Downtown

Ongoing

Valerie Green: Look Up

Charlie James Gallery

Last Chance - March 15 through April 26, 2014

In making work for her Look Up series, Valerie Green took photos through the skylight of her car in various places around L.A. She'd attached a clear plastic phone screen protector to the skylight first, so you see its outline and the sky through the glass in each photo. For her Screen Cleaner series, she used her phone to take pictures of computer screens with screen cleaner on them, another way to explore the relationship between the physical and digital.

Reds

Charlie James Gallery

Last Chance - March 15 through April 26, 2014

Artist Katrina Umber curated this show about the color red, its symbolism and various used. The artists she's enlisted work in a range of media: Catherine Fairbanks in ceramics, Job Piston in photography or Debra Scacco in paint on paper. They all also work in a fairly open-ended, lyrical and restrained way, traits echoed by phrases in the press release like "metaphoric versatility" and "heterogeneity of this noble color."

Emily Davis Adams: Ground

CB1

Last Chance - March 23 through April 27, 2014

New York based Emily Davis Adams creates photorealistic watercolor and gouache paintings of what you see below your feet: patches of grass, asphalt, and gravel. She's working through her interest in masterful painting and a minimalist aesthetic -- such as if you paint a rectangular, monochromatic stretch of asphalt, allowing nothing else into the image frame, isn't it effectively a minimalist painting?

Timothy Nolan: The Soft and Sweet Eclipse

CB1

Last Chance - March 23 through April 27, 2014

L.A. based Timothy Nolan has been collaging together abstract geometric designs, Art Deco patterns, science illustrations and land formations -- it's like planetarium brochures collided with Victor Vasarely's oeuvre. He'll show this collage work in his new show at CB1.

Katie Grinnan: Astrology Orchestra

Human Resources Los Angeles (HRLA)

April 24 through May 4, 2014

A few years ago, artist Katie Grinnan began making musical instruments that corresponded with astrological charts -- they had to be played by people with the right signs. This show includes the instruments, footage of past performances and a performance on closing day.

Depression

François Ghebaly Gallery

March 22 through May 10, 2014

The New York gallery Ramiken Crucible, run by Mike Ursuta and Blaze Lehane ("Losers. We were both losers," they told Interview Mag when asked why they became dealers), organized this group show that's vaguely about art and depression. The press release is almost too long to read but full of fun, if confusing, moments, like this quote by Kirk Varnedoe: "There it is. I have shown it to you. It has been done. It is being done. And because it can be done, it will be done. And now, I am done.”

After Noise | Elana Mann, Gala Porras-Kim & Susan Silton

Thomas Solomon Gallery

April 19 through May 24, 2014

Both Susan Silton and Gala Porras-Kim have incorporated whistling into their work, and Silton's also incorporated whispering. Elana Mann does work about listening, but all of them make objects and images. So this show about the relationship between art and sound/noise, but it's not really a sound art show.

Eternal Om

Metro PCS

April 17 through May 24, 2014

A meditational cassette produced by Dick Sutphen and Robert Slap in 1991 called Eternal OM gave this show its jump-off point. The artists in it, most emerging and working with photographic processes in some way, will explore "destabilizing ripple effects of history, and the dematerialization of the body within the network of information."

Painters of Modern Life

The Box

April 17 through May 24, 2014

Baudelaire's The Painter of Modern Life from 1859 inspired this show in part, even thought the modern life these artists who began working in the 1970s-1990s deal with is different from his.  

Julia Dault: Rhythm Nation 2014

China Art Objects

April 19 through June 7, 2014

Brooklyn based Julia Dault wrangles with industrial material on her own and never used a paintbrush. This means her work has that sort of smooth, hands-off look even though it is handmade. This new show includes new paintings and a sculpture made on-site.

L.A. Heat: Taste Changing Condiments

Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles (CAMLA)

March 13 through July 12, 2014

Sriracha and Tapatio are American-developed hot sauces. The former is Thai-inspired, the latter Mexican-inspired, and, in large U.S. cities, the two rival ketchup and mustard in popularity. This show, which includes a smart group of  artists who are Asian, Latin American and neither, takes these sauces as a jumping off point for exploring what it means to be "All-American."

Mike Kelley

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

March 31 through July 28, 2014

The traveling survey of local icon Mike Kelley's work finally made it to L.A. and it looks better at the Geffen Contemporary than a show has in some time.