The Fourth of July is fast approaching, but that doesn't mean there isn't stuff to see around Los Angeles — including a show by key female artists, a new gathering of Japanese-inspired ceramics and a video that toys with questions of identity. Here are four shows to see this week:
"Eau de Cologne," at Sprüth Magers. The gallery has gathered works by five artists key to its development — Jenny Holzer, Rosemarie Trockel, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger — all of whom subtly address women's roles in very different ways. The pieces on view date to the 1970s, when many of these figures first began to achieve artistic renown. Through Aug. 20. 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, spruethmagers.com.
Shio Kusaka, at Blum & Poe. In her second solo show at the gallery, the Los Angeles ceramic artist is presenting a new body of work inspired by existing forms — from beach balls to porcelain animals — all presented on a single pedestal 100 feet in length. Also on view is a new exhibition of the work of Françoise Grossen, the Swiss artist known for her textile and fiber works (who recently has come to the attention of Los Angeles at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel's debut exhibition, "Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women." Opens at 6 p.m. Saturday and runs through Aug. 20. 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, blumandpoe.com.
Danielle Abrams, "Quadroon," at the Grand Central Art Center. A reference to someone who is one-quarter black, the term "quadroon" gets at the absolutist ways in which race is viewed in the United States. (Someone who is part black is regarded simply as black.) Abrams is part Jewish and part African American, and in this video installation, she picks apart the myriad elements — beyond simple ethnicity and race — that come together to make up any one person's identity. Opens Saturday and runs through Sept. 11. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralcenter.com.
Carl Berg, "With a Little Help From My Friends," at the Torrance Art Museum. A series of prints created by the artist showcases abstract music and lyrics from the favorite albums of his family and friends. Also on view is "Grafforists," an exhibition that gathers works by artists preoccupied with the most elemental types of mark-making. At 2 p.m. July 9, the museum will have Berg in house to host a discussion about his work. Through Aug. 13. 3320 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, torranceartmuseum.com.
"Salomón Huerta," at Christopher Grimes Gallery. A series of works by the Los Angeles artist features his watercolor portraits of celebrated boxers, including Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano and Mike Tyson — an intimate look at the hyper-masculine figures of one of the world's most brutal sports. Through Friday. 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, cgrimes.com.
John Humble, "DTLA," at Craig Krull Gallery. Humble has been shooting Los Angeles since 1979, capturing its asphalt, signage and its buffed graffiti. His show at Craig Krull explores downtown Los Angeles, with a focus on the neighborhood's wild contrasts in architecture and its overlapping cultures. There is also a show of paintings by Dan McCleary, as well as prints by Javier Carrillo, Roberto Ortiz and Jairo Perez of the Art Division Print Collective. Through Saturday. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, craigkrullgallery.com.
Helen Rae, at Good Luck Gallery. Rae produces drawings that take fashion magazines as a point of inspiration for bright scenarios that channel the otherworldly. In each piece, something familiar remains, but coupled by elements that feel inventively sci-fi. Through Saturday. 945 Chung King Road, thegoodluckgallery.com.
"Refenestration," at Tif Sigfrids. A group exhibition inspired by the window, from the opening on a wall to the computer program of the same name, features works by key photographers such as John Divola, Uta Barth and James Welling, who have used the object — or the idea of the object — in wildly experimental ways. Through Saturday. 1507 Wilcox Ave., Hollywood, tifsigfrids.com.
"Urbanature," at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at ArtCenter College of Design. A group exhibition looks at the increasingly fraught ways in which the urban intrudes on the natural world — and the ways in which nature has adapted to this new human-centric reality. Through July 3. 1700 Lida St., Pasadena, artcenter.edu.
"C.O.L.A. 2016," at the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery. Every year, the Municipal Art Gallery features work by the winners of the City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Artist Fellowships, which honor a dozen mid-career artists from around the city — one of the rare municipal programs to directly fund artists in the United States. This year, the visual arts winners include Paolo Davanzo, Marsian De Lellis, Keiko Fukazawa, Megan Geckler, Won Ju Lim, Sarah Maclay, Blue McRight, Sandeep Mukherjee and Christine Nguyen. Through Sunday. 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, lamag.org.
