photo by Heather Rasmussen, courtesy of Karma. Installation view of Keith Mayerson’s “American Dream: City of Angels” at Karma, photo by Heather Rasmussen, courtesy of Karma.

May 23–July 20, 2024
7351 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

With the latest edition of Keith Mayerson’s iconic “American Dream” series, Karma presents “City of Angels” at their Los Angeles space. Overall, “American Dream” is a retrospective of America from a personal, national, and global standpoint according to the artist. With his latest exhibition, Mayerson hones in on his personal relationship with the vibrant city and his story as a growing artist in the 1990s.

The show features a range of painted works that exemplify Mayerson’s detailed visions of the vibrant Southern California city. From paintings of tennis legend Billie Jean King and the iconic Muppets to Western landscapes, the exhibition is a playful and thought-provoking display of Mayerson’s creative talents. With his paintings and “micro-management” technique, Mayerson toys with the boundaries between abstraction and representation, drawing the viewer into his utopian Californian world. 

“Human Nature”

The Journal Gallery

The Journal Los Angeles, Installation view of “Human Nature” at The Journal, courtesy of The Journal.

June 7–August 10, 2024
9055 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

The Journal Gallery presents “Human Nature,” an 11-artist group show featuring pieces by Marianne Vitale, Marcus Leslie Singleton, Alex Becerra, Marcus Jahmal, Emily Ferguson, Oliver Clegg, Nicole Wittenberg, Katherine Bradford, Yves Scherer, Spencer Sweeney, and Jules de Balincourt. The show is an amalgamation of these artists’ oil and acrylic paintings, alongside one steel sculpture by Yves Scherer. 

Each work provides a momentary portal into individuals’ relationships with nature. Scherer’s Sunshine sculpture captures a large-scale figure bending down to collect flowers, a vision of shining stainless steel that contrasts with the colored flowers in the figure’s hand. With Singleton’s Field painting, the artist portrays a nude figure lounging in a bed of grass dotted with finely drawn flowers. 

Kenny Scharf

Honor Fraser

Kenny Scharf, Kenny Scharf, “GO WILD!” at Honor Fraser, courtesy the artist and Honor Fraser.

June 29–August 24, 2024
2622 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

GO WILD!” at Honor Fraser marks Kenny Scharf’s tenth solo exhibition with the gallery, thus marking a decade of his connection with Los Angeles. The show pays tribute to the mark that Scharf has left upon the Southern California region, presenting an immersive installation that blends Scharf’s studio and the outside world: man-made and natural. 

The gallery documents a wide array of Scharf’s bold pieces and differing practices. In addition, the show additionally debuts a new series of works, with his iconic circular paintings that feature his brightly-colored expressive figures. “GO WILD!” also features a reading room where visitors can peer through a window into Scharf’s creative process. Viewers are invited to flip through the artist’s various proposals and preparatory drawings for his public projects in Los Angeles–a testament to Scharf’s concrete connection to both the gallery and the city. 

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