A moped cover become a strange, air-filled creature, two artists pry into the neighbors' lives, and a collective makes mood music.
5. Gym scene
Roland Reiss is one of those artists whose reputation for mentoring and teaching is so strong and glowing that, if you’ve been around art in L.A. for a while, you could easily know more about the person than the art. That can’t be a bad thing, but it’s nice to see a large group of current and older work by the 85-year-old artist at Diane Rosenstein’s Hollywood space. The miniatures, quirky, theatrical dollhouse-sized scenes on waist-high pedestals, are the highlights. In one from 1982, The Gravity of Observation: Victory Over Need, a palm tree, potted cactus and fake boulder are mixed in among perfectly arranged gym equipment. 831 N. Highland Ave, Hlywd.; through Jan. 17. (323) 462-2790, dianerosenstein.com.
4. Maintaining the mood
Once the art-music group Amra’s “multisensory art show” begins at Human Resources this weekend, doors will close and no one else will be allowed in. Late entries might ruin “Set the MOOD,” which is what Amra’s show is called. There will be altars, paintings, aromas and a choir. Guests are asked to relax. 410 Cottage Home, Chinatown; Sat., Dec. 20, 9 p.m. & Sun., Dec. 21, 6 p.m. (213) 290-4752, humanresourcesla.com.
3. Perfect for painting nerds
“Supports/Surfaces” is the name of a French group of artists, working circa 1970, who were pulling apart the elements of painting, exhibiting a frame on its own or a canvas with no frame. These artists feature in the current show at 356 Mission, also called “Supports/Surface.” The show is endearing, especially for the kind of painting nerd who really wants to think about how and why art is made and displayed the way it is. Patrick Saytour’s Déployé (1970) consists of plastic poles holding up shimmery pink fabric. Noel Dolla painted on gauze that hangs from the ceiling. Bernard Pages rapped wood in rubber straps and the resulting forms lie on the floor. 356 S. Mission Road, dwntwn.; through Dec. 21. (323) 609-3162, 356mission.com.
2. Creepy hair dryer
Andrew J. Greene’s Brisas del Mar is a moped cover that's being pumped full of air by a mattress pump. It sits in the middle of Michael Thibault Gallery’s front room, on a brass railing, looking like a cross between a mysterious machine and a parade float. Up near the ceiling, Greene has attached an official-looking black contraption, which, given its height, conjures a surveillance camera. Then you realize it’s made of a hair dryer, the beauty-parlor variety, and a fake goose’s neck. The show is all absurdity that tricks you into taking it seriously. 3311 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; through Dec. 20. (323) 487-1644, michaelthibaultgallery.com.
1. Paintings from bars, for a bar
Dike Blair, whose gorgeous little paintings of drinks hang in ltd Los Angeles' narrow back gallery, taught artist Meghan Gordon when she was at Rhode Island School of Design. It's partly because of that connection, and because Gordon fabricated and usually tends the quirkily elegant portable gray bar currently installed in ltd's office, that Blair's work is up. The martini paintings are particularly seductive. 7561 W. Sunset Blvd., #103, through Jan. 10. (323) 378-6842, ltdlosangeles.com.
Catherine Wagley on Twitter:
Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Facebook and Twitter: