A pair of shows, one in Inglewood and the other in Torrance, between them drag more than 120 contemporary artists into marathon games of Telephone. Think sitting in a circle on the gym floor and whispering increasingly inaccurate and nonsensical messages to each other, then comparing the often hilariously different final to the original. It's like that, except the “message” is about art history. At the Beacon Arts Building in Inglewood, TEL-ART-PHONE, organized by Mat Gleason, takes the concept of compromised communication literally, as a crew of more than 80 artists use each other as inspiration, with nothing to go on but a single image at a time. One artist's work is sent to the next, who knows nothing about it but what he sees, to create an original work in response. That new piece gets sent to the next artist, the original is taken away, and that third artist never sees the first, and then it's her turn. At the Torrance Art Museum, Telephone applies this principle to the curatorial rather than the creative process, starting with one artist choosing another to be in the show, who in turn chooses the next and so on, creating a phone tree totaling 40, whose works are assembled into an exhibition tracing both an aesthetic and a social artistic conversation. Beacon Arts Building, 808 La Brea Ave., Inglewood; Sat., May 28, 6-10 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 1-6 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m.; thru July 3; free. (310) 419-4077, beaconartsbuilding.com. Torrance Art Museum, 3320 Civic Center Drive, Torrance; Sat., May 28, 6-9 p.m.; Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m., thru June 25; free. 310.328.5310. torranceartmuseum.com.

Sat., May 28, 2011

LA Weekly