ARTISTS

Featured Artist

The “Featured Artist” page archives the artworks that grace the homepage of the LARB website every week. Each gallery compiles four images of works, followed by a short text. This section reflects LARB’s longstanding commitment to honor not only verbal but also visual culture, and to increase the reach of artists not only from the United States but from all across the world. The art on the homepage and the gallery archive is an ongoing nonverbal contribution to the larger conversation between here and there, between the past, present, and future, that LARB seeks to foster.

Blondell Cummings

Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures is an exhibition on the seminal choreographer and video artist at Art + Practice in collaboration with the Getty Research Institute (GRI). It is the first exhibition and publication presented by the GRI’s African American Art History Initiative and the first museum exhibition of the artist. The exhibition includes performance documentation and interviews, photographs, and more from her lesser known or rarely-seen work.

Cummings was known for her stop-motion movement vocabulary as “moving pictures” where she merged moving images with post-modern and Black dance forms. These dances combined the visual imagery of photography and the dynamism and improvisation of movement as an exploration of intimacy and affect in mundane movement and ritual as well as the intimacy of Black home life.

Cummings was born in Effingham, South Carolina but was raised in Harlem, New York City and began dance study in the New York public schools. She attended New York University’s School of Education, did graduate work in film and photography at Lehman College, and continued serious dance study at the schools of Martha Graham, José Limón, and Alvin Ailey, along with Eleo Pomare, Thelma Hill, and Walter Nicks. She was also deeply influenced by choreographers who worked across mediums, including Meredith Monk, Yvonne Rainer, and Elaine Summers. In 1969, she became a founding member of Monk’s company The House, where she danced for ten years. In 1978 Cummings formed the Cycle Arts Foundation, a discussion/ performance workshop focused on familial issues including menopause, caregiving, rituals of the everyday, and art-making—emphasizing her commitment to relating the arts to everyday life. She toured extensively in the 1980s and 90s, and by the 2000’s she was a fixture of New York City’s downtown dance community and a committed educator. In 2006, her dance Chicken Soup (1981) was deemed an American Masterpiece by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The exhibition runs until February 19, 2022.

 

Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures is co-organized by Art + Practice and the Getty Research Institute, and co-curated by Kristin Juarez, Research Specialist; Rebecca Peabody, Head, Research Projects & Academic Outreach; and Glenn Phillips, Senior Curator, Head of Exhibitions, and Head of Modern & Contemporary Collections, with curatorial and research assistance from Samantha Gregg and Alex Jones.

Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures is generously supported by Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Holmes Tuttle, with additional support from Gary and Kathi Cypres, and Michael Rubel and Kristin Rey.

Special acknowledgement is given to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of New York Public Library, and the Blondell Cummings Estate.


MORE FROM Blondell Cummings

Graciela Iturbide

Heliotropo 37 is the first large exhibition devoted to Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide in France, presented at the Fondation Cartier from February 12 to May 29, 2022. The exhibition will include over 200 works from the 1970s to the present day. On view will also be a new series of color photographs, exclusive to the exhibition, in 2021 shot in Tecali, Mexico. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue that includes interviews with the artist.

Itrubide (b. 1942) studied film and received a doctorate in romance literatures from Université Paris-Sorbonne in 1982 and thereafter worked at a literary magazine under Octavio Paz in addition to working as a translator and literary critic. She received the Águila Azteca Medal from the Mexican government and is a member of the Chilean  Academy of Language.

Her body of work is influenced by the acclaimed Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo, who asked her to be his mentor after Itrubide took his film class. Itrubide’s subject matter often deals with Mexican indigenous cultures in Mexico and elsewhere.


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Jimena Sarno

it takes about an hour (2021-ongoing) is a sound and sculpture installation by Los Angeles-based artist Jimena Sarno. The installation is currently on view at the Torrance Art Museum for the 6th SUR:biennial. Sarno’s work considers epistemologies and intergenerational transfer of embodied knowledge via personal and collective memory through food. Audio recordings of recipes by Sarno’s community member’s elders, in their preferred language, play into and throughout hand thrown ceramic bowls. Languages, stories, and memories intersect—not without tension. Opacities collide, nourish and make music.

Sarno’s bowls are also for sale with a percentage of the sales going to Paliroots Meal Program in Gaza, Palestine.

The show runs until December 4, 2021.


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Concrete Column

Concrete Column marks Wolfgang Tillmans’s eighth solo exhibition at Regen Projects in Los Angeles. The exhibition includes photographs from well recognized bodies of work as well as new work in photography, video and the artist’s debut full-length musical album.

 

Playing in the listening room is Tillmans’s Moon in Earthlight: a 53-minute piece comprised of 19 tracks. The album ranges from field recordings and demure dance music to pop-adjacent tracks. Named after the phenomenon where the new moon’s full circle is achieved through light reflected from Earth, the album similarly explores the infinite and astronomical in range, yet stays grounded with Tillmans’s voice keeping a steady timbre (outside of the autotune pop track, that is). True to its namesake, the album keeps it light with words and in its ethereal aural form.

 

Many works in the exhibition reference the cosmic quite literally, as photographs of the moon, while other works pay heed to space as suspension conceptually. One iPhone-shot work looks eerily similar to the vines that grow from the CA-2 highway grazing Riverside Drive’s road in Los Angeles while another catches a swimmer mid-dive above Geos 2 where sand begets sand over time as a massive rock formation is photographed on sand. There is something serendipitous about such suspensions. It is not so much that Tillmans’s captures the right moment, the transient in matter’s shape shifting—after all, matter’s constant is this indeterminacy in space-time, if we take quantum’s approach. Instead, the artist’s works in Concrete Column gesture to a destabilization towards worlds where such suspensions (much like works strewn around to capture our eye at comfortable and corner levels) are our groundings to wander from.

 

The show runs until December 23, 2021.


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