Issue 23

Issue 22

Issue 21

Issue 20

Issue 19

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
Parasites in Love –Travis Diehl
To Crush Absolute On Patrick Staff and
Destroying the Institution
–Jonathan Griffin
Victoria Fu:
Camera Obscured
–Cat Kron
Resurgence of Resistance How Pattern & Decoration's Popularity
Can Help Reshape the Canon
–Catherine Wagley
Trace, Place, Politics Julie Mehretu's Coded Abstractions
–Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.: Featuring: Friedrich Kunath,
Tristan Unrau, and Nevine Mahmoud
–Claressinka Anderson & Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In our Online Shop
Reviews April Street
at Vielmetter Los Angeles
–Aaron Horst

Chiraag Bhakta
at Human Resources
–Julie Weitz

Don’t Think: Tom, Joe
and Rick Potts

at POTTS
–Matt Stromberg

Sarah McMenimen
at Garden
–Michael Wright

The Medea Insurrection
at the Wende Museum
–Jennifer Remenchik

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Mike Kelley
at Hauser & Wirth
–Angella d’Avignon

Issue 18

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
The Briar and the Tar Nayland Blake at the ICA LA
and Matthew Marks Gallery
–Travis Diehl
Putting Aesthetics
to Hope
Tracking Photography’s Role
in Feminist Communities
– Catherine Wagley
Instagram STARtists
and Bad Painting
– Anna Elise Johnson
Interview with Jamillah James – Lindsay Preston Zappas
Working Artists Featuring Catherine Fairbanks,
Paul Pescador, and Rachel Mason
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Children of the Sun
at LADIES’ ROOM
– Jessica Simmons

Derek Paul Jack Boyle
at SMART OBJECTS
–Aaron Horst

Karl Holmqvist
at House of Gaga, Los Angeles
–Lee Purvey

Katja Seib
at Château Shatto
–Ashton Cooper

Jeanette Mundt
at Overduin & Co.
–Matt Stromberg

Issue 17

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Green Chip David Hammons
at Hauser & Wirth
–Travis Diehl
Whatever Gets You
Through the Night
The Artists of Dilexi
and Wartime Trauma
–Jonathan Griffin
Generous Collectors How the Grinsteins
Supported Artists
–Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Donna Huanca
–Lindsy Preston Zappas
Working Artist Featuring Ragen Moss, Justen LeRoy,
and Bari Ziperstein
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Sarah Lucas
at the Hammer Museum
–Yxta Maya Murray

George Herms and Terence Koh
at Morán Morán
–Matt Stromberg

Hannah Hur
at Bel Ami
–Michael Wright

Sebastian Hernandez
at NAVEL
–Julie Weitz

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Alex Israel
at Greene Naftali
–Rosa Tyhurst

Issue 16

Trulee Hall's Untamed Magic Catherine Wagley
Ingredients for a Braver Art Scene Ceci Moss
I Shit on Your Graves Travis Diehl
Interview with Ruby Neri Jonathan Griffin
Carolee Schneemann and the Art of Saying Yes! Chelsea Beck
Exquisite L.A. Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Ry Rocklen
at Honor Fraser
–Cat Kron

Rob Thom
at M+B
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age
of Black Power, 1963-1983
at The Broad
–Matt Stromberg

Anna Sew Hoy & Diedrick Brackens
at Various Small Fires
–Aaron Horst

Julia Haft-Candell & Suzan Frecon
at Parrasch Heijnen
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Shahryar Nashat
at Swiss Institute
–Christie Hayden

Issue 15

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor
Men on Women
Geena Brown
Eyes Without a Voice
Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto
Christina Catherine Martinez
Seven Minute Dream Machine
Jordan Wolfson's (Female figure)
Travis Diehl
Laughing in Private
Vanessa Place's Rape Jokes
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Rosha Yaghmai
Laura Brown
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Patrick Martinez,
Ramiro Gomez, and John Valadez
Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In our Online Shop
Reviews Outliers and American
Vanguard Art at LACMA
–Jonathan Griffin

Sperm Cult
at LAXART
–Matt Stromberg

Kahlil Joseph
at MOCA PDC
–Jessica Simmons

Ingrid Luche
at Ghebaly Gallery
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Matt Paweski
at Park View / Paul Soto
–John Zane Zappas

Trenton Doyle Hancock
at Shulamit Nazarian
–Colony Little

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Catherine Opie
at Lehmann Maupin
–Angella d'Avignon

