The ladies of L.A.'s graffiti scene, a 1980s graphic icon, a defunct artist bar that gets new life, and two artists who examine the abandoned worker city tied to Chernobyl. There's plenty to do while we pray to the heavens for rain. Here's what's going down in El Lay:
Las Amazonas: L.A. Graffiti Women, at the El Segundo Museum of Art. Graffiti is often all about the dudes, a form full of macho swagger where the simple act of painting is frequently referred to as "wrecking" and "destroying." This weekend, however, the ladies will have their say at the El Segundo Museum of Art, where a group of female graffiti artists from around L.A. will gather to show and discuss their work. It's all part of "Scratch," an ongoing graff exhibition at the museum, done in collaboration with the Getty Research Institute. (I wrote about it back in June.) 3 p.m. Saturday, 208 Main St., El Segundo, esmoa.org.
The Mountain Bar at Tif Sigfrids. For three years, from 2009 to 2012, a curious artist social space operated on Gin Ling Way in Chinatown. Called the Mountain Bar, it was opened and designed by Jorge Pardo, the artist/architect who did the crazy undulating pre-Columbian galleries at LACMA, and Steve Hanson of the pioneering Chinatown gallery China Art Objects, which is now in Culver City. The Mountain Bar gathered artists, curators and other cultural types for lectures, film screenings and drinking in dim lighting. Now a piece of it has been resuscitated at Tif Sigfrids in Hollywood. Throughout the exhibition, various artists have held events at the space. This week represents the final set of happenings, including a performance by Grace Devito (8 p.m. tonight) and a variety show hosted by Denver Smith (4 p.m. Saturday). By appointment or open during events, 1507 Wilcox Ave., Hollywood, tifsigfrids.com.
Patrick Nagel at 2A Gallery. If you are, like, totally missing the '80s, then look no further than this downtown gallery space. 2A has brought together a series of posters by Patrick Nagel, the artist whose sleek graphic ladies adorned everything from nail salons to the cover of a highly prominent Duran Duran album. An excellent trip through time. Through Sept. 7. 400 S Main St, #2A, Downtown Los Angeles, 2agallery.com.
Jane and Louise Wilson, "Imperial Measure," at C. Nichols Project. Collages, sculptures and prints commemorate Pripyat, the Ukrainian city that was built to house the workers at the ill-fated Chernobyl nuclear plant, while a new commission documents the inoperative nuclear plant in San Onofre. Through Saturday. 12613 1/2 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista, cnicholsprojets.com.
The Fourth Anniversary of Libros Schmibros. The popular Boyle Heights lending library and used bookshop opened by former National Endowment for the Arts literature director David Kipen (I've landed some inexpensive volumes by Mario Vargas Llosa and Peter Matthiessen there) is celebrating its birthday. Mayor Garcetti will pay the shop a special visit. Best of all, there will be tres leches cake (no disrespect to the mayor). 3-6 p.m. Sunday, 1711 Mariachi Plaza de Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, librosschmibros.org.
Public Fiction, "Tragedy Plus Time," at 749 Ave 50. The artists of Public Fiction, currently part of the Made in L.A. Biennial at the Hammer (read the L.A. Times story about them here), will be sharing their stage with a group of six comedians at their space in Highland Park. I'm imagining earnest yet nonsensical jokes about liminality and hybridity. 8:30 p.m. Sunday, 749 Ave 50, Highland Park, hammer.ucla.edu and publicfiction.org.
Need a guide to some of the L.A. metropolitan area's best arts spaces? Check out Zach Alan's handy Google Map guide.