Masks made from detritus in downtown, a holiday open house in Santa Monica and intricate collages in Pasadena. Plus, cats — lots of cats! With the holidays upon us, it's going to be a quiet couple of weeks in the art world. But there are still quite a few shows going down. Here's what we've got on our calendars through the New Year:
Rhonda Lieberman, "The Cats in Residence Program" at 356 Mission. Because there's no such thing as too many cats (especially on the Internet). Artist Lieberman, as she did for a similar New York event, is staging a gallery "purrformance" with lots of feline players as well as an interspecies lounge/installation designed by Freecell Architecture and Gia Wolff. After, take a performer home; the piece is also a collaboration with the adoption organization Kitten Rescue. I have a feeling my dog is gonna love this show. Opening reception Sunday at 3 p.m.; runs through Jan. 25. 356 S. Mission Rd., downtown Los Angeles, 356mission.com.
"When It Is Dark Enough" and "Lucien Shapiro: The Wore," at CES Gallery. The downtown space will inaugurate a pair of new shows this weekend. "When It Is Dark Enough" features a series of hallucinatory and augmented images of people, while Shapiro's new show gathers the artist's masks, crafted from all manner of discarded items, including lots of bottle caps. The best part: the openings will also function as the gallery's first annual holiday party, complete with snacks and drinks. Opening reception Saturday at 5 p.m.; runs through Jan. 24. 709 Mateo St., downtown Los Angeles, carlesmithgallery.com.
Lou Beach, "White Pink Turpentine," at Offramp Gallery. The multifaceted Beach is a long-time illustrator who has produced album covers and graphics for magazines and newspapers (including the Los Angeles Times). Several years ago, he wrote a book of stories titled "420" that was comprised of tales that were 420 characters or less (what was then the character limit for a status update on Facebook). His current show at the gallery gathers his intricate collage work, which incorporates found illustrations from old books and magazines. These come together to form odd creatures, cluttered geometric landscapes and diagrammatic patterns crafted from carefully cut paper. A very enjoyable show. Through Jan. 4. 1702 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena, offrampgallery.com.
Zach Kleyn, "I've Got a Mind of My Own," at the Grand Central Art Center. Part musical, part personal religious history and part performance art ritual, Kleyn's happening features a life-size puppet to tell a story about growing up in a fundamentalist family. Performance is Saturday, Jan. 3 at 6 p.m., with some elements continuing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 125 N. Broadway, downtown Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.
"The Contenders," a film series, at the Hammer Museum. A collaboration between the Hammer and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, "The Contenders" is showcasing the most influential, innovative films of the last 12 months. This week's Thursday screening is "Nightcrawler," to be held at the museum tonight at 7:30 p.m. with writer-director Dan Gilroy and actor Rene Russo. Series runs through Jan. 13. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, hammer.ucla.edu. For full screenings list, visit hammer.ucla.edu/contenders.
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-decades-long 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, who is better known for his experimentations (a site-specific sculpture made out of a beehive) than the production of serial objects. 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.
"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.
"11 Years: Anniversary Group Show," at Western Projects. The Culver City gallery celebrates its 11th anniversary by bringing together artists from its permanent stable, including the seminal performer Ron Athey. Through Dec. 23. 2762 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, western-project.com.
Joanne Mitchell, "All the Hallways," at Proxy Gallery. The gallery in a box has a new 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.
Max Maslansky, "The Edge of Night," at Five Car Garage. L.A. painter Maslansky frequently takes on the work of gay adult film star Dennis Posa (also known as Dennis Parker and Wade Nichols) in deeply saturated canvases. Through Dec. 30. Call ahead at (310) 497-6895 or email email@example.com for Santa Monica location info. emmagrayhq.com.
Jacolby Satterwhite, "How Love Is Me Being as I Am," at Ohwow Gallery. Satterwhite's hallucinatory works may seem inspired by sci-fi, but many draw inspiration from the inventive drawings of his mother, who is afflicted with schizophrenia. Through Dec. 20. 937 N. La Cienega, West Hollywood, oh-wow.com.
Julie Schaefer, "Fireside Lounge to 41.296111, -105.515000," at 2A Gallery. A photographic project explores the final tragic steps traveled by Matthew Shepard, the young Wyoming man who was murdered outside of Laramie for being gay. Through Dec. 20. 400 S. Main St., downtown Los Angeles, 2agallery.com.