Issue 14

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and Figurative Religion Catherine Wagley
Lynch in Traffic Travis Diehl
The Remixed Symbology of Nina Chanel Abney Lindsay Preston Zappas
Interview with Kulapat Yantrasast Christie Hayden
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Sandra de la Loza, Gloria Galvez, and Steve Wong
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Raúl de Nieves
at Freedman Fitzpatrick
-Aaron Horst

Gertrud Parker
at Parker Gallery
-Ashton Cooper

Robert Yarber
at Nicodim Gallery
-Jonathan Griffin

Nikita Gale
at Commonwealth & Council
-Simone Krug

Lari Pittman
at Regen Projects
-Matt Stromberg

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Eckhaus Latta
at the Whitney Museum
of American Art
-Angella d'Avignon

Issue 13

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor Julie Weitz with Angella d'Avignon
Don't Make
Everything Boring
Catherine Wagley
The Collaborative Art
World of Norm Laich
Matt Stromberg
Oddly Satisfying Art Travis Diehl
Made in L.A. 2018 Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj
Jennifer Remenchik
Aaron Horst
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Anna Sew Hoy, Guadalupe Rosales, and Shizu Saldamando
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews It's Snowing in LA
at AA|LA
–Matthew Lax

Fiona Conner
at the MAK Center
–Thomas Duncan

Show 2
at The Gallery @ Michael's
–Simone Krug

Deborah Roberts
at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
–Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi

Mimi Lauter
at Blum & Poe
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Math Bass
at Mary Boone
–Ashton Cooper

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Condo New York
–Laura Brown

Issue 12

Poetic Energies and
Radical Celebrations:
Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger
Simone Krug
Interior States of the Art Travis Diehl
Perennial Bloom:
Florals in Feminism
and Across L.A.
Angella d'Avignon
The Mess We're In Catherine Wagley
Interview with Christina Quarles Ashton Cooper
Object Project
Featuring Suné Woods, Michelle Dizon,
and Yong Soon Min
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Meleko Mokgosi
at The Fowler Museum at UCLA
-Jessica Simmons

Chris Kraus
at Chateau Shatto
- Aaron Horst

Ben Sanders
at Ochi Projects
- Matt Stromberg

iris yirei hsu
at the Women's Center
for Creative Work
- Hana Cohn

Harald Szeemann
at the Getty Research Institute
- Olivian Cha

Ali Prosch
at Bed and Breakfast
- Jennifer Remenchik

Reena Spaulings
at Matthew Marks
- Thomas Duncan

Issue 11

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Museum as Selfie Station Matt Stromberg
Accessible as Humanly as Possible Catherine Wagley
On Laura Owens on Laura Owens Travis Diehl
Interview with Puppies Puppies Jonathan Griffin
Object Project Lindsay Preston Zappas, Jeff McLane
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Dulce Dientes
at Rainbow in Spanish
- Aaron Horst

Adrián Villas Rojas
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
- Lindsay Preston Zappas

Nevine Mahmoud
at M+B
- Angella D'Avignon

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985
at the Hammer Museum
- Thomas Duncan

Hannah Greely and William T. Wiley
at Parker Gallery
- Keith J. Varadi

David Hockney
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (L.A. in N.Y.)
- Ashton Cooper

Edgar Arceneaux
at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (L.A. in S.F.)
- Hana Cohn

Issue 10

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Barely Living with Art:
The Labor of Domestic
Spaces in Los Angeles
Eli Diner
She Wanted Adventure:
Dwan, Butler, Mizuno, Copley
Catherine Wagley
The Languages of
All-Women Exhibitions
Lindsay Preston Zappas
L.A. Povera Travis Diehl
On Eclipses:
When Language
and Photography Fail
Jessica Simmons
Interview with
Hamza Walker
Julie Wietz
Reviews Cheyenne Julien
at Smart Objects

Paul Mpagi Sepuya
at team bungalow

Ravi Jackson
at Richard Telles

Tactility of Line
at Elevator Mondays

Trigger: Gender as a Tool as a Weapon
at the New Museum
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Object Project
Featuring: Rosha Yaghmai,
Dianna Molzan, and Patrick Jackson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McLane
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Reviews
Regen Projects
Ibid Gallery
One National Gay & Lesbian Archives and MOCA PDC
The Mistake Room
Luis De Jesus Gallery
the University Art Gallery at CSULB
the Autry Museum

