“I heard someone say this is a monochrome show, but I think it’s very colorful,” artist Mark Hagen said at the recent opening reception for “A Handful of Dust,” a group exhibition curated by Laura Fried, featuring work by Hagen and six other artists. At first glance to a visitor, “colorful” definitely isn’t the first word that springs to mind — the works on view at Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum (CAF) (through March 24) are dominated by earthy tones, sepias, and shades of white. But upon further contemplation, the eye adjusts and notices an array of tonal gradations and hues. This nuanced palette underscores the pared-down elegance of the exhibition, which examines time and material in sculpture, while also highlighting the importance of regional institutions in broadening Southern California’s contemporary art dialogue.
Los Angeles is touted as an important hub for contemporary art, and with good reason: from art school classes taught by famed artists such as Catherine Opie and Barbara Kruger to world-class institutions like LACMA and the Getty and small non-profit alternative art spaces such asLAXART and Public Fiction, the city’s artist community has the framework and venues in which to experiment with and showcase the visual and performing arts. But, when placing Los Angeles within a larger discussion on global contemporary art, what is often lacking is an international viewpoint. The majority of the city’s contemporary art exhibitions focus on the United States and Europe, with some examining work by artists from Mexico and Central and South America.
Artadia recently hosted a cocktail reception at Blum & Poe to announce the launch of the Artadia Awards in Los Angeles. Executive director Carolyn Ramo spoke to members of the L.A. arts community, including artist Rosson Crow, gallerist Mary Leigh Cherry, andForYourArt’s Bettina Korek about the organization, which has awarded over $3 million to more than 250 artists since its founding in 1997 by investment banker and art collector Christopher Vroom.
From February 6 to February 11, a select group of young art students across Los Angeles received a crash course in their craft through intense master classes and workshops with internationally renowned artists and art world professionals. All this through the National YoungArts Foundation, which just inaugurated YoungArts Los Angeles, a new program modeled after their signature annual program — YoungArts Week.
Those who fear that the addition of one more art fair will usher in an art-world Armageddon resulting from art fair over-population might find comfort in learning about a new fair that seeks to provide innovative programming alongside the commercial, all within a wonderfully innovative context that doesn’t involve bland conference halls or flimsy temporary tents. Paris Photo Los Angeles, which will run from April 26-28, 2013, will take place at Paramount Pictures Studioin Hollywood, offering visitors an ideal setting to explore photography and moving images from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Artist Llyn Foulkes, 78, is having a major moment in the spotlight. The prolific artist has been creating works for over six decades but has been largely under recognized, until now. On Saturday, Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum opened a retrospective of his work, featuring approximately 140 artworks from public and private collections, some of which have not been seen publicly for decades.
On February 10, L.A. MOCA will open the exhibition “The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States.” Herbert Vogel (1922-2012), a postal clerk and his wife Dorothy Vogel (born 1935), a librarian, amassed an important private collection of post-1960s art, which became the subject of the 2008 documentary “Herb and Dorothy.”
On February 9, LACMA will unveil its fifth collaboration with Charles White Elementary School with the exhibition “Shinique Smith: Firsthand.” As part of the museum’s ongoing engagement with its surrounding community, the show combines Smith’s new work based on her experience within the school and community, art produced by Charles White Elementary School students, and objects the artist selected from LACMA’s Costume and Textile collection.
There’s no better way to kick off an artful 2013 in L.A. than by visiting the newest gallery shows, and this January is a particularly prolific month in exhibitions. Here are the top 10 gallery exhibitions opening over the next few weeks.