The exhibition LA Blacksmith inspires this performance by Chloe and Maud Arnold, the sister tap-dancing duo Syncopated Ladies, who will explore the themes of metal and motion. As 2019 draws to a close, come celebrate the capacity of this malleable art medium and how artists have activated it in their work.
For decades Black artists in Los Angeles have worked with metal for its historic and symbolic significance, as well as for other sociocultural, political, and practical considerations. LA Blacksmith highlights this tradition, from historic Los Angeles metal sculpture that signifies the durability of West African metalsmithing aesthetics to contemporary explorations of iron and steel alloys, bronze, copper, tin, aluminum, and gold. Beginning with Beulah Woodard’s homages to African mask making, LA Blacksmith examines how the Watts Rebellion and other political and aesthetic ideas shaped mid-century metalwork.
Contemporary artists explore metal as appropriation, power, and play in twenty-first century Los Angeles. For these artists, metalwork layers the tension between tradition and resistance, preciousness and posture, as well as the sacred and the profane.
LA Blacksmith is guest curated by independent curator jill moniz.