The “Venice Mafia” may be getting on, but its capi are staying mighty frisky, continuing to experiment with forms, images and materials even as they hone their recognizable styles. Drawings by three Ferus-era figures show they’re not frittering away their golden years. Larry Bell continues to experiment with his vacuum-pressed collage-drawings — experiment, that is, after almost 30 years of cranking out these luminous apparitions with their surfaces all asparkle and their illusory space receding to infinity. Craig Kauffman now applies his thick, deliberate but brittle line to the comical — or, more accurately, comic book — rendition of women’s shoes. In their loopy perversity the stylizations skirt the spirit of current “lowbrow” — or “newbrow” — art, but prefer a minimalist simplicity to newbrow’s often-fussy horror vacui. Ed Moses pops up with some entirely surprising, entirely characteristic, entirely delicious explorations of the frontier region between shapes and processes. Leave it to Moses to produce drawings that make you love painting.
If you’re in Bergamot on Saturday, hang out until dark and take in “Irrational Exhibits 5,” the latest evening-long perfo-installation-show-a-go-go assembled by veteran performatrix Deborah Oliver. In and among the various rings (somewhere between Barnum & Bailey and Dante) are the spatiotemporal concoctions of Nancy Popp, HK Zamani/Ami Motevalli, Gul Cagin, Ed Pelissier, Janice Gomez, Brian Black and Ryan Bulis, Mariel Carranza, Noelle Mason, Carrie Patterson and at least as many others. “Drawings,” Frank Lloyd Gallery; Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., thru Oct. 28; (310) 264-3866. “Irrational Exhibits 5,” Track 16; Sat., Oct. 21, 8 p.m.; $12; (310) 264-4678. Both at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica.
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