Black lives, immigration and politics are focal points of new LA art exhibits

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KCRW looks at some new art exhibits in LA: 

At the Vielmetter gallery , Rodney McMillian’s drawings are emotive and abstract, but contain text about violence against Black bodies. One work features the White House, using sewn fabric to undermine its symbol of strength. 

Glen Wilson has a show opening on Oct. 31 at Various Small Fires gallery . He creates hybrids of photography and sculpture, cutting photos in thin strips and then weaving them through chain-link fences. The images depict LA’s Black communities. 

Glen Wilson uses fences in his work — a symbolic move because fences are meant to protect, demarcate space, and/or keep people out. Courtesy of Various Small Fires Gallery / Glen Wilson.

At the Armory Center for the Arts, Tanya Aguiñiga’s “Borderlands Within/La Frontera Adentro” features performances that she did at the border wall. In one work called “America’s Wall,” she and other women sprayed a rusty section of the wall with vinegar, then pressed fabric onto it to create a dye pattern on the fabric, kind of like a border wall print. 

Tanya Aguiñiga, “America’s Wall” (performance photo). 2018. Performed by Tanya Aguiñiga, Jackie Amézquita, Cecilia Brawley, Natalie Godinez, Izabella Sanchez, and Shannen Wallace. Image Courtesy of the artist and AMBOS Project. Photo by Gina Clyne.

“What’s so interesting right now is keeping the context of the election kind of in the back of our heads as we talk about this work. And so all the shows on view right now had to be aware of that timing,” says Lindsay Preston Zappas, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles.