Ocula: Los Angeles Lowdown: Must-See Exhibitions

February 8, 2023

Elaine YJ Zheng

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Anticipating Frieze Los Angeles (16–19 February 2023) and its 120 exhibiting galleries at Santa Monica Airport, Ocula Magazine shares the must-see exhibitions around the city, which set the tone for what we would like to see more of this year. 

Friedrich Kunath: I Don't Know The Place, But I Know How To Get There
Blum & Poe, 2727 South La Cienega Blvd
14 January–25 February 2023 

Light wooden floors and beamed ceilings at Blum & Poe temporarily salvage Friedrich Kunath's playful landscapes from the sterility of gallery whites. Kunath's work conceives of places that do not exist, mirroring the empty promises of cities like Los Angeles. 

Men in tailcoats confront the vastness of nature with smartphones in hand, while bright vehicles overtake sober landscapes making obvious the human intrusion. From landscapes shrouded in mist, broken with abstraction, or submerged in darkness, romantic ideals are recovered to speak to present nostalgia. We always assert life was better back then. 

Best articulated in Coming Home Was As Beautiful As Going Away (2022), recollection can be a wonderful thing when it is not used to escape the present. In the oil on canvas work, letters from the title align at the top of a mountain, gradually jumping into a purple-pink sunset. 

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