This week, a painter pays tribute to the LACMA Rock, two artists host a debate over micheladas in Hollywood, and gymnast rings hang inexplicably in a painting show in El Segundo.
How to clone a dog
The first thing you see when you walk up the flight of stairs leading to Favorite Goods gallery is an uneven tapestry stretched across the front room, made of sweaters and used fabric. The tapestry, the work of artists Matt Endler and Erin Jane Nelson, is called Doggy Daddy; it has some text printed on it about the cost and process of cloning a dog. The text looks like the sort of poster you'd see stapled to a telephone pole. Most of the work in this group show references both street life and domestic spaces. In a darkened side gallery, Pascual Sisto has projected footage of palm trees blowing in the wind onto Venetian blinds. The blinds glow red, suggesting an apocalyptic sunset, or perhaps a city on fire. 936½ Chung King Road, Chinatown; through Oct. 3. (323) 488-3287, favoritegoodslosangeles.com.
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Talking it out
At the end of January, artists Elana Mann and Robby Herbst hosted a multiday event called Chats About Change. The idea was to get artists and activists talking to each other about potentially sticky, charged topics such as ethics or institutional politics. The first event involved some passionate conversations and fascinating clashes of sensibilities: People with grassroots backgrounds think differently than people with art history degrees, and artists who show in community spaces see the world differently than those with gallery representation. Since then, Mann and Herbst have co-hosted smaller talks under the title "Race, Art, and Survival" in collaboration with the collective Michelada Think Tank. The final one, on intergenerational dialogue among people of color, is this week. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., Aug. 31, 7 p.m. (323) 957-1777, welcometolace.org.
The rock revisited
Emily Davis Adams’ current show at CB1 Gallery includes just one painting, a rendering of the newly legendary rock that currently sits behind LACMA. Called Levitated Mass and conceived by land artist Michael Heizer, the 340-ton rock has been a conversation piece since before its 11-day journey from a Riverside quarry to the museum three years ago. Is it majestic? Underwhelming? Does it even look as though it’s levitating in the way it was supposed to? In Adams’ portrait of the rock, the trench it rests on is absent, and the behemoth does appear to levitate, floating against blue sky. There’s a bench in front of the painting, so you can sit and meditate on one artist’s modest take on another artist’s monolith for as long as you like. 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown; through Sept. 5. (213) 806-7889, cb1gallery.com.
Carnival in the gallery
Two gymnast rings dangle from the ceiling of “Studio,” the current show at El Segundo Museum of Art. Similar rings appear in a few of the 30 eccentric paintings that hang stacked on top of one another on the main gallery’s four walls. All of them are by the late, lesser-known German artist Norbert Tadeusz, who often flattened and skewed his figures and once said he chose what to paint based on its color. In one painting an acrobat dangles, two women in bathing suits play pool and a man in boxers with shaving cream on his face wanders down a flight of stairs. Another shows a naked man jumping over a chair in an art studio. The whole show is like a half-domestic, half-carnivalesque dreamscape. 208 Main St., El Segundo; through Sept. 27. (424) 277-1020, esmoa.org.
Hard edges, messy thoughts
Kathie Foley-Meyer’s Brown People, Glass House looks as you’d expect from the title. There’s a clear, see-through house made of white neon and glass plates, enclosed in a Plexiglas case. Inside, dark figures that look something like gingerbread men stand clumsily in various rooms. A digital frame set up in the house’s front room shows home photos of an African-American family. A sleek idea of modernism thus collides with lowbrow quaintness. Foley-Meyer’s house appears in the show "Hard-Edge" at the California African American Museum, which focuses on artists of African descent who employ tropes of geometric abstraction. But the approach these artists take is grittier and more charged than better-known California hard-edge painters. Enoch Mack plays word games with his shaped canvas. April Bey pools hair relaxer on grids of photos of people wearing their hair naturally, even though natural is still so often frowned upon. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park; through April 24. (213) 744-7432, caamuseum.org.