Martin Creed, “Big Dogs” at MC
The gallery space quickly becomes a more casual and relaxed environment when you’re greeted at the door by Orson, an Irish wolfhound, and his Chihuahua companion Sparky. The two dogs constitute Work No. 591, in which Martin Creed takes from the everyday and puts it — in this case the dogs — in the context of art. Less interesting is Work No. 601, the first in a series of shit films, showing people doing just that on the floor of a white gallery. However commonplace crapping might be, the more mundane and less performative Creed’s work, the more interesting, complex and humorous it becomes, such as Work No. 604, in which six phallic cacti are lined up in order of size.
6086 Comey Ave., Los Angeles | www.mckunst.com | (323) 939-3777 | Through Sept. 30
“Bill Owens: Suburbia,” MOCA Pacific Design Center
In the early 1970s, Bill Owens spent more than two years photographing a growing community just outside of San Francisco. The titles, which are quotes from his subjects, are what makes this body of work incredibly intimate: “Doing laundry is death defying; as soon as you’re done you have to start all over again.” “We don’t have to conform.” Owens’ black-and-white photos are a stunning documentation, as well as a melancholic and nostalgic portrait of those chasing a dream in postwar America.
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8687 Melrose Ave., Design Plaza G102, West Hollywood | www.moca.org | (310) 289-5223 | Through Oct. 15
“Smoking Mirrors,” China Art Objects
This stony summer show, cocurated by Amy Yao and Steve Hanson and open for two weeks only, includes gallery favorites like David Korty (showing ceramic sculptures instead of painting) and JP Munro, but also a bunch of new up-and-comers: Matt Connors’ mesmerizing painting on paper of colored dots, Bjorn Copeland’s line drawings that resemble secret codes or Masonic symbols, and Baker Overstreet’s bold painting reminiscent of Dubuffet or the early Dutch avant-garde painters. Also included: Michele Abeles, Anne Eastman, Jason Eberspeaker, Jess Holzworth, Andrew Kuo, Arthur Ou, Eddie Ruscha, David Benjamin Sherry, Ruby Sky Stiler and Spencer Young.
933 Chung King Road, Chinatown | www.chinaartobjects.com | (213) 613-0384 | Through Sept. 8