A film about aphasia in downtown, poetic paintings in Venice, bedsheet erotica in Culver City and zines, zines, zines in Long Beach. Plus: wild abstractions, sculptures made of salt and collages of flowers crafted with gold leaf. Here's what we've got in the Datebook:
Kerry Tribe, "The Loste Note," at 356 Mission. Tribe has long used film to explore aspects of perception and cognition. For her latest project, she looks at the neurological condition of aphasia, in which the language centers of the brain are damaged -- hindering a person's ability to communicate (even as a person's personality and intellect remain unaffected). Tribe is the artist behind one of the most teeth-grittingly mesmerizing videos I've ever seen: "H.M.," from 2010, which tells the story of a man who is left without memory as the result of an experimental operation. Opens at 7 p.m. Friday and runs through May 31. 356 S. Mission Road, downtown Los Angeles, 356mission.
Enrique Martínez Celaya, "Lone Star," at L.A. Louver. In his fourth show at the gallery, the Cuban-born painter (who is based in Los Angeles) is showing a new body of his ruminative works. The show is bookended by a pair of installations: a sculpture of a young boy with tears dripping into a pool, and another boy trapped in a birdcage. The paintings lie in between, with their loose brushwork and their wistful imagery, conveying the feeling of a dream. Opens today and runs through May 16. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, lalouver.com.
Max Maslansky, "Jouissance," at Honor Fraser. Paintings made from found bedsheets, pillows and curtains feature gauzy images of intimate and erotic activities. This is an artist who fuses an adept use of paint, colors and materials with subjects that are funny and tragic as well as smutty and smart. The exhibition is being held in conjunction with the Santa Monica gallery 5 Car Garage. Opens Saturday. 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver city, honorfraser.com.
Diana al-Hadid, "Grounds and Figures," at Ohwow Gallery. Lacy, gritty pieces made from materials such as Mylar, plaster and gold leaf are what you'll find at al-Hadid's first solo show at Ohwow, where images often hover on the verge of being apparitions. Opens 6 p.m. Saturday and runs through May 16. 937 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, oh-wow.com.
"Tom LaDuke: Candles and Lasers," at Kohn Gallery. In his first show at the gallery, the L.A. artist is exhibiting his abstracted paintings, which feature a layer cake of techniques that come together to provide a wild feeling of depth. Also on view is a selection of his sculptures, which include delicate objects made from pewter, graphite and salt, such as the lamb featured at the top of this post. Opens 6 p.m. Friday and runs through May 20. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, kohngallery.com.
Long Beach Zine Fest, at the Museum of Latin American Art. More than 80 zine makers from all over will gather at the museum to show off their latest creations. Take lots of cash! 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, lbzinefest.com.
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 works as they do from pin-ups. A show of new works adds erotic layers to his regular mix of nudes. Through Saturday. 456 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, gagosian.com.
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 Saturday. 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 abstractions of Taylor (he will bury a figurative image in earthy marks) to the works by McKenzie, in which the artist remakes images with touches of craft. Through Saturday. 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, cb1gallery.com.
"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. Through Saturday. 969 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles, cjamesgallery.com.
"Coop — Works on Paper, 1987-2015" at Coagula Curatorial. The low-brow painter and hot-rod artist is known for his pieces depicting devilish pin-ups and raging monsters. Coagula has now gathered two decades' worth of the artist's work. Through Saturday. 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 Sunday at Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, csulb.edu/org/uam.
"After the Aqueduct" at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. In a time of drought, this 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 Sunday. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
"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 Sunday. 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 oversize 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.
"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. Extended through April 18. 812 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, vsf.la.
"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.
"Inglewood Urban Stage: Construction as Performance," at Inglewood City Hall. Over the course of a month, artist and architect Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong will be assembling and reassembling a stage into different configurations using a special system of modules. Special events will take place on Friday evenings at 7 and Saturdays at noon throughout the show. Through April 18. Inglewood City Hall North Plaza, 101 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, cw-zw.com.
"Robert Williams: Slang Aesthetic" at the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery. The godfather of low-brow 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.
"Beyond Graffiti 2," at the Architecture and Design Museum. Organized by the Los Angeles Art Collective, this show gathers works by the Phantom, known for his ghost-like figures, Chaz Bojorquez, who makes patterns out of typography, and Kofie, who pulls graffiti toward abstraction — among many others. Through April 23. 6032 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, aplusd.org.
Marten Elder, "New Color Photographs," at Tif Sigfrids. Fragments of concrete steps and bits of cactus rendered in rich, acid tones: 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.
"Here Now: Six Works by 6 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.
"Trio: Kathleen Johnson, Laura London, Lisa Rosel ," at C. Nichols Project. This intimate Mar Vista gallery is showing the work of three female photographers from Los Angeles — touching on portraiture, the staged, in-between spaces and female sexuality. Through May 2. 12613 1/2 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista, cnicholsproject.com.
"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 & 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 & 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.
"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 Mistake Room's 2015 artist honoree.) Through May 9. 1811 E. 20th St., downtown Los Angeles, tmr.la.
Ken Gonzales-Day, "Run Up," at Luis de Jesus Los Angeles. The photographer continues his investigation into the history of Latino lynchings in California in a new body of work that re-stages a historic 1920 lynching in Santa Rosa, using actors. Through May 9. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, luisdejesus.com.
"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 of cardboard boxes by Carlos Bunga and photographs of glass facades by Veronika Kellndorfer. Through May 16. 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, cgrimes.com.
"Henry N. Cobb: Hypostyle," at the SCI-Arc Gallery. In architecturespeak, a hypostyle is a roof supported by a series of many columns (as in Egypt's Great Temple at Karnak). In a new installation, architect Henry Cobb, of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, plays with this design, filling the gallery with columnar structures made of hollow core doors. Through May 17. 960 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles, sciarc.edu.
"American Survey, Pt. 1," at Papillion. A group show — described as a "time capsule" of 2015 — gathers work by a variety of (mostly L.A.) artists both new (such as performance artist EJ Hill) and long-running (assemblagist Timothy Washington, who recently had a solo at the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles). Through May 17. 4336 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park, Los Angeles, papillionart.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. 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
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.
Mark Ruwedel, "Pictures of Hell," at Gallery Luisotti. This photographer has truly been to hell — visiting places with all kinds of devilish names such as Hell, Devil's Kitchen and Hell's Gate and photographing them in the process. Through May 30; there's a reception for the artist 6 p.m. Saturday. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Building A2, Santa Monica, galleryluisotti.com.
"Robert Henri's California: Realism, Race, and Region, 1914-1925" at the Laguna Art Museum. The exhibit 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 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.
Robert Rauschenberg, "Photos: In + Out City Limits," at the Huntington Library. The museum is showcasing 15 photographs the artist took in Los Angeles in 1981 — images of shapes, landscape and odd pockets of the city. Through June 2. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.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
"William Pope.L: Trinket," at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Among various other works, a monumental 54-foot flag flaps and snaps to a row of industrial fans in the museum's Geffen space — a hyper-potent symbol of what true patriotism might mean. Through June 20. 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.
"Kahlil Joseph: Double Conscience," at the Museum of Contemporary Art. A 15-minute, double-screen film tells a nuanced story of life, death and moments of magic in Compton — all set to the poetic, often abstract lyrics of native son
"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.