Sam Gilliam, "Green April," at David Kordansky Gallery. An exhibition of large-scale works by the Washington, D.C.-based painter focuses on pieces from the late 1960s and early '70s — many of which have never been exhibited. This includes his so-called slice paintings (in which he folds a canvas with wet acrylic paint in half to create an abstracted imprint) as well as his drape paintings, stretcher-less canvases that he suspends from the walls and ceilings of an exhibition space. Through July 9. 5130 Edgewood Place, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, davidkordanksygallery.com.
Andrea Bowers, "Triumph of Labor," at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Bowers is an artist who has long been interested in questions of politics and labor. Here, she looks into different types of labor activism. This includes a series of drawings inspired by historic political graphics of women, photographs she has taken at labor rallies and her photo-realistic drawings of activists. A final gallery displays two sculptures that explore the dilemma of low wages and high tuition in higher education. Through July 9. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City, vielmetter.com.
"Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty," at the Orange County Museum of Art. The New York-based painter and photographer has long played with the tropes of feminine beauty in works that seamlessly stir the alluring with the mildly grotesque. Through July 10. 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, ocma.net.
Alex Israel, at the Huntington. In 2012, the San Marino library and museum unveiled the first of its contemporary interventions with low-key works by Ricky Swallow and Lesley Vance. Now the museum is getting bolder, with a series of installations by painter Alex Israel, whose pop-inspired canvases and objects touch on topics such as celebrity, glamour and power. Through July 11. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org.
Fred Reichman and Eleanor Ray, at the Landing. Artists from opposing coasts (he from postwar San Francisco, she from contemporary New York) produce paintings that ruminate on mundane settings. Reichman depicts spare backgrounds and quiet scenes: A sleeping figure, a brooding cat, an open window. Ray, in the meantime, depicts quiet studios and fragments of urban settings. Through July 16. 5118 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams, Los Angeles, thelandinggallery.com.
José Montoya, "Abundant Harvest: Works on Paper / Works on Life," at the Fowler Museum. Throughout his life, activist, poet and painter Jose Montoya drew — on whatever was at hand: napkins, hotel stationery and notebooks. And in those drawings he recorded the quotidian aspects of Mexican American life in the United States: dogs and children, women and sailors, pachucos and pachucas, the architecture of low-lying Central Valley neighborhoods, industrial warehouses and agricultural settings, as well as the glamorous profile of lowrider cars. It is the first comprehensive look at this vital Chicano artist's drawing practice. Through July 17. UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Drive N., Westwood, fowler.ucla.edu.
Deanna Thompson, at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. The California painter has a posthumous exhibition (she died last year) that brings together images of isolated desert homesteads and paintings of cars. They are simple works that emanate a vibrating intensity. Through July 30. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.
Ed Moses, "Moses@90: Phase Two / New Works," at the William Turner Gallery. The L.A. painter has been marking his 90th birthday with various exhibitions and events. After an initial phase ending Saturday that includes works from throughout his career, he is presenting new work at his Santa Monica gallery — abstracted self-portraits and other works, many of which have never been seen. Through July 30. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Ste. E-1, Santa Monica, williamturnergallery.com.
Deanna Templeton, "What She Said," at Little Big Man Gallery. The Huntington Beach photographer has a one-woman show that explores the nature of moody female adolescence — gathering works that show images of teens looking both demure and defiant. Says Templeton in her exhibition statement: "I see my own struggles, disappointments and bravery in these girls." Through July 31.1427 E. 4th St., Unit 2, downtown Los Angeles, littlebigmangallery.com.
