LA Weekly: 12 Must-See Exhibitions This Art Season

September 9, 2021

Shana Nys Dambrot

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Typically, an art world Fall season preview (not to mention the arts calendars covering the first three weekends of September) speaks to a flurry of activity. A raft of Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights divided into 15-minute segments, cross-town dashes and so much hugging. This year, things are a little different. Galleries are not entirely getting back into the opening reception game; and while many are, during the pandemic we’ve become accustomed to seeing shows on our own time during the weeks or months while they’re on view. This arrangement may lack the selfie-strewn intoxication of the opening night network, but it does offer a deeper and more mindful encounter with the art. I say keep that measured pace and safer, more intimate viewing energy going. Along with the relative calm of lower capacity museum visiting and hybrid/virtual companion programming for those who have their reasons, it’s one habit from the pandemic that I hope we don’t kick.

Umar Rashid at Blum & Poe 

When the Weekly reviewed a recent exhibition by Rashid (aka Frohawk Two Feathers), we wrote that the artist, “practices a cheerful, bloody anti-Imperialist critique of colonialism in his art, using an eccentric folkloric visual style to radically reimagine power structures of geopolitical violence. He regularly generates fantastical, fully imagined societal mythologies – sweeping sagas of war, conquest, religion, enslavement, revolution and state-sponsored pageantry. For most of this enterprise the timing and location of these epics has been along the distant past/parallel universe/counterfactual history continuum, with densely detailed, finely narrated and character-driven narratives that seemed both familiar and plausible as far-off, untold origin stories.” Increasingly, these stories are overlaid with the Angeleno mythology; and his star-turn at the Hammer’s 2020 Made in L.A. biennial was also thoroughly impressive. We can’t wait to experience the new work being created for his forthcoming solo show this Fall.

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