Issue 9

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
Reconstituting Group Material
Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
Linda Stark, Alex Olson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
at the Venice Biennale

Broken Language
at Shulamit Nazarian

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects

Home
at LACMA

Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers

Issue 8

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures:
Alice Könitz and LAMOA
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Penny Slinger
Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
at Marc Foxx

Jennie Jieun Lee
at The Pit

Trisha Baga
at 356 Mission

Jimmie Durham
at The Hammer

Parallel City
at Ms. Barbers

Jason Rhodes
at Hauser & Wirth

Issue 7

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Generous
Structures
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature
at The Broad

Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler
at House of Gaga // Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Karl Haendel
at Susanne Vielmetter

Wolfgang Tillmans
at Regen Projects

Ma
at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
at the Landing

Issue 6

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews
Made in L.A. 2016
at The Hammer Museum

Doug Aitken
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Mertzbau
at Tif Sigfrids

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Mark A. Rodruigez
at Park View

The Weeping Line
Organized by Alter Space
at Four Six One Nine
(S.F. in L.A.)

Issue 5

Letter form the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Non-Fiction
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
at REDCAT
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Revolution in the Making
at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

Carl Cheng
at Cherry and Martin

Joan Snyder
at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery

Elanor Antin
at Diane Rosenstein

Performing the Grid
at Ben Maltz Gallery
at Otis College of Art & Design

Laura Owens
at The Wattis Institute
(L.A. in S.F.)

Issue 4

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Reconsidering
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater:
Diana Thater
at LACMA
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews L.A. Art Fairs

Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room
at LACMA

Evan Holloway
at David Kordansky Gallery

Histories of a Vanishing Present: A Prologue
at The Mistake Room

Carter Mull
at fused space
(L.A. in S.F.)

Awol Erizku
at FLAG Art Foundation
(L.A. in N.Y.)

Issue 3

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word:
F.B.I.
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota:
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
and LOUDHAILER
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Share Your Piece
of the Puzzle
Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
Reviews Honeydew
at Michael Thibault

Fred Tomaselli
at California State University, Fullerton

Trisha Donnelly
at Matthew Marks Gallery

Bradford Kessler
at ASHES/ASHES

Issue 2

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings:
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food:
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Reviews Mary Ried Kelley
at The Hammer Museum

Tongues Untied
at MOCA Pacific Design Center

No Joke
at Tanya Leighton
(L.A. in Berlin)
Snap Reviews Martin Basher at Anat Ebgi
Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
Eve Fowler at Mier Gallery
Matt Siegle at Park View
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee:
William Pope.L’s "Reenactor"
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen

Issue 1

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
MEAT PHYSICS/
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
SOGTFO
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
@barnettcohen
Mateo Tannatt
Photographs
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Pierre Huyghe
at LACMA

