I went to a lot of show over the break as I had a friend visiting from out of town.
Some of the paintings in the Seven Young Los Angeles Painters show were good. Here are some of them online: http://www.georgelawsongallery.com/exLA07.html
The surrealism show at the Lacma was fantastic. There was a very wide range of paintings, many of which employ a very “naive” way of painting. Somehow they felt very contemporary as you couldn’t quite tell if this was put on at all. The Louise Bourgeois sculptures and the Francesca Woodman photographs were amazing too.
Here is a Dorothea Tanning self portrait that was in the show. It’s title is “Self portrait at 32”
And a Kay Sage
And some Francesca Woodman photographs.
She has a show that is opening at the Guggenheim very soon. Here are some more images: http://www.mariangoodman.com/exhibitions/2007-11-28_francesca-woodman/
Woodman had a very short career as she died at age 22 but her was has been very influential. There is an article about her here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-features/8130041/Francesca-Woodman-eerie-visions-from-a-life-cut-short.html And another in Flash Art: http://www.flashartonline.com/interno.php?pagina=articolo_det&id_art=24&det=ok
As an aside, (and since a lot of you are painting women), here is a show that Woodman was in about women: http://www.contemporaryartdaily.com/2009/07/the-female-gaze-women-look-at-women-at-cheim-reid/
The Elsworth Kelly show of prints and paintings is also really worth seeing (also on at the Lacma). Many of the works are very optical and the way the size of the shapes fit the different sizes of the paper he chooses really works formally.
There is also a really great show of work from the Japanese post war art movement called Mono-ha, translated as School of Things. The LA Times writes about some of the works:
Lee Ufan dropped a single stone onto a plate of glass. Susumu Koshimizu wrapped boulders in large sheaths of paper. Nobuo Sekine filled two black, steel containers over the brim with water. Because of the blackness of the interiors, it takes a moment to realize it’s water. A step closer, though, and it trembles with the vibrations of each footfall. Look carefully, and tiny moats of dust emerge, collecting along the surface, the whole experience making you aware of the essential, beautiful qualities of water. (from http://www.laweekly.com/2012-03-08/art-books/blum-and-poe-mono-ha/)
There are a couple of wall works (paint on plywood) and primed canvas as well. Here are some images of the show: http://www.blumandpoe.com/exhibitions/requiem-sun-art-mono-ha#images