10 Art Shows to See in Los Angeles This July

This month features exhibitions that celebrate veteran boundary-breakers as well as contemporary artists who are forging their own paths. Pace Gallery pays tribute to iconic Black American photographer Gordon Parks, while Eastern Projects honors Chicano collective Los Four on the 50th anniversary of their seminal LACMA show. Rusha & Co. mounts the first in a series of exhibitions highlighting the influence of Juxtapoz Magazine, and Sade showcases the assemblages of reclusive Denver artist John Lupe. FOCA presents a group show of young artists engaging with how the internet mediates our world, Wendy Red Star mines historical objects to reclaim their Indigenous origins, and Chiffon Thomas’s futuristic bronze and stained glass sculptures channel untold narratives.

John Lupe: Everything Is Other, Everything Is Us

Everything Is Other, Everything Is Us is a deep dive into the life and work of reclusive artist John Lupe. A fixture of the New York art scene of the 1980s, Lupe withdrew to his hometown of Denver after becoming a father, spending the next several decades in relative solitude creating poetic assemblages of found objects and mixed-media paintings like a Rocky Mountain Joseph Cornell. The exhibition offers a glimpse into Lupe’s desire to form connection with the world despite his remove from it.

Sade (sade-la.com)
204 South Avenue 19, Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles
Through July 7

Kentaro Kawabata / Bruce Nauman

This exhibition brings together two artists who, at first glance, may seem like an odd match: Japanese porcelain sculptor Kentaro Kawabata and American multi-media artist Bruce Nauman. Kawabata is represented by whimsical and wondrous ceramics that resemble odd creatures, or vessels that burst and crackle, freezing the energy of the kiln. The breadth of Nauman’s practice is on view, including his early experiments with ceramics, large-scale sculpture, video, and works from the series Infrared Outtakes (1968/2006) and Fingers and Holes (1994), whose hyper-saturated colors echo the bright orange glazes that tinge the rims of Kawabata’s forms.

Nonaka-Hill (nonaka-hill.com)
720 Highland Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Through July 20

Los Four”: 50th Anniversary of the LACMA Exhibit 1974–2024

In 1974, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art organized an exhibition of Chicano collective Los Four featuring Carlos Almaraz, Beto de la Rocha, Gilbert “Magu” Luján, and Frank Romero, the museum’s first-ever exhibition of Chicano artists. Their paintings, sculptures, and murals depicted Mexican-American life in LA and the Southwest, Indigenous symbology from both sides of the border, and the civil rights struggles of “El Movimiento” with expressionistic vibrancy. The groundbreaking show proved that Chicano Art — previously dismissed as either “craft” or “graffiti” — is quintessentially American Art, at home in cultural institutions alongside other revered art movements. For the 50th anniversary of LACMA’s exhibition, Eastern Projects is celebrating its legacy with a presentation of work spanning five decades, including contemporary work by Romero.

Eastern Projects (easternprojectsgallery.com)
900 North Broadway #1090, Chinatown, Los Angeles
Through August 3

I’d Love To See You: A Juxtapoz Magazine Story At 30 (Part 1)

Juxtapoz Magazine was founded 30 years ago in California by Robert Williams, Fausto Vitello, C.R. Stecyk III, Greg Escalante, and Eric Swenson as a platform for alternative and underground visual culture. Challenging traditional hierarchies, the publication has dissolved the barriers between “lowbrow” and “high art,” championing street art, surf/car/skate culture, and other art forms located outside the mainstream. I’d Love To See You, the first in a series of exhibitions showcasing the magazine’s influence, features works on paper from a wide range of artists who have graced its pages, including April Bey, Corita Kent, Hannah Lupton Reinhard, Nehemiah Cisneros, Ozzie Juarez, Mark Ryden, rafa esparza, Raymond Pettibon, Swoon, and many others.

