Los Angeles’s burgeoning gallery scene is offering an embarrassment of riches during Frieze Week, with a rash of openings timed for the fair’s opening day. Here’s our list of must-see gallery shows to check out while you’re in town.
“Will Gabaldón: This Must Be the Place” at Various Small Fires
Opening February 15
For his first show with Various Small Fires, Chicago artist Will Gabaldón has made a series of oil-on-panel landscape paintings of scenes rendered from memory—or even imagined. The exhibition’s title comes from the 1983 Talking Heads song “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody),” here suggesting a place that can only be encountered through art.
“The Rose Garden: Enrique Martinez Celaya” at UTA Artist Space
February 16–March 12, 2022
Enrique Martínez Celaya delves into our collective memories of crisis and chaos in an exhibition inspired by T.S. Eliot’s . Words from the writer’s poems are written on the floor of the gallery, which hosts large-scale paintings and sculptures meant to represent both our world and our inner selves. The artist also has solo shows at the at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Memorial Library (February 22–April 9) and the Fisher Museum of Art (through April 9.)
“Raqib Shaw” at Dries Van Noten
February 16–March 26, 2022
Dries van Noten is teaming up with Jeffrey Deitch and White Cube on a solo show of work by Raqib Shaw. His astonishingly detailed paintings are drawn from childhood memories of his mother’s garden in Kashmir, reimagined here in fantastical scenes where nature and the city collide.
“Momentary Pause” at Casa Perfect
February 17–March 18, 2022
Contemporary design, craft, art, `and technology come together in this group show about change and self-discovery organized by Future Perfect. Featured artists include Piet Hein Eek, John Hogan, Cody Hoyt, and Bradley L. Bowers.
“Anne Truitt: White Paintings” at Matthew Marks Gallery
February 17–April 2, 2022
This is the first show of Anne Truitt’s “Arundel” series since their debut at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1975. There, one critic reportedly called for the government to cut the institution’s public funding in response to the spartan works, which feature a uniform white background, a handful of graphite lines, and a few titanium white brushstrokes.
“Phyllida Barlow: Glimpse” at Hauser and Wirth
February 17–May 8, 2022
For her first L.A. solo show, Phyllida Barlow worked on site at the late-19th- and early-20th-century industrial buildings that house the gallery to create new large-scale works that are tall enough for viewers to walk under.
“Womanhouse” at Los Angeles Nomadic Division
February 18–April 2, 2022
It has been 50 years since Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro organized “Womanhouse,” an all-female art show about the home at an abandoned East Hollywood mansion, featuring the work of students from the CalArts Feminist Art Program in Los Angeles. LAND is partnering with Anat Ebgi Gallery on a new exhibition exploring the spirit of experimentation and collaboration that fueled the project and West Coast Feminist art in the first half of the ’70s, with work from the period and ephemera and photographs from the original “Womanhouse.”
“Luncheon on the Grass” at Jeffrey Deitch
February 19–April 23, 2022
Taking a page from art history 101, Jeffrey Deitch presents a group show of over 30 contemporary artists reimagining Édouard Manet’s (1863), considered by many to be the first Modern paining. Following in the footsteps of luminaries from Claude Monet to Pablo Picasso are new works by the likes of Nina Chanel Abney, Karen Kilimnik, Naudline Pierre, Christina Quarles, Walter Robinson, and Salman Toor, as well as a 1979 Robert Colescott.
“Leilah Babirye: Ebika Bya ba Kuchu mu Uganda (Kuchu Clans of Buganda)” at Gordon Robichaux
February 20–April 3, 2022
In her wood and ceramic sculptures, Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye imagines an alternate queer history for the Bugandan clan system that still shapes the culture of the city of Kampala. These statues take their name from a code word used among the region’s trans community, elevating trash and other found materials to create totems that celebrate a group threatened under Ugandan law. Babirye herself sought asylum in the U.S. due to the anti-gay discrimination and criminalization she faced at home.
“Noelia Towers: Opening an Umbrella Indoors” at De Boer
Through February 26, 2022
Chicago painter Noelia Towers was born in Barcelona, where, according to family lore, she was cursed from infancy when her parents refused to give a Romani woman money on the day of the artist’s baptism. She likens that bad luck to that of opening an umbrella indoors, the title of the show and the subject one of the exhibition’s works, painted in photorealistic style based on photos Towers took of herself.
“Rachel Harrison: Caution Kneeling Bus” at Regen Projects
Through February 26, 2022
Catch new works from Rachel Harrison, who uses readymade objects to make handmade, abstract sculptures. She’s also debuting paintings based on photos taken with the smartphone app Scanner Pro. Harrison sparingly paints atop partially distorted landscapes featuring glitches generated by the app’s algorithm.
“Jonas Wood: Plants and Animals” at David Kordansky Gallery
Through March 5, 2022
Made over the last three years, the colorful, highly detailed paintings in Jonas Wood’s new show started out as photographs, drawings, and collages before reaching their final form in oil and acrylic canvases. These scenes of interior spaces and the natural world seemingly come to life in their vibrancy.
“I Do My Own Stunts” at Spazio Amanita
Through March 7, 2022
Spazio Amanita has brought together a buzzy list of woman painters—Cristina de Miguel, Mickey Lee, Ruby Neri, and Karyn Lyons, among others—for this group show celebrating the physicality of art-making. Unlike massive workshops, these artists “do their own stunts,” so to speak, allowing the voice of the woman creator to retain its power.
“Tori Wrånes: Mussel Tears” at Shulamit Nazarian
Through March 12, 2022
Combining elements of performance, sound, painting, and sculpture, multi-disciplinary artist Tori Wrånes mines her birthplace, the fishing town of Kristiansand, Norway, for inspiration for her own fantastical world. A soundtrack of foghorn sounds periodically in the galleries, while sculptures borrow the form of oblong mussels shells a vital, if threatened part of the local ecosystem that helps filter the coastal waters.
“Olafur Eliasson: Your Light Spectrum and Presence” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery Through April 2, 2022
Olafur Eliasson’s long-term fascination with visible light can be seen—no pun intended—in this exhibition of 11 circular paintings from his “color experiment” series, dating from 2012 to 2021. Created in consultation with a color chemist, the paintings attempt to match an exact tone of paint to each nanometer of light in the spectrum.
“Digital Combines” at Honor Fraser
Through April 2, 2022
The 20th century had Robert Rauschenberg and his combines. Now, the age of NFTs brings us “Digital Combines” at Honor Fraser, a potential new genre proposed by artist Claudia Hart that allows physical paintings and a related digital file with relevant metadata to become one single conceptual object. The group show features Nancy Baker Cahill, Jakob Dwight, Claudia Hart, Tim Kent, Gretta Louw, LoVid, Sara Ludy, Daniel Temkin, and Saya Woolfalk, with contributing scholar Charlotte Kent.