An ambitious retrospective that includes a fair amount of wildlife opens at LACMA, and a cathedral hosts a surprisingly eerie exhibition.
5. Church art
In 2000, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels commissioned artist Simon Toparovsky to build a life-size bronze crucifix for its altar. Currently, Toparovsky also has a series of installations in the chapels surrounding the cathedral's main sanctuary. One is a wall of shrubbery with bronze, chained dogs embedded in it and a window at center that looks into a stoic silver and brown sculpted garden. It’s as dramatic as church art should be but also surprisingly dark. 555 W. Temple St., dwntwn.; through Feb. 15. (213) 680-5200, vesselsandchannels.org.
4. Rock head
In the second room of “You Can’t Sleep on a Door,” Brian Bress’ current Cherry and Martin exhibition, there’s a tall, stand-alone rectangle of rich walnut. It has a triangle cut in the middle through which a high-definition video plays. The video shows a child-sized figure with an orange and red agate for a face, swinging back and forth rhythmically in a gray sling. Called Pendulum, the sculpture is awkward and elegant in the best way. 2712 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; through Jan. 3. (310) 559-0100, cherryandmartin.com.
3. Making demands
For his show at Michael Benevento, Christian Cummings made a series of prophylactic rubber windows the size of picture frames. They have rubber replicas of window blinds attached to their top edges, and one of the windows is actually embedded into the gallery’s white wall — something about the way the wall protrudes through makes you badly want to touch the art. Others have drawings on notebook paper inside of them. One such drawing has the words “I want more money!” written inside an eruption of black ballpoint lines. 7578 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; through Dec. 20. 323-874-6400, beneventolosangeles.com.
2. Wall of stuff
It’s the fullness and brightness that initially makes Jeff Colson’s Roll Up, an almost life-size wood sculpture of an overflowing garage, arresting. There’s the orange traffic cone, the yellow antifreeze jug and the two patterned mattresses holding the white, slatted garage door open at an awkward angle. The details are the ultimate highlight, however. At first glance, everything looks familiar and believable. But Colson crafted all these objects from memory, so some of them, such as the rifle that’s resting on the iron board, have flourishes that are slightly off. 2680 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; through Dec. 20. (310) 570-6420, maloneyfineart.com.
1. Bees on my head
When you enter French artist Pierre Huyghe’s LACMA retrospective, a man in a tuxedo announces your full name loudly. The exhibition is mostly dark. The few overhead lights flicker, and the setting is always changing. Sometimes certain videos are projected on certain walls; sometimes they aren’t. And you might see a dog with a pink leg, the same dog that appears in one of Huyghe’s slow-moving, melancholic films, wander through the galleries, perhaps following a well-dressed man with a lantern on his head. If you go out the back entrance, at your own risk, you’ll find yourself in a courtyard where a sculpture of a reclining woman has a live beehive for her head. It’s an expensive-seeming mix of smart polish and unpredictability. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through Feb. 22. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
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