Brooklyn-based art writer Vittoria Benzine had never been to Los Angeles in the heart of autumn. She’d also never been to Montana, where she flew there from, until arriving in Big Sky country three weeks prior on a road trip from Santa Fe, cruising the country causing so much suffering. But it was driving up the California coast, in fact, one summer prior, where the phrase “bastard heiress” first got stuck in her head. The incredible landscapes she has so much love for, yet no claim to. In L.A. especially, she feels the land shaking her off. But still the people come. On the commercial gallery front, Benzine was struck by how many New York artists are on view in L.A. right now, alongside the city’s famed scene. This year’s edition of Made In L.A. at the Hammer Museum has made a big buzz, and local star Larry Li recently opened “ASK YOUR MA ABOUT ‘89” at the pioneering Inglewood-based Residency Art Gallery.
Benzine doesn’t believe it’s responsible to board an aircraft for a day-long jaunt, but she atoned for her 30 hours in L.A. with a 30 hour train ride to Chicago — and by cramming as much into the trip as possible, eating all meals with friends and reporting numerous stories. The last thing she did before setting off for Hollywood Burbank Airport was a mad dash to catch as many gallery shows as she could.
This show’s a meta-practice of Fred Wilson’s career, remixing the Bronx-born conceptual artist’s most recognizable works yet to date. The two-room spectacle first immerses viewers in immaculate glass, including teardrop installations that evoke Prince Rupert’s drops and stunning Murano chandeliers like the show’s title piece, “Dramatis Personae” (2022), embodying Wilson’s snappy treatises on the planet’s crushing power structures through poetry. The next room over collects museum-inspired artworks that altogether evoke Wilson’s legendary 1992 installation “Mining the Museum.” To that end, every part of this show is tactical, even the statues situated at its “fulcrum” to usher viewers between setups. Through December 22
These objectively beautiful paintings shimmer like an ambrosial morning mist in a secluded mountain meadow belonging to fairies. Interconnected tangles of forms in varied tones resolve at the exact cinematographic moment from mirages into sensual figures, poised to climax. Hei Di packs a powerful premise too, bursting past her constricting home environment towards expression, freedom, and acclaim. The release notes that several facets of this series draw heavily on the seminal wuxia film Green Snake (1993). Hei Di relates to the film’s title character “as a misunderstood outsider operating beyond the traditional heteronormative framework.” Through January 6
It’s crazy that this is the Mexican-German artist’s first show in Los Angeles. His style suits the city’s aesthetics so perfectly. Neon, aerosol, and sound layer across these series from the past two years debuted in public with this show, which is also surprising given the clip of Brüggemann’s career. Each work drives at the tipping point where words lose their meaning, commenting on this political moment. Brüggemann has risen to honor this occasion, too. One work in the show was made just this year for the Hollywood writers’ strike, and he composed a poem to accompany the exhibition. Most interestingly, “White Noise” will also host workshops during its run at the ‘Now or Never’ Education Lab. Through January 14
This is Caitlin Cherry’s first solo show with The Hole since she debuted at their Bowery space in 2020. I saw and was subsequently stunned by that exhibition, and it’s stuck with me ever since. From Luis De Jesus to Pace, presentation remains nearly as important as acid-hued paint in Cherry’s practice. “Womanizer” is a notably focused show that wraps viewers in two long paintings, along with a reflective wall where ashen pigment drips into thirst traps. Rather than warping her queens on canvas into tangles, Cherry’s latest work tiles imagery directly from social media, Getty Images, even her own selfies, if you can find them. Reality is already surreal enough as it is. Through December 30
Courtesy of Allouche Gallery
Everything is abstract if you look close enough. That’s just the nature of the beast. This group show proves it’s really true, demonstrating the versatility of a movement that’s anything but monolithic. One room alone spans the distinctive styles of New York-based Stanley Casselman, Dallas-based JM Rizzi, and Tucson-based Nick Georgiou. Each artist translates vastly different visual cues through equally unique material practices. Georgiou, for instance, has charmed the likes of Dolce & Gabbana with his scenes crafted from discarded books, while Rizzi pairs ascetic writing and urban decay for mixed media abstractions of oil stick, acrylic, aerosol, and more. Through January 5