This week, three summer group shows feature cleverly weird work, and black lozenge-shapes appear around the city.
5. Blue satin streamers
The house Richard Neutra built in the 1930s across the street from the Silver Lake Reservoir, which his son rebuilt in the late 1960s after a fire destroyed it, is almost all windows. Light shines in from all sides of most rooms, which makes the house's open-air walkways and balconies seem like natural extensions of the already very exposed house. Artist-architect Bryony Roberts has hung long blue cords of satin from these open-air areas, and they look like falling lines of water, shimmering when the light catches them. 2300 Silver Lake Blvd.; through Sept. 7; $10 donation. (323) 644-5480, neutra-vdl.org.
4. Little things made big
You have to pull aside two heavy, gray curtains to get into the dark back gallery at Matthew Marks, where Trisha Donnelly's untitled film currently plays on a screen as wide as the wall. You sit in cushioned seats and watch a high-resolution image of a torn net blowing back and forth; then there's a blur of fluids, like those running across a windshield in a car wash. Then you're staring at what could be a blown-up view of a petri dish, or maybe some gunk and scratches on a camera lens. All these images, which normally would seem incidental, seem weighty on that screen. 1062 N. Orange Grove Ave., W. Hlywd.; through Sept. 21. (323) 654-1830, matthewmarks.com.
3. Contorted, broken and miscellaneous
Georg Herold's Mount Parnass is a towering, jagged, fuchsia figure made of wood, canvas and lacquer. One of its legs reaches up toward the skylight in Perry Rubenstein's current group show, while the other bends below its body in a contortionist pose. The show also includes Paul McCarthy's Drop Head/Bounce Head, a yellow, silicone Pinocchio head with its nose broken off, and Patrick Jackson's Tchotchke Stack (arm wrestling), in which six sheets of glass are held up by groups of tchotchkes so close in size that they keep the glass impressively even. 1215 N. Highland Ave.; through Aug. 31. (310) 395-1001, perryrubenstein.com.
2. Relentlessly useless
Artist Richard Artschwager made his first "blps" circa 1967, when graffiti was just starting to appear in the United States. The charcoal-colored marks looked like lozenges standing upright, and they'd show up on outside walls, subway cars, shop windows or, once, the ceiling of the Whitney Museum. Iconic gallerist Leo Castelli once said the blps were the artist's "Kilroy," referring to the cartoon of a big nose, eyes and two hands GIs drew after WWII under the slogan "Kilroy was here." Artschwager has described the blps more abstractly as "a mindless invasion" that "relentlessly refuses to give up its uselessness." As part of Artschwager's current Hammer Museum retrospective, blps will pop up around L.A. and Las Vegas, courtesy of the museum and nonprofit LAND. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd., and around town; through Sept. 1. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
1. Feeling fictional
Actress Herlinde Smet's eyes start to water the first time she recites the "All persons fictitious" disclaimer, the one that appears at the start or end of movies and asserts that any resemblance to real people is pure coincidence. By the third time, her mascara has started to run. She continues to repeat the disclaimer while holding back sobs and wiping away tears for all six minutes of Michael Curran's video, aptly titled Disclaimer. Curran's work features in "Station Identification," the smart current exhibition at Michael Benevento gallery, along with Jonathan Horowitz's torn portrait of the pope and the sound piece in which Louise Lawler utters the names of male artists in a voice that expertly mimics bird calls. 7578 Sunset Blvd.; through Aug. 24. (323) 874-6400, beneventolosangeles.com.
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