From the history of California donut shops to a Barbara Kruger retrospective, March is shaping up to be a great month. In this month’s Los Angeles guide, we also venture to Long Beach and Riverside, home to an exhibit dedicated to one of comics’ first black superheroes. Good viewing.
When: March 4–March 20
Or: Human Resources (410 Cottage Home, Chinatown, Los Angeles)
Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose were pioneering performance artists who investigated pain, S&M and disability throughout the 80s and 90s until Flanagan’s death in 1996. Xandra Ibarra honors their legacy and expands their investigations into Nothing lower than me. His sculptures integrate currents of minimalism, medical aesthetics and eroticism, questioning the notions of abjection and otherness.
When: open February 27
Or: Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) (628 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach, CA)
Through public performances, Salvadoran artist Crack Rodriguez investigates the experience of migration shaped by war, diaspora and solidarity. His work was recently featured in intergalactic to LACE, which traced hidden but deeply rooted cross-border networks. Dream Teamthe artist’s first solo exhibition in an American museum, draws its title from a participatory performance on the MacArthur Park soccer field, where a team must score into a basketball hoop, capturing the slim chances of migrants hoping to achieve their dreams.
When: March 5–April 23
Or: Regen Projects (6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)
Abraham Cruzvillegas’ process of self build is based on the practice of building from found and salvaged materials popular in every town in his native Mexico. With Tres Sonetos, he is inspired by the poems of Concha Urquiza, using their rhythms as the basis for large calligraphic paintings created on site. Photographs of his face printed on textiles will serve as a support for colorful paintings, merging the performative and the autobiographical.
When: March 12–May 27
Or: Self-Help Graphics and Art (1300 E. First Street, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles)
The vast majority of California donut shops are owned and operated by Cambodian Americans, one of whom is responsible for their signature pink donut boxes. Behind the pastries, however, lies a story of trauma, displacement and resilience, from the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge to the waves of refugees that followed in its wake, to the children and grandchildren born in the United States. United. For his personal exhibition at Self Help Graphics, Donut Hole (W)Phung Huynh draws on research and interviews, as well as her own family’s experience as refugees, in portraits of “doughnut children” who work in their parents’ shops, highlighting the themes of tradition and assimilation.
When: until March 23
Or: Gavlak (1700 S. Santa Fe Ave., Ste 240 Downtown, Los Angeles)
When you’re on another planet and they fly, April Bey’s first solo exhibition at Gavlak, showcases her celebratory Afrofuturist vision set in her invented world of Atlantica. Using sequins, faux furs and textiles, Bey places black representation and black joy at the center of her brightly colored, room-sized installations.
When: March 19–June 19
Or: Culver Center of the Arts (3824 + 3834 Main Street, Riverside, CA)
Created by comic book artist Larry Fuller in 1969, Ebon was one of the first independent black superheroes. Although only one issue of his comic book was produced, the collaborative duo of Stacey Robinson and John Jennings – who go by the name Black Kirby (a play about legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby) – saw the potential of the character. Fifty years after its creation, they have collaborated with Fuller to expand the world of Ebon and introduce it to contemporary audiences. fear of a dark planet opens alongside a companion exhibition centered on 10 years of work by Black Kirby, through which they remix and deconstruct themes of social justice, hip-hop, identity and Afrofuturism.
When: March 20–July 17
Or: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles)
Barbara Kruger’s juxtapositions of text and image, rendered in her instantly recognizable bold graphic style, have become some of the most iconic – and most copied – works of art of the past 40 years. As an influential member of the Pictures Generation, Kruger pairs appropriate imagery with cryptic phrases, offering scathing critiques of how we interact with the media. His career retrospective, Think about
You. I want to say Me. I mean youincludes video installations, soundscapes and large-scale vinyl wraps.
When: until April 2
Or: Anat Ebgi (2660 S La Cienega Boulevard, Downtown, Los Angeles) and the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (1013 S Los Angeles Street, #9E, Downtown, Los Angeles)
In 1972, Woman’s house opened in Los Angeles: an abandoned Hollywood mansion has been transformed into a feminist art installation, with bedrooms becoming spaces for biting commentary on domesticity. Now, 50 years later, Anat Ebgi and the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) revisit that story by examining what happened before and after. Woman’s house, tracing a history of feminist art on the West Coast and how it continues to reverberate today. Check gallery websites for upcoming lineup and performances.
When: until May 8
Or: Hauser & Wirth (901 East 3rd Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Phyllida Barlow’s sculptures are alive. They seem to sway and move, as if in flight. At Hauser & Wirth, they are also monumental and sometimes colorful, bursting with pink. This is the British artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
When: until April 9
Or: Parker Gallery (2441 Glendower Ave, Los Feliz, Los Angeles)
Rebecca Morris and Christina Forrer are an exciting couple: both based in Los Angeles and good friends, Morris is a painter and Forrer is a textile artist. While Morris’ works are abstract and Forrer’s works are figurative, there are delightful resonances throughout their works, particularly in the energetic rhythm and movement of colors and shapes. The installation in the house-style gallery makes the couple charming and intimate.