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Olivia Gauthier

Olivia Gauthier is a writer based in Los Angeles.

Jennifer West: Future Forgetting

Jennifer West’s exhibition Future Forgetting, curated by David Matorin and currently installed at JOAN Los Angeles, is an ode to the iconic Los Angeles Sixth Street Bridge. It is also West’s first solo show in her hometown in nearly eight years.

The Condition of Being Addressable

On view at the ICA LA, an intergenerational group show of contemporary artists takes on the broad topic of identity politics as a lived experience, or, as the exhibition is titled, The Condition of Being Addressable.

Judy Chicago: Los Angeles

What Judy Chicago: Los Angeles truly showcases is how Chicago grappled early on with her place in a male dominated discourse. We see the methods through which she challenged and defied normative conventions, working to define a practice that would push the dialogue of contemporary art forward in the direction of feminist interests.

Sadie Barnette: The New Eagle Creek Saloon

For The New Eagle Creek at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Sadie Barnette’s first solo museum exhibition, the artist has reimagined her father’s historic bar with a glittering fictional patina. The installation, a version of which originally debuted at The Lab in San Francisco, functions as both a physical archive of the bar as well as a space to be activated by visitors, where coming together in each other’s company is foregrounded as something to be celebrated.

Made in L.A. 2020: a version

Conceived prior to the 2020 election and before “coronavirus” became common terminology, the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. 2020: a version, offers a trenchant and diverging array of artworks under the auspice of locality—Los Angeles as a lens, however ambiguous.

Joan Didion: What She Means

How does one paint a picture of an author’s life in visual form? Hilton Als’s latest curatorial project, Joan Didion: What She Means, currently on view at the Hammer Museum, posits an example of what an exhibition as a portrait can be.

Felipe Baeza: Through the Flesh to Elsewhere

Baeza’s figurative practice is rooted in the poetics of viewing another body: the depth of layered materials abstracts the image of the body, rendering it partially visible and partially cloaked, and giving visual form to the concept of the fugitive body.

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art, 1972–1985

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles presents an affirmative and celebratory survey of a less-studied yet deeply influential movement that presents a historical background for some of the trends we see in contemporary art today.

Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor

Entering the Geffen Contemporary, the entryway lights are dimmed, eyes adjust to reveal a chandelier of white underwear, 29 Palms Chandelier (2019), flooding the room with a pink-hued light. Above the foyer to the main gallery Pipilotti Rist greets “guests” (as she refers to visitors) in the form of her infamous video Open My Glade (Flatten) (2000–17), squishing her face against a glass surface, the artist’s aim break through the video screen is forefronted as you enter into the main exhibition space.

Peggy Ahwesh: Heart_Land

“She said, the center cannot hold,” Marianne Shaneen narrates over meditative drone footage of Lebanon, Kansas projected on a split-screen. This phrase in the opening sequence of Peggy Ahwesh’s 2019 video installation Kansas Atlas (2019) is an apt description for the practice of the vanguard experimental film and video artist.

Witch Hunt

resented at The Hammer Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Witch Hunt organized by curators Connie Butler and Anne Ellegood showcases the work of 16 female-identified artists across varying mediums and from a global lens. Representing 13 different countries, the 15 projects in the two-pronged exhibition probe and expand what feminist art looks like and what questions it asks, while highlighting the significance of performance and video-based work in feminist art practice.

Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again

Shirin Neshat has been negotiating her experience as an immigrant and artist in exile through art for over three decades, brought together in a harmonious labyrinth of poetry, music, film and photography in the largest survey to date of her remarkable career. I Will Greet the Sun Again, curated by Ed Schad, brings together over 30 years of photography, video, and film, offering viewers an opportunity to immerse themselves in Neshat’s sublime menagerie of engrossing images, still and moving. Laden with a collective catharsis, Neshat’s work across mediums centers a female perspective as a voice for universally experienced traumas of political upheaval, forced exile, and the diasporic condition.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues