Cultural Studies: The Can’t-Miss Art and Design Events Going on Now


Editor’s Note: Each month, Assistant Editor and Arts & Culture guru Bryan Anthony selects California’s best upcoming art and design events. Mark your calendars—you won’t want to miss these.

West Hollywood
Punk Portraits
Best known for his work as a fashion designer for Yves Saint Laurent and Dior Homme, Hedi Slimane has garnered acclaim for his photographs documenting the rebirth of the British punk rock movement in London. His discerning eye was recently turned on the Golden State’s subculture for his series “California Song,” which is now on display at Los Angeles’ MOCA Pacific Design Center and includes pieces like Girl’s Christopher Owens (above); through Jan. 22, 8687 Melrose Ave., LA,

Courtesy of Caldwell Snyder Gallery

Nob Hill, SF
Don’t Label Me
If you check out Bay Area artist Douglas Schneider’s new series of lush oil paintings at SF’s Caldwell Snyder gallery and have a hard time categorizing his work as either abstraction or realism, it probably means you’re paying attention. Schneider says that he intentionally paints in two or more styles when creating pieces like Pan Am (above) “in hope of denying the absolute rightness of any one canon of beauty or truth”; through Jan. 10, 341 Sutter St., SF,

Courtesy of Herb Ritts Foundation

Palm Springs
Swimming Lessons
You can almost feel the rays on your skin and smell the suntan lotion in the air when looking at Poolside Glamour by Slim Aarons (above). The Palm Springs Art Museum’s latest exhibition, “Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945–1982,” collects nearly 40 years of imagery capturing the essence of California dreamin’, and also provides an excellent excuse to create your own poolside memory at the ultra-hip Ace Hotel & Swim Club less than two miles away; Jan.21–May 27, 101 N. Museum Dr., Palm Springs,,

Grant Taylor

Los Angeles
Pull Up a Chair
To accompany the release of a coffee table book entitled Collecting Eames: The JF Chen Collection (above), the renowned LA antiques store JF Chen is exhibiting more than 450 pieces from midcentury furniture design legends Charles and Ray Eames. The vast collection will include tables, storage units and more than 150 of the couples’ iconic chairs arranged in a timeline from 1939 to 1998; through Jan. 14, 941 N. Highland Ave., LA,

Courtesy of the Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Union Square, SF
If You’re Free
Handcuffs, shackles and straightjackets—nothing could keep Harry Houdini from escaping. Now the first major art exhibition covering the life of the legendary magician is on display at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum. More than 160 objects—including historic photographs, Art Nouveau–era posters, archival silent films and magic apparatus—illustrate Houdini’s rise from Hungarian-born immigrant to the world’s most famous escape artist; through Jan. 16, 736 Mission St., SF,

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