While major museums will offer major shows this fall, like Andy Warhol’s Shadow Paintings at Moca or Peter Paul Rubens tapestries and paintings at the Getty, there are quite a few off the charts shows that have grabbed my attention.
Let’s start with the outsiders: Clare Graham and MorYork at the Craft and Folk Art Museum opening Sept. 14. Two years ago, I went to the L.A. County Fair in Pomona and apart from fried Twinkies and pig races, I was seduced by the wild and weird sculptures of Clare Graham in the fair’s art gallery. Using bottle caps, pop-tops, buttons, poker chips, aluminum foil and so forth, he created ambitious large scale sculpture and furniture. Only later did I learn about MorYork, his studio in Highland Park, where he channeled his compulsive collecting into fantasy sculpture. Now, CAFAM has caught on and presents a show with a great title: The Answer is Yes. Graham, senior art director at Disneyland, is hardly untutored but this is his first show in a museum. He has collaborated with L.A. Goal, an agency that supports developmentally disabled adults, to help produce new art work for the exhibition. For info, go to cafam.org.
Bottle cap sculpture, 1992.
Photo: Kim Kralj
The Pasadena Museum of California Art offers a triple bill. The long-awaited exhibition organized by LA art critic Michael Duncan with Christopher Wagstaff titled An Opening of the Field explores the collaborative relationship between the San Francisco-based artist Jess, his partner, poet Robert Duncan and their circle of remarkable friends including L.A.’s George Herms and Wallace Berman, Bay area Michael McClure and Jack Spicer.
Jess, The Enamord Mage: Translation #6, 1965.
Oil on canvas over wood, 241/2 x 30 in.
Collection of The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, Fine Arts Museums.
PMCA also showcases Chimera, the art and animated installation of Stas Orlovski with sound by Steve Roden, and as well as Burning Down the House, a look at the color photography of the 1970s that explored identity and domesticity by a trio of important women artists: Ellen Brooks, Jo Ann Callis and Eileen Cowin. All open to the public on Sept. 14. Info at pmcaonline.org.
Eileen Cowin, I’ll Give You Something to Cry About, 1998.
Digital Light Prints, 76 x 120 inches.
Courtesy of the Artist
Right next door, if you have never been to the USC Pacific Asia Museum, there is another triple bill: Insight: The Path of Bodhidharma documents the way Buddha has been portrayed in different ways over the centuries in both fine art and popular culture from China to India to Japan. In addition, there is The First Wave: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Paintings in the USC Pacific Asia Museum Collection, works by contemporary Chinese paintings that have been purchased for the museum’s collection since their 1987 show Beyond the Open Door. It is a complement to the The Rent Collection Courtyard, a maquette based on 114 life size clay figures depicting starving peasant farmers originally installed at the former residence of a feudal landlord in 1965. There is a lot of awareness of contemporary Chinese art now but this tiny museum has been involved for decades. All open on Sept. 26. Info at pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu.
Continuing the Pasadena-centric theme, check out The Machine Project Field Guide to the Gamble House, the historic arts and crafts residence designed by Greene and Greene. This is the first time this group of cross-cultural instigators has organized events within a work of art. Beginning Sept. 19, as part of the AxS festival exploring the intersections of art and science, there will be artists and others working in the Gamble House, as well as workshops and tours for the public including seances, puppets and a secret Swedish-Japanese fusion restaurant. Info at machineproject.com.
But what about the galleries? Too many to count but I’m looking forward to shows by three different African American artists: The sculptural work of Rashid Johnson: Islands opens Sept. 13 at David Kordansky’s new 20,000-square-foot gallery designed by Kulapat Yantrasast at 5130 Edgewood Place off South La Brea. Info at davidkordanskygallery.com.
Rashid Johnson, The Long Dream, 2014.
burned red oak flooring, black soap, wax, spray enamel, vinyl, steel, bamboo, shea butter, books, plants, mirrored planter
133.87 x 140.25 x 12inches (340 x 356.2 x 30.5cm)
Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Photography: Martin Parsek
The hyperrealist monumental paintings of Kehinde Wiley, a continuation of his series The World Stage, this time focused on Haiti, is at Roberts & Tilton in Culver City. Info at robertsandtilton.com. Both open Sept. 13. Edgar Arceneaux has created a feature film and other works that complicate and contemplate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King in A Book and A Medal: Disentanglement Equals Homogenous Abstractions at Suzanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects in Culver City opening Sept. 6. Info at vielmetter.com.