Friedrich Kunath, We Are Due for a Transcendent Moment (Cosmic Cowboy) (2016)
Friedrich Kunath, We Are Due for a Transcendent Moment (Cosmic Cowboy) (2016)
Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

5 Free Art Shows to See in L.A. This Week

This week, socks cover the floor in a Mid-City exhibition, and a Mexico-based artist makes furniture shaped like human limbs.

The only one for me
Friedrich Kunath’s current exhibition at Blum & Poe feels like the manifestation of a break-up novel in which the protagonist keeps talking about riding off into the sunset but never actually does (because, for all his talk about being better off without love, he still hopes it will return to him). The galleries are carpeted, the first in a lush maroon dotted with tie-dyed socks. The walls are full of paintings and the whole thing is an over-the-top sensation of colors and textures. Socks hang over dividing walls, and two round penguin sculptures stare at a romanticized, pastel-hued portrait of a woman. Another painting depicts a lone cowboy riding a white, winged horse, a line drawing of an empty apartment superimposed over him. A painting of a glorious sunset seen through an open window has words scrawled across its center: “Maybe I’m the only one for me.” 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Mid-City; through Oct. 14. (310) 836-2062, blumandpoe.com.

Coin on carpet
Carmen Argote vacuums up the coins that are spread across a white carpet in a video playing on a loop in “Pyramids,” her current show at Panel L.A. The video plays on a vintage television set up on the floor. Down the narrow hallway, en route to the bathroom, you’ll find a room with white carpeting and coins scattered along the floor, the door blocked by an angled two-by-four. The whole setup conjures the New Testament parable about the widow, searching high and low for a lost coin that would have meant nothing to someone of greater means because value is subjective. Outside, on the project space’s balcony, Argote has built a pink rectangular island with a slot into which a white staircase seamlessly slides. On each step of the staircase are coffee makers, a few of which have coffee in them. Most look used, but they’re displayed like precious trophies. 1914 Raymond Ave., Pico-Union; through Oct. 29. panel.la.

Golden feet
When he designed his hand chair, in which the seat is an oversized palm and wooden fingers serve as the backrest, Mexico-based Pedro Friedeberg was still in his early 20s. Just a year before, he’d joined the Mexican collective Los Hartos (the Fed-Ups), a group of intentional absurdists. Now, 55 years later, his general sensibility has evolved but hasn't necessarily changed. His current eccentric, extravagant exhibition at M+B, part of PST: LA/LA, includes mostly new work — a few objects date back to the early 2010s, but most are from the past two or three years. Hands hold up tables, as do skulls with white feet. Wooden feet hold up one gilded bureau as golden feet dangle above them, not long enough to reach the ground. The paintings recall op-art, with undulating grids and lines, but they’re weirder: Four shoes dance around the center of one, while fish hover in corners. 612 N. Almont Drive, West Hollywood; through Nov. 4. (310) 550-0050, mbart.com.

Lips on the floor

Moving lips projected onto the floor of a small passageway, blocked off on all sides by black curtains, speak to you in “Stutter,” the current group exhibition at Visitor Welcome Center. Douglas Kearney, a poet, made this film, and it’s hypnotizing even as it’s uncomfortable. “Stutter,” the lips say, “doesn’t constitute a failure to say a word.” It delays, extends a word, interrupts language’s flow. Elsewhere in the show, Sonia Louise Davis has woven wires into tapestries otherwise made of fiber, and Joeun Aatchim has made antique mosaics with cartoon figures on them. A cartoon version of Sappho, the iconic female poet, hovers at the center of one mosaic. 3006 W. Seventh St., Suite 200A, Koreatown; through Oct. 14. (213) 703-1914, visitorwelcomecenter.org.

Disney down South
Paul Pescador titled his film Greetings Friends after a 1942 Disney film made to prevent Nazis from infiltrating Latin America. In the original, an airplane named Pedro from Santiago, Chile, gets caught in a storm, and Goofy plays a cigarette-smoking American cowboy visiting Argentina, trying to go native. Pescador’s version combines cartoon imagery with phone footage, sketches and a voice-over in which the artist narrates his attempt to trace Walt Disney’s path through Latin American countries. He screens his film this week, and will take questions after. 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro; Sat., Oct. 7, 7 p.m.; free. angelsgateart.org.


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