Robert Mapplethorpe, "The Perfect Medium," at the L.A. County Museum of Art and the Getty Museum. A two-part exhibition spread over a pair of L.A. museums explores the photographic legacy of an artist who brought as much grace to images of flowers as he did to S&M. The LACMA portion features early drawings, collages, sculptures, Polaroids, still lifes and archival material. The Getty will present his more formal portraits, along with the infamous "X Portfolio," with its elegant S&M imagery. The LACMA show runs through July 31. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, lacma.org. The Getty exhibit also runs through July 31. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
"Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Na Hulu Ali'l," at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. For centuries, long cloaks, capes, and other attire were painstakingly layered with the bright plumage of birds. Today, fewer than 300 examples of these exquisite garments exist — which makes this show of feather works, once donned by Hawaiian royals as far back as the late 18th century, a rare treat. Through Aug. 7. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
"Routine Pleasures," at the MAK Center. Michael Ned Holte, who served as curator on the last Made in L.A. biennial at the Hammer, has put together a group show that focuses on artists who value focus and process over producing shiny objets — "termite" art as opposed to "white elephant" art. This includes works from L.A. artists such as Harry Dodge, ceramists Magdalena Suarez Frimkess and Michael Frimkess, sound artist Steve Roden and others. Just the antidote to overheated art market shows. Through Aug. 14. Schindler House, 835 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood, makcenter.org.
Tim Youd, "100 Novels," at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. As part of this long-running project, Youd retypes novels by famous authors in locations connected to the works — using the same typewriters employed by the writers. At LACE, he is retyping John Rechy's infamous hustling novel "City of Night" on an Underwood Model S (the typewriter Rechy rented to write his book). Youd also makes related sculptures and paintings that tie in with these performances. He is typing "City of Night" from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. until 3 a.m. Saturday morning at the gallery. He then will retype Rechy's novel "Numbers" at the Fern Dell entrance to Griffith Park from July 6-15 from 11am to 4pm. The sculptures will be on view at LACE through Aug. 14. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
"Division: Reflections and Shadows," with Los de Abajo Printmaking Collective with guest artists, at SPARC. Organized by curator Marietta Bernstorff, this exhibition consists of a series of new works by the L.A.-based collective, along with pieces by friends and colleagues, that push the genre while exploring the nature of borders, both physical and imagined. Through Aug. 20. 685 Venice Blvd., Venice, sparcinla.org.
"Sam Maloof Woodworker: Life/Art/Legacy," at the Maloof Foundation. The foundation is celebrating the centennial of the birth of the renowned Southern California woodworker, whose elegant objects and furnishings are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the L.A. County Museum of Art and the Smithsonian. The exhibition will feature more than 60 objects from throughout the artist's life, including furnishings, drawings, photographs and other ephemera. The show is part of a year's worth of events that will celebrate Maloof's life and work. Through Aug. 27. 5131 Carnelian St., Alta Loma, malooffoundation.org
"In Focus: Electric!" at the Getty Museum. Electricity: It powers your home, it powers your work and it powers the phone on which you are likely reading this post. This photographic exhibition at the Getty gathers historic images that showcase the allure of light and power. Through Aug. 28. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
"Art of the Austronesians: The Legacy of Indo-Pacific Voyaging," at Fowler Museum. A look at the legacy of Austronesian-speaking peoples gathers art and artifacts from the Philippines, Indonesia and other points in the South Pacific. This includes nearly 200 works, from wood sculptures to ceremonial textiles to canoe prow ornaments. Through Aug. 28. 308 Charles E. Young Drive N., Westwood, fowler.ucla.edu.
"Duchamp to Pop," at the Norton Simon Museum. Drawing mostly from the Norton Simon's permanent collection, this exhibition looks at the influence Duchamp likely had on generations of artists, from assemblagists to pop painters — figures who have appropriated elements of the everyday world and transformed them into art. Through Aug. 29. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
"Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947-2016," at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. The debut exhibition at the city's newest gallery tackles more than half a century of sculpture by women, featuring key works by important international figures (Louise Bourgeois, Lee Bontecou) and key California artists (Ruth Asawa, Clare Falkenstein). Pieces range from the ethereal (Lygia Pape's golden threads) to downright hilarious (Lara Schnitger's lacy/cat/fur assemblage sculptures). Altogether, the show offers an alternative to the narrative of the macho man postwar painting scene that has so dominated the story of 20th century art. Through Sept. 4. 901 E. Third St., Los Angeles, hauserwirthschimmel.com.
