The LOS ANGELES GALLERIES are full of new exhibitions showcasing new works by leading black artists. The intergenerational roster includes Amoako Boafo, June Edmonds, Rashid Johnson, Lorna Simpson and Betye Saar, all of whom have coincident museum exhibits and public art projects in various venues across the country.
LORNA SIMPSON, “Recurring”, 2021 (ink and silkscreen on gessoed fiberglass, 259.1 x 365.8 x 3.5 cm / 102 x 144 x 1 3/8 inches). | © Lorna Simpson, courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by James Wang
For his first exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, Lorna simpson features new paintings from her Ice series, dramatic landscapes in deep blue and brooding gray that explore the force of nature, and collage works that reimagine images from Ebony and Jet magazines. In the courtyard of the gallery, she presents new sculptures stacked.
“Amoako Boafo: Singular duality: me, I can do us” @ Roberts Projects, 5801 Washington Blvd. | Sep 18-Nov 6, 2021
Amoako Boafo presents for the first time a new series of portraits with elements of shadow. Boafo represents himself wearing a Mickey Mouse cap. The young man in “Yellow Beret” (2021) puts on a sweater with a portrait of Boafo, channeling Collaboration summer 2021 with Dior. His subjects also include friend and fellow artist Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe. Boafo, of Ghanaian origin, divides his time between Vienna, Austria and Accra.
“Rashid Johnson: Black and Blue” @ David Kordansky Gallery, 5130 W. Edgewood Place. | 18 Sep-Oct 30, 2021
“Black and Blue” presents all new paintings, bronze sculptures, works on paper and a 35mm film from Rachid Johnson. The works expand on the Brooklyn-based artist’s Anxious Men series, introducing a spectrum of blues ranging from a vivid sky blue to an almost black navy blue.
Johnson recently launched two mosaic panels installed in the lobby of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Title, “The Broken Nine”, the works also come from his series Anxious Men. At the Storm King Art Center in Windsor, NY, his outdoor installation “Crisis” is visible until November 8.
“Betye Saar: Black Doll Blues” @ Roberts Projects, 5801 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA | Sep 18-Nov 6, 2021
A rare presentation, this exhibition is inspired by Betye Sarrecollection of black dolls. Flat rendering watercolor portraits, produced in 2020 and 2021, are on display for the first time. The works are presented in conversation with “Rock-a-bye Black Babies” (2021), a sculptural installation of the artist’s dolls, stacked and arranged like this, on a wooden rocking chair. The gallery is publication of a catalog to document the exhibition. The volume is due out in December.
“Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight”, a rare study of in situ installations made between 1980 and 1998, opens at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami on October 28.
“June Edmonds: joy of other suns” @ Luis De Jesus Gallery, 1110 Mateo Street. | Sep 4 Oct 4 30, 2021
The vibrant and curvilinear abstractions of June Edmonds have a story. Recalling travel itineraries and topographical cartography, her latest works explore race, history and the Great Migration, paying homage to the black pioneers and early landowners of Southern California.
This gallery exhibition coincides with “June Edmonds: full spectrum”, a 40-year investigation of Edmonds at the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Edmonds also recently installed a mural in La Jolla, Calif., and she gives the Russell Lecture at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego on October 27. CT
A revised and expanded edition of “Lorna Simpson”, the artist’s Phaidon monograph will be released in November. “Collages by Lorna Simpson” presents his portraits based on reinvented images from Ebony and Jet magazines. Posted a few months ago, “Rashid Johnson: the hikers” explores the works that the artist has exhibited at the Aspen Art Museum, Museo Tamayo and Hauser & Wirth. At 440 pages, the volume is described as a “massive collection”. Roberts Projects is publication of a catalog to document the current exhibition of black dolls by Betye Saar. The volume is due out in December. Recent publications exploring his work include “Betye Saar: call and response” and “Betye Saar: The Black Girl’s Window” A pair of volumes accompanied great retrospectives: “Betye Saar: Always the ticking” and “Betye Saar: Uncomfortable dancer.” From Roberts Projects, “Amoako Boafo: I see myself” was published on the occasion of the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery. In early 2022, Roberts Projects published a monographic study by Amoako Boafo.
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