January Letter from the Director

Dear Friends,

Last month, I received a call from the artist Edgar Arceneaux about his piece, Library of Black Lies, which was then on view at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. The exhibition was closing soon and Edgar very much wanted the work to be shown in Los Angeles, where he lives. Was there a way to squeeze it into the schedule at The Main soon, he asked? We had other plans, namely construction, but after hearing about the installation I knew we needed to reconsider.

Much has been written recently about Los Angeles as a land of many museums. It is indeed an incredible time to live and work here for that reason, among many others. I feel strongly that for this institution to deserve a place amongst the other esteemed institutions that call this city home, it must fulfill a need. In this case, we were able to uniquely pivot to bring in an important work at the last minute. Starting on February 4, Arceneaux’s timely installation, a literal library that challenges the narrative of American progress, will be on view in Beta Main. I hope you’ll come by to weave through the artist’s immersive labyrinth, lined with Mylar, glimmering with crystallized books, and to see for yourself what we stand for.

I’m also excited to let you know about our newest artist in residence, Lauren Halsey. I’ve been following (and admiring) her work for years and will admit that I was a little nervous when she left for a Studio Museum residency in 2014… what if she didn’t come back from New York? But she did indeed return to her hometown and she will set up shop here and work on a show for The Main. Star Montana is in residence too and she is also working on an exhibition. Star’s photography show—portraiture of people in LA—will be accompanied by an investigation of experimental museum seating by Alice Könitz. Look for the Montana / Könitz pairing after Library of Black Lies.

So much more news coming your way soon. But for now, happy new year and we look forward to welcoming you to Library of Black Lies next month on Saturday, February 4th.

Allison Agsten
Director, The Main Museum