Joan Snyder's Lady (2015)
Joan Snyder's Lady (2015)
Image courtesy of Parrasch Heijnen Gallery

5 Art Shows to See in L.A. This Week

An iconic feminist painter shows new work at a new Boyle Heights gallery, and it's the last week to see crowded family scenes and a portrait of a mystical, bearded bro in another downtown show.

Messy impulses
Dried plant life covered in paint bulges off canvases in Joan Snyder’s show "Womansong" at Parrasch Heijnen. Round marks, orange drips and thin, swirling lines coexist equally — Snyder’s paintings have no clear center. Bright colors, like blues and neon greens, share space with earthy, dirty browns. Snyder, who has been working since the 1960s and championed other women artists early on, has rebelled against art’s high-mindedness all along. The paintings are intentionally messy things, idiosyncratic, non-hierarchical marriages of refined and guttural impulses. 1326 S. Boyle Ave., Boyle Heights; through June 10. (323) 943-9373, parrasch-heijnen.com

Record store nostalgia

Julie Beaufils installed chest-high shelves at Overduin & Co. and filled them with plastic-covered drawings the size of records, so you can flip through her art like you would albums. The drawings are black and white and have a casual, sunny feel. Beaufils' paintings, hung around the shelves, look like they’re spinning slightly, in the way records would on a turntable. Fabio makes a hazy appearance at one point, and sometimes you can see figures through openings in big blurs of color. 6693 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; through June 11. (323)464-3600, overduinandco.com

Squeeze in
A kid with a big belly wears a pair of kitten-heeled sandals and carries a skateboard in one of Michael Alvarez’s paintings. We can image the kid is somewhere in East L.A., boldly dismissing macho conventions. Another painting shows a bearded man in baseball cap, blurry and standing on a street corner with a crowd lingering behind him. Look into the darkness above him, and you’ll see a barely visible replica of his face. In yet another painting, a baby with a squished, round face, sits in a carrier in the middle of a table, while family members surround it on all sides. Like this one, Alvarez’s paintings are often claustrophobic, with visual information squeezed into every square inch. They give a picture of this city that’s frenetic, full, layered and eccentric. There’s not much wide-open sprawl. 649 South Anderson St., downtown; through June 4. (323) 526-8097, marsgallery.net

Civil rights sexiness
Artist Olayami Dabls opened the African Bead Museum on Grand River Avenue and West Grand Boulevard in Detroit in 2000. There, he houses a large collection of beads from Africa, along with other cultural objects and a sculpture garden. One sculpture includes a gnarly tree trunk with an African mask on its front. Folding chairs weighted down by rocks face the tree, in a scene that recalls a church service. Right now, Dabls has a show at Henry Taylor’s — the artist-helmed apartment space — that largely features work he did in the 1980s, when he illustrated scenes from the Civil Rights movement with felt and paper. He also painted a series of American flags that never flow horizontally, and often twist around themselves. The show is called “Flags Erotic Rights,” because two series of pen-and-ink drawings on a low table show penises and vaginas, drawn repeatedly with as much care as went into the flags. 810 E. Third St., #41, downtown; open by appointment. 

All together now
Sixteen artists will present new work all at once this week at “Irrational Exhibits 9: Reports from the Field” at LACE. Part of a series launched in 2001, “Irrational Exhibits” are conceived as live group shows. The artists perform at the same time, some all evening long. Liz Nurenberg, who makes seductive conversation pieces meant to be worn by two people at once (maybe you put your heads into a soft sculpture, so that you face each other), will perform. So will Liz Young, who’s made oversized stuffed animals and videos about taxidermy. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., June 8, 7 p.m.; $10. (323) 957-1777, welcometolace.org


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