This week's list includes a tribute, disguise, displacement, hoarder and megalith. It runs the gamut, in other words.
5. Banana face
Urs Fischer likes obstructions and disguises. Better yet are obstructions that double as disguises. For his exhibition at Gagosian in Beverly Hills, he's blown up vintage head shots of celebrities to epic proportions, Photoshopped them so they look contemporary, then obscured their faces with discordant objects: eyebolts, bananas, sliced-open peppers. 456 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 271-9400, gagosian.com.
4. Martha Stewart meets a hoarder
Three months ago, L.A. artist Dawn Kasper moved her studio to the Whitney Museum to prepare on-site for the 2012 Biennial. When the Biennial opened Feb. 28, VIP guest Martha Stewart hung out with Kasper long enough to tweet a photo of the artist in her haphazard, messy space, which looks like everything Stewart's sunny aesthetic negates. Stewart should come to Pasadena next, to see Music for Hoarders, Kasper's video at the Armory. In it, the artist rifles through a massive stack of everyday objects in the middle of a gallery, making sounds with each as musicians improvise in the background. Eventually, the cacophony is as big and complicated as the pile. Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; through June 10. (626) 449-0139, armoryarts.org.
3. Chinatown turnover
In 2008, artist Terrence Koh filled the basement at 969 Chung King Road with flour four inches deep, and for a month you'd see white footprints up and down Chinatown's gallery row. That space, formerly home to Peres Projects, closed not long after, its windows frosted over. Not so as of Saturday: Charlie James Gallery moved in from down the street. Its first exhibition there, Andrew Lewicki's “Fabricatio Desiderii” (or “Fabrication of Desire”), features a functional Gibson guitar made of discarded material, “bullion” bars made of melted gold crayons and goofy riffs on minimalism arranged in that wonderful, big basement. 969 Chung King Road, Chinatown; through April 14. (213) 687-0844, cjamesgallery.com.
2. Big rock
LACMA has been working for years to excavate and move a 340-ton rock, part of artist Michael Heizer's sculpture Levitated Mass, from a Riverside quarry to its campus. Getting proper permits to drive the thing through all three counties alone took months, but the rock finally left the quarry Feb. 28. Starting about 11 p.m. on March 9, it should make it from Figueroa to West Adams, up Western, and onto Wilshire to arrive at LACMA around 4 a.m. Saturday. Though streets will be closed, you can park nearby and set up camp on the sidewalk. Follow the route at lacma.org/levitated-mass-map or follow the rock on Twitter @LACMArock. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
1. MOCA remembers Mike Kelley
It has to be harrowing to put together a tribute exhibition on short notice. The risk of triteness is huge. Thankfully, MOCA's tribute to Mike Kelley, the intensely influential artist who died on the last day of January, doesn't feel official or scripted. It presents what the museum has by the artist and lets the work speak. There's the Empathy Displacement series, in which Kelley confined handmade stuffed animals to black boxes with single, prisonlike windows, then painted their likenesses on canvas. There's the great Silver Ball installation, a hanging aluminum mass with holes on its backside through which you can peer to see knotty, red-tinted landscapes. There's also a room of work Kelley gave MOCA, with items by raw, adventurous performer Johanna Went, funnily garish Marnie Weber, and Kelley's mentor, Douglas Huebler, who Kelley once said proved “art is forward-looking.” 250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; through April 2. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.