Of all the hot new places to see contemporary art these days, a 150-year-old Reform Jewish synagogue in Koreatown is a surprising choice. Over at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Rabbi Steven Leder is spearheading an effort to include major contemporary art commissions and purchases in the temple's massive 10-year renovation plan, now under way with a target completion date of 2020. So retro that it's radical, Rabbi Leder's initiative harks back to the days of Michelangelo and Caravaggio, when the Catholic Church was a major source of support for the best artists of the day. Lita Albuquerque's Memorial Wall, a majestic installation commemorating departed congregation members, was unveiled last fall. Noa Eshkol's Tree of Life wall hanging, featured in the artist's 2012 LACMA exhibition, was installed earlier this year. Coming in the next year are 13 custom marble benches by Jenny Holzer, a large sky painting by Alex Israel, an outdoor lighting installation by Jorge Pardo and a series of photographs by Thomas Struth on the theme of creation. —Carol Cheh
3663 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown. (213) 388-2401, wbtla.org.
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