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By Gabé Hirschowitz | November 28, 2017 | Culture
’Tis the season to be cultured. Forget shopping and get hopping to the best art "happenings" around town.
Heather Gwen Martin, “Cue” (2017, oil on linen), 77 inches by 82 ½ inches.
Starting on the Westside, make your first stop the LA Louver Gallery, where exhibits of new works by artists Heather Gwen Martin and Deborah Butterfield will be featured simultaneously until Jan. 6, 2018. Says director Elizabeth East, “Martin has produced 17 new paintings that proliferate in an array of sumptuous colors, embodying the energy and vitality of downtown Los Angeles, where she lives and works.” Director Kimberly Davis adds, “Butterfield’s powerful body of work addresses the global impact of disasters to our environment. She is renowned for her horse sculptures, but in her newer constructions, the artist has incorporated detritus from the 2011 Japanese tsunami and earthquake.” Somehow timely. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, 310.822.4955, lalouver.com
Willem de Rooij, “3-part tracksuit (jacket, t-shirt, pants), size L,” (2015)
Next, hop up to the always fun Hammer Museum, where one upcoming exhibition, Stories of Almost Everyone, opening in January, is about the willingness to believe the tales that are conveyed by works of contemporary art. “People naturally project narratives onto all kinds of inanimate objects, and the same thing happens when we encounter a work of art,” says Hammer Museum Director Ann Philbin. “This exhibition offers a wonderfully imaginative exploration of the stories that we tell ourselves about art—as institutions, as visitors and as artists.” 10899 Wilshire Blvd., 310.443.7000, hammer.ucla.edu
Erika Verzutti, “Centipede” (2017, bronze), 187 inches by 23 5/8 inches by 5 15/16 inches, edition of three
Several miles east in LA’s Mid-Wilshire district, the glistening new Marciano Art Foundation has joined the Getty and arts organizations across the region for Pacic Standard Time: LA/LA with an exhibition, Latin American Artists in the Marciano Collection, on view until Jan. 13. “I’m particularly excited to show a new bronze sculpture by Erika Verzutti, a Brazilian artist we have been watching for some time now and are proud to have in the collection!” says Jamie G. Manné, deputy director. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., 424.204.7555, marcianoartfoundation.org
Tomoharu Murakami, “Untitled” (1986-87, oil on canvas), 36 inches by 28 ½ inches
Nowhere in Mid-Wilshire is more happening than the La Brea corridor. At Kayne Grin Corcoran, don’t miss Tomoharu Murakami, on view until Jan. 6. Murakami’s intense dedication to his practice takes on a deep spiritual dimension. Founding partner Maggie Kayne says, “We strongly believe that he’s one of the most underappreciated abstractionists to emerge in the postwar era—on any continent—and we look forward to reintroducing the West Coast to the depth and uniqueness of his practice!” 1201 S. La Brea Ave., 310.586.6886, kaynegrincorcoran.com
Jonas Wood, “Romancing the Stone” (2017, oil and acrylic on canvas), 65 inches by 65 inches
Next door, David Kordansky Gallery presents Interiors and Landscapes, on view through Dec. 16, an exhibition of new work by Jonas Wood. Kurt Mueller, director of institutional and media relations, remarks, “Jonas’ second exhibition in our galleries is a paradox: At once, it feels even more expansive, with views of Las Vegas, the contents of his wife’s ceramics studio, and the Colombian jungle via 20th Century Fox, as well as more ‘micro,’ with increasingly refined and subtle shifts in hue, mark and texture. There’s a thoroughgoing intimacy to the grandness on display— and vice versa.” 5130 W. Edgewood Place, 323.935.3030, davidkordanskygallery.com
A portrait of artist Cammie Staros on display at the Shulamit Nazarian gallery on La Brea.
Want another kind of “intimate”? Make a quick detour up La Brea to Shulamit Nazarian, which presents Cammie Staros, on view until Dec. 20. “This is Staros’ first solo exhibition with the gallery,” says founder Shulamit Nazarian. “Her sculptures, which disclose the tradition of fetish and sexuality in art history, are mysterious, sophisticated and playful all at once. Her material exploration ranges from ceramic techniques shared by many ancient cultures to industrial forms such as neon, felts and various metals—a perfect marriage of contemporary sculpture, modernism, antiquity and craft.” 616 N. La Brea Ave., 310.281.0961, shulamitnazarian.com
Adrián Villar Rojas, “The Theater of Disappearance” (2017), Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz
Finally, get to Downtown, the very nexus of LA’s booming art scene. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles offers up Adrián Villar Rojas: The Theater of Disappearance, featuring the artist’s site-specific installation inside The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA’s warehouse space, on view through May 13. “Villar Rojas and his dedicated team of jewelers, fabricators, conservators and artists travel around the world creating large-scale, sitespecific installations that defy our contemporary ideas about art,” says chief curator Helen Molesworth. “Part earthworks, part movie set, part traveling circus, the final ‘product’ is always just slightly out of reach, since the artist is not interested in permanence, but rather decay, entropy and the ravaging, inevitable effects of time.” Perhaps a sign of our current times? Don’t miss it. 152 N. Central Ave., 213.625.4390, moca.org
PHOTO COURTESY OF LA LOUVER GALLERY