This month’s selections offer Day-Glo wonder and enticing textures, beneath which lie more complicated themes. Both Aryana Minai’s color-saturated paper-pulp paintings and Joey Terrill’s Pop-pastiches resemble portals to other worlds built on loss, memory, and survival. Three group shows — ART IRAN, Scratching at the Moon, and I Will Meet You Again — focus on artistic strategies to connect with community and home. Kritsy Moreno and Judithe Hernández provide complimentary visions of feminist Chicanx art, channeling resistance through beauty and charm. Edgar Fabián Frías and Wanda Koop smuggle subversion and critique beneath maximalist and minimalist forms, respectively.
Aryana Minai: Soft Waters Heard Here
Aryana Minai’s vibrant paper-pulp paintings are tangible manifestations of diaspora, memory, and a longing for home. The Iranian-American artist was born in Los Angeles but spent her childhood in Tehran before moving back to the US as an adolescent. The decorative patterns in her works recall Islamic motifs of the courtyard walls of Iranian gardens, while their large, vertical format is based on the dimensions of flatbed truck beds used by day laborers working in construction and landscaping throughout Southern California. Into the paper pulp of some works, she embeds seeds, hopeful symbols of roots to come.
Shulamit Nazarian (shulamitnazarian.com)
616 North LaBrea Avenue, Fairfax, Los Angeles
Through February 10
Kristy Moreno: The Company We Keep
Kristy Moreno’s ceramic sculptures resemble totems of female solidarity, drawing on numerous sources of feminist empowerment. Her squat, brown figures pull from 1950s Chicanx lowrider culture, ’70s underground punk, and ’90s riot grrrl aesthetics, with nods to Indigenous futurism and motifs. Swaddled in pastel tones and adorned with Spanish terms like chula (cute) and chingona (badass), her interwoven crew of women balances sweetness with defiance.
Ochi Gallery (ochigallery.com)
3301 West Washington Boulevard, Arlington Heights, Los Angeles
Through February 10
Edgar Fabián Frías: The Museum Of Multidimensional Mutant Maps
With their irreverent techno-psychedelia, Edgar Fabián Frías challenges the subjective and colonial nature of Western cartography in favor of a more open-ended and expansive map-making system. Drawing inspiration from the Wixárika (Huichol) people’s Nierika technique, a traditional craft that incorporates yarn, beads, and other objects to depict symbolic images of flora and fauna, Frías creates paintings, sculptures, videos, and interactive installations that subvert linear portrayals of time and space.
The Philosophical Research Society (prs.org)
3910 Los Feliz Boulevard, Los Feliz, Los Angeles
Through February 24
Joey Terrill: Still Here
Joey Terrill’s vibrant, eye-catching artwork reflects his multi-faceted identity as an artist, activist, advocate, and gay Chicano man living with AIDS. Still Here presents selections from his ongoing still-life series, which he began in the late 1990s. The Pop-inspired paintings depict an array of quotidian items and consumables: food, grooming products, and the HIV medication he takes daily. Sometimes a portrait of a deceased lover or friend hangs in the background. Painted with bright colors on sensationally patterned backdrops, these still-lifes covey the agony, ecstasy, and mundanity of Terrill’s daily life.
Marc Selwyn Fine Art (marcselwynfineart.com)
9953 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California
Through March 3
The Outsiders from the Other Side
Nine contemporary artists from Tijuana come together to present heterogeneous forms of Mexican art that are influenced by the city’s proximity to the US, which they describe in their exhibition statement as “at once part of our city and at the same time another dimension.” This cross-border multivalence manifests itself in myriad ways, including the assemblages of Mariel Miranda and Alejandro Zacharías, Damariz Aispuro’s maximalist collages, the blown-glass sculptures of the Hermanos de la Torre duo, Toni Larios’s unsettlingly intimate masks, and the work of several others.
Track 16 (track16.com)
1206 Maple Avenue, Suite 1005, Fashion District, Los Angeles
Through March 9
Wanda Koop: Objects of Interest
Beneath the placid surface of Wanda Koop’s spare paintings runs a dark undercurrent. In the background of her bucolic landscapes, characterized by a low horizon and large full moon, there are often signs of ecological distress, such as a burning oil well or smoking towers of a nuclear power plant. Objects of Interest introduces new work by the 72-year-old Winnipeg-based painter that references her Ukrainian heritage, including a cross dotted with flowers that acts as a memorial to her grandmother, who died during the Russian Revolution, after which her family emigrated to Canada.
Night Gallery (nightgallery.ca)
2276 East 16th Street, Downtown, Los Angeles
Through March 9
ART IRAN: Falling Into Language
ART IRAN: Falling Into Language features nine artists from throughout the Iranian diaspora who incorporate elements of the Persian alphabet into their paintings, installations, and sculptures. Rather than viewing text strictly as a vehicle for language, these artists often focus on the symbolic or aesthetic qualities of letterforms, connecting them to Persian culture while highlighting their own sense of alienation and dislocation. Organized through an ongoing collaboration between Craft Contemporary and the Farhang Foundation, the exhibition includes work by Parastou Forouhar, Taraneh Hemami, Hadieh Shafie, Maryam Palizgir, Shadi Yousefian, Neda Moridpour, Pouya Afshar, Elnaz Javani, and Golnar Adili.
Craft Contemporary (craftcontemporary.org)
5814 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles
Through May 5
Scratching at the Moon
Scratching at the Moon is a group show featuring an intergenerational group of 13 Asian-American artists based in Los Angeles. Curated by participating artist Anna Sew Hoy and ICA LA Executive Director Anne Ellegood, the exhibition highlights not only a diverse selection of work but also the artists‘ networks of community, teaching, and activism, including Gyopo and the AAPI Arts Network. Participating artists include Patty Chang, Vishal Jugdeo, Simon Leung, Amanda Ross-Ho, Miljohn Ruperto, Amy Yao, Bruce Yonemoto, and others.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (theicala.org)
1717 East 7th Street, Downtown, Los Angeles
Through May 12
I Will Meet You Yet Again: Contemporary Sikh Art
This show at the Fowler Museum looks at Sikh notions of “home,” focusing on the socio-religious community comprising around 25 million devotees globally, making it the world’s fifth-largest religion. Featuring over 40 contemporary works spanning painting, textiles, sound art, and digital media, the exhibition is divided into three parts — sangarsh (struggle), basera (home), and birha (longing) — reflecting the upheavals that Sikhs have faced since the Partition of India in 1947 and forms of resistance and mutual support they have created. California is an especially important center of Sikh diasporic life, serving as home to half of the nationwide Sikh population of 500,000. Participating artists include Arpana Caur, Kanwal Dhaliwal, Bholla Javed, Rupy Kaloti, Sunroop Kaur, and many others.
Fowler Museum at UCLA (fowler.ucla.edu)
308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood, Los Angeles
Through May 26
Judithe Hernández: Beyond Myself, Somewhere, I Wait for My Arrival
A major retrospective of the work of Judithe Hernández, this exhibition spans the 50-year career of the influential Chicana artist. She began working as a muralist in the 1960s, painting murals for the United Farm Workers with Chicano artist Carlos Almaraz, and would later become the fifth and only female member of the seminal artist collective Los Four. As an individual painter and muralist, she has explored themes of Chicanismo, Latinidad, and feminism, synthesizing mythological, historical, and contemporary events. The exhibition features over 1oo works from her Adam & Eve; Juárez, México; and Colonization series, as well as a video focused on her early murals.
The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum (riversideartmuseum.org)
3581 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, California
February 3–August 4