Art style

Your Concise Art Guide to Los Angeles for September 2022

September is the start of the school year, and this educational momentum also extends to the exhibitions listed below. Whether it’s Dan Levenson’s fictional modernist Swiss art school; shows that contextualize the work of Kaari Upson and Lawrence Weiner, who both passed away last year; or the Fulcrum Festival focused on the depths of space and the sea, there is certainly a lot to learn.

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Dan Levenson, “SKZ Chance Operations Classroom Maquette” (2022), painted plywood, acrylic on linen, color prints, mirrors, 12 x 20 x 20 inches (photo by Simon Cardoza, courtesy Praz-Delavallade)

Dan Levenson: two proposals for the creation of a new art school

The State Art Academy, Zürich (SKZ) is a fictional modernist art school similar to the Bauhaus, animated by painting, performance and sculpture. This elaborate ruse is the work of contemporary Los Angeles-based artist Dan Levenson, who has created falsely aged geometric abstractions allegedly painted by school students and weathered studio furniture, even going so far as to invent a class list using an algorithm and a Swiss. phone book. Two proposals for the creation of a new art school features two miniature classrooms and associated works: one based on real children’s art classes that used the imaginary program SKZ designed by Levenson, and another in which the roll of a dice is used to determine the choices of colours, by injecting an element of play and chance into the pedagogy.

Praz-Delavallade (
6150 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles
Until September 10

Chaz Bojorquez (photo by Jim McHugh)

Alphabet Soup 2

Alphabet Soup 2 features the work of six acclaimed Los Angeles-based street artists, each known for their distinctive letterforms or handstyles. Participants include Chaz Bojorquez, who popularized Cholo-style calligraphy beginning in the late 1960s; Retna, whose angular symbols adorn the facades of buildings around Los Angeles; and Big Sleeps, which brings polished precision to traditional Los Angeles street style; alongside Cryptik, Defer, and Prime. The exhibition comes nearly a decade after the original alphabet soup show, offering a window on the development of these artists.

Eastern Projects (
900 North Broadway, #1090, Chinatown, Los Angeles
Until September 17

Halina Kliem and Daniel Rothman, “The Ballona/Waachnga Project” (2022) (courtesy the artists)

Fulcrum Festival: Deep Ocean/Deep Space

This year’s Fulcrum Festival, an annual series of talks, workshops, performances and exhibitions exploring the intersection of art and science, is based on the theme “Deep Ocean/Deep Space”, s ‘interesting in both celestial and aquatic wonders. The event is organized by non-profit organization Fulcrum Arts in partnership with more than a dozen organizations, including Carnegie Observatories, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 18th Street Arts Center and the LA Dance Project. Offerings include sound installations and stargazing curated by artist CM von Hausswolff at the Mount Wilson Observatory; a 24-hour audio-visual rumination on the last remaining wetlands in Los Angeles, the Ballona Wetlands; and Victoria Vesna’s multimedia project that makes connections between microscopic plankton and space dust.

Venues around Greater Los Angeles (
September 15–25

Breastplate (photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Alfred C. Glassell, Jr.) and figurative ocarina (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Muñoz Kramer Collection, gift of Jorge G. and Nelly de Muñoz and Camilla Chandler Frost) showing powerful individuals in centered positions, against the backdrop of the Caribbean coast, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia (photo © Jota Arango)

The portable universe: thought and splendor of indigenous Colombia

The portable universe brings together 400 objects that open a window on the indigenous peoples and cultures of Colombia. Featuring several objects on loan from El Museo del Oro in Bogota, the exhibition tries to move away from a Western-centric setting and relies on a collaboration between curators and members of the Arhuaco de la Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. The masks, sculptures, and tools included in the exhibit are grouped into thematic sections shaped around the cosmology of the peoples who used them, and the exhibit labels lack dates, highlighting the use of these objects in daily life at through the generations.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile, Los Angeles
Until October 2

Kaari Upson: never, never, never in my life, never in all my days of birth, never in all my life, neverInstallation view, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, August 4 – October 8, 2022 (work © The Art Trust created under Kaari Upson Trust; photo by Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy Sprüth Magers)

Kaari Upson: never, never, never in my life, never in all my days of birth, never in all my life, never

Before her death last August at the age of 51, Kaari Upson had established herself as one of Los Angeles’ most dynamic and innovative artists, whose heterogeneous work was defined by material curiosity and intense psychological. Through a practice that encompasses sculpture, performance, video, painting, and drawing, Upson has tapped into the dark corners of domestic and family life with a blend of trepidation and humor. never, never never…, his first solo exhibition in LA in over 10 years, reflects this breadth, showcasing new bodies of work such as colorful abstract paintings that reference both modernist grid and gingham: formalism and familiar fashion. It also marks the American debut of “Kris’s Dollhouse” (2017-19), a bizarre human-sized version of a resin, urethane, wood and aluminum dollhouse: part haunted house, part rumination on childhood. , sex and friendship. .