Rusha & Co (rusha.co)
244 West Florence Avenue, Florence, Los Angeles
Through August 14

06 01 Felix Quintana 99 cent dreams on Crenshaw Blvd Los Angeles Blueprints 2019
Felix Quintana, “99 cent dreams on Crenshaw Boulevard” (2019), unique cyanotype print, 11 x 14 inches (courtesy the artist)

Hyperobject: Art in the Age of YOLO*

Hyperobject: Art in the Age of YOLO* features seven contemporary artists born between 1991 and 2003, a generation raised on the internet. The show is framed by the concept of the “hyperobject,” a term coined by Timothy Morton in 2008 to “describe all kinds of things that you can study and think about and compute, but that are not so easy to see directly,” as well as “YOLO,” an acronym for “You Only Live Once” that would have been omnipresent during the artists’ adolescence. Here, Ryan Crudgington, Chandler Dangaard, Mae Noland, Violet Treadwell Hull, Peña Espinoza Peña, Felix Quintana, and Gabriel Tolson explore the role that digital media plays in mediating our experience of reality, as well as the nostalgia for the early days of online freedom.

Fellows of Contemporary Art (focala.org)
970 North Broadway, Suite 208, Chinatown, Los Angeles
Through August 17

Chiffon Thomas: Progeny

Chiffon Thomas’s bronze, stained glass, and steel sculptures fuse the corporeal and the monumental, invoking forgotten legacies of labor, communal perseverance, and historical injustices. Cast faces and heads splinter into panes of brilliantly-colored glass, and obelisks are topped by glass pyramids resembling stitched skin. In these moving and unsettling works, Thomas draws connections between our bodies, the spaces they inhabit, and the stories they tell.

Michael Kohn Gallery (kohngallery.com)
1227 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Through August 17

Humaira Abid: Searching for Home

Through her deftly carved wooden sculptures, Pakistani-born artist Humaira Abid honors the ordeals and perseverance of migrants and refugees displaced through war, persecution, and ecological disasters, particularly women. Notable works in the exhibition include “Searching for Home” (2016–17), life-like pieces of wooden luggage stained blood-red; rearview mirrors reflecting scenes of life and loss in her “Fragments of Home left behind -II” (2019–20); and “The World is NOT perfect” (2014–17), a mound of bricks and shoes carved from pine, mahogany, and tulip wood.

USC Pacific Asia Museum (pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu)
46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California
Through August 18

Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was a versatile and boundary-smashing photographer whose work ranged from documenting the Civil Rights movement to celebrity, fashion, and sports portraits and photo essays as the first Black staff photographer for Life magazine. (He also directed Shaft in 1971, helping to create the Blaxploitation film genre.) Pace’s exhibition, organized by Kimberly Drew in partnership with the Gordon Parks Foundation, spans the early 1940s to the mid ’80s, and features roughly 40 photographs. These include work produced for the Farm Security Administration (FSA); depictions of Black spirituality; and images from Segregation Story (1956), which chronicled segregated life in America; in addition to his short film “Diary of a Harlem Family” (1967).

Pace Gallery (pacegallery.com)
1201 South La Brea Avenue, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles
July 12 – August 24

Wendy Red Star: Bíikkua (The Hide Scraper)

Bishkisché is an Apsáalooke term referring to rawhide containers used to transport goods great distances on horseback, produced by women in several North American Indigenous groups. Throughout her ongoing investigation into the history of bishkisché, Wendy Red Star made studies of 226 examples of these functional objects in the form of meticulously rendered paintings reproducing each one’s unique, richly colored geometric designs. Bíikkua (The Hide Scraper) features 184 of these works, each named for a woman in her tribe, in an attempt to reclaim the abstractions that have been subsumed into Western art history and pay homage to their origins and creators.

Roberts Projects (robertsprojectsla.com)
442 South La Brea Avenue, Hancock Park, Los Angeles
July 13 – August 24

Summer 24

Alongside the wave of international blue chip galleries dropping anchor in LA, a new crop of scrappy, grass-roots spaces are popping up here, the latest being 839. Founded by writer and historian Liz Hirsch and artist Joshua Smith, 839’s inaugural show features an eclectic range of works by contemporary artists from Los Angeles and New York, including Andrés Janacua’s mesmerizing lanyard weavings, Nichelle Dailey’s evocative photography, and post-minimalist sculpture by the still-living artist known perplexingly as The Estate of Joshua Caleb Weibley.

839 (839gallery.com)
839 North Cherokee Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Through August 31

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