Various Small Fires is the latest independent gallery to go full warehouse, moving from the Venice Beach digs it has occupied since 2012 to a renovated, 5,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor compound in the art district springing up on Highland Avenue in Hollywood. The new gallery offers discrete spaces for exhibiting a range of media, from painting and sculpture to video and performance. The most intriguing area is the “sound corridor” — a hallway rigged with hidden speakers for the presentation of sound-based art, leading to a courtyard exhibition/event space. One of the two inaugural exhibitions, “Scott Benzel: Inverted Capitol Spire, Programmatic Architecture Displacement 5-7, & Inversion V,” takes advantage of both. Benzel's site-specific installation riffs on the nearby Capitol Records building's spire, turning it upside down and showing it interacting with the Randy's Donut sign, as proposals for “anti-monumental” monuments. Back in the corridor, pause to enjoy the sounds of a string quintet performance culled from The Beach Boys' 1969 Capitol Records release “Never Learn Not to Love.” (Fun fact: That song was written by Charles Manson.) In the main rooms, “Amir Nikravan: Merge Visible” offers paintings and a related sculptural installation executing an analog, physical enactment of the Photoshop command that collapses layered images into single flatnesses. Essentially, he makes sculptures, wraps them in material, enacts a kind of 3-D grave-rubbing spray-paint stencil, and presents those images stretched like paintings, which they both are and are not. They're more like abstract performance artifacts, and they're also photographic in a way, despite dealing mainly with negative space. It all sounds very conceptual and esoteric, but the pairing of these two consummate experimenters will no doubt show the flexibility of the new space to great effect — and the inaugural party will be too crowded to see the art anyway. 812 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; Thu., Oct. 9, 6-9 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., through Nov. 8. (310) 426-8040,

Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Oct. 9. Continues through Nov. 8, 2014
(Expired: 11/08/14)

LA Weekly