An exhibition prompted by the current National Endowment for the Arts controversy opens Friday at La Brea Avenue's Couturier Gallery. Called "Censorship," the exhibition includes works that in their time were censored, considered morally objectionable, or, as in the case of Japanese 19th-Century Shunga (erotic Japanese woodblock prints) and a series of erotic etchings by Roberto Matta, illegally produced and therefore never published. Also featured in the show, which runs through Aug. 18, are paintings, sculptures, photographs and erotic Indian miniatures by artists including Hans Burkhardt, Patrick Graham, George Platt Lynes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts and Felicien Rops. Also included are works by two contemporary Los Angeles artists--Margaret Lazzari and Daniel Nadeau--which could be subject to censure given the current climate.
The Museum of Contemporary Art begins its popular "Summer Nights" program this Thursday. "Summer Nights," which will be held from 5-8 p.m. each Thursday through October 4, includes free admission and entertainment, discounts and prizes, no-host cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and informal art talks and gallery walks. The program will be held each week at MOCA's main California Plaza location (250 S. Grand Ave), except for on Aug. 23 and Sept. 27, when it will be held at the Temporary Contemporary (152 N. Central Ave.). Information: (213) 621-1748.
G. Ray Hawkins Gallery holds its goodby bash at its Melrose Avenue Gallery on Friday--a benefit auction of works by David Hockney, Edward Moses, Ed Ruscha, Malcolm Morley, Billy Al Bengston and Laddie John Dill. The photography gallery opened its doors at its new Santa Monica home on Saturdayy with an inaugural show of works by Alfred Stieglitz and Diane Arbus, which runs through Aug. 4. The gallery's new location is 910 Colorado Ave. Proceeds from Friday's auction, for which bidding will start at 9 p.m., go to the Actors Conservatory Ensemble. The evening begins at 7:30 p.m. with aperitifs, appetizers and music, and a contribution of $30 per person or $50 per couple is requested at the door. RSVP required to: (213) 463-6244.
Tortue Gallery in Santa Monica is celebrating its 21st anniversary this week with the opening of a special exhibition, called "Contemporary Landscapes," which features the works of 33 living artists. The opening/anniversary celebration will be held on Saturday from 5-8 p.m.
Santa Barbara artists Guy Williams and Mary Hicks lost their home and all their work in a recent fire. A relief fund has been established to help the couple with emergency needs. To contribute to the fund, make out checks to Williams/Hicks Relief and send them to the Kiyo Higashi Gallery, 8332 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles 90069. Artist John Baldessari is spearheading a silent auction benefit for the artists, to be held at the Margo Leavin Gallery in cooperation with Kiyo Higashi. Time and date of the event will be announced soon.
Museum-goers can get an inside view of Riverside's new California Museum of Photography at 2 p.m. Saturday when Acting Associate Director Edward W. Earle leads a tour of its archives, office and exhibit areas: (714) 784-FOTO.
Suzanne Muchnic contributed to this column.