David Kordansky opened his first gallery in Los Angeles’s Chinatown in 2003, and quickly developed a reputation for showcasing the city’s most fascinating artists, including both established and emerging LA creators. Kordansky’s roster includes prominent names like Fred Eversley, Rashid Johnson and the photographer featured in last weekend’s planner, Deana Lawson. Success prompted expansion, and Kordansky opened a bigger space in Culver City in 2014.
Now he’s opened his first New York City gallery, at 520 West 20th St.
For his big New York splash, Kordansky is showing works by Lauren Halsey, one of LA’s most exciting young artists. Halsey was in the news here already just recently: in March the Met Museum awarded her its annual rooftop installation commission, and then in April came news that, for logistical reasons, the rooftop show would be postponed a year.
For anyone who’s curious about what’s to come, the Kordansky show is a great way to whet the appetite. Halsey is a passionate collector of signs, posters, advertisements and miniature figures that might verge on nostalgic kitsch. She fashions what she’s found or created into pillars, dioramas and “funkmounds” that celebrate life, work, culture, leisure and Blackness writ large.
Entering the gallery’s clean, narrow space, you’re instantly overwhelmed by big, splashy pieces, including a wall-mounted creation that gurgles with with real running water. But then you’re quickly drawn in close by the tiny, loving details Halsey packs into her creations. The show is an effervescent explosion of color, respect and joy. Though June 11th; davidkordanskygallery.com
You may not know Sonny Singh by name yet, but if you’re heard the irresistible Punjabi party band Red Baraat then you know his trumpet playing and singing. Sonny also performed extensively with Arooj Aftab, who this year became the first-ever Pakistani singer to win a Grammy award. Just yesterday, Singh released his debut solo album, “Chardi Kala,” and he’ll be celebrating with a record-release show at Joe’s Pub on Tuesday night.
In addition to being a singer, songwriter, musician and bandleader, Singh is a Sikh activist and educator who works to promote tolerance and understanding. The title refers to the Sikh principle of eternal optimism and that’s definitely what comes through across the span of his album. He taps into his formative years performing kirtan, but true to his all-embracing mindset, he packs a lot of other musical influences into his sound. The results are entirely irresistible. May 17th at 9:30 pm; publictheater.org