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5 Must See Art Exhibitions in Los Angeles this January

From women in neon to the art of failure, here are five must-see art shows in January.

By / January 2, 2018

2017 has been a hell of a year, so you might want to soothe your hangover with some art. While the holiday period is generally quiet for the art world, there are still some great exhibitions on through December and January that are well worth checking out.

Here are five of the best!

 

 

Hugh Holland: Silver. Skate. Seventies.

M&B Gallery

HOLLYWOOD

Until January 31, 2018

Los Angeles is the birthplace of skateboarding, and photographer Hugh Holland was famously in the right place at the right time when he accidentally discovered a group of teenagers skating a drainage ditch in Laurel Canyon in the 1970s. The long drought had kick-started an underground skateboarding scene, and he set about documenting shirtless teenagers risking shattered bones in empty swimming pools and on homemade ramps. This exhibition showcases his earlier black and white photographs, which are less widely known than his color images.

 

 

She Bends: Women in Neon

MONA

GLENDALE

Until February 11, 2018

There’s something fascinating about neon lights. The colorful, vapor filled tubes have long had a low-brow connotation—a staple of dubious establishments like casinos, nightclubs, psychics, and vape lounges. In the art world, the medium is often associated with the austere installations of (mostly male) minimalists like Dan Flavin and Robert Irwin. With “She Bends,” curator Meryl Pataky aims to bring attention to female artists working with neon around the globe, while highlighting the fact that both the neon industry and the art world are still male-dominated in 2017.

 

 

Gary Simmons: Fade to Black

CAAM

EXPOSITION PARK

Until July 31, 2018

“Fade to black” is a well-known technique used in movies to signify an ending or a transition to a new scene, and anyone familiar with film history will recognize at least a few of the titles painted onto Gary Simmons’ huge canvases. A closer look reveals the lettering has been smudged, like text erased on a chalkboard, conjuring up the ghosts of actors of color who appeared in minor roles—and evoking their stories that were often neglected during the “golden age” of Hollywood.

 

 

Museum of Failure

A&D Museum

Until February 4, 2018

Everyone is familiar with the iPhone—you might even have one. But do you remember the Twitter “Peek,” a mobile device designed solely for tweeting? No? That’s probably because it was a total failure. It’s also hilariously stupid, like many of the other items on display at the Museum of Failure, like: the Donald Trump board game, self-destructing DVDs, and a facemask that supposedly makes you look younger by delivering electric shocks to your face. A must-see for product designers looking to keep their jobs.

 

 

Debra Scacco: The Narrows

Klowden Mann

January 13 to February 17, 2018

Deborah Scacco’s “The Narrows” refers to the stretch of water that 12 million+ immigrants sailed through to reach Ellis Island. She examines the reality of immigration through a body of poetic works that includes engraved glass, mirrors, thread, and wood, along with projected films.

 

By

Matthew O’Shannessy is a writer living in Los Angeles. He grew up in Tasmania, Australia and moved to LA via Melbourne where he joined an art collective and worked for the Melbourne International Film Festival. His work has been published in various magazines and he’s currently co-editing an arts anthology. He lives in Echo Park, but you can often find him scouting out the San Fernando Valley.

More articles by Matthew O'Shannessy

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