An exhibition of artwork by the Los Angeles-based artist
March 12 through December 10, 2022
The artist’s latest venture in funkified placemaking, this exhibition extends Halsey’s architectural mappings, materializing itself in objects, names, remembrances, and colors of home. Red, black, and green (the colors of the Pan-African flag) sit parallel with orange, yellow, pink, and blue hyper pigments (the colors of South Central). Together, this spectrum etches out decelerations, provocations, the naming of the dead, and the aesthetic genius of Black people. These objects float in the mirrored floor and aluminum-draped foregrounds, orienting themselves as structures simultaneously taking off and landing. After all, we are in a land of funk—and with funk, the only direction is free.
Halsey’s work insists upon what Douglas Kerney names the “Here/Now” and the “There/Then,” a quintessential act that guides and grounds her practice. Halsey’s call towards edifice, which builds upon Black people’s current presence and future here in Los Angeles, is presented alongside those and that which no longer exist in the flesh; Black people, business, signage, and places that have ceased in their original material forms. But it is in the monumental we find ourselves with Halsey’s work, a claim that bends time and memory in its insistence as a place for now.
“Lauren Halsey” is generously supported by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pasadena Art Alliance.
About Lauren Halsey
Lauren Halsey (b. 1987, Los Angeles) is rethinking the possibilities for art, architecture, and community engagement. She produces both standalone artworks and site-specific projects, particularly in the South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles where her family has lived for several generations. Combining found, fabricated, and handmade objects, Halsey’s work maintains a sense of civic urgency and free-flowing imagination, reflecting the lives of the people and places around her and addressing the crucial issues confronting people of color, queer populations, and the working class. Critiques of gentrification and disenfranchisement are accompanied by real-world proposals as well as celebration of on-the-ground aesthetics. Inspired by Afrofuturism and funk, as well as the signs and symbols that populate her local environments, Halsey creates a visionary form of culture that is at once radical and collaborative.
Lauren Halsey was awarded Seattle Art Museum’s 2021 Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize and is the subject of a current solo exhibition at the museum through July 2022. David Kordansky Gallery’s New York space in Chelsea will open in Spring 2022 with an inaugural exhibition by Halsey, her first solo exhibition in the city. In 2020, Halsey founded Summaeverythang Community Center and is currently in the process of developing a major public monument for construction in South Central Los Angeles. Halsey lives and works in Los Angeles.