Mernet Larsen
at Various Small Fires

John Currin
at Gagosian, Beverly Hills

Pat O'Niell
at Cherry and Martin

A New Rhythm
at Park View

Unwatchable Scenes and
Other Unreliable Images...
at Public Fiction

Charles Gaines
at The Hammer Museum

Henry Taylor
at Blum & Poe/ Untitled
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Distribution
Downtown
Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
GAVLAK
François Ghebaly
ICA LA
in lieu
JOAN
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Murmurs
Nicodim Gallery
Night Gallery
OOF Books
Over the Influence
Royale Projects
Sow & Tailor
The Box
Vielmetter Los Angeles
Wilding Cran Gallery
Boyle Heights/ Chinatown
Bel Ami
Charlie James
LACA
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
Stanley's
Tierra del Sol Gallery
Eastside
BOZOMAG
Odd Ark LA
Marta
Smart Objects
Tyler Park Presents
Westside
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis
Five Car Garage
L.A. Louver
Laband Art Gallery at LMU
Marshall Contemporary
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Pit
Junior High
Mid-City
1301 PE
Anat Ebgi
as-is.la
Chris Sharp Gallery
Commonwealth & Council
Craft Contemporary
David Kordansky Gallery
Hammer Museum
Hannah Hoffman
Hunter Shaw Fine Art
Kayne Griffin
Lowell Ryan Projects
Ochi Projects
O-Town House
Park View / Paul Soto
Praz-Delavallade
Real Pain
Shoot the Lobster
Simchowitz
the Landing
Thinkspace Projects
USC Fisher Museum of Art
Culver City
Anat Ebgi
Arcana Books
Blum & Poe
Philip Martin Gallery
Roberts Projects
The Wende Museum
Hollywood
Bridge Projects
Diane Rosenstein
Family Books
LACE
LAXART
M+B
Matthew Brown Los Angeles
Moskowitz Bayse
Nonaka-Hill
Shulamit Nazarian
STARS
Steve Turner
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
The LODGE
UTA Artist Space
Various Small Fires
Non-L.A.
Best Practice (San Diego, CA)
Et al. (San Francisco, CA)
Left Field (Los Osos, CA)
McNally Jackson (New York, NY)
Minnesota Street Project (San Francisco, CA)
Printed Matter (New York, NY)
Santa Barbara City College (Santa Barbara, CA)
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME)
Verge Center for the Arts (Sacramento, CA)
Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco, CA)
Whitney Museum Shop (New York, NY)
Libraries/ Collections
Bard College, Center for Curatorial Studies Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
CalArts (Valencia, CA)
Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Research Library (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Marpha Foundation (Marpha, Nepal)
Maryland Institute College of Art, The Decker Library (Baltimore, MD)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library (New York, NY)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Emerging Leaders of Arts (Santa Barbara, CA)
Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa, ID)
NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Scholes Library (Alfred, NY)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
Room Project (Detroit, MI)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, John M. Flaxman Library (Chicago, IL)
Skowhegan Archives (New York, NY)
Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York, NY)
Telfair Museum (Savannah, GA)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
USC Fisher Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles Library (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Hidden Archives: L.A.’s Historic-Cultural Monuments and the Women They Leave Out

Leer en Español

Corita (upper right) and educators in a classroom at the Immaculate Heart College Art Department (c. 1955). Image courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles. Photo (detail): Fred Swartz.

I have a compulsion to save ephemera that compromises my ability to participate in minimalist trends. Ticket stubs, event flyers, blown-out birthday candles, particularly charming glass receptacles from long-finished sparkling beverages—none meant to be saved past their tiny window of intended purpose. Even if I only acknowledge it subconsciously, my decision to dub certain objects as mementos gives me a sense of agency over my story, like the way we write in a diary with a performative air, knowing it may eventually be read by others. Will my carefully selected trinkets—the private archive of dusty junk I hold deeply—reveal my legacy? This is precisely what ends up being the case for many women whose histories are often comprised of archival materials they’ve curated for themselves, honoring themselves and their life’s work, society having long-prioritized eulogizing patriarchal accomplishments. These loose archives—the soft evidence of self-worth and care—are beautiful and instructive, but do not carry with them the forcefulness of the large, dimensional, officially recognized monuments that take up civic space. 

What becomes historicized and the ways in which we archive legacies of the past can shape a powerful narrative for future generations, yet many of our systems for collective archiving largely omit the histories and stories of women and racial minorities, even as these groups comprise more than half of the global population. In Los Angeles, only 3% of the more than 1,100 Historic-Cultural Monuments (HCMs) were lived in or designed by women, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy.1 Only 10% of historically protected sites are associated with BIPOC, LGBTQ, and women combined.2 Los Angeles in particular has always taken pride in its subcultures and diverse inhabitants, yet many who have had power over the molding of its public memory weren’t actual proponents of diversity. Women’s roles in shaping Los Angeles’ history have been overlooked and undervalued. How do we preserve women’s legacies within the honored history of Los Angeles—in a way that extends beyond the relics of their interior lives—if their contributions are demolished into oblivion, while the shrines of men remain standing? There’s something grand in the way physical monuments take up space, and women’s histories haven’t benefitted enough from this imposing sense of forever.

One woman’s site that currently has a fighting chance at achieving the ever-coveted HCM status from the city of L.A. is the former art studio of Sister Corita Kent. A self-taught silkscreener, Kent (dubbed the “Pop Art Nun”) focused on mining for joy in the everyday by appropriating and combining the visual markers of her spirituality with the language of consumer culture. She was a working artist, in habit, reimagining Wonder Bread as the Eucharist. 

Kent redefined what a religious life could be, maintaining pursuits as an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. Throughout the height of her career in the 1960s, she used the Immaculate Heart College printmaking space, located at 5518 Franklin Avenue (now an unassuming dry cleaner), as her classroom and studio. During this time she also sought dispensation from her vows, pursuing life as a secular artist. It was at the Franklin Building that Kent made some of her most iconic serigraphs, cementing her place in the Pop Art movement and later leading to major commissions from the Boston Gas Company and the U.S. Postal Service. In their urgent call-to-action3 arguing for the approval of historic status, the Corita Art Center team describes the vast impact of the studio on the creative community. Over the years, Kent hosted leading artists, such as John Cage, Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller, and Saul Bass, at the Immaculate Heart campus, and influenced an entire generation of young creators. 

