Datebook: '80s L.A., women photographers, Inglewood's architectural stage

Datebook: an architectonic stage, the L.A. photographs of Robert Rauschenberg + works inspired by Isaac Julien

The L.A. photographs of Robert Rauschenberg, images by female photographers and a benefit exhibition that pays tribute to filmmaker Isaac Julien. Plus, Los Angeles graffiti artists and a talk about the evolving streetscape of American cities. Here are six things to do in Los Angeles and beyond this week:

Robert Rauschenberg, “Photos: In + Out City Limits,” at the Huntington Library. The museum is showcasing 15 photographs that the artist took in Los Angeles in 1981 — images of shapes, landscape and odd pockets of the city. They are being shown in the museum’s American Art galleries, next to the Rauschenberg combine, “Global Loft (Spread)," from 1979, which the Huntington acquired three years ago. Through June 2. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org.  

“Trio: Kathleen Johnson, Laura London, Lisa Rosel ,” at C. Nichols Project. This intimate Mar Vista gallery is showing the work of three women photographers from Los Angeles — touching on portraiture, the staged, in-between spaces and female sexuality. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through May 2. 12613 1/2 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista, cnicholsproject.com.

“The Silence of Ordinary Things,” at The Mistake Room. This benefit exhibition for the downtown arts space brings together the work of 35 artists from all over the world who have been broadly inspired by the work of British filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien. (The artist is The Mistake Room’s 2015 artist honoree.) As part of the exhibition, the gallery will also be showing a still from Julien’s seven-screen video installation “Playtime,” from 2014 — a work The Mistake Room will premiere in the U.S. in the fall. Opens Saturday and runs through May 9. 1811 E. 20th St., downtown Los Angeles, tmr.la.  

“Beyond Graffiti 2,” at the Architecture and Design Museum. Organized by the Los Angeles Art Collective, this exhibition features a gathering of graffiti artists working in L.A. and beyond, such as the Phantom, known for his ghost-like figures (one of which ended up on a Rage Against the Machine album cover); Chaz Bojorquez, who makes patterns out of typography; and Kofie, who pulls graffiti toward abstraction. Opens Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 6032 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, aplusd.org.

“Inglewood Urban Stage: Construction as Performance,” at Inglewood City Hall. Over the course of the next month, artist and architect Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong will be assembling and reassembling a stage into different configurations using a special system of modules. The first iteration goes up this weekend. Special events will take place on Friday evenings at 7 and Saturdays at noon throughout the course of the show. Opens Friday at 7 p.m. and runs through April 18. Inglewood City Hall North Plaza, 101 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, cw-zw.com.  

Seleta Reynolds and Janette Sadik-Khan, in conversation at the Hammer Museum. L.A.’s general transportation manager (Reynolds) is teaming up for a talk with the former commissioner of transportation in New York City (Sadik-Khan). The pair will discuss changes to transportation infrastructure in major cities and how roadways are becoming friendlier to bike riding and pedestrians. This evening at 7:30. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.

LAST DAY:

“The Goldwyn Collection” at Sotheby’s. Get a peek at highlights from the art collection that belonged to movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn and his son, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., before it goes to auction (and presumably disappears into the private living rooms of some very wealthy people). Among the works are pieces by Matisse, Picasso and David Hockney. Through Thursday at 5 p.m. 9200 W. Sunset Blvd., Ste. 170, West Hollywood, sothebys.com.

FINAL WEEK:

Amir Fallah, “Perfect Strangers,” at the 18th Street Arts Center. As part of his residency at the Santa Monica arts center, Fallah is collaborating with area locals on a series of portraits and self-portraits — incorporating painting, photography and sound. Through Friday. 1639 18th St., Santa Monica, 18thstreet.org

“Ben Jackel: American Imperium” at L.A. Louver. In his latest exhibition, Jackel produces sculptures that riff on the history of warfare and power, including a nearly 6-foot-tall wooden reproduction of an ax’s head — carved with axes. Through Saturday. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, lalouver.com.

“Thomas Burke: Dutch Jailbreak, New Paintings” at Western Project. Burke’s diamond-shaped canvases ride abstraction’s hard edge, with bold architectonic color fields that also play with a viewer’s sense of depth. Through March 28. 2762 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, western-project.com.

“Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light,” at WUHO Gallery. For 25 years, Binet has photographed great works of architecture around the world — from Zaha Hadid’s Rome museum to Peter Zumthor’s Klaus Field Chapel. Her stark images are now on view at Woodbury University’s Hollywood gallery. Through March 29. 6518 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, jsiarchitecture.woodbury.edu and wuho.architecture.woodbury.edu.

Patrick Rock, “California Split,” at The Pit. Inspired by the Robert Altman flick of the same name, this show looks at the practice of art-making through the filter of gambling — of whether to make the next bet or simply walk away from the table. Through Sunday. 918 Ruberta Ave., Glendale, the-pit.la. 

ONGOING EXHIBITIONS:

Malick Sidibé: Studio Malick, Bamako Mali, at Maloney Fine Art. The noted Malian photographer is exhibiting more than 40 years of portraiture. Sidibé is renowned for matter-of-fact black-and-white images that captured the lives of young people in the wake of independence. Through April 4. 2680 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, maloneyfineart.com.

Kenny Scharf, “Born Again,” at Honor Fraser. A new show by the pop icon will feature a salon-style installation of his “Born Again” series, which feature his signature blob characters redecorating a vast array of thrift-store paintings. Through April 4. 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, honorfraser.com.  

Brad Eberhard at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. A series of small-scale abstract paintings are pieced together in various ways, with paint, collage, sanded surfaces and frames constructed from found objects. Through April 4. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City, vielmetter.com.

“Elemental: Seeing the Light” at Descanso Gardens. Taking on the subject of light, this group show looks at the ways in which artists are inspired by ethereal rays. Through April 5. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, descansogardens.org.

Christine Corday, “Protoist Series, Selected Forms,” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. Corday's oversized bendy steel sculptures don't sacrifice playfulness for mass. Don't miss them in LACMA’s courtyard area (by Ray's & Stark Bar). Through April 5. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, lacma.org.

John Currin at Gagosian Gallery. The New York-based Currin is known for his paintings of pillowy women that seem to draw as much from 17th century European painting as they do from pinups. A show of new works adds erotic layers to his regular mix of nudes. Through April 11. 456 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, gagosian.com.

“Mernet Larsen: Chainsawer, Bicyclist, and Reading in Bed” at Various Small Fires. Paintings that distort and bend perspective. Larsen’s work is representational — showing blocky, video game-like figures in an array of activities — but her industrial Modernism-meets-M.C.-Escher-style settings will toy with your sense of perception. Through April 11. 812 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, vsf.la.  

Robert Overby, “Absence as Presence: Trace, Erasure, Eradication and Lack,” at Marc Selwyn Fine Art. Ghostly latex castings of architectural elements (such as doors) and the reproduction, in plaster or concrete, of quotidian household objects mark the work of the late California artist. Uncanny and surreal. Through April 11. 9953 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, marcselwynfineart.com.

“Craig Taylor: Enface,” and Annelie McKenzie, “The Enthusiast,” at CB1 Gallery. Shows that are all about painting, from the painterly abstractions of Craig Taylor (he will bury a figurative image in earthy marks), to the paintings of paintings by Annelie McKenzie, in which the artist remakes images with touches of craft. Through April 11. There will be a reception for the artists Saturday at 3 p.m. 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, cb1gallery.com.  

“After the Aqueduct” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. In a time of drought, this exhibition couldn’t be more timely: a selection of projects by artists and designers that focus on the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the 233-mile conveyance system that helps keep all those lawns green and pools filled in the greater metro area. Through April 12. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.

“Amir H. Fallah: From the Primitive to the Present” at Charlie James Gallery. One year ago, Fallah hit an estate sale in North Hollywood where he stumbled upon a cache of personal objects belonging to one family: photographs, diaries and home movies. These have inspired a series of works based on the personal objects. Runs through April 11. 969 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles, cjamesgallery.com.

“Coop — Works on Paper, 1987-2015” at Coagula Curatorial. The lowbrow painter and hot-rod artist is known for his pieces depicting devilish pinups and raging monsters. Coagula has now gathered two decades' worth of the artist’s work. Through April 11. 974 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles, coagulacuratorial.com.

