Datebook: J.M.W. Turner's late work, African portraiture, lowbrow pin-ups

Datebook: the paintings of Mr. Turner, a renowned African portraitist, a pop icon's thrift-store paintings

The painted dramas of Mr. Turner. A play about Tokyo Rose. And the architectural images of an award-winning photographer. Plus: an influential African portraitist, two exhibitions about Afrofuturism and a show inspired by objects at an estate sale. Here’s what’s happening in the Southland this week: 

“J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free,” at the Getty Center. Mike Leigh’s Oscar-nominated film “Mr. Turner” has generated a lot of interest in the 19th century maritime painter. And for good reason: His canvases were expressive explosions of color and light at a time when many paintings were still pretty darn literal. Even 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. Runs through May 24. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, getty.edu.

Miwa Yanagi, “Tokyo Rose’s Last Tape,” at REDCAT. During World War II, a number of Japanese American women were forced to broadcast on a program called “Zero Hour.” American broadcasters collectively dubbed the female performers “Tokyo Rose.” At the end of the war, one of these young women was tried for treason by the U.S. government. In her debut work of theater, photographer Miwa Yanagi turns the story into a wildly staged play about a woman trapped between two nations. Performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, redcat.org.

“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. This year she was awarded the Julius Shulman Institute’s Excellence in Photography Award, and to mark the occasion, the institute has organized a show of her work at Woodbury University’s Hollywood gallery. Opens Saturday and runs through March 29. 6518 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, jsiarchitecture.woodbury.edu and wuho.architecture.woodbury.edu.

Malick Sidibé: Studio Malick, Bamako Mali, at Maloney Fine Art. In his second solo exhibition at Maloney, the artist is exhibiting more than 40 years of his photographic portraiture. Sidibé is renowned for matter-of-fact black-and-white images that capture the lives of young people in the wake of Mali’s independence from the French in 1960. Included in the show will be vintage prints in hand-painted glass frames. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through April 4. 2680 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, maloneyfineart.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 based on these personal objects. Opens Saturday and 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 pin-ups and raging monsters. He’s done album covers for bands such as Green Day and Lords of Acid. Coagula has now gathered two decades' worth of the artist’s work. Opens Saturday at 7 p.m. and runs through April 11. 974 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles, coagulacuratorial.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. In addition, some of the artist’s early videos — recently transferred to digital — will also be on view. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through April 4. 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, honorfraser.com.  

“Vertigo@Midnight: New Visual AfroFuturisms & Speculative Migrations,” at Pomona College and Scripps College. A pair of related exhibitions tracks the influence of Afrofuturism in art — that intersection of sci-fi, music, graphics and the history of the African diaspora. The shows feature an array of contemporary works, from the sculptures of Chakaia Booker to the photo-driven installations of Magdalena Campos-Pons. Through March 6 at the Pomona College Studio Art Hall Chan Gallery (370 N. Columbia Ave.) and the Scripps College Clark Humanities Museum (981 N. Amherst Ave.), Claremont, pomona.edu.

FINAL WEEK:

Alma Allen at Blum & Poe. Allen's bulbous and amoeboid pieces have a suppleness and buoyancy that seem to defy gravity — and the heavy materials (such as marble) from which they are made. Through Saturday. 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, blumandpoe.com.

“Laura Krifka: Reap the Whirlwind,” and André Goeritz, “Schadenfreude,” at CB1 Gallery. In a new location just south of the 10 Freeway, the gallery has a show of Krifka’s exuberant figurative paintings, all full of sex and death, balanced by the precise and cerebral abstract installations of the L.A.-based GoeritzThrough Saturday. 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, cb1gallery.com.

“Amy Elkins & Jona Frank: In Position,” at De Soto Gallery. Photography by Elkins and Frank looks at notions of gender in young dancers and boxers, respectively. Through Saturday. 1350 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, desotogallery.com.

“Don Bachardy: Hollywood,” at Craig Krull Gallery. Drawings by Bachardy featuring high-profile Hollywood figures such as Natalie Wood, Jack Nicholson and most recently, Marion Cotillard. Through Saturday. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, craigkrullgallery.com.  

"The Soboroff Typewriter Collection: Hemingway, Lennon, Capote and Others" at the Paley Center for Media. An exhibition of the typewriters used by notable writers and other well-known figures, including Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles and John Lennon. Through Feb. 28. 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, paleycenter.org.    

ONGOING EXHIBITIONS:

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.

“Robert Williams: Slang Aesthetic,” at the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery. The godfather of lowbrow art has a sprawling new 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.

“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.

“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

“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.

Josef Koudelka, “Nationality Doubtful,” at the Getty Center. A retrospective on the important Czech-born photographer gathers more than 180 works from throughout the artist's six-decade career. Through March 22. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, getty.edu.

“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.

“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.

“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.  

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.

“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

“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.

“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

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.

“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.

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.

“XX Redux: Revisiting a Feminist Art Collective” at Guggenheim Gallery. A show of important materials by an under-the-radar art collective that was committed to expanding the presence of women artists. Through March 14. Chapman University, Moulton Hall, One University Drive, Orange, guggenheimgallery.org.  

“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.

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 March 27. 1639 18th St., Santa Monica, 18thstreet.org

“Paulo Bruscky: Artist Books & Films,” 1970-2013, and “Vivian Suter: Panajachel,” at the Mistake Room. A pair of shows feature the work of Bruscky, a key Brazilian conceptualist known for his wry actions and Super-8 films, and the Argentina-born painter Suter, who creates abstract works. Through March 14. 1811 E. 20th St., downtown Los Angeles, tmr.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.

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.

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

“Jacci Den Hartog: The Etiquette of Mountains” at Rosamund Felsen Gallery. A series of sculptural works depict and explore the nature of the mountaintop. Through March 14. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, rosamundfelsen.com.  

“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.  

Anish Kapoor at Regen Projects. The influential sculptor presents a series of new pieces — some of which bear his trademark shimmering, minimalist lines (a torqued prism made of steel), but the star of the show is an earthy cave crafted from resin and earth that seems to erupt from the gallery floor. Through March 7. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.

“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 March 28. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, lalouver.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.

“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

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.

Deanna Thompson and Michael Auder, “Mixing Up the Medicine,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. This two-person exhibition captures a dialogue between Auder and Thompson — the former sends the latter photographs of himself that she turns into altered portraits. Through March 14. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.

“Tom of Finland: Early Work, 1944-1972” at David Kordansky Gallery. Kordansky has an array of drawings, gouaches and inked storyboards by the renowned illustrator of erotica, known for the confident and virile ways in which he depicted gay male sexuality. Be prepared for racy images if you click through. Through March 7, 5130 W. Edgewood Place, Los Angeles, davidkordanskygallery.com.

“Kour Pour: Samsara,” at the Depart Foundation. Pour is known for producing textile-like paintings that incorporate both historic and contemporary imagery. Through March 7. 9105 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, departfoundation.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.

Jason McLean, “Soda Gardner,” at Wilding Cran Gallery. Drawing, painting and random found objects find their way into surreal landscapes, abstract doodles and cartoon-like figures. Extended through March 14. 939 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, wildingcran.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.

"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.

“Guerilla 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.

Carolyn Castaño, "Mujeres Que Crean/Women Who Create: Medellin, Colombia," at the New Americans Museum. Known for lush paintings that touch on the drug war, Castaño has created a site-specific installation that features survivors of Colombia's armed conflict reenacting poses from historical artworks. Through March 21. 2825 Dewey Road, San Diego, newamericansmuseum.org.

Find me on Twitter at @cmonstah

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