Your winter guide to Latinx art in LA

Art has always been an anchor through difficult times. So while the uncertainty about the pandemic continues, let art be your respite. Here are seven thought-provoking exhibits in Los Angeles that bring traditionally excluded Latinx tales to the forefront.

Narsiso Martinez, “Fruit Catcher” 2021, ink, charcoal, gold leaf and collage on cardboard, 20 x 15.50 “. Lent by the artist and Charlie James Gallery, photo: ofstudio.

“Soft leaves”
Charlie James Gallery
Through January 22nd

LA-based artist Narsiso Martinez draws on his lived experience as an immigrant and farm worker. In “Tender Leaves”, Martinez produces a new series of portraits and his most ambitious sculpture to date from discarded raw material boxes. The juxtaposition of his mixed-media works on the crisp white gallery walls causes the viewer / consumer to confront the often unseen reality behind our food system.

Javier Tapia and Camilo Ontiveros, “Liquid Light”, installation image. Lent by Vincent Price Art Museum, photo: Monica Orozco.

“Liquid light”
Vincent Price Art Museum
Through February 5th

“Liquid Light” is a multimedia-immersive installation and research project by artists Javier Tapia and Camilo Ontiveros, where water is the main character in a tale of abundance and scarcity. The exhibition is anchored by a serene and often meditative film that follows the journey of water from across the United States to Mexico and emphasizes the geopolitics of the natural landscape.

Clarissa Tossin, “Death by Heat Wave (Acer pseudoplatanus, Mulhouse Forest),” 2021, detail image, silicone, black pigment and bark, 62.4 feet x 36 feet. Lent by Commonwealth and Council, photo: Clément Wintz.

“Disorientation towards collapse”
January 15 – February 19
Commonwealth and Council

For the Brazilian-born artist, Clarissa Tossin, we can not continue to ignore our role in environmental disasters. In his solo exhibition, Tossin meditates on the world we build and destroy through ubiquitous materialism. The works include a corpse of silicone wood and weaves composed of Amazon delivery boxes that encourage us to rethink the upcoming course.

Gary Garay, “Rotaciones,” installation image. Lent by LaPau Gallery, photo: Monica Orozco.

“Rotations”
LaPau Gallery
January 15 – February 19

Artist Gary Garay’s recent exhibition focuses on the effects of transglobal exchange on the livelihoods of Baja California fishermen. Garay addresses a wave of poaching in black markets that took hold of the peninsula by working with abandoned shells, found wood and bricks. Pièce de résistance is a disco ball that rotates slowly, with four directional lights that reflect the mineral deposition of deep energetic forces from the sea.

Judy Baca, “Josefina: Sacrifice to the House Worker (Homenaje a la Trabaiadora Doméstica),” installation image. Lent by Museum of Latin American Art.

“Judy Baca: Memory of Our Land, a Retrospective”
Museum of Latin American Art
Until March

While Judy Baca has been included in major national group exhibitions, this is the first exhibition exploring the artist’s prolific 40-year career. “Memorias de Nuestra Tierra” is a fundamental figure in Chicago’s feminist art and muralism, and includes more than 110 works ranging from drawings, paintings, sculptures and performance art to photography, embodying her mission to create places with public memory. The show dives into three aspects of Baca’s artistic production: female power, public art, and a deep dive into Baca’s first masterpiece, “The Great Wall of Los Angeles.”

“Mixpantli: Space, Time, and the Indigenous Origins of Mexico,” installation view. Lent by Los Angeles County Museum of Art, photo © Museum Associates / LACMA.

“Mixpantli: Space, Time and the Origin of Mexico”
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Through May 1st

In Nahua, “Mixpantli” means “banner of the clouds” and reflects the Aztecs’ efforts to reorient time and space in the midst of impending change. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, “Mixpantli” explores conquest from the perspective of native artists and scholars. The thirty works, including maps by native cartographers, undermine traditional colonial tropics by emphasizing the centrality of Nahua’s worldview in shaping Mexico.

Gisela McDaniel, “Sakkan Eku LA,” installation screening. Lent by The Mistake Room, photo © Chris Nelson.

“Sakkan Eku LA”
The error room
Through May 7, 2022

For years, Gisela McDaniel, a diasporic native Chamorro artist, has used portraits as a platform for healing. Her latest installation is a public mural and soundscape produced in collaboration with survivors of various forms of violence. The subjects in these textured portraits have control over their representation. The artist’s transfer of power and gaze privileges the future possibilities of her subjects over the burdens of their past.

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