“Jessica Rath: A Better Nectar” at the University Art Museum. Rath uses a combination of light, sound and sculpture to channel the experience of a bumblebee in search of nectar. The highlight is a human-scaled beehive with responsive acoustic elements. Through April 12 at Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, csulb.edu/org/uam.

“Nohubito Nishigawara: Seeing” at the Grand Central Art Center. Nishigawara produces ceramic sculptures that draw inspiration from sources such as religious iconography and manga drawings. Through April 12. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.

Glenn Ligon, “Well it’s bye-bye / If you call that gone,” at Regen Projects. The prominent New York artist is displaying a series of oversized word paintings that touch on the story of the Harlem Six (a group of black teenagers who were wrongly accused of murdering a shopkeeper in 1964) as well as a set of neon installations that play with the word “America,” among other works. Through April 18. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com

 “Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia: Mis Papeles” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. Brilliantly hued woven paper works include abstract pieces that practically take on the feel of a textile. Through April 18. 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.

“Brian Weil 1979-95: Being in the World” at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The first retrospective of a photographer devoted to highlighting members of insular and invisible communities — from sexual fetishists to members of New York’s Hasidic community. Through April 18. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, smmoa.org.

“Robert Williams: Slang Aesthetic” at the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery. The godfather of lowbrow art has a sprawling one-man show of recent works that includes drawings, paintings, prints and sculpture. Also on view is the related exhibition “20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz,” which brings together the young artists featured in the popular art magazine (which Williams helped found). Through April 19. Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, lamag.org.

“World War I: War of Images, Images of War” at the Getty Research Institute. On the 100th anniversary of World War I, the exhibition gathers art about the experience, including propaganda and vernacular pieces. Through April 19. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, getty.edu.

“The U.S. Constitution and the End of American Slavery” at the Huntington Library. More than 80 objects, including letters by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, explore the tumultuous road that led to the abolition of slavery. Through April 20. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org.

Marten Elder, “New Color Photographs,” at Tif Sigfrids. Fragments of concrete steps and bits of cactus rendered in rich, acid tones: Artist Marten Elder turns focused bits of the L.A. landscape into photography that feels like wild sci-fi. Through April 25. 1507 Wilcox Ave., Hollywood, tifsigfrids.com.  

H. Lee, “Grassland,” at Spot Photo Works. Planting, cultivation and harvest — photographer H. Lee captures the entire life cycle of the marijuana cultivation industry in Northern California. Through April 28. 6679 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, spotphotogallery.com

“Here Now: Six Works by Six L.A. Artists” at Wilding Cran Gallery. This is an easy one: six works by six area artists: Kristine Calabrese, Ali Smith, Ian Pines, Fran Siegel, Etienne Zack and Noah Davis (the latter of whom also operates the Underground Museum in the Crenshaw District). Through May 2. 939 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, wildingcran.com.

Jonas Lund, “Strings Attached,” at Steve Turner Contemporary. In the past, this Amsterdam-based artist has attached GPS tracking devices to his paintings to chart ownership of them. Now he’s created a series of text-based works whose very words limit aspects of ownership. For example, one work is emblazoned, “This painting may never be sold at auction.” Through May 2. 6830 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, steveturner.la.

“Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change” at the Annenberg Space for Photography. An exhibition of photographs shows the ways in which humans have been contending with the rise of sea levels around the globe. Through May 3. 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, annenbergspaceforphotography.org.

“Man-Made: Contemporary Male Quilters” at the Craft and Folk Art Museum. A series of works produced by a loose network of eight male quilters features elaborate pieces depicting everything from heavy-metal iconography to biker imagery to sports. To find out more, read this feature on the quilters by my colleague Jessica Gelt. Through May 3. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, cafam.org.

"Boticelli, Titian and Beyond: Masterpieces of Italian Painting From Glasgow Museums" at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Drawn from the outstanding collection of Italian art at Scotland’s Glasgow Museums, this exhibition tracks the evolution of painting in Italy over five centuries — featuring works by Bellini, Boticelli and Titian. Through May 3. 1130 State St., Santa Barbara, sbmuseart.org.

Jonas Becker, “The Pile,” at the Craft and Folk Art Museum. A lush multimedia installation includes video, photography and a pile of cushiony hand-crafted sculptures that explore questions of desire. Through May 3. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, cafam.org.

“In Focus: Play” at the Getty Museum. A series of 20th century images that capture humans of all ages in acts of gaming, carousing, celebration and vacation. Through May 10. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, getty.edu.

