Ken Price, Interior with Sculpture (1990)
Ken Price, Interior with Sculpture (1990)
Courtesy Matthew Marks

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

This week, an exhibition in Leimert Park resembles a slow-motion magic show, and Swiss children help their artist-mother negotiate 1970s feminism. 

Big pink lips
Ken Price’s drawings are a delight, intentionally cartoonish and, in some cases, better than his eccentric, globular sculptures. At Matthew Marks, where 30 years’ worth of the late artist’s drawings are on view through the end of this week, crab legs protrude from a purple vase in one framed picture. In others, a car careens off a cliff, hovering above a coastal highway as its nose faces the ocean, and an ecstatic woman does yoga moves balanced on what looks like one of Price’s sculptures. Another of his sculptures, depicted on a pedestal, looks like it's crying out for help. 1062 N. Orange Grove Ave., West Hollywood; through Sept. 10. (323) 654-1830, matthewmarks.com.

Man on fire

In artist Alex Da Corte’s film A Night in Hell, a bandaged man who is on fire falls in slow motion past lush purple curtains again and again. The film plays in the darkened side gallery of Art + Practice, where visitors can sit on pillows made to look like Big Macs. The front gallery is tiled. A stained glass window with a red rose in it has been installed above the welcome desk and a black witch hat that almost reaches to the ceiling stands in the middle of the room. Around the corner, a ceremonial tableau has been arranged on top of a glass table: a candlestick, an antler, a rose. Another video shows a man, also moving in slow motion, performing rituals. Smoke from burning sage wafts up from a box protruding from the wall. It all feels calculated — slick and cool — put together by someone who’s learned how to market his brand of magic. 4339 S. Leimert Blvd., Leimert Park; through Sept. 17. (323) 337-6887, artandpractice.org

Torpedo tapestry
Artist Lenore Tawney was born in 1907 (and lived until 2007), but she didn’t begin studying art until the 1940s. By 1954, she was weaving. In “Three Women,” the show up now at the Landing, weavings by Tawney hang in the front of the gallery. One long brown and beige linen creation, called The Megalithic Doorway, looks like an elegant torpedo. Tawney’s work co-habitates with work by two much younger artists. Loie Hollowell’s paintings, made of oil and modeling paste, are all the same uniform size. All have consistent colored bands curving from top to bottom. But puckered, fleshy forms pop up in the middle and on both sides, giving these regulated things bodily texture. Tanya Aguiñiga’s installation in back, Teetering of the Marginal, is quietly comical. She’s suspended little bodies of beeswax, gauze, canvas and clay from cotton ropes, so they look like cocooned creatures caught in a friendly web. 5118 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams; through Sept. 17. (323) 272-3194, thelandinggallery.com

Politics and childhood
In making her videos, Swiss artist Angela Marzullo often enlists her two daughters as performers and protagonists. Homeschooling, the title of Marzullo’s screening at Echo Park Film Center and of her new book, features the artist’s daughters reading Valerie Solanas’ angry SCUM (Society for Cutting up Men) Manifesto, or stealing, eating and chucking apples while reciting “Culture in Crisis” by theorist Hannah Arendt. The daughters mirror the intense voices and ideas of other feminist thinkers, too, making the stakes of childhood feel high, as, of course, they really are. 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Sat., Sept. 10, 7:00 p.m.. (213) 484-8846, echoparkfilmcenter.org

Prisons of our own making
“Open Air Prisons,” the exhibition Kelman Duran curated for LACE, is in essence a series of very short shows all exploring the prisons that exist outside penitentiary walls — Duran cites Gaza, Indian Reservations and surveillance states. The first short-lived installation, by artist LeRoy Janis, opens this week and lasts three days. Janis will show a painting of a buffalo and videos made at the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation, where he is from. The next short show features artist Hailey Loman’s recorded interviews with Ventura County justice Steven Perren, in which the artist talks to the judge about money and death. She’s also made sculpture to accompany the interviews. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; opening Tue., Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m.; programming through Nov. 6. (323)957-1777, welcometolace.org


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