The oddly intangible installations of a French conceptualist at LACMA, the art and propaganda of World War I at the Getty Center and the abstracted desert plants of influential photographer Richard Misrach at Marc Selwyn. Plus: paintings on found paper at a new downtown L.A. project space, the techno-stylings of an Israeli dance troupe and a series of artist-led manifesto-performances. Here's what's going down in L.A.:
"Pierre Huyghe," at the L.A. County Museum of Art. This is the last stop for a traveling retrospective of work by the noted French conceptualist, who is better known for his experimentations (a site-specific sculpture made out of a beehive) than the production of serial objects. The show includes everything from a film about a monkey in Japan that serves towels while wearing the mask of a woman to a series of sculptural fish tanks (with specially designed ecosystems), one of which includes a hermit crab that uses a replica of Constantin's Brancusi's 1910 sculpture "Sleeping Muse" as a shell. Get ready for some heady art weirdness. Opens Sunday and runs 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 the start of a war that unleashed all manner of devastating technologies for killing, this exhibition gathers art about the experience: from government propaganda to a cow's shoulder bone painted by a German soldier on the eastern front. Through April 19. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, getty.edu.
Richard Misrach, at Marc Selwyn Fine Art. The influential photographer, known for his images of the Southwest, shows prints from his "Scrubs" series, in which he captures tight details of desert vegetation in ways that render the plants completely abstract. Opens Saturday and runs through Jan. 17. 9953 South Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, marcselwynfineart.com.
Ben Berlow, at Farago. There is yet another gallery space opening up in Los Angeles, this one, a project space by Max Farago, in a trio of storefronts at the base of the Tower Theatre. The first show will be an exhibition of paintings by the L.A.-born/New York-based Ben Berlow, a painter who often works with bits of found paper as his canvas (including brown paper bags). The show consists of 29 works, some painted on book leaves. Opening reception Friday at 7 p.m.; on view through Jan. 16. 224 W. 8th St., downtown Los Angeles, farago.xyz.
"L-E-V: House," at REDCAT. This adventurous contemporary dance group from Israel can make movement feel downright architectonic, with androgynous performers clad in flesh-colored leotards that serve as a canvas to projected lights. All of it is set to a smooth soundtrack of electronica. See a preview at this link. Performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown Los Angeles, redcat.org.
"Declaration of Instigation," organized by LAXART and Anna Sew Hoy. A lectern set up by artist Jody Baral will serve as a space for a series of L.A. artists, including A.L. Steiner, Paul Pescador and Paul Gellman, to deliver "manifesto performances." Sunday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.. 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, paulgellman.net. RSVP required to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Moon Beholders," at the Japanese American National Museum. The downtown L.A. museum this week unveiled a new mural by Katie Yamasaki that includes a haiku by Basho, a poet of the Edo era. The mural is now viewable by the public from the pedestrian passageway on Central Avenue. Ongoing, 100 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, janm.org.