“Kaleidoscope: Abstraction in Architecture” at Christopher Grimes Gallery. A group show looks at the nature of abstraction at the intersection of painting, photography, video and the architectonic. This includes an installation made out of cardboard boxes by Carlos Bunga and photographs of glass facades by Veronika Kellndorfer. Through May 16. 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, cgrimes.com.

“Guerrilla Girls: Art in Action” at Pomona College Museum of Art. Posters, handbills, books and newsletters chronicle the actions of the longtime feminist art-activists. Through May 17. 330 N. College Ave., Claremont, pomona.edu/museum.

“When the Future Had Fins: American Automotive Designs and Concepts, 1959-1973” at Christopher W. Mount Gallery. Car concept drawings from the Big Three American automakers — back when power and futuristic lines were rendered in pen and ink. Through May 20. At the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, christophermountgallery.com

“J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free,” at the Getty Center. J.M.W.'s Turner's canvases were expressive explosions of color and light at a time when many paintings were still pretty darn literal — to this day, their power remains undiminished. This exhibition gathers more than 60 works from his last 15 years of life, a period when Turner produced some of his most enduring works. DO. NOT. MISS. Through May 24. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, getty.edu.

Charles Gaines, "Gridwork 1974-1989," at the Hammer Museum. The first museum survey of the L.A.-based artist brings together early works that play with ideas of mapping and gridding, taking images of trees and moving dancers and abstracting them into coolly mathematical pieces. Through May 24. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, hammer.ucla.edu.  

“Alien She” at the Orange County Museum of Art. An exhibition tracks the far-reaching influence of the Riot Grrrl movement of the early '90s, when artists, musicians and other cultural figures created a wide range of work that brought together punk music with gender, sexuality and feminism. Through May 24. 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, ocma.net.

Fred Tomaselli, “The Times,” at the Orange County Museum of Art. Since 2005, this L.A.-born, O.C.-raised painter with a knack for the hallucinogenic has taken to reworking the cover photographs of the New York Times in ways that are poignant, funny and just plain weird. Through May 24. 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, ocma.net.

“Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio” at the Hammer Museum. Architectural and industrial designer Thomas Heatherwick has designed everything from a handbag for Longchamp to the dramatic, dandelion-like Seed Cathedral, which was the U.K. pavilion at 2010's Shanghai World Expo. This exhibition examines his prodigious output. Through May 24. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, hammer.ucla.edu.

Hammer Projects: Pedro Reyes at the Hammer Museum. The socially minded Reyes has staged a people's United Nations that employs techniques from theater games and group therapy as a way of resolving urgent issues. Through May 24. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.

“Robert Henri’s California: Realism, Race, and Religion, 1914-1925” at the Laguna Art Museum. An exhibit in Laguna Beach gathers the California works of the noted American realist portraitist, who spent long periods in Southern California painting a wide cross-section of locals — from business leaders to area Indians. Through May 31. 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, lagunaartmuseum.org.

Armin Hansen, Jim Morphesis and Lars Jan at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. A trio of exhibitions includes a survey of Armin Hansen (1886-1957), a painter known for his oceanic scenes, as well as a show by L.A. artist Jim Morphesis, a painter whose expressionistic canvases combine elements of assemblage. In the project space, Lars Jan has an installation that explores ideas of disaster and survival. Runs through May 31. 490 E. Union St., Pasadena, pmcaonline.org.

“Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. Forty-five paintings by the best-known artists of the American landscape movement, including Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Edwin Church. Through June 7. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, lacma.org.

“Light Catchers” at the California African American Museum. A reprise of an exhibition organized by the Department of Cultural Affairs in the late 1990s, this group show features the work of seven African American photographers working in Los Angeles since the late 1940s. Through June 7. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.  

“Bari Kumar: Remembering the Future” at Charles White Elementary. At LACMA’s satellite space, Kumar shows a series of paintings that combine bits of imagery that he harvests from fine art and popular culture. Through June 13, 2401 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, lacma.org

“Islamic Art Now” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Contemporary works from LACMA’s permanent collection by 20 artists who live in or have roots in the Middle East look at questions of society, gender and identity. Runs indefinitely. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, lacma.org

Find me on Twitter at @cmonstah

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