A mock U.N. made up of Angelenos, contemporary art from artists with roots in the Middle East, the early erotic works of Tom of Finland, and Larry Clark’s photos for sale — cheap. Plus: textile-like paintings, a group show about love and war, late night in the Los Angeles Arts District and lots going down in conjunction with the L.A. Art Book Fair. As usual, it’s a busy week in the Southland. Here’s what we’ve got on the calendar:
Hammer Projects: Pedro Reyes, at the Hammer Museum. Reyes, an artist who has turned weapons into musical instruments and guns into shovels has an exhibition that is part installation and part performance — and it will involve members of the public. Over the course of his show, he will stage a people’s United Nations that will employ techniques from theater games and group therapy as way of resolving urgent issues. Opens Saturday and runs through May 24. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
“Islamic Art Now,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Numerous objects from the museum’s Islamic art collection are currently on tour in Latin America, which has liberated precious gallery space to show contemporary works from LACMA’s permanent collection by contemporary artists who live in or have roots in the Middle East. This will include works by 20 artists from Iran and the Arab world, including well-established figures such as Mona Hatoum, Wafaa Bilal and Shirin Neshat. A good opportunity to admire what the museum has been acquiring. Opens Sunday and runs indefinitely. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Bari Kumar: Remember the Future,” at Charles White Elementary. At LACMA’s satellite space, Kumar will show a series of paintings that combine bits of imagery that he harvests from fine art and the popular culture — both from the U.S. and his native India. The show will include the creation, destruction and re-creation of ephemeral rangoli paintings out of colored powders, done in collaboration with the school's students. Opens Friday, 2401 Wilshire Blvd., MacArthur Park-Westlake, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Tom of Finland: Early Work, 1944-1972,” at David Kordansky Gallery. For their first show devoted to the work of the renowned illustrator of erotica, Kordansky has an array of drawings, gouaches and inked storyboards, some of which date to the 1940s, when Touko Laaksonen (a.k.a. Tom of Finland) had just finished his service in the Finnish Army. The pictures are by now part of the cannon of 20th century culture for the confident and virile ways in which they depict gay male sexuality. Be prepared for some racy images if you click through on the link. Through March 7, 5130 W. Edgewood Place, Mid-City, Los Angeles, davidkordanskygallery.com.
Deanna Thompson and Michael Auder, “Mixing Up the Medicine,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. This two-person exhibition captures a dialogue between artists. Auder would send Thompson photographs of himself and Thompson would transform them into portraits, albeit with facets of the image altered. The show also includes Auder’s films and videos, compilations of footage that he shoots of the world around him. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through March 14. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid City, Los Angeles, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.
“Love/War,” at MAMA Gallery. New York graffiti artists Mint&Serf and art house publishers Paperwork NYC have organized a weeklong group show that is all about conflict. The lineup includes more than three dozen artists, including noted photographers such as Boogie and Estevan Oriol and multimedia artists Peter Sutherland and Yung Jake. Opens Saturday at 7 p.m. and runs through Feb. 7. 1242 Palmetto St., downtown Los Angeles, mama.gallery.
"After Living in the Room of Réalités Nouvelles, at Sonce Alexander Gallery." A group exhibition gathers a network of artists bound by social and intellectual connections — be they as mentors, friends or colleagues. Through Feb. 26. 2634 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, soncealexandergallery.com.
“Kour Pour: Samsara,” at the Depart Foundation. Pour is known for producing textile-like paintings that incorporate both historic and contemporary imagery, from religious icons to wild creatures in elaborate, oversized canvases. Opens Friday at 6 p.m. and runs through March 7. 9105 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, departfoundation.com.
Larry Clark in L.A.: $100 Photograph Sale, at Ooga Booga Chinatown. Consider this an artist version of a garage sale: Clark, the artist and director is selling photographs taken around the locations of his films for just $100 each. These aren’t gallery-grade prints, but snapshots printed at drugstores and one-hour photo shops. Even so, a pretty good deal. Starts today at noon and runs through Feb. 4. 943 N. Broadway, Ste. 204, Chinatown, Los Angeles, larryclark.com and oogaboogastore.com.
