Sean Landers at China Art Objects Galleries

It’s been quite some time since his ’90s “loser” era, when Sean Landers was best known for brilliant and pathetic self-effacing word paintings. These five new oils still have the same sense of humor and shame that fueled his early work. Two portraits called Huffer show bleary-eyed, middle-aged men with paint all over their noses and mouths, like perverse sad clowns. There are also three paintings of cartoon characters such as Quick Draw McGraw, two with classic Landers text as the backdrop. It’s nice to see him still riding the line between failure and egotistical artist — both self-proclaimed, of course.

933 Chung King Rd., L.A. | | (213) 613-0364 | Through October 20

Richard Hawkins at Richard Telles Fine Art

L.A. artist Richard Hawkins shows two new sculptures and several new collages. In Bordello on rue St. Lazare, Hawkins examines his preoccupation with 19th-century French decadence and chinoiserie, creating a black miniature haunted house that is decorated in a similar fashion to Whistler’s Peacock Room (a favorite of Marcel Proust’s). Its interior is outfitted with elegant details, such as different-colored lights, a fireplace, Persian rugs and a china cabinet. Stairwell Down is a similar architectural structure, but turned upside down and mounted on the underside of a table, with a small staircase leading down from the smooth black tabletop above. This sculpture shows less of the interior than the former work, and in some ways it becomes more painterly as one examines the surface. Hawkins also continues to explore the eeriness of the Greek archaic smile in his collages and works on paper.

7380 Beverly Blvd., L.A. | | (323) 965-5578 | Reception Friday, September 14, 6-8 p.m.; through October 6

LA Weekly