5 L.A. Gallery Shows You Should Go See Right Now

Wangechi Mutu, "The storm has finally made it out of me Alhamdulillah," 2012, at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
(Courtesy Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, photo by Robert Wedemeyer)

LOS ANGELES — As the holidays approach, this may be the last week to stop by December gallery shows. ARTINFO's Yasmine Mohseni reports on five now running in L.A. that should not be missed.

To read the article as a slideshow, click here.


“For The Martian Chronicles,” L & M Arts Los Angeles, 660 South Venice Boulevard in Venice, through January 5, 2013

“For The Martian Chronicles” pays homage to the late writer Ray Bradbury. The author wrote much of what would become the book The Martian Chronicles in a house once located on the property currently occupied by the gallery. The eclectic exhibition, which includes the original manuscript by Bradbury, seeks to engage the author’s depiction of Mars as a fantastical planet full of death, glory, androids, crystal pillars and fossil seas. Exhibiting artists include Larry Bell, Sarah Cain, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, Yves Klein, John McCracken and Ken Price.

Wangechi Mutu, “Nitarudi ninarudi. I plan to return I am returning,” Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, 6006 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, through December 22

For Mutu’s fourth solo show at Vielmetter’s Los Angeles gallery, the artist continues to address race, gender and identity through the prism and perceptions of conflicting cultural projections, as played out on the body. The exhibition features new collages and sculptural work that fuse her Kenyan experience with other cultural influences. Mutu’s sophisticated stylistic language and willingness to push the boundaries both conceptually and in terms of artistic production is especially impactful in the major video installation “She seas dance,” wherein images are projected onto a 360-degree wall of iridescent tinsel measuring over 14 feet high.

“Into the Mystic,” Michael Kohn Gallery, 8071 Beverly Boulevard, January 26, 2013

This group exhibition focuses on the contemplation of mysticism in contemporary art. A quiet meditative show, the majority of the work on display delves into the artist’s inner life and perceived reality. The poetry found in the works by Vija Celmins and Bill Viola is both engaging and haunting. Meanwhile, the bold momentum of Simmons & Burke’s photographs pulls the viewer into a swirling and chaotic universe.

Abraham Cruzvillegas, “Autodestrucción 1,” Regen Projects, 6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, through December 22

The concept for the Mexico City-based artist’s first solo show with Regan Projects originates from a narrative that tells the story of a trumpet player from the musical instrument’s point of view. Cruzvillegas’ abstract and elegant sculptural works bring together the various identities of a cross-cultural connection found in music, and an identity defined by a shared style. Cruzvillegas often explores the makeshift, hand-made and the recycled, and frequently incorporates site and elements of a particular location within the context of an exhibition, creating a connection between Mexico City and the location in which the artist is working. In this case, as the exhibition travels to different cities, the meat wrapped around a small section of the sculptures will be replaced by a local cut.

Soo Kim, “Midday Moon,” Angles Gallery, 2754 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, through December 22, 2012

Urban sprawl and neon commercialism come to life in Soo Kim’s delicate hand-cut photographic prints. By carving out all but the essential, the artist creates a disjointed landscape, capturing the anxious pace of contemporary life, as exemplified in “Quickly putting his hand to his mouth” or “Disappearing behind his wife.” Using this same creative technique, Kim imbues a meditative peacefulness in the pared-down palette of “Taking off his hat, and kissing her hand.” This is Soo Kim’s second solo show at Angles Gallery.