On December 17th, 2020, the L.A. Cultural Heritage Commission voted in favor of recommending historic designation for the center—a huge step in garnering historic status. The nomination was forwarded to the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee for review, and while there’s still plenty of bureaucracy that awaits, the granting of HCM status for this site would be momentous in this city’s progress toward memorializing the sacred spaces of its influential women. Kent was named Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles Times in 1966 and as Nellie Scott, director of the Corita Art Center, said in a recent interview with Los Angeles Magazine, “this building… could be L.A.’s opportunity to honor one of the more notable figures” whose work “contribute[s] to the identity of Los Angeles.”4 It would also be an opportunity to broaden the limited collective imagination of the city toward a fuller picture of what has happened, and thus, what could happen here.

Two men whose legacies have benefited greatly from HCM status in Los Angeles are architects Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright, their historically-designated structures scattered across the city like confetti. From the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences along the Silver Lake Reservoir to Wright’s Hollyhock House, located within Barnsdall Art Park on Hollywood Boulevard, their buildings are revered and regularly toured by the public. Meanwhile, even the women who have received recognition for their architectural contributions via HCM status do not find themselves prominently placed within the historical record of architecture in this city—a reflection of how primed we are to receive certain male mythologies; these self-framed narratives holding space long after their death. 

Corita’s former studio (c. 1964). Image courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.

Despite the achievements of female architects, most are left out of the canon. Helen Liu Fong was a meaningful figure in L.A.’s Googie movement; yet hers isn’t a household name. Fong’s Googie structures, which she described as a “Jetson kind of aesthetic”5 are all over Los Angeles, but few know of the Chinese-American architect responsible for them. Many of her buildings have made their way into Hollywood portrayals of the city—emblems of L.A.’s laid-back yet modern vibe. The iconic Pann’s Restaurant, which Fong designed, is a prominent setting on HBO’s Insecure. Fong also designed Johnie’s Coffee Shop Restaurant, which is featured in the Coen brothers’ cult classic The Big Lebowski (1998). Both protected from demolition, these buildings serve as iconic fixtures of L.A.’s pop culture, though the woman behind them has been eclipsed by the Hollywood narratives that have been ascribed to the landmarks over time. The Coen film also featured the Lautner House—a memorable inclusion that seemed to have increased the hype around architect John Lautner, whose fame came by way of proximity to his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright. Meanwhile, the Johnie’s Coffee Shop cameo didn’t do the same for Fong’s legacy, as is so often the case with female architects whose contributions are recognized while their names and stories remain obscure.

One exalted member included in the 3% of female spaces that have received HCM status is the Woman’s Building. Located at 1727 N. Spring Street in an industrial corridor on the northern edge of Chinatown, the building long housed the Feminist Studio Workshop (FSW). When artist Judy Chicago, art historian Arlene Raven, and graphic designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville founded the FSW as the first independent school for women artists in 1973, it was more centrally located in the former Chouinard Art Institute on Grand View Street, just off of MacArthur Park. When the Chouinard building was sold in 1975, the group moved its operations to Spring Street. The FSW disbanded in 1981, though the Woman’s Building stayed in operation as a feminist hub before shuttering in 1991 due to financial struggles. 

A 1914 Beaux Arts structure originally occupied by Standard Oil, the Woman’s Building was declared an HCM in 2018; a protected status that will allow it to live in perpetuity as a brick-and-mortar touchpoint for reflecting on a vital subculture of Los Angeles artists and feminists. Founded as an act of protest against the patriarchal nature of arts education in its 1970s and ’80s heyday, the building attracted a notable coterie of women and queer artists. It served as an experimental space where women from around the world could explore feminist theory, sexuality, gender dynamics, race, and class—a place where marginalized artists could thrive. “We soon came to realize that it was an opportunity to be empowered,” says artist Cheri Gaulke, once a regular at the Woman’s Building. It was a place “that we could learn skills that we’d never learned before and… we could just create our place in the world.”6

