Sculptures that explore questions of environmental sustainability (and purify water), works inspired by graphic design, art about cats and a benefit show for a church that was at the heart of the Chicano movement. It's all in the Datebook:
Lucy + Jorge Orta, "Food – Water – Life," at Ben Maltz Gallery. A series of jury-rigged sculptures can perform useful actions like purifying water — even if they do it in somewhat cumbersome, inefficient ways. But that's part of the point: The Paris-based art-making couple Lucy and Jorge Orta create work intended to get the viewer thinking about topics related to sustainability and the environment. This includes placing plenty of attention on the all-important issue of our water supply. The show will include pieces related to a trip the couple made to Antarctica in 2007. Opens Saturday at Otis College of Art and Design. Through Dec. 6. 9045 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester, otis.edu.
"Clayton Brothers: Open to the Public," at Mark Moore Gallery. Since the 1990s, brothers Rob and Christian Clayton have been known for producing slightly psychedelic collages that employ just about anything they can lay their hands on: wood, canvas, paper, paint and fabric. (Think: a cosmic landscape featuring a disintegrating head and a pop-infused visions of cut fruit.) For their new show at Mark Moore, the L.A.-based duo have created a series of works that look at the habitués and objects of a thrift shop in Sunland. Opens Saturday with a 6 p.m. reception. Show runs through Sept. 27. 5790 Washington Blvd., Culver City, markmooregallery.com.
"Another Cats Show," at Ooga Twooga/Ooga Booga #2. A summer group show that brings together the wonder of art about cats with the weirdness of performance. Sounds like a good match to me. Opens Saturday with 7 p.m. reception featuring performances by Odwalla88, Dean Spunt and Bebe Whypz. Exhibition runs through Sept. 14. 356 S. Mission Road, downtown Los Angeles, 356mission.com.
"Vespers at the Epiphany," at Church of the Epiphany. Early last week I wrote about this 19th century Episcopal church in Lincoln Heights that was at the heart of the Chicano movement. A group of artists and curators have come together to raise funds for its restoration. This weekend, art donated for a benefit auction will go on view in the church's parish hall (which dates to the 1880s). This includes pieces by Barbara Kruger and Sam Durant (who has a terrific installation on view at the L.A. County Museum of Art). Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m., 2808 Altura St., Lincoln Heights, epiphanyconservationtrust.org and epiphany.ladiocese.org.
"Graphic Thoughts," at CES Contemporary. A small group show looks at the ways in which graphic design has influenced work being produced by fine artists. Expect bold collages crafted from commercial packaging and minimal photographic prints that reduce landscape to varying bands of solid color. Through Aug. 30, 709 Mateo St., downtown Los Angeles, cescontemporary.com.
"Cross Fade," at Walter Maciel Gallery. Now in its final week, this group show in Culver City takes the cinematic convention of the cross fade (that moment in which one scene fades away and a new one fades in) as a point of inspiration for a group show. The exhibition features work by six women artists who all play with questions related to the fluidity of gender, history and identity. Through Aug. 16, 2642 S. La Cienega Blvd, Culver City, waltermacielgallery.com.