Emily Mast, “The Stage is a Cage,” at Museum as Retail Space. A new gallery space in the downtown Arts District is opening its doors with a special one-night performance by Emily Mast. The performance will result in the creation of a monumental work on paper that will be used in an upcoming exhibition the artist has in France. Saturday at 8:30 p.m.; RSVP required at firstname.lastname@example.org. 649 S. Anderson St., downtown Los Angeles, marsgallery.net.
Los Angeles Art Book Fair (LAABF), at the Museum of Contemporary Art. A veritable warehouse of D.I.Y. artist books, handmade zines, polished catalogues, and out-of-print wonders will be available at the third iteration of the popular art book fair. Check out my blog post from Wednesday to see some recommendations for things to see. In the meantime, catch me at the fair on Saturday, where I’ll be presenting as part of X-TRA’s “1 Image 1 Minute” series. Opens Friday at noon and runs through Sunday at 6pm, during which admission is free. There will be a special preview this evening at 6pm; admission $10. At the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, laartbookfair.net.
Arts District Night, in the downtown Los Angeles Arts District. Been meaning to check out all of the new galleries in the Arts District? Well, now is your chance to hit them all in one fell swoop. Arts spaces around the neighborhood will stay open late on Saturday — a good opportunity to check out some shows after the LAABF. Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the Arts District. To view a map with all of the participating spaces, log on to artsdistrictnight.com.
Joanne Mitchell, “All the Hallways,” at Proxy Gallery. The gallery in a box has a show up by L.A. artist Mitchell consisting of all the hallway scenes from Chantal Akerman’s 1975 drama “Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.” Through Jan. 31. Otis Graduate Studios, 10455 Washington Blvd., Culver City, ospace.otis.edu/proxy_gallery.
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., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Pierre Huyghe” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. The hallucinatory retrospective of the French conceptualist, better known for his experimentations (a site-specific sculpture made out of a beehive) than the production of serial objects. Read our handy unsanctioned guide to the show. Through Feb. 22. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, 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.
“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, Brentwood, Los Angeles, 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. Runs through April 20, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org.
Christine Corday, “Protoist Series, Selected Forms,” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. Corday's 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., Mid-City, 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, including sexual fetishists, Miami homicide detectives and members of New York’s Hasidic community. Opens Saturday at 3 p.m. and runs through April 18. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, smmoa.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. There will be a reception for the artist on Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. Runs through April 18. 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.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.
“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. Runs through April 12, at Cal State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, csulb.edu/org/uam.
“Paulo Bruscky: Artist Books & Films,” 1970-2013, and “Vivian Suter: Panajachel” at the Mistake Room. A pair of shows features the work of Bruscky, a key Brazilian conceptualist known for his wry actions, and the Argentina-born painter Suter, who creates abstract works. Runs 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. Runs through May 3. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
Jonas Becker, “The Pile” at the Craft and Folk Art Museum. A lush multimedia installation that includes video, photography and a pile of cushiony hand-crafted sculptures explores questions of desire. Runs through May 3. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
“The Heart Is the Frame,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. A thoughtful group exhibition (I wrote more about it here) gathers a wide range of video, photographic and sculptural works for a look at the ways in which art can penetrate everyday life. Through Feb. 14. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
Liz Magic Laser, “The Thought Leader,” and Anna Sew Hoy, “Face No Face,” at Various Small Fires. Laser creates a fictional TED talk out of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Notes From Underground" while Sew Hoy shows void-filled sculptures that employ material (such as denim) in wry and unlikely ways. Runs through Feb. 21. 812 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, vsf.la.
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 (like marble) from which they are made. Runs through Feb. 28. 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, blumandpoe.com.
Sadie Benning, “Fuzzy Math,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. The New York-based artist produces puzzle-like paintings that mix bold, bright color with graceful texture. Runs through Feb. 14. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City, vielmetter.com.
Glen Kaino, “Labyrinths,” at Honor Fraser. A series of new installations features maps reconfigured into origami, a depiction of a wormhole and a 40-foot wall made of wax. Runs through Feb. 14. 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, honorfraser.com.
“When the Future Had Fins: American Automotive Designs and Concepts, 1959-1973” at Christopher Mount Gallery. Car concept drawings from the Big Three American automakers, back from when power and futuristic lines were rendered in pen and ink. Runs through May 20. At the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, christophermountgallery.com.