A present-day equivalent inspired by and working to preserve this ethos is the Feminist Center for Creative Work (FCCW)—formerly the Women’s Center for Creative Work—a network of Los Angeles-based intersectional feminists and artists who have been producing exhibitions, workshops, publications, and events since 2013. FCCW’s lease expired in March alongside the onset of the pandemic, and in part due to the experience of working from home, the group pivoted, expanding their online programming and production of ephemera (such as publishing projects). Whether or not they return to a physical space, it’s perhaps inevitable that the FCCW will preserve its legacy in part through the ephemera drummed up from its publishing vertical and digital collateral (not unlike Corita Kent’s papers and artwork, which will remain preserved in museums, archives, and collections regardless of what happens to her studio). Similarly, the ephemera of the Woman’s Building and its artists was protected long before the physical structure itself. Still, ephemera alone makes it difficult to be canonized in a city that so relies on glorified monuments (e.g. the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, The LAX Theme Building) to remember itself. Especially due to their proximity to Hollywood, these architectural icons are regurgitated in films and commercials, further reinforcing their lasting significance. Ephemera on its own isn’t enough to build a legacy, and neither is the act of leaving a building untouched without also acknowledging the significance of the woman who designed it. Without these public-facing markers, we must turn to the archive to find evidence of constructed futures that could have been.

When confederate monuments were forcibly taken down in the heat of last year’s summer of protests, we were made to acknowledge the impact that the physical structures had on the psyches of the Black individuals who had to walk past them every day. What would a future with more physical commemorations of women—ones that have a presence in civic spaces—look like? How might these physical markers permeate a greater historical consciousness of women’s history? What if we could collectively build from women’s ideas, instead of starting each generation anew? The archive is an essential tool, but the nature of the archive is that it must be sought after by an interested party. Public memorials, on the other hand, are integrated into every denizen’s physical experience of a city. 

If Corita Kent’s studio can remain intact alongside her artwork—offering a rare pairing of both ephemera and architecture—it might allow for the memory of her life’s work to enter the public consciousness in a manner more firmly rooted within the fabric of Los Angeles culture. This is the very privilege that has kept the narratives of influential men, like Neutra and Lloyd Wright, relevant to new generations. While Kent’s potential historic status is a step forward, I can’t help but wonder what other significant female contributions have gone unrecognized or under-archived. Until public historic sites reflect the diversity of our populous, we are left to do the important work of upturning past histories to uncover notable women who have collected their own hidden archives of tchotchkes, letters, and artwork.

Neyat Yohannes is a writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Criterion’s The Current, Mubi Notebook, Bright Wall/Dark Room, KQED Arts, cléo journal, and Chicago Review of Books, among other publications. She sometimes tweets at @rhymeswithcat.

Pann’s Restaurant in Los Angeles, California (2012). Photo: Steven Miller.

Corita with students in a classroom at the Immaculate Heart College Art Department (c. 1968). Image courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.

Outside the Woman’s Building (1975). Gift of Maria Karras. © Maria Karras, BFA, RBP, MA. Image courtesy of The Getty Research Institute. Photo: Maria Karras.

Outside the Woman’s Building (1975). Gift of Maria Karras. © Maria Karras, BFA, RBP, MA. Image courtesy of The Getty Research Institute. Photo: Maria Karras.


This essay was originally published in Carla issue 24.

  1. “Sister Mary Corita Studio,” The Los Angeles Conservancy, last updated January 5, 2021, https://www.laconservancy.org/issues/sister-mary-corita-studio.
  2. Jessica Gelt, “This church was vital for L.A’s Chicano movement. Now it’s getting the landmark status it deserves,” Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-01-28/church-epiphany-national-register-historic-places.
  3. “Save Corita’s Studio,” Save Corita’s Studio | Corita.org, n.d., https://www.corita.org/action#update.
  4. Liz Ohanesian, “Why a Local Art Org Is Trying to Save a Nondescript Hollywood Dry Cleaner from Demolition,” Los Angeles Magazine, August 20, 2020, https://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/corita-kent-art-studio-franklin-ave/.
  5. Hadley Meares, “The designer who gave Googie its flair,” Curbed LA (Curbed LA, May 30, 2019), https://la.curbed.com/2019/5/30/18644518/helen-liu-fong-googie-architecture.
  6. Laura Dominguez, “The Woman’s Building: L.A.’s ‘Feminist Mecca,’” KCET, January 19, 2021, https://www.kcet.org/shows/lost-la/the-womans-building-l-a-s-feminist-mecca.