Sprüth Magers (
5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles
Until October 8

Catherine Opie, “Lawrence” (2012), 33 x 25 inch pigment print (© the artist, courtesy Regen Projects)

The Stars Don’t Stop in the Sky: A Tribute to Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner, who died last December, was a key figure in the development of concept art. His 1968 saying that “THE WORK NEEDS NOT TO BE CONSTRUCTED” was a key principle in the dematerialization of the art object. He is best known for his language-based artwork, enigmatic phrases rendered in paint or vinyl letters on the walls of galleries and museums. His simple, poetic statements, almost always written in the typeface he developed, Margaret Seaworthy Gothic, invite viewers to deeper inquiry to generate meaning. The stars don’t stand still in the sky testifies to his vast influence, featuring the work of more than fifty artists, from his contemporaries such as Sol LeWitt, Mel Bochner and Lee Lozano, to younger generations represented by Glenn Ligon, Sue Williams, Wolfgang Tillmans and others. The exhibition will also feature a collaboration with late fashion designer Virgil Abloh, as well as a selection of approximately 150 posters and publications designed and produced by Weiner.

Regen Projects (
6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, Los Angeles
September 15 to October 22

Ray Anthony Barrett, ‘Wild Mustard Portrait’ (2021), Type C print, 16 x 20 inches (courtesy the artist and Wilding Cran Gallery)

Ray Anthony Barrett: …of borders and ghosts

Visual artist and chef Ray Anthony Barrett investigates the stories and mythologies of the American West. This took the form of his pop-up restaurant Cinqué, which traces the roots of soul food from California to the southern United States to West Africa, as well as Go say it on the mountainan experimental film about food justice in the midst of the climate crisis. …borders and ghosts features calico, cotton and denim quilts, sculptures made of railroad ties and shell beads, photographs and drawings that portray the western United States as a site of breathtaking natural beauty breath but also of a crushing exploitation – of people and natural resources – in the service of capital.

Wilding Cran (
1700 South Santa Fe Avenue, Unit 460, Downtown, Los Angeles
From September 10 to October 29

Still from Justen LeRoy, “Lay Me Down in Praise” (2022) (courtesy the artist)

Justen Leroy: Lay Me Down in Praise

Justen LeRoy’s three-channel cinematic installation ‘Lay Me Down in Praise’ links the struggle for black empowerment to the environmental movement. LeRoy juxtaposes images of black artists with scenes of volcanic eruptions and other geological events, linking expressive vocal art with earthly tumult. Curated by Essence Harden of the California African American Museum (CAAM), the exhibition marks the start of a five-year museum residency through which CAAM will curate shows to be presented at Art + Practice in Leimert Park.

Art + Practice (
3401 West 43rd Place, Leimert Park, Los Angeles
From September 17 to January 21, 2023

Tala Madani, “Shit Mother I” (2019), oil on linen, 80 x 80 inches (collection of Wendi Murdoch, New York; photo by Jeff McLane, courtesy David Kordansky Gallery)

Tala Madani: Cookies

Tala Madani’s cast of anonymous, average white men act like babies. They smear their excrement, vomit on each other and run around naked. More than just brazenly transgressive celebrations of the abject, Madani’s painting confronts cultural taboos and entrenched power structures, integrating feminist critique into pictorial delights. Biscuits is the Iranian-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s first North American exhibition.

Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (
152 North Central Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles
From September 10 to February 19, 2023

Installation view of Narsiso Martinez, Rethinking the essentials (photo by Solimar Salas, courtesy MOLAA)

Narsiso Martinez: Rethinking the essential

Narsiso Martinez draws and paints portraits of farm workers directly onto boxes of produce, making visible the often invisible work that brings food from the fields into our homes. The Oaxaca-born artist has first-hand knowledge of his subject, having worked in the orchards of eastern Washington for nine summers to pay for his education. Its installation Rethinking the essentials à MOLAA portrays these essential workers, their eyes peering out from behind masks and hats, with dignity and respect, heirs to a historical line of art that weaves through Mexican muralists and Millet’s “The Gleaners.”

Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) (
628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, CA
In progress