Beyond Frieze: Art Highlights in LA

Site-specific installations, large-scale sculpture, surreal digital self-portraits and other must-see work

In a few days, Los Angeles will briefly become the center of the art world. With art fairs Frieze, Felix and Art Los Angeles Contemporary in Hollywood and Spring Break in DTLA, the weekend of 14 February is slated to be an exciting one for art enthusiasts. But LA is an art-centric city all year, and beyond this weekend’s fairs, there are plenty of exhibitions worth visiting.

Courtesy Anish Kapoor + Regen Projects

Hollywood + Mid-City

Overwhelming and striking, Anish Kapoor‘s installation at Regen Projects is a mind-bending work that’s somewhat reminiscent of Richard Serra’s curving walls rendered in liquid metal.

Steps away from that gallery is Deitch Projects, where All Them Witches—an exhibition centered on the “witchy sensibility”—is currently on show. With pieces mostly by women artists, there are big names like Marilyn Minter, Cindy Sherman and Judy Chicago involved, as well as emerging and lesser-known artists creating exhilarating work.

Fort Gansevoort’s East Hollywood outpost welcomes Zoya Cherkassky‘s Soviet Childhood—a continuation of her exhibition of the same name from last year. With new paintings inspired by her childhood in Soviet Russia, this exhibition is charming and poignant.

On now, Lauren Halsey‘s solo show at David Kordansky is a super-colorful installation of what she calls “South Central LA business taxidermy.” The result is truly dynamic and provides visitors with the feeling of being immersed in a very specific retail-meets-culture wonderland.

Miracle Mile also two great options: Do Huh Suh’s 348 West 22nd Street at LACMA sees the artist exploring memory and permanence by recreating his New York residence in translucent polyester. And The Body, The Object, The Other (at Craft Contemporary) highlights emerging and established artists that challenge representation through sculptural objects. This group show includes work by Jason Briggs, Roxanne Jackson and others.

Courtesy of Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe + Roberts Project

Culver City

Otis Kwame Kye Quaico’s Black Like Me (on at Roberts Project) is the US debut of the Ghanian artist and displays new, colorful portraits that capture power, personality and nuance. Each of these stunning oil paintings is more enthralling than the last.

Blum & Poe’s group show New Images of Man reinterprets and reimagines a 1959 MoMA exhibition that explored human representation (though, more specifically, male). This show, curated by Alison M Gingeras, in part pays homage to that exhibition, while also radically diverting from it.

Leimert Park foundation Art + Practice teamed up with the Hammer Museum for Collective Constellation: Selections from The Eileen Harris Norton Collection, a selection of artworks by women of color including Amy Sherald, Kara Walker, Lorna Simpson and Breanna Youngblood—each piece from the collection of philanthropist, collector, and Art + Practice co-founder Eileen Harris Norton.

Crenshaw District’s SoLA Contemporary is also hosting a women-centric show called Women by Women 2020, which hosts over 40 works by LA-area artists that depict and interpret the lives of women and girls. SoLA has an all-women board and advisory council, so this show is much more than performative feminism.

Courtesy of Jeffrey Cheung + New Image Art

West Hollywood, Beverly Hills + The Westside

In West Hollywood, New Image Art is host to Jeffrey Cheung‘s solo show Ever Free, which expands upon the artist’s previous show in the space. Colorful and glorious figurative paintings by the Chinese-American artist explore identity, sexuality, gender and other serious topics in a positive, wavy and whimsical manner.

Just a few minutes’ walk away, at the intersection of Fairfax, Matthew Marks Gallery is showing three new large-scale works by German sculptor Katharina Fritsch. The imposing 13-foot-tall “Hahn/Cock” is just one drawcard of this stunning show.

In Beverly Hills, UTA Artist Space is showing vibrant, large-scale paintings that depict various stages of life by Arcmanoro Nilles. The exhibition, called I Guess By Now I’m Supposed To Be A Man: I’m Just Trying To Leave Behind Yesterday, includes seven paintings that are equally powerful and tender.

Closing this weekend, Fowler Museum’s Through Positive Eyes is a must-see. The show includes large-scale photographs and was created in collaboration with 130 people who live with HIV/AIDS. There are also twice-weekly performances as part of this compelling storytelling project, and the vast emotions—from fear to joy, pride and beyond—are all palpable.

Santa Monica’s Five Car Garage for Female Sensibility is a two-person show by Kirsten Stoltmann and Jennifer Sullivan that tangles and untangles the feminine through painting and mixed media works.

Courtesy of Victoria Gitman + François Ghebaly

Downtown + The Eastside

South of the Arts District are two shows at François Ghebaly: Victoria Gitman’s Five Paintings and Kathleen Ryan’s Bad Fruit. Each is a study of details, but the artists create vastly different environments. From Gitman’s tangible paintings of fur to Ryan’s bejeweled fruit sculptures, every piece in these shows warrants second, third and fourth looks.

Nicolas Party’s debut LA solo show, Sottobosco, at Hauser & Wirth promises to be an immersive and colorful experience. The artist paints more than canvases, and has been adding flourishes to walls at the gallery for a couple weeks. This show sees the NYC-based artist exploring nature and science through new paintings, sculptures and site-specific installations.

The ongoing and fascinating show Cross Colours: Black Fashion in the 20th Century (on at Exposition Park’s California African-American Museum) is an exploration of contemporary style via the ’90s brand. Not only a look at fashion, this is a show that spotlights the influence that black culture had—and continues to have—on the American zeitgeist.

Highland Park’s Oxy Arts hosts Shizu Saldamando‘s show LA Intersections which features portraits of individuals that are typically left out of fine art shows. Not only beautiful, these pieces honor underrepresented people and provoke viewers to rethink their understanding of value.

A group show with works by Amy Bessone, Alejandro Cardenas, Namuyimba Godwin and Aaron Morse, DEMIFIGURES is on at Pasadena’s La Loma Projects. These works are diverse, but all exist somewhere in the unfinished, in-between and perhaps misunderstood.

Vincent Price Art Museum is soon closing Gabriela Ruiz’s solo exhibition Full of Tears for which the artist used 3D- and video-mapping to create surreal digital self-portraits. The results are quite fascinating and center on the self and memory through a surreal lens.

Hero image of Lauren Halsey‘s solo show, courtesy of David Kordansky