1) Radical Resistance To Xenophobia | Grady Alexis Gallery ArtUnited, an establishment that supports art for social justice, has put together a group exhibition of both emerging and established artists who are responding to concepts of immigration within their art. A short show, only two weeks long, but one filled with 20 impassioned artists who are exploring diversity, identity, and multiculturalism within their individual art forms. The exhibition is to serve as a visual arena to create a deeper conversation about how American institutions and worldwide efforts of immigration policies, intolerance, and xenophobia are shaping individuals. By melding contemporary art with concepts of social justice and human rights, ArtUnited has created an event that will be both visually stimulating and critically engaging. All proceeds of the tickets also go to ArtUnited's efforts towards highlighting social causes through visual arts, as well as their continuing work with other organizations that defend migrants' rights and refugees.
LiminalMe, Playful Nudity #3, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Vigil For A Horseman, 2017. Courtesy of the New Museum.
2) Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song For A Cipher | New Museum In a exhibition that features her new body of work, British artist, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye continues her bold, oil painted portraits. One of the leading painters of her generation, Yiadom-Boakye feature many of the same aspects of historical European paintings, However her subjects are imagined characters of short stories also of her own making. These subjects are almost always black and represent both a certain political statement, but are also autobiographical, associated with her West African heritage. Much like the historical framework she is appropriating, Yiadom-Boakye paints these subjects in quiet, idle moments. Utilizing the viewer's imagination and interpretation, Yiadom-Boakye allows them to discern narratives and contextualize the topics' place in time.
3) Crochet Coral Reef: Toxic Seas | Museum of Art and Design An ongoing project since 2005, sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim, along with their Los Angles-based foundation, the Institute for Figuring, have been crocheting an underwater abyss. With a mixture of crocheted yarn and plastic trash, they have created a visualization of the problem that plagues our oceans. Climate change, pollution, and human inhabitance are all obviously effecting the health of the oceanic ecosystems. These aspects are the inspiration that drives the Wertheim sister's decade long project. The exhibition features three "habitats", each consisting of weaved intricate, diverse corals. As both a personal expression and a call to arms, the Wertheim sisters and their institution bring the beauty and tragedy of the ocean to the forefront and encourage a response.
Institute for Figuring, Crochet Coral Reef, ongoing. Courtesy of MAD Museum.
Emil Nolde, Head in Profile, 1919. Courtesy of Norton Simon Museum.
4) Maven of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in California | Norton Simon Museum One of the leading dealers responsible for bringing European modernism to North American, German art dealer Galka Scheyer, single-handedly created a market following the Great Depression and World War II. Known best for creating the "Blue Four", made up of Paul Klee, Vasily Kandinsky, Alexei Jawlensky, and Lyonel Feininger, Scheyer became their leading spokesman and salesman. By not only arranging exhibitions, negotiating sales, and publishing documentation on their works, Scheyer affirmed their and modernism's place in California. This exhibition features Scheyer's personal collection of these artists along with works by Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, and other masters from the early movement. A critical framework is created and efficiently explored by the Norton Simon Museum in this unique piece of history.
5) Nari Ward: Sun Splashed | Institute of Contemporary Art Boston The maker of very unusual mediums, Nari Ward, is being featured in the largest survey of his work to date. Working with anything from shoelaces to battery canisters, Ward explores large scale installations along with many other mediums such as performance art, photography, and video work. Among his many mediums, Ward focuses his work on the everyday life, communities, and history. As many of his materials are found objects from his real life, Ward utilizes these to create his conversations. Originally hailing for Jamaica, Ward is especially interested in these aspects associated with immigration, citizenship, and the economy of various communities. Visually astounding sculptures mixed with encompassing installations showcases Ward's versatile body of work and that his capacity for creativity is never ending.
Nari Ward, We The People, shoelaces, 2011. Courtesy of ICA Boston.