In her first solo museum exhibition, Angela Dufresne shows compelling and innovative large-scale landscapes with modernist architectural structures, often modified and reworked in futuristic locales. The transparent quality of the vibrantly colored paint, as well as underpainting, gives the works an impressionistic and dreamlike quality. Dufresne’s futures are romantic rather than apocalyptic. Creating her own imaginary collaborations through collage, citing music and film in addition to design and architecture, she makes work that bravely explores our histories and jumps full-force ahead.
10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood | www.hammer.ucla.edu | (310) 443-7000 | Through October 31
Why would you put a show about light in a dark lower floor of a museum? Some of the glass and plastic pieces in “Translucence” are beautiful to look at in the way that they change color under the powerful light bulbs, especially the white disc by Robert Irwin, and Pasadena native Helen Pashigan’s luminous spheres. A candylike quality to the chunks of colored industrial materials makes you want to lick a few, but the exhibit itself is small, leaving one hungry for more.
411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | www.nortonsimon.org | (626) 449-6840 | Through August 28
“Letters to the Army of Three Displayed” is the primary work in this show about activism. Bowers shows photocopied letters from women seeking abortions that were then sent to the founders of the prochoice movement in the U.S.; pinned to the wall, they’re interspersed with decorative and heavily patterned wallpapers. The video piece isn’t as effective as the letters on their own, and the framed pencil drawings of patterns with button-carrying lines such as “Keep Your Laws Off My Body” fall flat, devaluing the once powerful slogans.
631 W. Second St., downtown | www.redcat.org | (213) 237-2800 | Through August 27