Artist Lauren Halsey Observes South Central Los Angeles in a Vibrant New Exhibit

Her visual poetry is on view until March 14.

The David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles presents Lauren Halsey’s first show at the space, filling it with a vivid, mythopoetic hauntscape of South Central Los Angeles. These latest works continue Halsey’s exploration of monuments, memorials and public space, particularly her reckonings with gentrification and the threatening economic displacement of Black and Latino/a stores and shops.

“These works are like South Central L.A. business taxidermy,” Halsey says of several pieces in her new sculptural installations. She arranges the large cubes and prisms—a play on the “big box” retail developments that often replace local, independent retailers—in assemblages that evoke bristling city blocks. Halsey has divided the sculptures into two styles or “districts”: brightly colored distillations of thriving or defunct enterprises and foil enwrapped structures that extend and sample the personal, Black-media-enriched mythography that has run through a number of her past projects.

She explains in a Los Angeles Times article: “It was very aggressive stuff—the handmade signage, the rules for going into a mini market that criminalize me and I’m not even a criminal. ‘No Drugs. No Drug Dealing. No Washing Your Car on the Premises.’ All these threats just to go buy a piece of candy.”

You can read more about the exhibition here.

For information on the gallery, visit davidkordanskygallery.com.

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