“Mending Wall,” a group show, at The Pit. A relatively young gallery in Glendale has a worthwhile group show that also looks at ideas of construction, with works by John Houck, Huma Bhabha and Jake Kean Mayman. Runs through Feb. 22. 918 Ruberta Ave., Glendale, the-pit.la.
Kon Trubkovich, “House of the Rising Sun,” at Ohwow Gallery. The Moscow-born artist presents a series of new paintings based on footage of President Ronald Reagan’s 1987 speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Runs through Feb. 14. 937 La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, oh-wow.com.
“Roberto Chavez: Portraits” at Glike Gallery. If you missed Chavez's retrospective at the Vincent Price Art Museum, now's your chance to see this important artist and educator's paintings, which often verge on the mordantly funny. Runs through Feb. 22, 5890 Blackwelder St., Suite B, Culver City, glikegallery.com.
“Mike Kuchar: Saints and Sinners” at François Ghebaly. The underground filmmaker is also known for homoerotic drawings that are as salacious as they are fantastical and hilarious: studly gladiators, well-endowed dinosaur hunters and a Viking with a very large, um, weapon. Runs through Feb. 14. 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown Los Angeles, ghebaly.com.
“Laura Krifka: Reap the Whirlwind,” and André Goeritz, “Schadenfreude,” at CB1 Gallery. Now 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 Goeritz. Runs through Feb. 28. 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. Runs through Feb. 28. 1350 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, desotogallery.com.
Mark A. Rodriguez, "Cup or Lovers," at Park View. A series of abstracted works evoke various aspects of home: copper pipes, a set of carved table legs and a drawing on a napkin that isn’t a napkin but a cast. Runs through Feb. 15. 836 S. Park View St., Westlake, Los Angeles, parkviewparkview.com.
David Stork, “10 Block Square: Havana 1999,” at Couturier Gallery. An L.A-based photographer captures Cuba in the 1990s, when he documented a 10-block square section of Havana during a profound economic crisis. Runs through Feb. 14. 166 N. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park, Los Angeles, couturiergallery.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. Runs through Feb. 28. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, craigkrullgallery.com.
Mira Dancy, “Is She Is She Psychic,” at Night Gallery. Playing with the psychological and graphic qualities of advertising, Dancy uses a series of paintings to imagine an ad campaign for an invented fragrance called “Herfume Perfume.” Runs through Feb. 21. 2276 E. 16th St., downtown Los Angeles, nightgallery.ca.
G.T. Pellizzi, “Before Completion,” at Harmony Murphy Gallery. A series of sculptures and wall installations are inspired by the architecture of the gallery and the “I Ching,” exploring the notion of ideas on the verge of being completed. Runs through Feb. 14. 679 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, harmonymurphygallery.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. Runs through Feb. 21. 939 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, wildingcran.com.
"Agents Provocateurs: A Selection of Subversive Skateboard Graphics and Artworks" at Subliminal Projects. Provocative skateboard graphics produced by an array of skaters, graphic designers and contemporary artists. Opens Saturday at 8 p.m. and runs through Feb. 21. 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, Los Angeles, subliminalprojects.com.
“Space Program” at Steve Turner. Turner unveils his new Hollywood exhibition space with a group show by his stable of artists — including sculpture by Yung Jake and paintings by Deborah Grant. The standout is a behemoth 20-foot collaged piece about corruption and drug war violence by Camilo Restrepo. Runs through Feb. 7. 6830 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, steveturner.la.
“Three Painters: Walpa D’Mark, Barbara Kaleta, and Ian Pines” at Coagula Curatorial. Works by three emerging Los Angeles painters collectively touch on everything from psychedelia to landscape to the visceral bits of the human body. Runs through Feb. 14. 974 Chung King Road, coagulacuratorial.com.
“Elemental: Seeing the Light,” at Descanso Gardens. Taking on the subject of light, this group show looks at the ways in which artists — from Light and Space stalwart Larry Bell to photographer Nancy Macko — are inspired by ethereal rays. Runs through April 5. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, descansogardens.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. Runs through May 17. On Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m., the Guerilla Girls will be on hand for a performance and reception. 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. Runs through March 21. 2825 Dewey Road, San Diego, newamericansmuseum.org.
Find me on Twitter @cmonstah.