"Gronk's Theater of Paint," at the Craft and Folk Art Museum. The Los Angeles artist Gronk (born Glugio Nicandro) is widely known for his career as a painter, conceptual artist and for his work with the inventive 1970s collective Asco. He is also a longtime set designer, one who has built and painted elaborate sets for performances, plays and avant-garde operas, including works by the celebrated director Peter Sellars. This exhibition that tracks a long-running practice that melds art and architecture with the theatrical. Through Sept. 4. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
"Claire Falkenstein: Beyond Sculpture," at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The 20th century California artist, whose name has is circulating once again after being included in the debut exhibition at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, is now the subject of her own retrospective, tracking her entire career, from the 1930s to the '90s. (She passed away in 1997.) The artist, who worked in San Francisco and Los Angeles — as well as Paris — produced prints and murals, among other works, but she is best known for her sculpture: in particular, her often gritty assemblages made out of wire studded with chunks of glass. Through Sept. 11. 490 E. Union St., Pasadena, pmcaonline.org.
Hito Steyerl: Factory of the Sun, at the Museum of Contemporary Art. A video installation by the German artist takes the viewer into a dystopia where the movements of workers are harvested to create artificial sunshine. The piece, which debuted at the Venice Biennale in 2015, is a mash-up of contemporary communication, told as video game, news report documentary film and Internet video. Through Sept. 12. MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, moca.org.
"Reflections on the Self," at the California African American Museum. Drawn from the museum's permanent collection, this wide-ranging exhibition looks at the representation of the self, examining the idealized and mythicized ways that artists have portrayed pop and cultural icons, from Malcolm X to Thelonious Monk to a New Orleans grand marshal. Also on view at the museum is "Oh Snap! West Coast Hip Hop Photography," which will feature an array of hip-hop artists who came up in the '90s, such as Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur and others. Through Sept. 18. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
"MOLAA at Twenty: 1996-2016," at the Museum of Latin American Art. The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach is celebrating two decades in existence with a show that draws from the museum's permanent collection of more than 1,600 objects. These include works by renowned Modernists Joaqun Torres-Garca and Wifredo Lam, Argentine conceptualist Len Ferrari as well as contemporary figures such as Alexandre Arrechea and Patssi Valdez. Through Jan. 1. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
"Senses of Time: Video and Film-Based Works of Africa," at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. For one of its long-term installations, the museum has gathered works of video or film by contemporary African artists that explore the body and the looping nature of time. This includes pieces by figures such as Yinka Shonibare, Sammy Baloji, Berni Searle, Moatax Nasr and Theo Eshetu. Through Jan. 2. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, lacma.org.
"Non Fiction" at the Underground Museum. An emotionally charged exhibition curated by the late Noah Davis, in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles brings together works that explore issues of race and violence. This includes important works from MOCA's permanent collection by artists such as Robert Gober, Kara Walker, Henry Taylor and David Hammons. Through March. 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, Los Angeles, theunderground-museum.org.
"Geographically Indeterminate Fantasies," hosted by Providence College Galleries. Don't worry if you're nowhere near Providence College in Rhode Island. A new digitally-minded exhibition by the art writing team at Art F City features more than two dozen works by artists who use animated GIFs to create work — from Brenna Murphy's dizzying electronic architecture to Jacolby Satterwhite's pulsing alternate universe. It's the sort of thing that will encourage you to spend quality time online (and away from awful Facebook). pcgalleries.providence.edu.
"Islamic Art Now: Part 2" 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., Mid-Wilshire, lacma.org.