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Top 3 This Week

Let Lindsay Preston Zappas curate your art viewing experiences this week. Here are our Top 3 picks of what not to miss. Scroll down for Insider stories.

Hammer Projects: Vamba Bility, installation view, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, January 20 - May 19, 2024. Photo: Jeff McLane

1. Vamba Bility at The Hammer Museum

Organized by the Hammer Museum’s curatorial associate Ikechúkwú Onyewuenyi and curatorial assistant Nyah Ginwright, Hammer Projects: Vamba Bility presents a series of multidisciplinary works by Vamba Bility that are a confluence of painting, textile, found objects, sound, and the gallery’s architecture. Bility’s work is an exercise in engaging with the apparatus of the canvas and moving beyond its framework. Here, canvases are intentionally placed off the wall or are cut open to introduce textiles. Bility’s manipulations remind us that a painting is something that is built. He not only pushes beyond the framework of the canvas but also imposes his own presence. 

Bility leaves his trace in the most unsuspecting of places. In the apse of the gallery, the artist carefully positioned a piece of wood. In another instance, he left one stroke of paint on the gallery wall - a spontaneous decision made by the artist during the show’s installation. 

On view: January 20 – May 19, 2024 Open map

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Erin Wright, The Thief, acrylic on canvas, 2023. Photo: Mason Kuehler

2. Erin Wright at Sow & Tailor

Erin Wright’s first solo exhibition at Sow & Tailor, The Host, The Thief, The Wives, and Their Lovers, uses the dinner party as an avenue for exploring human behavior and societal norms. The show centers around two large-scale works and features several smaller vignettes, resulting in a captivating, dramatic, and cinematic visual narrative. Wright transcends the mundanity of the subject matter with humorous and enchanting encounters. In The Thief (2023), we get a front-row seat to a cat ready to pounce on a whole fish at a freshly set dinner table. In Uninvited Guest (2023), close inspection reveals a frog amongst a bowl of leafy greens. 

Formally trained as both a painter and an architect, Wright demonstrates immaculate attention to detail and realism in this latest series. Her acrylic on canvas still-life paintings remove the artist’s presence from the work, which is seemingly absent of brushstrokes, appearing instead digitally produced. 

On view: February 10 – March 9, 2024 Open map

Ana González, MORROMICO, diptych sublimation printing on roughened tarp, 2023  © Ana González Courtesy: the artist and Sean Kelly, New York/Los Angeles

3. Ana González at Sean Kelly Gallery

VERDES at Sean Kelly Gallery is artist Ana González’s first solo exhibition in the United States. The series of paintings, textiles, works on paper, and sculptures are informed by the landscapes of the artist’s native Colombia and serve as a warning against the capitalist extraction of the land. The green hue used on works on canvas like ARARACUARA (2023) or the large-scale sublimation prints on roughened tarp like MORROMICO (2023) are not only references to vegetation but also to the U.S. dollar. In some works like MACARENA (2023), the roughened tarp appears shredded, extending onto the gallery floor. 

Exhibited on a wooden table, a dazzling series of Limoges white porcelain Cattleyas, orchids native to South America, are displayed like a scientific study. González’s formal techniques strengthen the crucial commentary behind her work, namely nature’s duality; it is at once precarious and fragile, yet contains an inherent “political and spiritual power.”

On view: January 20 – March 9, 2024 Open map

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Gallery Talk: Vamba Bility

Gallery talk is your insider look into the stories of gallerists, curators, and artists in the Los Angeles art community.

Hammer Projects: Vamba Bility, installation view, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, January 20 - May 19, 2024. Photo: Jeff McLane

Material interventions and the diasporic experience

On January 31st, curatorial associate Ikechúkwú Onyewuenyi guided visitors through Vamba Bility’s solo exhibition at the Hammer Museum. Onyewuenyi noted that Bility, beyond his formal playfulness and material interventions, was informed by his experience as a diasporic artist with roots in Côte D’Ivoire and the Republic of Guinea. Onyewuenyi pointed out the use of synthetic polypropylene yarn, which has buoyant properties, in some of Bility’s works, thereby alluding to the “woven experience” of migration across waters. 

In a recent interview with Flaunt, Bility was asked about the use of weaving in this latest body of work. “Fiber engagements were all around me growing up in West Africa,” he noted. “[...] I wanted this body of work to engage with the Vault space at the Hammer Museum as it relates to the diasporic existence, being and processing through these various materials and modes of approaches.”


Lindsay Preston Zappas is KCRW's Arts Correspondent and the founder/ editor-in-chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (Carla).

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