Regen Projects' new Sue Williams exhibition is a survey of her work from 1990 through the present day, covering the evolution of her influential and unmistakable on-again, off-again relationship with abstraction, narrative symbolism and polemic. In her early career she was prominent for paintings that took on exceptionally difficult topics relating to gender politics, sex crime and feminist art history with often explicit imagery rendered in a caustically humorous visual style that amplified rather than ameliorated its extreme violence. Over time, the abstraction with which she had always flirted eventually grabbed the wheel, and there followed a period of energetic painting that embodied rather than depicted versions of the same content. Most recently, elements of the figure have reappeared in her compositions, resulting in a surreal hurly-burly that feels like a resolution. Also on view at Regen Projects is an anticipated show from L.A. art's most beloved post-punk painter, video artist and mystical scribe. Raymond Pettibon: Desire in Pursuyt of the Whole presents all new work that further explores some of the artist's most recognizable themes the metaphorical surfer-hero riding waves of ocean and insight gleaned from literature and life. Think about heading over early and catching the Pettibon show during gallery hours before the Williams opening gets under way. Regen Projects, 633 N. Almont Drive, and Regen Projects II, 9016 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; open Tues.-Sat., thru Dec. 22; free. (310) 276-5424, regenprojects.com.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 10. Continues through Dec. 22, 2011