LACMA is on fire this month — in a good way. Their current program is as stuffed as a stocking with an eclectic slate of world-class exhibitions, in a something-for-everyone wonderland that will impress dates, entertain relatives, and better your mind during the long stretch between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve. Most imperative are the lauded career retrospective of the late beloved sculptor Ken Price, and the charming, sprawling, and salient “Drawing Surrealism” historical survey — both of which boast New York Times best-catalog listings for 2012, and both of which close January 6. The three contemporary artists tapped to create new work for the latter occasion (Stas Orlovski, Mark Licari, and Jim Shaw) expertly prove the show's proposition that the subversive, liberating legacy of Duchamp, Breton, and Cornell is more alive and kicking than ever in the modern era of genre-blurring and the recombinant web-based image stream. A sexier but no less scholarly exhibition of assembled Caravaggio masterpieces (re)introduces audiences to the Old Master's bad-boy sensuality and proto-modern sensibilities — though the rare chance to see these classic canvases up close is its own reward. Looking for a bow to tie up this diverse registry? Try the dark humor, mythological melodrama, progressive visual language, and cinematic surrealism of the Stanley Kubrick survey. But maybe don't take Mom to the Mapplethorpe. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mon.-Tue., Thurs., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; closed Wed. $15-20. 323 857-6000,

Thu., Dec. 27, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly