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Contemporary Art

11 Shows Not to Miss in Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA

Following the success of its first edition, in 2011, the sprawling, multi-venue Pacific Standard Time returns this autumn with a focus on the vital cultural connections between Latin America and Los Angeles. Starting 15 September and continuing through early 2018, more than 70 arts institutions across Southern California are presenting scholarly museum exhibitions, gallery shows and educational programmes to collectively rewrite – and, in certain cases, to re-right – the dynamic ongoing histories and synergies between Latino and Latin American cultures in the US and beyond. Prepare for a busy autumn: there are more than 90 projects, shows and installations happening regionwide. We have chosen a few highlights from galleries and Sotheby’s Museum Network partners. 

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FRANCISCO ARTIGAS’S AND FERNANDO LUNA’S HOUSE AT 131 ROCAS, JARDINES DEL PEDREGAL, MEXICO CITY, 1966.
PART OF LACMA’S FOUND IN TRANSLATION EXHIBITION. © ROBERTO AND FERNANDO LUNA

From Incan Gold to Modern Mediums at The Getty Center

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WILLYS DE CASTRO’S ACTIVE OBJECT, 1962, IN THE GETTY’S MAKING ART CONCRETE.
COLECCIÓN PATRICIA PHELPS DE CISNEROS PROMISED GIFT TO THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK THROUGH THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN FUND IN HONOR OF TOMÁS ORINOCO GRIFFIN-CISNEROS IMAGE COURTESY WALTER DE CASTRO  COURTESY THE GETTY CENTER

From gold to concrete, feathers to stones and shells to metals, two shows at the Getty Center celebrate centuries of Latin America’s material innovations. Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas tracks the evolution of goldworking between 1000 BC and the 16th century, bringing insights into how the Incans, Aztecs and others infused these art objects with spiritual meaning and purpose. From the collection of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros comes Making Art Concrete, which dives into the ways in which the Concrete art movement used industrial materials to articulate new forms of abstraction. “It was truly an international avant-garde movement,” explains co-curator Aleca Le Blanc, adding that the genre’s continued resonance is due to its practitioners’ “willingness to look past traditional media and process and to consider viewer participation.” The Getty Center, Los Angeles: Golden Kingdoms: Luxury And Legacy In The Ancient Americas, 16 September–28; January 2018; Making Art Concrete: Works From Argentina And Brazil In The Colección Patricia Phelps De Cisneros, 16 September–11 February 2018. 
 

Soul Searching at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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NAUFUS RAMÍREZ-FIGUEROA’S, A BRIEF HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE IN GUATEMALA, 2010–13, IN LACMA’S A UNIVERSAL HISTORY OF INFAMY.

Three exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) each offer a different thread to follow through the continuing history of Latino and Latin American art. Eagerly awaited is the retrospective of painter Carlos Almaraz, who died of AIDS in 1989 at age 48. A co-founder of Los Four, an influential collective of Chicano artists, Almaraz’s canvasses manage to be both darkly political and sublime. A Universal History of Infamy is one section of a three-part show introducing a new generation of artists who are puncturing traditional definitions of Latin American identity. Meanwhile, Found In Translation traces the ways in which 20th-century designers in California and Mexico influenced one another, sometimes in surprising ways. 

“After Richard Neutra gave his first lecture in Mexico in 1937, architects there looked to his California houses as inspiration, and Neutra helped bring recognition of Mexican achievements back to California,” says LACMA decorative arts and design curator Wendy Kaplan. Los Angeles County Museum Of Art: Playing With Fire: Paintings By Carlos Almaraz, Through 3 December; A Universal History Of Infamy, Through 19 February 2018; Found In Translation: Design In California And Mexico, 1915–1985, 17 September–1 April 2018.

Natural Wonders at the Huntington Library  

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JOSÉ MARÍA CARBONELL’S, LORANTHUS, AT THE HUNTINGTON. © HUNTINGTON LIBRARY    

With its rich flora, fauna, climates and terrains, Latin America has inspired artists and scientists throughout history, expanding our knowledge and perception of the natural world. In Visual Voyages, drawings, paintings, rare books and objects from the Huntington Library’s collection trace myriad visions of Latin America, from indigenous productions to colonial projections. Visual Voyages: Images Of Latin American Nature From Columbus To Darwin, Huntington Library, San Marino, 16 September–8 January 2018. 
 

The Hammer, MOCA and Gagosian Spotlight Influential Women  

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MARIE ORENSANZ’S LIMITADA (LIMITED), 1978, IN RADICAL WOMEN AT THE HAMMER.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ALEJANDRA VON HARTZ GALLERY

For Radical Women, the Hammer Museum fills its galleries with more than 100 Latino and Latin American female artists whose experimental works and unconventional ideas altered art’s evolution. Shining new light on icons as well as lesser-known practitioners, this exhibition is the first to place their influence in a cultural and political context.

“An artist is like an alchemist,” said Anna Maria Maiolino, “who in seeking to transform metal into gold, ends up transmuting his own being.” The Museum of Contemporary Art’s survey of Maiolino’s sculptures, woodcuts, films and performances doubles as a portrait of the multidisciplinary Italian-Brazilian artist as mother, migrant and pioneering creative mind. 

At Gagosian, the first Los Angeles exhibition of acclaimed Brazilian contemporary artist Adriana Varejão showcases two decades of her sumptuous and slyly political works, including a selection of her blue-and-white Azulejão (“big tile”) paintings and Transborroco, her sole video installation to date. Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 15 September–31 December. Anna Maria Maiolino, Moca Grand, Los Angeles, Through 31 December. Adriana Varejão: Interiors, Gagosian, Beverly Hills, 14 September–25 October.

proyectosLA Erases Borders

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THE FOUNDERS OF PROYECTOSLA: TRACY O'BRIEN, TERESA ITURRALDE AND PATRICIA FAJER.

Part platform for cultural exchange, part boundaries-blind commercial exhibition, proyectosLA showcases contemporary and Modern art from nineteen of Latin America’s most esteemed galleries. Founded by collector Tracy O’Brien, art adviser Teresa Iturralde and brand strategist Patricia Fajer (pictured above), the event will take place in an open-plan space designed by Mexican architect Ezequiel Farca. Curators Luiza Teixeira de Freitas and Claudia Segura have titled the exhibition Here the border is you, selecting paintings, sculptures and more from Brazil’s Galeria Nara Roesler and Galeria Vermelho, Argentina’s Nora Fisch and Henrique Faria, Chile’s Isabel Aninat, Mexico’s Galería OMR and Joségarcía, Peru’s Revolver Galería and still others from Guatemala, Colombia and the US. ProyectosLA, Wərkärtz Studio, Downtown Los Angeles, 16 September–28 October. 
 

A Chicano-Art Icon at Contemporary Arts Center Gallery

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     GILBERT LUJÁN’S EL FIREBOY Y EL MINGO, 1988, AT THE CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER GALLERY, IRVINE
© THE ESTATE OF GILBERT "MAGU" LUJÁN  COURTESY UC IRVINE

Gilbert Luján (1940–2011) was a force in the Chicano movement and a co-founder of Los Four who produced dreamlike murals, paintings and sculptures possessed of a ferocious yet tender spirit. His first survey explores the mythologies he created, which helped redefine Chicano identity. Aztlán to Magulandia: The Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert ‘Magu’ Luján, Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, UC Irvine, 7 October–16 December.  

For a full schedule of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibitions, performances, events and more, visit pacificstandardtime.org.

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