Hyperallergic: Your Concise Los Angeles Art Guide for February 2023

Matt Stromberg, Hyperallergic, January 30, 2023

Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including Alicia Piller, Brad Phillips, Mulyana, the MexiCali Biennial, and more.

February is a big time in the Los Angeles art world, with four art fairs (Frieze, Felix, Spring Break, and the LA Art Show) coming to town later this month (not to mention Museums Free-For-All day). Galleries and museums here are mounting ambitious shows to take advantage of the moment. These include Alicia Piller’s Laocoönical assemblages at Craft Contemporary, Trulee Hall’s phantasmagorical multi-media environments at Rusha & Co, and the Fowler Museum’s show of Amir Fallah’s captivating paintings that pull from centuries of high and low visual culture. The peripatetic MexiCali Biennial touches down at the Cheech in Riverside with their latest edition focused on the contested histories of food and agriculture throughout California and Mexico, while UC Irvine’s Contemporary Arts Center Gallery presents British sibling duo Jane and Louise Wilson’s video installations that dig into the Cold War and its contemporary echoes.


Bridget Mullen: Sensory Homunculus

Bridget Mullen: Sensory Homunculus, Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, January 7 - February 10, 2023


A sensory homunculus is a scientific figure of a human that illustrates how much of our brain is dedicated to controlling certain areas of the body. Its hand and mouth are monstrously oversized, given the exceptional neurological resources devoted to them. Bridget Mullen’s solo show at Shulamit Nazarian takes its name from the goblin-like creature, and her paintings elicit a similar sense of corporeal unease. With a nod to surrealism and psychedelia, she grapples with the tension between abstraction and figuration, as pools, blobs, and skeins of paint transform into body parts, hair, and effluvia. For both Mullen and the homunculus, representation is not limited to the visually mimetic.


Amir H. Fallah: The Fallacy of Borders

Amir H. Fallah, Urn, 2022. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.
Amir Fallah draws on a rich mixture of sources, from Persian miniatures to children’s books, botanical illustrations, maps, and textile patterns to compose his vibrant, maximalist paintings. Born in Iran during the tumult of the Islamic Revolution, Fallah emigrated with his family to the US at age 7. He came of age in the punk and street art scenes of the 1990s, and co-founded seminal art and design publication Beautiful/Decay as a photocopied and stapled zine when he was just a teenager. The Fallacy of Borders, his first museum show in Los Angeles, presents painting, sculpture, stained glass, and printed matter that reflect his own experiences with migration, material culture, and multi-faceted identity.
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